Thursday, September 30, 2021

The After Hours Pick-Me-Up

Diana Prince: What is the matter with you??!!
Steve Trevor: This is no man's land, Diana! It means no man can cross it, alright? This battalion has been here for nearly a year and they've barely gained an inch. All right? Because on the other side there are a bunch of Germans pointing machine guns at every square inch of this place. This is not something you can cross. It's not possible.
Diana Prince: So... what? So we do nothing?
Steve Trevor: No, we are doing something! We are! We just... we can't save everyone in this war. This is not what we came here to do.
Diana Prince: No. But it's what I'm going to do.
--From: Wonder Woman (2017)

You know, things aren't all that bad.


We all get wrapped up in our problems and miss out when something actually good comes along. Or when someone turns a bad situation into a good one.

Such as what happened when a guild composed of some in-game friends began imploding.

My questing buddy had her Bear tank in that guild, and when she realized what was going on she sprang into action. 

I'm pretty sure that this is the look my
questing buddy had on her face that day.
(From: Wonder Woman)

She contacted two of her guildies and talked them into looking at our Monday raid team. In a case of pure serendipity, we had precisely the openings that they were looking for: Healer and Hunter. I was called upon to act as intermediary --because that's what friends who happen to be on Raid Lead Teams do-- and put the two of them in touch with our recruiter. Several conversations (and a week of raiding) later, and both are now official members of our Monday Raid Team.


Autumn may be a 'back to school' season here in the US, but it's also time for (American) Football. 

And because our team raids on Monday nights, the comparisons to Monday Night Football are pretty obvious. So, before each raid starts, I've taken to playing the intro for Monday Night Football. Mainly to just pump myself up a bit, since I'm not gonna play the theme where everybody can hear it.

And, if I'm in a slightly wackier state of mind, I play this Monday Night Football intro from 2004. You see, our local NFL team, the Bengals, were nicknamed the Bungles for their sheer ineptitude through the 1990s, and because of how poorly they played they were not on the roster for Monday Night Football for 12 years.* In honor of their return to the MNF lineup in 2004, the broadcaster ABC got comedic actor Leslie Nielsen to perform in the intro:


But I think that I've gotten too stressed out about how things are working out right now. There are plenty of friends who need a pick-me-up, and while commiserating isn't a bad thing per se --I do plenty of that already-- an actual pick-me-up isn't a bad thing.

So consider this post a virtual Happy Hour. I'll even buy the first round of drinks.

*It's known as The Lost Decade in Cincinnati sports. The Bengals sucked, our Major League Baseball team the Cincinnati Reds sucked, the University of Cincinnati had 'good' basketball teams but never when it mattered in the NCAA Tournament, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera....

Monday, September 27, 2021

The Insane and The Inane

If there's one thing about "improving" in MMOs --WoW included-- that annoys me more than anything else, it's the concept that everything has to be perfect for you to be any good. You have to have the right spec, the right enchants, the right gems, etc. if you want to be taken seriously.

This has reached its absurd conclusion in the botting "community" when accounts were created, boosted to L58 containing the exact same "optimized" spec and boosted gear, and then sent forward into a TBC instance (Slave Pens or Hellfire Ramparts). 

At times like this, my enthusiasm for having talent trees to play with plummets to just about zero. If you're expected to have the same theorycrafted set of talents, then why bother have talent trees at all? Which is why Blizz eventually blew them up entirely in Cataclysm. 

But to be fair, I'm not sure why they didn't blow up gems and enchanting as well. 

Back in Wrath, any Ret Paladin worth their salt would use Strength gems on all of their slots, no matter what bonus you were giving up. It was simply expected that you would do this, ignoring anything that Blizz came up with for gem slots. The same thing would happen with enchants: Hit Cap first, then Strength, then Attack Power, then other stuff. 

Well, this is also very much a thing in TBC Classic. 

As I alluded to a couple of posts ago, my DPS was called into question and it was suggested that I go contact the person on the other raid team who is doing fantastic DPS. I wasn't able to get in touch with him, but I did go into the raid logs and discovered three things: he was totem twisting, he was using a different spec than me (he went with Enhance with a concentration in Resto whereas I went with a concentration in Elemental), and there was a significant gear differential.

