Broadening my horizons

January 18, 2010 § 5 Comments

I’ve become a little bit…disillusioned with WoW as of late.  Those who read my post/rant about the worst PuG ever know why.  So I haven’t felt much like playing.  Looking down the road, this may lead to a lack of topic ideas for my blog here.  Now, I’ve really come to enjoy blogging quite a bit and don’t have any intention of stopping simply because I’m not playing WoW these days.  Because of that, I’ve decided that I’m going to start broadening the topics of my blog to include…well, whatever I feel like.

I thought for a bit about if I would loose readers or not, but then I remembered that it’s my blog and I’ll write about whatever I damn well please.

So with that I just thought I would tell those of you who are going to stick around that I’m going to be broadening my horizons.  Future topics may be about my real life, my job, the industry I work in, rabbits, New York City, other games, crap on tv, and so forth.  Around the time Cataclysm comes out I’ll probably pull the focus back to primarily dealing with World of Warcraft, but for now, the gates are opening.

Everyone is still welcome to read, and comment on what I talk about.  Just because it’s not WoW related doesn’t mean I won’t accept comments.  I like comments.  They give me a warm, fuzzy feeling on the inside.

Anyway, that’s all I wanted to say for now.  Sorry my posts haven’t been very eloquently written lately.  Also I’m a little bit more rambley.  I blame the brain injury.

“[Insert clever sign off phrase here]”

PS: By the by, if anyone decides to remove me from their blogroll because I’m not as WoW-oriented as I was before I won’t be offended.  Just remember, my posts are still gonna be good, regardless of their topic, so think about that before you remove me.

Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra

January 18, 2010 § Leave a comment

(Note: this post contains ‘spoilers’ (I put that in quotes because the episode aired almost 20 years ago, but they still are technically spoilers) about an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.)

There’s an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation entitled Darmok wherein the Enterprise encounters a race of aliens known as The Children of Tama.  They try and communicate with each other but find themselves frustrated in their efforts because the Children of Tama use such a different method of communication.  After trying, and failing, to communicate, the Tamarians transport Captain Picard and Captain Dathon (the captain of the Tamarian vessel) to the surface of the planet they are orbiting (El-Adrel).  Additionally, they put up a dampening field around the planet, making it impossible for Picard (or Dathon for that matter) to be transported off the surface.

Captain Dathon tries to communicate with Picard, offering him a knife, saying “Darmok and Jalad, at Tanagra. Temba, his arms wide!”  Picard thinks he is offering the blade so that they can combat each other, so he refuses to take it.  They continue talking back and forth to each other, but neither one has any understanding of what the other one is saying.

As the day goes on both Captains begin to grow tired and weary.  Without warning an alien monster appears out of nowhere and attacks them.  The monster is powerful and has an ability to become invisible.  Dathon again says, “Temba his arms wide!” and offers Picard the knife again.  It is then that Picard begins to understand how it is Dathon is communicating–through metaphor, citing example and so on.

They manage to fight off the monster and take cover for the night, but Dathon is badly wounded.  As they huddle around the fire, they reflect on their shared experience of the day and begin a very rudimentary communication.  Captain Dathon tells Captain Picard the story of Darmok and Jalad at an island called Tanagra.  I forget all the details, but essentially it’s about two men and their exploits on Tanagra, and their eventual sailing away together.

Picard begins to understand the way Dathon communicates and tries it out himself.  He shares the epic of Gilgamesh with him.  Picard tells him about Enkidu and Gilgamesh and how they were once enemies but became friends through a hard, but shared experience.  He then relates it to the current situation that he and Dathon are going through.  So Enkidu and Gilgamesh at Uruk became Picard and Dathon at El-Adrel.

In the morning the monster attacks again.  They are able to defeat it but Dathon dies.  When Picard gets back up to his ship, the Tamarian First Officer enquires about Dathon (Picard and Dathon at El-Adrel?) and Picard is able to use the metaphors he learned to communicate that they had fought the monster and Dathon had died.  He then offers to give back the knife (“Temba, his arms open?”) but the First Officer tells him to keep it (“Temba, at rest”).  They then part in peace, with a little more mutual understanding.

So what does this have to do with anything?  Well, to be honest I wrote the first half of this post like 6 weeks ago, so I really had to think hard about what my point was.  But I finally remembered.

