Monday, 30 June 2008

Things that make me go "Oooooh!"

OK, so I think I got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning - I'm feeling decidedly grumpy. It may somewhat stem from 38 kills of Frost Lord Ahune and STILL no sign of a pet.

But today has just gone wrong. First, I did the fire festival quests in Stormwind - went OK - nobody else about, so managed to complete them without making a fool of myself. Hearthed back to Shattrah.

Fishing quest (still not got ANY of the crocodile pets yet) - catch the big Mudfish chappie quest, so off to a quiet spot right outside Garadar. Start to fish, notice a pool of pure water - "oooh - I'll have that" says Seph. "Oh no you won't" says nasty horde mage who pops up and kills me. Yes, pure innocent, can't kill a thing, me. Some days I wish we could heal horde to death - I'd manage to kill LOADS of them if we could do that. Sadly I managed to embarass myself in guild chat at the same time as I was in the middle of a message, which ended with "gggaawdddaaddww" as I madly tried to shield myself (bound to key G) and run off.

Job done (Hordie gone when I managed to run back), I went to Dark Portal for the daily fire quest - easy peasy kill, even for a Holy priest. Then, and only then, do I remember I need to go back to Stormwind to get my new dress. D'oh. Fortunately I managed to grab a guildie and pull the old "hearth back for free from Stockade" trick.

So - I put it on - where's my fire-filled hands? Hmmm - maybe I need to do more collecting. Actually no - I did a bit of reading and you have to /dance or click on the item to get the fire. Why don't they make these things clear for people having bad days? (Oh bugger - just been in to take a screenie and they do "Use: Add some spark to your dance moves!" - double D'oh).

And on a last note - while all this was going on I was approached by a complete stranger. "Hello" he opened with. "Hello", I replied, not wanting to be rude. Well, actually screaming inside to be rude, but refraining. He then proceeded to ask me if our guild would like to merge with theirs for 25 man raids. Having chatted for a while I worked out that his guild raids at 18:00, ours at 22:00, his guild has 29 members, ours has 91, his guild is fairly new, ours has been going a year. I found it somewhat "odd" that he STILL felt we were compatible and asked for the names of our currently active people. Unable to hold back any more I asked him why he wanted this information and if he was going to try to poach some of our members (as if...). At this point I think he got fed up with my line of questioning (although I did suggest he post on our forum and the Council could discuss it) and left me hanging with a "Oh, guildie needs help - cya M8". Oh dear - that killed it didn't it! If there is one thing someone can do to upset me it's call me M8.

1. It's "mate".
2. I'm a GIRL (well, woman) - boys are mates, girls aren't.
3. I'm NOT your friend - we've been chatting for 5 minutes tops - this does not make me your friend. In fact, from the discussion we had and the feeling that you'd like your tiny little guild to swallow up ours, it really doesn't bode well for us becoming "M8s" in the future.

Ahhhhh - now that feels better out there! Precicely one of the reasons I made this blog, so I can rant to my heart's content and get it off my chest. Thanks all for listening, if you still are, which I wouldn't be surprised if you're not - even I had to go have a lie down after my experiences!

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Visit to Molten Core

As the summer has arrived less and less people seem keen on going to the swimming pool in SSC and want to head for the beach or some other RL destination instead. I decided that rather than try to get 25 people together for a raid, I would schedule an "Old School" raid to Molten Core for our Saturday night fun. There are many people in the guild who, having never been "hardcore", have never seen more than 1 or 2 bosses in MC.

We fortunately had a lock (who HAD soulshards - oh my - there's a novelty - a lock arriving at a raid with shards) who could summon inside so cries of "I'm not attuned" were ignored and people were invited to join. Through the evening we varies between 15 and 23 people in the raid. I got a bit over anxious (baaad memories) and asked 2 guys to respec healer, which they didn't really need to be - sorry guys - GB will sort it.

We had a blast! We had about 4 or 5 deaths total - Baron Geddon's farts seemed to be the worst killer. The biggest challenge was finding enough members with [Eternal Quintessence] and we had to swap a few members in and out to get the fires doused, but after a 10 minute forced cooldown break (during which time one Council member went to Shattrah and begged - with no luck) we put out the last fire and Majordomo arrived.

All those who had been to MC in previous lives panicked - we only had one mage - how would we manage? We set up targets, sheeped one, nuked the rest - someone called out which mob was next and it all happened surprisingly fast. Even being thrown in the burning pit had little effect. Easy!

