Archive for the ‘Brain Dump’ Category

A Case of the Mondays   3 comments

I’m not entirely sure why, but for the past few days I’ve had a serious case of the Mondays. I think it’s this trip, I generally get melancholy as it winds down and I get more homesick. It’s odd how a prolonged change from your daily life can throw you all out of whack. I can’t really explain it much better than just a complete blase feeling. With so much time on my hands it leads me to start thinking about tons of things. The biggest thing on my mind right now is if I’ve made the right decision with moving forward into MoP. While deep down I know it’s what I want to do, I’m worried that I’m going to have the rug pulled out from under me because of my hands.

I know I mentioned a while back that I had an additional issue with my left hand in the thumb/wrist area. My therapist is baffled by both how quickly it came on and how long it is taking to resolve itself. Unfortunately, while my overall hands have felt better in the dry heat of Colorado, this new problem has grown pronouncedly worse. I pretty much can’t put any weight at all on my left hand. One odd twist and I’m in extreme pain – for example, last night I was putting on my nightgown and held the gown funny; this morning I was picking up my shoes and grabbed the shoe in an apparently unpleasant manner; I place my left hand on my hip and it twinges in pain. The worse part of all of this is that the week before I came to Denver I didn’t touch my computer outside of our weekly raid and the time I’ve been in Colorado I’ve spent very little time playing, but my left hand has progressively gotten worse. My therapist has indicated that when I get back if the left hand is still causing problems she is going to send me for a cortisone shot. I’ve never experienced these before, but I’ve heard they can be painful. I grow worried that something more is going to have to be done about my hands and it is going to completely prohibit the hobby that I’ve dedicated myself to for the past eight years.

And I guess what bothers me about that is that I will be stopping my hobby on terms that aren’t my own. Ok, and that I won’t know what to do with myself. I have tried to pick up some other hobbies in my down time so that I’m not left completely at a loss, but when push comes to shove I’m not really sure what my reaction would be if I walked into the Doctor’s office and was told I had to have surgery or I needed to significantly limit my time on the computer. So much of everything I do right now is wrapped up into WoW that I wonder if it would be akin to quitting smoking cold turkey. I mean, I know that I will have to step back from the investment I’ve put into WoW at some point, I had a conversation with Brade not so long ago where I expressed that when I was 70 I wanted to have more to look back on my life than just pixels. But I don’t think I’m there yet.

I also can’t but help feeling a little disconnected again. I know from last time that this is in large part due to my forced absence from the game/computer, but it doesn’t help. Especially when I’m already feeling a bit melancholy. This time it feels a little less stressful and worrisome to me because we aren’t pushing progression and a lot of people are taking time away from the game outside of raid nights during this lull, but it still bothers me a little bit. I’m trying to casually level my inscriptionist to 85 so that she is ready for MoP to combat this – but between my hands and Cataclysm feeling tired it’s been hard to be motivated.

So what am I doing with my free time? Obsessively checking our forums. I watched both seasons of Pretty Little Liars and when I get home I intend to start watching Buffy (I’ve never seen it before). I finished the first Girl With the Dragon Tattoo book and am about 1/3 of the way through the second. Brade and I have started playing board games a bit to give my hands a rest, but have something fun we can still do together. And lastly I’m trying to adjust my lifestyle to be a bit healthier – I’ve even been debating a subsection on the blog devoted to it.

Man, what a ramble this turned into. Ah well, so it goes. When I get back I intend to spend a little time with the Beta again (I actually put it on the laptop before the trip…and then Blizzard went and made you redownload the whole thing, so I wasn’t able to do anything with it while I was traveling). I continue to be bummed out that raid beta testing occurs while I’m at work, but there really isn’t anything to be done about that. If you have any beta questions you’d like answered, or anything you’d like to see via fraps, just let me know and I’ll see what I can do to facilitate it. Other than that, here’s hoping that soon I’ll get infected with a case of the Friday’s and be back to my old, sarcastic, yet chipper, self.

Posted July 18, 2012 by Beruthiel in Brain Dump

On the Wings of the Mockingjay   5 comments

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Warning: This post will have spoilers for all three of the Hunger Games books. If you haven’t read them yet, you may not want to continue reading this post. If you get to the end, and are pissed that I spoiled something, I will simply remind you that the very first thing I wrote in this post was a warning.

My hands have had a bit of a set back the past few weeks. While the original issue has somewhat plateaued in the improvement department, about three weeks ago I developed additional tendon damage/injury to my left thumb/wrist area. While this has been highly disappointing, and the new injury has affected more than just playing on the PC (trying working with fondant when your hands hurt trying to soften it up or color it, or try shuffling a deck of cards when the action causes pain in your thumb), I’m trying to roll with the punches and facilitate as quick a recovery as possible. Which means that I’m not spending a lot of time on the computer and I am again spending a good deal of time reading, watching TV and doing other things.