The first raid that I did on Fizz (Karazhan I believe), I had a really hard time figuring out what was going on.  There was just so much going on, and I hadn’t been tanking (even in 5 mans) for very long, so it was just overwhelming.  The raid leader might as well have been speaking a different language.

There are a lot of terms and abbreviations and slang that gets used in 5mans and raids.  For the uninitiated it can be really hard to figure out what’s going on.  To us, saying something like, “wait to start dps until I get aggro.  Build up DoTs slow, and gtfotf!” may be totally common place, but to a noob none of that makes sense.

It didn’t matter how much explanation they gave me, or how many guides I read, or even videos I looked at.  I just didn’t get it until I got in there and did it myself.  Until I created a shared experience that I could then reference, the words from the other players meant nothing.  I didn’t understand their context until I went in and did it.

Additionally, as the guild raid group did things together more often, we were able to establish a dialogue.  The more we did things together the more we were able to understand each other; we would learn each others play styles and how to meld together.  Just as Picard and Dathon were able to learn to understand each other through sharing an experience, we were able to do the same.

So if you are one of those people that want to run 5mans, or step up the the more challenging raids, but feel overwhelmed and nervous about the experience, just jump right in and do it.  There’s only so much you can read and discuss about it.  Until you actually go and do it for yourself, you won’t get over your fears about it.  Plus, you can’t expect to succeed if you never try.  So just get out there and go do it already.  Times a wastin.

“[Insert clever sign off phrase here]”


You’re not going to believe this, but I promise it’s true.

January 15, 2010 § 19 Comments

Ok, so I’m sorry I keep doing so many prefaces/making excuses/etc but I just need to say: I’m still getting my blogging voice back.  So this post, and probably plenty to follow, is a little all over the place.  Not quite the caliber of my previous posts.  But I’ll get there.  I promise.  Also…I’m sorry I seem to be letting the obscenities fly a lot more lately.  I hope nobody gets offended.

So, as I mentioned, I recently had a pretty bad accident, which resulted in some head trauma.  Because of said head trauma, I’m have some normal, expected memory loss and trouble processing things.  Needless to say, it’s taken a little bit of a toll on my tanking.  Where once I was a fantastic multitasker, able to process lots of information, coming in very fast and furious, now there seems to be a hard cap on the amount of info I can process.  It’s like it isn’t even happening.  Pretend I’m tanking a group of 5 and one of them breaks away and goes after the healer.  Then a patrol comes by and joins the fray.  Suddenly it’s as if there is no patrol.  It doesn’t even exist.  I’m so busy trying to catch the mob after the heal that the patrol doesn’t even register.

As the days and weeks go by, the amount of info I can process has gone up significantly, in fact it’s not really noticeable any more.  But that’s just so you don’t worry, my brain is getting back to normal.

But let me get back to my story.  I logged in to wow about a week ago to see if playing would take my mind off how stir crazy I was feeling.

Oh wait! Side story!  I totally forgot!  Word of advice: If you are going to get into a sever accident and end up in the hospital, make sure someone logs in for you so your guild doesn’t toss you to the curb.  That’s right.  That new guild I joined?  Booted me.  Because I hadn’t logged in for (count them) 4 whole days.  4 days! And they booted me! Ridiculous right? Good riddance I say.

Ok, so after getting over the initial confusion of no longer being in a guild, and stopping myself from sending a very snarky, guilt-filled tell to that guild leader, I decided to stick myself in the random dungeon finder and see what the fates had in store for me.

The dungeon of the moment? Heroic Ahn’Kahet.

I’ve done this one quite a few times, so I didn’t foresee any problems.  Nonetheless, I decided to issue this warning to the group: “I’m currently recovering from brain surgery so I’ll need to take it a little slower than most of you are probably accustomed to.”

Pretty simple and straightforward explanation right?

No response from the group…

“Ok, well, anyway, I’m going to do my best, so here we go.  Ready?”

No response…

I go for the first pull.  No problem at all.  We clear all the spiders near the first set of stairs.  The dps is super high and the mobs are going down fast.

We get up past the first set of steps and I’m lining up for the pull in the next room, and I just completely forget that there’s a patrol.  I don’t even think to look.  I’ve done this dungeon many many times, and yet I forgot about the patrol. I charged right into the group in the room and pulled the patrol right along with it.