Guess which one is the biggest reason why my DPS sucked?

Yes, lousy gear was the culprit.

How do I know this? I respecced into Enhance + Resto and began totem twisting, and my DPS actually went DOWN. Which makes perfect sense, given all the time I spent on throwing down totems versus actually hitting the enemies in Serpentshrine Cavern.  

But it still does drive me nuts, given that outside of some off-heal drops that all occurred very early in my Karazhan career, my Enhance Shaman drops have been few and far between.

"How's your gear?" someone asked me about 3 weeks ago.

"The usual." 

"What's the usual?"

"Still the same mix of blue and purple gear."

"Well, where do we need to go to get some gear for you?'

"Some drops from Gruul/Mags and Karazhan. I'm not gonna chain run Mana Tombs fifty times for one totem or Auchenai Crypts for an Off-hand."



I was thinking about all this when I started hearing rumblings about adding gems and enchanting your gear to get them up to snuff for SSC. 

I have blue gear, and I wasn't planning on doing more than adding some pretty cheap gems, and maybe pre TBC enchants, just to get some people to shut up. There's no reason for me to bust my ass to get high end gems and enchants for something that ought to be replaced. While lip service is paid to that, the sweaty push toward doing all the things perfectly continues.

And more people are leaving.

You know that Enhancement Shaman from the other raid team I was to talk to about his DPS? He burned out and quit. Two others on our raid team quit as well, citing real life issues. On the flip side, we have others on our one day raid team who want to leave for the two day raid team, because they believe that we won't see all the content with one day's worth of progression. 

To be frank, I'm amazed our raid team is still hanging in there, given all of the pressures on it.


The saddest part about all of this is because I'm privy to information I can't discuss with my friends/raiders, so I have to keep a lot of things that bother me to myself. And my wife doesn't understand, because she doesn't play MMOs. So I soldier on, just feeling grumpy. 

Except for this....

Or this....

Or even this...

It's those little things that I enjoy. I need to find more of them.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Time to Set the Lens Down

For someone who tends to write enough on the blog, I've been at a loss the past week or so to come up with much of anything to write about.

Oh sure, there was our first foray into Serpentshrine Cavern, my experiences watching my youngest mini-Red play in a marching band in front of 40,000+ people*, listening to my son's DJ shift at his local campus radio station**, or my occasional ode to Gen Con, which was held this past weekend.***

But after having written those blurbs here, I just have found no motivation to go into detail about them.


Yes, I saw this video by CarbotAnimations. Yes, it hit hard. 

The nostalgia that this video invoked could apply to just about any other video game, board game, or pencil and paper RPG that I've played over the years. It may take a while, but eventually everyone reaches some point of disillusionment with any game or activity. 


For me, it just reminded me once more of the old days, with Rades, Vidyala, Shintar, Kamalia, Syl, Lara, Linedin, Tam, Larisa, Ophelie, and all the rest. It reminded me that most of us have moved on, some have vanished completely, and others have passed away. 

On the flip side, it also reminded me of when the Grey Death Legion blew apart, and then the successor guild Schizophrenic Psychos did the same less than a year later. (You could say that the Schizophrenic Psychos lived up to their name.) Or how Is Up To No Good rebranded but still couldn't stop most of its membership from fading away through Mists.

So all was not good in the before times, and I should take pains to remember that.


Likewise, things are not always so depressing now, either.

Although I landed on Myzrael-US because of Ancient, I have built friendships there.**** Very few survived the first few months, when people came and went in a mad rush, but persistence does have its own reward.

And I won't lie: the friendships I currently have in TBC Classic are as intense as they were back in the Old Days. I'm older now, more of a WoW Dad than someone their age, but I'm fine with that. I get to hear how their families are doing, how they are doing, and it connects me to a wider world in this Pandemic Age. 

Or just being there for when they
go full "...Squirrel!!!" mode...


What's best about this current crop of friends is that I'm pretty sure they have no idea how much their friendship means to me.***** I don't play WoW for the bling; I play for the friendships. And if I'm doing it right, those friendships will last longer than the game itself. For those from the Old Days, some of those friendships have truly persisted, and I hope that these will too.