I bring this up, because over the weekend as I sat and enjoyed one of the ten days of sunshine we get here in Seattle, I finished up the Hunger Games trilogy. In fact, I was so involved in them that Saturday night found me up way past my bed time trying to finish the final book (I sadly had to give up with about 75 pages left when I just couldn’t keep my eyes open any more). Anyhow, as I read through the three books and observed the changes in Katniss and the other characters I had some thoughts on them that I wanted to flesh out, and figured this is about as good a place as any to do so. Before I move on, I want to again remind you that I am about to enter into spoiler territory, and if you haven’t read the books yet, you may well want to stop reading this post now.
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The Ice Stone Has Melted   14 comments

Yesterday morning I logged into WoW to do my daily run of Ahune. I have been doing this daily during the fire festival for the past four years. Why, you might ask, curious if I have some sort of fascination with killing frost elementals that take root in the slave pens. Well, the truth of the matter is that I’m an avid pet collector and in the four years that Ahune has purported to drop an Ice Chip I have yet to see one (I have the flame pet from the first two years – when you could farm them endlessly until one dropped, and endlessly I farmed). To say that I am disappointed at this point is an understatement. It’s pretty much become some cruel joke that makes me want to punch people in the face when they advise me that they’ve seen five, or have one on every alt, or got on the very first time they killed Ahune.

But the frustration with religiously running Ahune year after year for the hope that I will somehow obtain what is apparently unobtainable for me is really the tertiary take away from this post. What I want to talk a little bit about is a conversation that Brade and I had after my satchel, yet again, did not contain an Ice Chip. And that conversation is about the small things that push people away from a game that is nearing a decade of existence. Granted, this has been a topic on the top of my brain anyhow, but my continued pursuit of this particular carrot (the ice chip) and my failure to obtain it after four years of doing everything in my power to do so, seemed to just be one of a number of small, fairly neglected, things – and how they manage to stack up and become much larger problems. A snowball that turns into an avalanche…or something like that.

Basically, after being disappointed yet again yesterday (and again this morning), I said to Brade “you know, it’s the little things like this that would make me walk away from the game if I was no longer raiding”. And it’s true. It seems like such a small thing, one simple pet, but for me (an avid pet collector) to show up as I’m asked to do and do my part only to be rejected year after year, going on four years now, doesn’t really make me want to come back every day and keep trying. It makes me want to walk away and not look back.

I’m not trying to be melodramatic here. I’m really not. But as I looked at my empty bag last night, I thought on all of the hopes every year that maybe this will be the year. I thought about how I logged in every day over the Christmas holiday in hopes of seeing a lump of coal in my bag – yet never did – and sighed knowing that this would be yet another journey like the Ice Chip has been. And somewhere in all of that my brain kicked in and asked exactly what the hell I was doing wasting my time every year putting in so much effort for something that is so completely out of my control. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it’s things like this that are starting to make WoW lose a lot of the sparkle and allure it once had for me. Which, in turn, made me wonder if this would (or will) be the thing for me that makes me sit down at the computer and decide not to log in.

I mean, I feel that I’ve rolled with the punches for the past 8 years. I’ve relearned my class every expansion. I’ve completely relearned to heal twice now. I’ve survived a reduction in raid size, the advent of 10 man raids and LFR. I’ve handled a reworking of the talent system…and accepted that I’ll have to deal with yet another one in a few months. And I’ve done all of that with a positive attitude. But really, what does that matter? Because at the end of the day, the one thing I’d really like to have, that is stupidly important to me, and that I have been trying to acquire for four years, still eludes me. I get that RNG, and apparently my luck, sucks. And perhaps I could accept that answer for one or two years. But after four years of trying, it’s pretty much highlighted for me that the carrot is no longer with chasing. It seems such a stupid, small thing. And yet it has had such a pronounced affect on how I view the game right now.

I know it seems silly, almost ridiculous. I really do. But I’m just amazed at how much effort is put into keeping people happy on a large scale, and how little seems to be placed at the small things that will inevitably act as a catalyst, that tiny straw on the camel’s back, to push people away.

Monday Musings – Catching Up Editon   17 comments

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I made this cake for Brade’s brother’s birthday (inside joke), but I think it turned out really well!

On WoW
There isn’t a whole lot new on the WoW front. We finished getting everyone a firehawk last week, so I can finally say that I am (mostly) done with Firelands! We have an out of guild tank that has been helping us for the past month-ish and so we will probably do one more run to send a firehawk his way as a thank you. But other than that, I think we’ve likely put that fiery lord to rest once and for all.

We are still trucking along clearing out Dragon Soul every week. And, honestly, I think that is note worthy. I know that there are a lot of people who have stopped this effort, and each week that we get a full raid team together to continue pushing through I am grateful. Ends of expansions are hard. Motivation is lacking. This year it has the misfortune to compete with summer. And, honestly, after seven months of clearing the same content to be able to come together as a team and do it one more time each week shows dedication. And that, in my opinion, should be heralded.