Now as far as every day tanking foul ups, I will admit, this is a pretty stupid one.  First, even if I didn’t remember that there was a patrol, I should have checked to see if there was a patrol coming around the corner.  I should not have charged headlong into the room without even looking.

However, the dps and healing in the group was high enough that even though I totally screwed up the pull, all the enemies went down and none of us did.  So I figured that everyone surviving, combined with my earlier warning, would have earned me a little slack.

It did not.

Now, I am going to relate to you what the rest of the group members said and I promise you, I am not making this up.

DPS 1: Dude what the hell? Are you retarded?

DPS 2: Yeah, what did you have brain surgery for?  Stupidity reduction?

Healer: haha yeah, if I were you I’d get my money back, clearly they fucked up that surgery.

DPS 3: Hey come on guys, you don’t know, his stupidity may be unrelated to his surgery.  He’s probably always been this stupid.

Healer: You probably didn’t even have surgery, you just use that as an excuse because you’re a dumbass.

You have been removed from the group.

Before I could even process what they had said and respond at all I was sitting back in Ironforge.

First of all, in hindsight I probably didn’t need to tell them I was recovering from brain surgery.  Maybe a little bit too much information.  All I really needed to do was say, “hey I like to go slow, so don’t expect a speed run.”  But I was still a little woozy and not thinking quite straight.

However, that one PuG has pretty much destroyed my faith in the WoW community.  I know, maybe I’m overreacting, and probably should lay everything on this one group.  But their reactions were so horrible and so out of line that I just lost it.  Seriously.  What kind of mouth breathing low life ass whole fucking dougebag cock ass says shit like that?

Sorry…sorry I don’t usually let the obscenities fly like that but it pissed me off so much that I haven’t played since.  First off I don’t think that being that angry is good for my head injury.  But regardless, I just don’t need stress like that.

It’s just amazing that a group of people could be so arrogant that when a slightly difficult situation arose but everyone lived, they could react that way.  They just expect that everyone else in the group (tank, heals, or dps) be perfect, rocking tier 9, and able to pull at least 5k dps.  Do they not remember that everyone had to start somewhere? Or are they all just warcraft savants that just instantly knew how to rock the game, and had their gear gifted to them?  Yes, I know, your gear level makes it super easy to go into the original Wrath heroics and faceroll.  I know that in ilvl 225+ gear you could auto pilot yourself through an instance, skill or not.  But guess what?  Not everyone is in your same situation.  Some people are still starting out and are in blue gear.  Some people just don’t have that much experience, and are still learning how to run these instances.  And some people are recovering for fucking brain surgery you goddammed obnoxious twits!

I hope they die in a fire.

So I have decided that, at least for now, I am done with the random dungeon finder.  First of all, I don’t want to get stuck in another PuG.  Secondly, I don’t want to do another “vanilla” Wrath mess where the only communication in party chat is “gogogogo”.  And third, I’m just not interested in running instance after instance for no real reason.  I mean, I’m not in a guild, so I’m not raiding.  And I sure as hell aint gonna PuG a raid.  So there’s not a real reason for me to need to upgrade my gear.  It just feels like a long pointless grind.

Man I hope Cataclysm comes out soon.  I could use something else to do in the game.

“[Insert clever sign off phrase here]”


I imagine you wonder where I’ve been

January 14, 2010 § 8 Comments

This is a tricky post to write. I’m trying to make it so that it’s not a long drawn out mess as well as a wall of text, but I’m having a hard time pairing things down. So I apologize for the length of this post. I also apologize for its weight, as it’s a rather heavy topic to write about. I apologize for it not being warcraft related at all, but rather being a direct account of my real life events.  Those with weak constitutions should be wary of reading past the cut, where I describe what happened (it’s a little graphic) and how I’m feeling about it (there’s a bit of cursing).

The super short version is that I was in a bad skiing accident two weeks ago, and suffered a severe head injury.  I’m currently still recovering; although I’m doing quite well I’m told.  So now I’m working on getting back into a routine and seeing if I can’t work up the energy to start posting again.

And now for the long version:

Do you think that’s really effective?