Perhaps nostalgia is just a weirdly specific lens in which we view the world, blocking out all of the complications and the reality of what the past was truly like. Nostalgia can be a starting point, but letting it be an ending point is committing a serious mistake, and it's a lesson I need to learn more and more.


As a bonus, have a poem written by Bob Salvatore and narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, about the most famous Drow in D&D, Drizzt Do'Urden:

*Oh, and there was an (American) football game as well. This was how the game ended. Yes, it was that exciting. (Or insane. Your choice.) When you thought the game was over....

**The wonders of live streaming.

***I'm pretty sure my wife and I are going next year. If the mini-Reds want to come, great, but it's not a requirement.

****Ancient, if you're reading this --and I know you are-- come visit again!!! We'll go fishing!!!

*****Okay, one does. /waves "Hi!!"

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

TBC Phase One -- A Postmortem

Ever have one of those days where you want to post, your mind is telling you that you've got to post something to work out what's going on in your head, but all you can do is stare at the screen without anything coming out?

Yeah, that's been me today.


And enjoying some Ghostlands quests
not done in over a decade.


Well, I guess I should get the obvious out of the way: TBC Classic Phase One finished today.

Come this time tomorrow, Phase Two will be up and running, and I presume that all the top guilds will be pushing hard into SSC and The Eye. The snark in me says that in a couple of weeks the top guilds will have both raids on farm, and the those guilds will be agitating for Blizz to accelerate the release of Phase Three.* 

I was chatting with a friend from another guild the other day, and when I mentioned that after this week's Monday raid we're going to be going into SSC/TK next week, she laughed and said that her guild hasn't even gotten into Gruul/Mags yet. And I know that hers isn't the only guild to do so. And from my perspective, that's fine. We're not required by some external judge to go hard on any of this to show that we're a "real" raiding team. This is something that people put on themselves.


So yes, I've been evaluating my experience in Phase One so I can get a feel for how I want to proceed in Phase Two. 

  • Leveling in Phase One should have been a joy, but it wasn't.

    Over the past couple of months I've had quite a few people come up to me in game and tell me that they felt bad for myself and the rest of the leveling Shamans, and how we were left behind. But almost none of the people who confessed this ever said anything in game while it went on, either via whisper or out loud in Guild Chat. Individually they may have felt they were a pariah, but together they would have changed things. That none of them did tells me two things: that they were a slave to the Leveling Meta, and that they wanted to ease their guilt over what happened.

    While I appreciate their comments and/or apologies, I'm not letting anybody off the hook for that shit show. I know that my griping about the leveling already cost me one in-game "friend", who apparently decided that my grumblings were too toxic and she put me on a permanent ignore. Given that she was the one who said "oh" and then vanished when I told her I wasn't attuned to heroics yet, I'm not exactly crying a river over that.

    My experience leveling in Phase One need not be rehashed here, but as a result of leveling Brig to L70 I made a decision to not level another of my Alliance toons to L70 by conventional means. I don't give a rip about how "the experience is better now that the big rush is over". That there was a terrible experience in the first place is enough to sour me on the entire process. I've got 1.5 years to level Card via the Old World before Wrath Classic drops, so I'm in absolutely no hurry there. I was thinking of leveling Linna or Azshandra, but the more I think about it, the more I'm disinclined to do anything about them at all. I mean, I have a guild charter ready to go for Linna and my alts, but I have absolutely no motivation to go out and get the signatures.

  • The opposite faction became a refuge.

    I rekindled my joy in my first toons, Quintalan and Neve, when I grew discouraged on the leveling process. Q is still at something along the lines of L5 or so, but Neve has been roaming here and there across the Ghostlands, reveling in all of the writing that shows the entire focus of the Sindorei on the Scourge (and to a lesser extent the Amani Trolls). When I told some Alliance die hards that Blood Elf players had absolutely no idea what is happening in Outland --questwise-- until they got there, they didn't believe me. But that's the honest truth.

    Think about how Blood Elves are presented in the Draenei starting zones: they are most definitely The Enemy. Ruthless, power hungry, and driven to exterminate the Draenei at all costs, they are almost completely an over the top villain. But none of that is presented at all on the Horde side. Hell, if you follow the Horde quests, you have no idea who or what Draenei even are until you get to Outland.