So - on to Ragnaros himself - I had goosebumps and a shiver down my spine as the music started playing and all my old memories came flooding back. We spent a bit of time explaining the fight and the elemental spawns to everyone (remember the countdown? - "30 seconds to elementals" - "all need to be in position" - "run, RUN..."). Well, we didn't need any of that! The poor big guy gave up the fight before we even got elementals - it was comical, even farcical and, in a funny sort of way, kind of sad. This guy used to be SO HARD, you really had to be coordinated and now he was squashed like a fly.

We took the ubiquitous "first kill for the guild" shot and our only mage made us all a portal home after a fun, but not quite as thrilling as it used to be, evening out. There's talk of BWL next week.... having killed everything but Nefarian there before, I'd quite like to go - I think I may have a stack of [Scale of Onyxia] left on a bank somewhere and my rogue can make [Onyxia Scale Cloak] - wonder if we will still need them?

Trust a Mum to be prepared :)

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Virtual vs RL friends (Part One)

Well, this is quite a topic, but I'm going to start some musings over it. My husband and I have had many discussions over the past 2.5 years of WOW playing about how I should "get out more" and "make some contact in the real world". This got me thinking over my interactions with other people over my (many) years.

My teenage years were full of Citizen's Band (CB) Radio - I loved it - talking to people who I didn't have to see. Maybe arranging to meet them and then not revealing myself if I didn't like the look of them. I moved on to Amateur Radio because my Dad wanted to sit the exam and I was his support and companion for learning. From this I discovered people all round the world I could talk to. I began to use RTTY (Radioteletype) - this was a very early sort of MSN, but over a radio.

I then entered Higher Education and actually interacted with real people for a while, met my husband, bought a house, had a child. About the time I was pregnant with my second child I discovered a website called iVillage - a site for women, run by women (apparently). They had forums for people who were pregnant, had babies of various ages, etc. I became a community moderator for several of the message boards and began my anonymous interactions again. With this discovery I also found MSN. Most of the friends I made during this time are still on my contact list. Kind of interesting when I don't keep in touch with a lot of folks I was at school or Uni with.

During all these years my family and I played computer games - from early ZX Spectrum games like Chuckie Egg, to Age of Empires (which I rock at).

Then along came WOW - my son started playing in August 2005 - I held off from playing because it looked WAY too addictive for me. Christmas came, we had some spare family time - Hubby and I have traditionally had a game to play over the holidays (that we play until the small hours and chill). So - this year he started WOW "as a way of interacting with son". Not wanting to be left out I started playing too. So now we have 3 accounts and I am well and truly addicted. One of my first online friends was Mushymage (am imba Deadmine clearing lvl 45 mage when I first met him - thanks Mush - you showed us what it was like to really play the game), then followed Tuneman, Dondo (and his wife Ada) and so it grew. My friends list got longer and longer and my play time got less as I chatted more.

Then I discovered guilds and it got worse! I was communications officer for my guild during my hardcore days - mainly because people chatted to me, told me their feelings and I used to share the Officer thoughts back.

A lot of players were very sad when I shifted realm to join the people I now play with, but I still go back and visit to keep in touch. Some moved realm too and joined me, which was lovely and some I'm still working on.

I'm not quite sure where I'm going with this post, but think it's got a bit long for now and the kids need some time. I'm going to discuss more about the outcomes of my interactions with people I've only ever met through WOW and why it all IS important to me, almost as much as REAL people are.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Fire Festival

Well, I'm still enjoying the fire festival. Sadly, with 17 kills of Ahune there's still no sign of my pet, but it's a really great fight to be part of from a healer perspective. You have to be on your toes and use spells you wouldn't normally use on a boss fight. There's little time so Greater Heal is pretty much out of the question then in phase 2 of the fight you need to be doing some dps as well. Kestrel has done a fantastic guide on how to kill this boss.

Another great source of information I found about the fire festival in general is in "A Dwarf Priest's" guide .

I'm no great writer of guides, theory and stuff, but I'm fantastic at finding information from other sources and I intend to share the sources of my knowledge with you here.

Another guide to how to catch those blasted torches is found here . This is a hard quest for a keyboard turner like me, but if you can time it so there aren't many people around it's much easier and also people don't get to see you messing it up :)

As I said in my previous post, I've already spent 700 blossoms on a new pet and brazier and am now saving for a nice new dress [Vesment of Summer]

Happy festival all!