I am a little more than disappointed with beta testing right now. I am not going to lie, I’m sitting somewhere at level 88 (or like a bubble from it, maybe), and lost some desire to continue my level push when Diablo came out. It had long been my intent to make a pre-made 90 to hit the raid content when it became available. Except that they have started some of the raid testing, and announced that they would not have pre-made 90’s available yet. I was disappointed, to say the least, but started looking at my schedule to find some time to push my character to level 90. And then they announced the raid test times…which so far are all when I’m still at work.

I understand that Blizzard is in the same time zone that I am, and that they want their folks to be able to go home at a reasonable time every evening. But man does it really suck to want to be a part of beta testing for raids and realize that it’s not going to be a possibility because you are on the west coast and have a commitment that keeps you from being at home during testing times. That has pretty much driven any desire to continue to level to 90 right out. The reason to get to 90 was to get a feel for how my class plays in a raid setting at max level, and realizing that it is unlikely for that to be an option for me pretty much bums me out completely. Read the rest of this entry »

Monday Musings – Soul Lashers Suck Edition   13 comments

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(This is not a screenshot of me, it’s merely a representation of how I spent my day yesterday that I found on Google images, and is apparently a monk. So, thank you Hammor for also dying, and posting about it on the internet! I would give better credit for this picture than that, but unfortunately that is all I have!)

On WoW

We are still clearing out heroic DS weekly. We are still farming Firehawks for all of our members weekly. We are still trying to hear how awesome we are weekly. And we are still recruiting for MoP/DS farming (! Other than that, WoW has been very quiet for me.

One of the more interesting things I’ve been pondering on in WoW right now isn’t the future of druids in MoP, or what the latest beta changes are, but rather how hard it must be to be a trial in any guild right now. Between the end of the expansion, Diablo 3 and summer, non-raid times are extremely quiet inside of WoW. Our medium population server is quiet, our guild is quiet, the game in and of itself is quiet. That being said, I can log in and my friends list at any given time will have at least 10 people on it from the guild (often more), but all in Diablo. As I understand it, this is fairly typical for most guilds right now. The problem that it causes, though, is that I think it’s very hard for a trial to find their footing in a guild when there is one and a half raid nights a week. It’s hard to get to know people. It’s hard to find how you fit into the structure of the guild. It’s just hard to find your place.

I don’t fault anyone for doing things outside of WoW during the down time right now. I actually encourage it, so that people are fresh and ready for the new expansion, myself included. But I do feel for those people trying to find their place in a new home. And, unfortunately, having not been “new” to a guild for over seven years, I don’t have any sage advice for how to ease that transition during this quiet time other than to say things will pick up when Mists get here and finding your footing will get easier. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted June 11, 2012 by Beruthiel in Brain Dump, Diablo, Guild Management

Small Actions and Consequences   5 comments

I don’t know if you are aware, but I am currently taking a cake decorating class. It meets once a week, every Friday, from 6-8. I have a lot of fun in the class, and don’t really notice the time that has gone by until the class ends, and I don’t want to be done decorating my cakes. In fact, I’m enjoying the class so much that I’ve even registered for the next level, which starts next week. Anyhow, tomorrow night I have my “final” basics class. We are going to learn to make some kind of roses. I’m actually looking forward to this very much.

The one problem that I have with the course is that while it is only two hours, one day a week, it actually has a ton of prep work required to be prepared for the class each Friday. I have to bake a cake (or cupcakes, depending on the lesson), mix frosting and color frosting. And for this last class, I have to bring in an already prepared and frosted cake so that I can spend the entirety of the class learning to make flowers. Unfortunately, the time that all of this prep work takes each week begins to add up.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted May 31, 2012 by Beruthiel in Brain Dump

Life Lessons from Lewis Carroll   6 comments

This may well be the brain dumpiest brain dump that I’ve ever done. Honestly, it’s really more of a stream of conscious, need to get it out of my head, thing than anything I’ve likely ever written before. As such, if you don’t really care about what the bats in my belfry are saying to one another most recently, feel free to pass this post along and come back another day when you might find something more cohesive and perhaps more WoW related.

 Abandon all hope ye who enter here. Alternatively, you have been warned!

You know, I’ve often thought of looking for a doormat or small plaque with that saying etched on it for my front door, as it’s always been one of my favorites. Not that I think my house is akin to Dante’s seven rings of hell, it’s just something that I think would make me laugh each time I came home. Of course, I do believe that I agree with the Cheshire cat when he told Alice that being around mad people couldn’t be helped because “we’re all mad here”. Actually, now that I think about it, Lewis Carroll imparts quite a few bits of knowledge that are relevant to my thoughts today.

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Posted April 24, 2012 by Beruthiel in Brain Dump