    So Neve can be blissfully ignorant while she romps through the low level Horde zones. And for me, not having to worry about anything at all and just play has been a huge stress relief.

  • I raid to live, not live to raid. That puts me at odds with quite a few people.

    For me, boss kills aren't the point of raiding. Nor are the acquisition of loot and topping the meters.

    I raid for the companionship. For the laughter. For the goof ups. For unexpected things that become a tradition.

    Such as my stint as "Briganaa The Bookie."

    In Karazhan, it's well known that the Opera selected in the Opera Event is random. What began as a one-off discussion:

    "So, what do you think you'll get?"
    "I'll say Oz."
    "Want to bet on that?"

    evolved into a full betting scheme, complete with the Loot Master (me) as the bookie. Right after killing Maiden, the discussion starts.

    "Okay, time for the Opera betting. Who wants what?"

    If you place a bet, the entry is 10 gold. It's all placed into a pool** and then the total is divided among all the winners.

    Pretty much harmless fun, but it's something to look forward to each Friday night.

    But this highlights the sort of thing that I personally enjoy about raiding. Don't get me wrong, boss kills --especially first time boss kills-- give you a rush of endorphins as you celebrate in the achievement. The thing is, however, that boss kills or getting phat loots or other things that drive the majority of progression raiders don't motivate me.

    I guess I look at gear progression as a treadmill, and if you're lucky you'll get what you want just in time to have to re-gear for the next raid. I went through all this before, except it wasn't in raiding, it was in Battlegrounds. By the time you got geared up enough for a BG tier, the next tier's worth of gear would drop. And I kind of got sick of it, which is part of the reason why I stopped playing Retail WoW back in Mists.

    Of course, my attitude toward gear is far more laissez-faire than just about the entire raiding team, hence the comment from a fellow guildie that "sometimes I'm too nice for my own good".

    And that has now gotten me in a bit of trouble, since my gear --along with the associated lack of enchants and accepting lower priced gems-- has now landed me in a hot spot. My (lack of) DPS has drawn some attention, and I'm supposed to talk with a fellow Shaman about bringing my DPS up. Well, given that the Shaman killing it on the meters has approximately 50-75% more Strength than me, having pretty much all the Phase One BiS for Enhancement Shamans that totem twist, yeah, I'm going to look pretty bad next to them. The percentage of damage between the two of us, courtesy of the raid logs, is very similar, but the raw DPS is the difference. And without those enchants and that gear, it's gonna remain the same.

    But the thing is, I wasn't gonna spend a ton of gold to get all these freaking enchants just to have them replaced in a couple of weeks. And if the replacement gear doesn't drop, then I'm stuck with my current mix of Blues and Purples. Oh yeah, the "crafted set" that is currently BiS in Phase One? Nope, I'm not busting my ass just to get it made. I got to L70 and got attuned to Karazhan, and once that was done that was the extent of my desire to go with the Meta. I'm not gonna chain run dungeons for gear, and I'm not gonna try to get every single BiS piece. This leads me to....

  • I've now seen how the sausage is made, and I don't like it.

    I get that some hard decisions need to be made from time to time. But that doesn't mean that I have to like the process much.

    And what I've seen of the raid leadership process, I feel that something critical has been lost moving from BWL -> AQ40 -> Naxx -> TBC, and that the focus isn't so much on having fun but proving that we're "elite". That we belong with the Variance guilds of Myzrael-US.***

    Discord discussions are always on how to squeeze out the last bit out of the meters, or min-maxing your way to success, or add-ons/WeakAuras to maximize your abilities. There is far less of the original friendliness that attracted me to raiding with them, and more sweatiness.

    I've never bothered to say much of anything, because I did once back in late Naxx, and I discovered that I'm in the minority about the importance of sweatiness in guild. Thankfully our raid team has less sweatiness than the other one, but as time has gone on and people have left our raid team, some of the replacements have been among the sweatiest from the other raid team -- as alts. As a result, I've started seeing some of the sweat factor creeping into our raid.

    And along with the sweatiness comes elitism.****

  • I needed to step back, and I have. But I still feel guilty about it.

    While I covered most of it in this post here, I still feel bad about not being there for people. I'm quite aware that things aren't all peaches and cream for my friends, and I really want to be there for them to help them out. That doesn't mean run instances or stuff per se, but mainly just be someone to listen to them, and a shoulder for them to cry on. To tell them that yes, they do matter. That sort of thing.