Thursday, 26 June 2008

About my Guild

We're a small guild, we're a bunch of somewhat older people who sometimes raid, later in the evenings. We have people with kids, jobs, real life and stuff that means we can't join in on the "hardcore" raids that start at 7 server time. Our raids start at 10pm server time and go on for 2 hours - we're all tired and ready for bed after that amount of time - how people concentrate for 4 hours or more is beyond me!

We have some guild guidelines which explain our loot system - we use Suicide Kings which is a system that distributes loot to those who haven't had anything recently and doesn't penalise those who don't raid. We've got a vent server for all to use, a guild bank (which only Council members can withdraw from), we ask that people specify a "main" character, but allow all alts in the guild (one member has 9 characters in the guild - he's working on getting them all to 70 - eeek).

We're made up of a core of players who have been together for 2 years or so and the guild is run by a Council (of 5-7 members) who take it in turns to organise raids and generally run things. My role is sort of Guild Mum - people seem to talk to me first (maybe it's easier to talk to a female). I try to make contact personally with guild members at least once a week to catch up on how they are feeling, if they need help with anything, how their RL is ... all that sort of stuff. I leave all the "hard stuff" to the other Council members. One sorts the GB, one or two usually lead the raids, one more often than not sorts the healing (although playing a Holy priest I get involved in this too).

Several members have joined us along the way after becoming burnt out by hardcore raiding and who have realised that RL>WOW. We accept anyone who has the same belief that we do. We don't actively recruit - with so many people playing so many characters it would be hard to know which class we're short on - it varies from week to week. One week we're short on healers, the next tanks - one week we even lacked dps!

We're not terribly "progressed" as far as raiding goes - we've cleared Kara, done 2 bosses in ZA, can do Gruul and Mag with ease (when enough people are online) and have downed Hydross. Recently we've been experimenting with speed Kara runs - our best was 2 hours 50 minutes and included a comfort break after we'd all been to the Opera. I'll tell you all about that some time. This pic is our first ever visit to Kara - and yes, that's me in the [Lovely Red Dress].

My core aim for the guild, and for its members is to have FUN. Generally to enjoy playing and not find it a chore and occasionally have the tears roll down your face laughing so much. I get far more out of what I do now than I ever did during my "hardcore" raiding days and much as I'd love to see some more raid content I wouldn't go back.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

New WotLK emotes

Hurrah more fun to be had...

I love emotes - it's all part of the fun for me, so now I'm looking forward to having more.

Gief me a new pet

This is what I want... [Scorched Stone]

One heroic kill and 5 normals and no sign of that nasty Ice Lord Ahune dropping one for me :( *Update - another 5 kills tonight and still no sign of hte little fire guy. Sad bunny.

I have been having fun over the last few days - have visited ALL the bonfires of the world. The result - my very own little [Captured Flame] and a "waiting for raid to start" fun item [Brazier of Dancing Flames]. I also made over 800g while visiting all the fires - it's nice to get some money while collecting more junk for my bags.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

First thoughts

Well, I've been reading a lot of other people's blogs and decided to have a go at one of my own. This is my first ever blog. I'm not really sure where to begin. Do I start with a sort of an all about me....

Well, my current "Main" is Sephrenia, a lvl 70 female Human Priest. I began life in WOW as a Rogue and did a LOT of pre-TBC raiding with her, but come Outlands, I'd levelled my priest and now I can't do anything else but heal - I love it!

I'm a proud member of a late-night "raiding" guild. When I say raiding I use the term loosely - we raid if enough of us are about, or we don't. We're somewhat older than a lot of other guilds - our members ages ranges from 13 (my son) to 67 (my Dad). The average age is probably about 30. We are somwhat unusual in that we are run by a Council (yes, I'm one of those) - a team of members who pull it all together. Our GM is a level 1 alt :)

I've called my blog "Guild Mum" because that is how I seem to be percieved within the guild and it is, to be fair, quite fitting. I AM a Mum (2 kids, aged 13 and 7 - both of them also play WOW) and it extends into my online interactions. I chat to everyone and anyone. I think I have probably spent more time chatting than I have actually playing.

I'm an avid pet collector

So - what am I going to talk about - well, I'm not sure really - whatever takes my fancy I guess. I will tell you about my fun, my guild, my vast reading sources and more.... let's just see where our journey takes us shall we?