December 28, 2009 § 6 Comments

So as I watched yet another super cool dude showing off his pvp mammoth mount (by standing on top of the winter veil presents in Ironforge on Christmas morning) it occurred to me that a I’m not sure if a brief ban is really a good punishment.  Oh sure, when the ban/suspension lasts more than two days it’s probably long enough to actually disrupt the persons game play enough to actually feel like a ban.  But when it’s short (like the common 3-hour ban for spamming trade), I’m not sure as if it’s really all that much of a punishment.  Except for the most die-hard, addicted, WoW-crackheads 3 hours out of the game is just a quick break.  It might even be bed time for them so all they have to do is sleep it off and everything is fine in the morning.

Because of this I have come up with a few punishment ideas that are a bit more…creative.

The 3-hour ban:

This is a revamped version of the classic ban.  Only this time instead of not being able to log in to the game, you log in and get a debuff that lasts 3 hours.  The buff would be visible to everyone and called “Banhammered.”  This debuff would be applied to every character on your account.  The only way for it to wear off would be to actually be logged in for three hours.  But you couldn’t go <AFK> because you could still be auto logged out for inactivity.  The effect of this debuff would be that you couldn’t do anything. Except walk around.  And your movement speed would be reduced by 99%.  Your action bars would be grey out so you couldn’t use them.  You wouldn’t have access to any form of chat.  You wouldn’t be allowed to interact with any NPCs (including, but not limited to bankers, auctioneers, flight masters, etc).  You would just have to walk around at 1% speed, waiting 3 hours for the debuff to wear off.

You would receive this punishment for minor infractions like (non-gold) spamming or other chat related things.

The day-long ban:

A harsher version of the 3-hour ban.  Same effect just lasts for 24 hours.

You’d get this for more serious offenses like minor game hacks or player harrassment.

The multiple day ban:

This would be as it works now, you wouldn’t be able to log in at all for however long they decided.  But this would end with the 3-hour debuff.

The multiple day ban would be for the most serious of infractions that violate Blizzards Terms of Service agreement. (You know, the agreement that shows up each time there is a patch, the one you have to scroll all the way to the bottom off in order to get the “agree” to light up? Yeah that one.  I bet none of you have ever read it, let alone read it each time a new patch comes out.  In case you were wondering, yes, I read it each time.)  You’d get it for game hacks and botting and gold spamming and other really bad things.

Community Service:

When a player is banned because they were impeding the gameplay of others, they would required to perform community service.  The cause of this punishment could be anything from harassing other players, to ninjaing loot; from being a racist/sexist/etc jerk in trade to standing on flight masters/mailboxes/etc.  Basically anything that would classify you as a ‘fun sucker’.

People with this punishment would have a choice of community services.  The could:

  • Pass on all loot in one randomly chosen heroic dungeon. (All loot, not just loot that is rolled over.  Even vendor trash and money.)
  • Group with 20 randomly chosen low leves (below level 10) and help them get up to level 15.
  • Clean all the trash around the capital cities. x number of hours sweeping things up.
  • Lead 10 randomly chosen old ladies across…um…some sort of street I guess.
  • I thought I had more ideas….I guess I’m out.

Anyway, just some thoughts I was having, mostly because I want the punishments to be more of a deterant.  I want it to be a much harder decision for them to decide that the consequences are worth engaging in crappy actions.  Yeah I’m sure a lot of you disagree with this and thing that these punishments would be unfair or unreasonable.  But it’s not like I’m the one deciding on them or applying them.  Blizzard would still be enforcing them….although if they wanted my help I’d be more than happy to wield the ban hammer for a little while.

“[Insert clever sign off phrase here]”


Edit: I’ve decided that there needs to be a unique punishment for mount blockers.

  • First offense: 24 hour debuff that reduces character size by 50%.  Cannot use large mounts.
  • Second offense: 48 hour debuff  that reduces character size by 50%.  Cannot use any mount.
  • Third offense: Permenant debuff that reduces character size by 50%.  Also all mounts have their sizes reduced proportionately so that they can’t be used to block mailboxes.

I also think their should be some more unique punishments for people who ninja things (although it has to be very clear that the stuff was ninja’d–not just an accusation.

  • If an item from a heroic is ninja’d, character must pass on all loot for the next random dungeon.
  • If an item from a raid is ninja’, character must pass on all loot for the next raid they enter.
  • Raid and Heroic level (and accompanying item drops) must be proportionate to the item they stole.

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