    And I feel bad when I can't be there for them, even though I know it's for my own good. I guess I'm stuck with that, so I'll have to deal with it as best I can.


A lot of this stuff is general in nature, and not limited to the actions within Phase One itself, but they certainly came to the forefront in TBC Classic. I think that, taken together, means I'm kind of back on the tightrope, wondering whether to resign and go back to being an independent, and not a raider at all.

I wish I had all the answers. But the best thing for me right now is whether I can manage my self-care, and keep myself from doing something I'd later regret.

*It goes without saying, but don't read the Blizzard Forums. I visited while I was catching up on the news that APES, the guild that had the World First Ragnaros kill in Classic and also the focus of this legendary video, was disbanding. Outside of the trolls, the people whining that content wasn't being released fast enough was disheartening.

**Or "kitty". I'm from the Midwest, and if you play Michigan Rummy or other games where you have a pool, it's always called a kitty. When I pulled that name on the Raid Lead, I could almost feel the side-eye she was giving me through Discord, until another raider spoke up and said yes, that is very much a thing.

***Nox Terrorem (Horde) and Imperium (Alliance) might disagree, but Variance is the top guild on Myzrael-US.

****And yes, this is a very specific comment. Even though people involved will never read this.

EtA: Added the bold typeface that I'd missed originally, and corrected a sentence and grammatical errors.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Talk to the Invisible Hand

It's a fairly well known item that I disagreed with the direction Blizzard took with the storyline in WoW, post Wrath of the Lich King. I need not rehash them here, but I should clarify one item: while I disagreed with the storyline --and the soap opera style transformation of some NPCs, such as Tyrande and Jaina-- that doesn't preclude whether I like the art style behind their look. So when I say I dislike the storyline that led to the destruction of Theramore --and the radicalization of Jaina*-- that doesn't mean that I dislike Jaina's current art design. 

Putting it another way, I hated the story that got her there, but I appreciate Jaina's art look much better than her original bare midriff look.**

From this original model...

To this. All pics from Wowhead.
On that first model, if she were
one of my kids I'd be tickling her.
It's waaay too easy of a target for
me to not be tickling my daughters.

The artwork is fine and all, but what gets me annoyed is this:

From the Blizzard Gear
store. Actually quite impressive.

Oh, not the statue itself, because I think it looks nice, and to be fair the Sylvanas statue looks good too:

Again, very well done.

But what annoys me is the price tag for these statues: $399 US each. (Plus Tax and Shipping.)

Even with the current 30% off coupon (which ended yesterday), each of those statues would be $279.30 US. 

What. A. Bargain. 

My ass.

Who has that sort of money lying around for this? It's not an action figure, it's a collectors item. But I have a hard time shelling out that sort of money for these "premium statues", whether they're 18" (~46 cm) tall or not. Don't get me wrong, they look nice enough that I'd not mind having one, but I expected the price point to be around $50 US or something, not 8x that. 

I guess I'm not "whale" enough for Blizz. 


In a way, this covers a lot of the excess in the video game (and gamer) industry.

If you're an executive or marketer in the gaming industry, you don't need to cater to everybody. You only need to cater to enough Whales to keep yourself afloat. Or just utilize the strategy that Torulf Jernström promotes:

Warning: watching this might piss you off.

But the thing is, this sort of targeting of a very specific subset of player is legal, but it sure doesn't feel ethical. It's preying upon people's weaknesses to make money. And because you're targeting a very specific subset of people, you're also inadvertantly locking everybody else out. Oh, sure, you can claim that "hey, anybody can buy those loot boxes" or "anybody can buy that statue", but the reality is most people won't waltz on in and spend money like that. They have budgets and other things that override their desire for what you're selling.

This is targeting the people with poor willpower.  

To the game industry, it's just normal behavior. But it shouldn't be. This isn't me complaining that a statue costs too much, because I'd have a hard time pulling the trigger at $50 (budgets, you know). This is more along the lines of that I'm tired that the industry is constantly making themselves look like asshats when they know that this looks bad. I'm tired of people hand waving that if it makes money, it must be okay. That somehow the invisible hand of the market will provide ethics in addition to profits.

