Girls Gone Wow — a Podcast

Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute and it seems like an hour.
Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute.

Albert Einstein

Who: Girls Gone WoW
What: A WoW Podcast
Where: Europe
Where Again: Girls Gone WoW Link

I visited the Girls Gone WoW podcast to listen to Anne Stickney. Anne is a lore expert in the World of Warcraft and a favorite to me of the personalities in the community. To my great enjoyment, the hosts of Girls Gone Wow: EJ and Raven are funny and warm and keep a show really moving along.

Curious about the European side of WoW, I found it was much the same as us blokes in the United States. I really smiled when one of them said “We all have a tin-foil hat theory on that one.” Our language is WoW language peppered with the slang of the community with a dose of Blizzard Watch.

I’ll have to drop in to listen to future shows. The girls are funny, enthusiastic and one of them has some salty language that warmed my little heart. They get calls, mail and e-mails. Their experiences resound with my own; one of them even started a new hunter — simply looking for something to do.

Give them a spin sometime, they are very entertaining.


Pre-Made Custom Tab

Custom adapts itself to expediency.

Pre-Made Custom

This has to be one of the best features baked into Warlords of Draenor.

I am delighted to see the range of opportunity and entertainment offered by my fellow players in the Custom Tab. I wonder if Blizzard designed the random vendors to encourage it’s use. Once you have tapped in, you just might become addicted!

I like the ease of use. When I see that I have Erris and a Trader, I like offering up my Garrison via Custom. Who says that Garrisons are lonely? My little home on Dreanor is soon hopping. I get thank yous in /i and whispers and I’ve even been offered pets; just for hosting! People use my bank a lot, I didn’t expect that. If I am on my hunter, I like have Aspect of the Pack up to give everyone a livelier step. Auto-Accept rules.

I have not delved deeply enough into all of the opportunities. I made liberal use of the Sha’tari Defense groups and got my rep to exalted pretty quickly. Some of my long standing achievements are frequently posted; I guess I’m not the only one.

It is the RP guys that astound me. I often see Pirate RP in Booty Bay; that sounds like fun. Yarrrrr matey! Someone offers College RP, this boggles my mind. The paradigm of the dichotomy in the transient state of Post-Modern Realism? Man, just typing that way makes me head ache!

The Custom feature is a handy tool and so very practical for players who are out and doing things. Realm Hopping for rares is brilliant; whether it is pets, mounts or toys.

I’ll be keeping my eye on the Pre-Made Custom tool as it is used, exploited (in the best of ways) and evolves into part of my everyday gaming life.

Bravo Blizzard!

Soul Evacuation Crystal Macro’d

Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes.
Walt Whitman

WoW Toy — Soul Evacuation Crystal

Soul Evacuation Crystal
Item Level 1
Binds when picked up

Use: Protect your soul from demons for 1 hour. (5 Min Cooldown)
Requires Sha’tari Defense – Honored
“Designed by Draenei priests decades ago to prevent the souls of fallen warriors from being ensnared by the Burning Legion.”

Vendor: Maaria
Zone: Trading Post
Faction: Sha’tari Defense – Honored

Everyone wants their soul to be protected from demons. This toy is awesome in that when you use it, it gives a nice purple clang on your character. But, but, when you die — this terrific animation of a protected soul (yours!) rising up from your body.
I made macros to always have my soul protected (on my characters who are honored with the Sha’tari Defense). I used spells that I cast often but not always.

For my Druid, I tied it to Mark of the Wild.

#showtooltip Mark of the Wild
/use Soul Evacuation Crystal
/cast Mark of the Wild

For my Hunter, I tied it to Misdirect.

#showtooltip Misdirection
/cast [@focus, help] [@pet, nodead, exists] Misdirection
/use Soul Evacuation Crystal

I was delighted to find and now use this toy and fold it’s use into my everyday play time.

One Reason to Play WoW

Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.
Michael Jordan

One Reason to play the World of Warcraft.

There is a beauty to raiding. It is not in the boss or it’s mechanics. It is in your team. Your guys; the healers, tanks, damage dealers all working together — it is fantastic and even cathartic.

I will never be on a professional basketball team that has played as a team for years under one coach. I won’t be in a barbershop quartet or church choir singing five part harmony and feeling that joy. I won’t be in the military, working with my unit to accomplish a task; trusting another man or men with my very life — feeling the exhilaration of victory.

Most of us won’t do those things. We have our jobs, our husbands, our children. We have chores and workouts, trips and dreams, hobbies and diversions. A human being should feel the joy of teamwork, execution in concert and the deliverance of a job well done. We should applaud break-throughs of our mates. We should raid as a team; it’s fun.

Our guild is fairly fluid but we have our core. We’ve practiced over and over to get a tough boss down. Not much feels better than when our Raid Leader says, “Gang, that was a text book kill.”

No Flying in WoW

“So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Exciting times in the World of Warcraft. Watcher dropped a flame-me bomb that we probably won’t be flying in future expansions. In eight days he will offer a live Q & A to the players to discuss patch 6.2 but everyone thinks he will account for the no flying stuff.

With Blizzard Developers and Designers all on twitter and a public forum with Community Managers, more players are getting access to behind the scenes. Every time you look behind the curtain, you will be disillusioned — the Wizard of Oz was just a man pulling levers. Go to a sausage factory and see how it’s made, you will be grossed out! The inside knowledge that you gain is not worth it; my advice is to simply play the game.

This is one of those Life Lessons.