But here's the thing: markets don't care about ethics. People do. And if you want ethics, people have to provide it.

I guess what I'm saying in so many many words is that the video game industry needs to clean up its act. From mistreatment of employees to poor pay to whale hunting to an overall lack of ethical behavior, the industry has a lot to clean up. And for every "not my problem" or "I just wanna play games" or "shut up, you SJW!", you're encouraging the poor behavior. If you were treated like this in a face to face encounter, you'd be upset. So why are you fine with it when the person in your face is hidden behind a screen?

(But for the record, I'd still like one of those statues. Not very fond of the Thrall one, tho. His clothing is too busy for my mind. And where's Tyrande, Baine, or Malfurion?)


*To be completely honest, I'd bet money that the entire questline/storyline was done simply to provide an excuse to "radicalize" Jaina. It wasn't needed, and it definitely was not consistent with the storyline. And a radicalized Jaina wouldn't have pulled back from the brink, either, just because Thrall and her dragon boyfriend asked her to. Radicalized is radicalized, and Blizz' story team should have completed the story that way it's turned out in real life over centuries (and turned her into a Vlad the Impaler type seeking vengeance), or they should have done something else entirely.

Likewise, the "let's destroy Teldrassil" storyline served only to make the Horde the Baddies of BfA and to radicalize Tyrande herself. I don't really care for the "real" explanation that came later, because that's only so much handwaving. And like Theramore, it was only a cutscene showpiece rather than a natural progression of the personalities of the people involved. 

 **There's a post here that I have to finish, about how Cardwyn's personality is based on a merging of both of my daughters' personalities, but they've both surprised me lately by their clothing/fashion choices. This will cause me to re-evaluate Card's own approach to fashion, because if I merely imposed my own fashion choices on Card, it wouldn't just feel right. Card's her own personality, and I am definitely not a woman, so I don't have a woman's approach to fashion. That's where the girls come in.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

A Bit of Catharsis

Vidyala posted one last time on Manalicious, remembering Rades. 

And We Walked Out Once More Beneath The Stars

Please go and take a look. And if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go outside for a bit longer.

Oh, and there's now a new page for From Draenor With Love. It's not all restored, but it's getting closer.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Something that Adele Dazeem* Would Sing About

I have been learning, slowly, to let go of the death grip that WoW Classic had on me the past 2+ years.

When I was unguilded, it was much easier to just relax and log in whenever I felt like it. Even when I was a part of Retail Orphans there were no organized guild activities, so there was no reason to try to login every day and do something. I could relax when I needed, and push myself when I wanted to. 

Next time, USE MORE FIBER!!


My first forays into regular raiding, in Molten Core, had a low level of commitment --one on Tuesday evening and one on Friday night-- so if I wanted to I could spend the rest of the week doing other things without any worries at all.


The epitome of "not worrying":
Dancing atop the Deathforge.

All that changed a year ago, when after a couple of months of persistent hounding/recruiting** I finally relented and joined a progression raid team. 

At that time, I really didn't have a lot of outside commitments --a pandemic and only one kid still at home will do that-- so raiding filled my late night activities after my wife went to bed.*** But I couldn't just leave it be, and like any other addict --low grade or not-- my in-game commitments continued to climb as 2020 turned into 2021.

When you've got two Warlocks in
raid, you bet there's gonna be some
boom-boom going on.

And now, I'm part of a Raid Leadership team, reviewing boss strategies and condensing them into something easily understood. Or getting pings about joining the guild --each time I have to explain that I don't have the authority to throw out guild invites, as I'm not an officer-- or reaching out to people when my Spidey-sense goes off and I think that things aren't okay with someone.****

"Show off!!" said the water
walking Shaman.


It's very easy for WoW --or any MMO, really-- to slip into being a job, where you have to login and have to do things. And me, being the responsible person I am, did just that. To be fair, it's a better job than most people's "regular" jobs.

Oh, for pete's sake, it's not that
bad. Will you just clean the
damn toilet this time?

But it also means work when you're supposed to be enjoying yourself.


The week I took my son back to college, I quit playing WoW early because I was going to have to leave at 7:30 AM EST. And by the time I returned from my adventure to NW Pennsylvania I was wiped out and went to bed early. The day after, I got back to work and by the time I'd caught up with an extra day's worth of work I just looked at WoW and said "Nah, not today." 

And I must admit those three days without WoW Classic were... glorious. 

Nothing to do, nobody to help out, and I was happy to just not be around.

I woke up early, got on Friday morning, and saw nobody was on, so.....

Nice to just get that finished without any "why didn't you turn it in back in Classic?" questions from people.*****

I saw what happened those three days, and I felt recharged, so I decided I'd take a few days off again this week. And you know what? It felt even better. I was back to where I was before I filled up all my days with raids, where I could goof off and enjoy myself without constantly having to get sweaty all the time.

Such as dancing with the glitched
succubi in Heroic Arcatraz.

Have I mentioned before that I'm so happy that I have a main whose dance is NOT The Macarena?

*Remember this? John Travolta at the Oscars back in 2014 had a massive brain fart while introducing Idina Menzel prior to her singing Let It Go from Frozen, calling her Adele Dazeem instead. Like the pro she is, she shook off any distraction the massive screw up gave her and belted Let It Go out of the park.

**I personally prefer "being hounded", but I know that they officially said I was "recruited". Or convinced. Whatever.

***I've always been a night owl, whereas she's a morning person. I'm still not sure how we ended up together.

****Okay, I do that all the time anyway, but my reaching out now carries more weight because of that leadership role, I suppose. 

*****Because there was no need for me to turn it in. Somebody always had an Ony head around, so I didn't need to do it myself.

EtA: Corrected the comment numbering.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Rades Would Have been Proud

"So this is the end," Tanis said. "good has triumphed."

"Good? Triumph?" Fizban repeated, turning to stare at the half-elf shrewdly. "Not so, Half-Elven. The balance is restored. The evil dragons will not be banished. They remain here, as do the good dragons. Once again, the pendulum swings freely." 

"All this suffering, just for that?" Laurana asked, coming to stand beside Tanis. "Why shouldn't good win, drive the darkness away forever?"

"Haven't you learned anything, young lady?" Fizban scolded, shaking a bony finger at her. "There was a time when good held sway. Do you know when that was? Right before the Cataclysm!"

"Yes"--he continued, seeing their astonishment-- "the Kingpriest of Ishtar was a good man. Does that surprise you? It shouldn't, because both of you have seen what goodness like that can do. You've seen it in the elves, the ancient embodiment of good! It breeds intolerance, rigidity, a belief that because I am right, those who don't believe as I do are wrong.

"We gods saw the danger this complacency was bringing upon the world. We saw that much good was being destroyed, simply because it wasn't understood. And we saw the Queen of Darkness, lying in wait, biding her time; for this could not last, of course. The overweighted scales must tip and fall, and then she would return. Darkness would descend upon the world very fast. 

"And so --the Cataclysm. We grieved for the innocent. We grieved for the guilty. But the world had to be prepared, or the darkness that fell might never have been lifted."

-from Dragons of Spring Dawning, by Margaret Weis and Terry Hickman.


Perusing old entries at Rades' Orcish Army Knife blog was a trip down memory lane. The Fabulor posts alone were worth it, but in the middle of the myriad posts I found one of Rades' personal annoyances: his belief that the Naaru ought to be evil. His suppositions were in place back in 2012, long before the Warlords of Draenor or Legion expansions, so his beliefs predate any of the rigidity exhibited by Y'rel and the Prime Naaru. 

But what got me to thinking was a post by Bellular Gaming last week about speculations for what might be the next WoW Retail expac. 


Michael Bell speculates about how the rigidity and intolerance reflected in the alternate universe Draenei and Naaru, coupled with the same form of intolerance from Turalyon, could result in the Light being the Big Bad of the next expac, one that Michael calls Lightbearer. 

Imagine, if you will, the sort of rigidity the breeds a purging of the ranks of the Alliance of all traditions not directly affiliated with the Light: Shamans, Druids, Mages, Warlocks. Or an Alliance that embraces such intolerance and implements it in an overthrow of House Wrynn in Stormwind and support of the Scarlets, which then turns its collective eye upon the Horde and those parts of the Alliance that support tolerance.

Rades would have been so proud about that sort of plotting.