When I went to Grad School, the students were in an uproar; they felt that the faculty was keeping them from doing what they wanted. The faculty were the enemy! When I was on the faculty, I learned that everyone was dedicated to serving the students, it was the administration that was keeping us from resources; the administration was the enemy! When I got into School Politics, I met the Board of Trustees — they were trying their darnest to give the students the best education and experience possible. The farther I got into the system, the more I understood that everyone is working towards the same goal.

Two sides of the same coin.

The other side of the coin is that we are surprised when people are not all pointed to the same goal. You can join a church and everyone is so happy and helpful. Until you meet that one person who views the people as a resource to serve their own goals. It is the same in school, there will be one faculty member with an agenda who says “it is for the students” when all they want is something to go their own way.

We, as players, do not have all the information. We don’t have much information at all! I don’t think we should know the future plans for expansions. I think Blizzard does a pretty good job via the PTR to let is glimpse what is to come. As a player, I don’t want to know that the butler did it. I don’t want to know how the game will play before I get to play it. I don’t read the last page of a mystery novel before I start at the beginning.

We all have ideas. If we can’t fly in the next expansion, I’d populate Azeroth (where we can fly) with random world bosses. But, y’see, I don’t work for Blizzard. I can offer an idea or feed back but they won’t and probably shouldn’t use my ideas. Just because I have access via twitter to the designers does not mean I have a say in shaping how the game is designed.

If I was Picasso’s janitor and suggested that he add a little more Dark Blue to his painting — would he take my advice? I don’t think so!

Blizzard’s Flame Wars

“The single biggest problem in communication
is the illusion that it has taken place.”

George Bernard Shaw

Yesterday’s Blizzard Forums experienced what could only be described as a Flame War. Echoes of Usenet and 1980 and fury unleased in full public display. This spilled over into Twitter. People feel like they’ve been lied to and people are reacting to being called a liar.

It was ugly. I imagine it is still going on but I won’t be going over there, let the damn thing burn down.

The game designers and developers for the World of Warcraft are wonderful at their job. Sadly, they’ve been thrust into the public eye and forum. They are not public people and yet, these are the guys we want information from. It was and is a mistake to follow this path.

Asking for Feedback is all they know and it is primitive, naïve and so vague that it is hurting the community and themselves. The idea of Feedback is as broad a concept as Freedom or Value or Taste. Pointing to a individual’s response and saying “that is good feedback” isn’t helping anyone as it gives no clue as to the information that they are looking for at that moment.

I don’t know, but I imagine very few of the Blizzard guys got a masters degree in communication. I took classes on Feed Back when it was still a new (ish) idea when it was being expanded into physical areas of medicine even though it’s roots were in communication. The use of this tool must be deft to be effective.

Unless there is a major overhaul of their model, Blizzard will be cultivating a culture of anger and frustration beyond what is happening now and now is a Flame War.

They need to:

  • Be specific in their Forums on what they want the players to tell them.
  • Drop Twitter as a discussion forum.
  • Redesign their Forums so there are not pages upon pages of empty responses.
  • The forums have professionals hired to moderate but the designers are not trained to deal with a rowdy public.
  • Be honest! The idea that feedback will create change must be (must be) squelched completely.
  • Give information for the responders to react to; not Bait.

The trap is that by offering an avenue of communication, those who respond believe that they can change the game. That message needs to be the clearest loudest message; feed back does not mean your ideas will be used! People believe that because of the gestalt of public forums moderated by Blizzard employees.

Players will not make changes to the game. They have to learn this, be told this, taught this or they will feel burned and angry.

I love this game. I love knowing information, often in advance of it being in game. The process is ugly and Blizzard needs professionals to clean it up. The opportunity must remain, lets hope from these ashes that they will fix a very flawed system.

Having a Ball In WoW

Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.
Helen Keller

I’ve had a busy week in WoW.

By the time we hit Reset Tuesday in a few days, I will have raided with three different groups. I am almost exalted with the Sha’tari Defense. I’ll try to slip into a SoO raid to take the selfie for the contest. I am also close to 500k gold across my characters.

I read a lot. I read books. I also read a lot of blogs and people seem frustrated and this is why I write this here right now.

I think many players have lost sight of what playing means. Play! So many are only in it for the gear, pissed at the RNG and their reward for downing a boss. The Grumpy Dwarf will tell you ALL about it, he IS Grumpy but when you read his stuff; you tend to like him anyways. Misdirections is a Debbie Downer too, he’s not happy with this expansion.

The fun is in playing. Playing with your friends and playing with potential new friends. If you down a boss, you win; everyone wins. Someone is going to get gear, if it is not you then (collectively) the team is still getting stronger. The fun is in a side bet to see who can get more DPS or who gets the most interrupts. The fun is watching a new player learn their way. The fun is being with friends.

My guild is great. We had some people come raid with us during the last expansion. They were surprised when we cheered at getting to phase three of Garrosh! We were happy, we did it! It was a Step Forward. We try not to lose sight of why we play (and it is play) and that is fun of achieving a goal as a group. Like everyone else, we eventually farmed Garrosh; but the process was awesome.

I look forward to the flirting. The goofing around. That darn mage who fakes me into taking a portal (grrrr). I like when seldom guildies want to tag along. I love it when we carry a lowbie or a pugger. People talk about their kids, their dogs, work, their worries and fears, their future and their bitter defeats in life. We are there for all of that and more.

It is a fun game. A lot of people are playing and having a ball. I’m sorry you don’t get gear on every drop; really I am. You should be rewarded every single time for every thing you do.

Me? I’m cheering my comrades on while we down yet another boss in a raid with my guild.