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August 2010

Friday Five: Five Things You May Not Know About My Boomkin

Psychocandy0806 WoW_Psychocandy_dps_0807 WoW_Psychocandy_dps_0807

  1. Psychocandy was born at the start of January 2006. She was my very first WoW character, and my main up until Spring of last year.
  2. Did I mention that I actually leveled her as a healer? Yes,  I did that becasue I wanted to ensure I understood the healing role and would be ready to jump into main healing 5 mans and raids once she hit 60.
  3. I'd already had the raiding bug from the moment I rolled her, thanks to watching my SO raid ZG every week for several months. This is how my level 58 self ended up in Molten Core, healing.
  4. I wasn't a maxed out restoration druid though. Up until Patch 3.0 I had a hybrid build of my own design (not the somewhat more common Dreamstate druid build.) I was never ever a tree. I was a crazy regrowth spamming caster lady. And I kicked everyone's butt in the healing department. :)
  5. With Patch 3.0 I went Boomkin. I'd flirted with it earlier in BC, and after the changes to restoration healing made tree pretty much mandatory for performing well, it seemed like a good idea to make that swap. And once you start boomkin dancing, it's hard to go back...

BONUS: My character's name is Psychocandy. You may call her Candy for short. No, you may not call her Psycho. She's named after a song. Go listen to it.

Next time: Anexxia gets the trip down memory lane.

On the Importance of Learning to Say "I'm sorry."

Chopper ride through Elwynn Forest

(unrelated screenshot is unrelated. my poor bank alt is cowering in fear at the Defias plaguing Elwynn, not at Cyn's driving. Honest.)

In my 4 and a half years of playing WoW, I've had a few run-ins with folks who clearly stepped over the line of common courtesy into the territory of "oh no you didn't just say that to/about me>.<"

The things said are irrelevant. Because everyone has a bad day now and then. Or says something they don't mean and immediately regret. It's what happens after you are horribly rude or offensive that matters.

The mature thing to do is to own your behavior. Take responsibility for having behaved like an ass. And simply say, "I'm sorry."

You may or may not have noticed something very important above. It's that I didn't say "I'm sorry, but..." Or "I'm sorry you were offended." That is, in fact, a very important period. If you have upset someone else, they do not want to hear your myriad justifications as to why. Your rationalizations are irrelevant. Your childhood traumas not a valid excuse.

If you want an example of how not to apologize, just look at that woman who tossed a poor friendly kitty into a recycle bin. She is a textbook example of someone "apologizing" and in fact digging themselves into a bigger hole.

Of course, in the World of Warcraft, no one is going to make you apologize if you don't want to do so. You can totally choose to piss someone off and continue on merrily as though nothing happened. But here's the whole truth of the matter: especially if your offense happened publicly, that person isn't going to forget about it.

Oh yes, I know, it's "humiliating" to apologize.  It puts you in a less powerful position than the person being apologized to. Or it makes you feel bad. Tough luck! How do you think you made the other person feel? Suck it up already -- it costs you nothing but a moment of misplaced pride to do the right thing and apologize. And it can sour your relationship with someone else permanently to be too proud to admit you messed up and to ask for forgiveness.

I've been on both ends of this spectrum. I've lost my temper and been an ass. And immediately, publicly apologized to those who bore witness to it, and to the person I put in a bad position. I've also been the wronged person, who had someone else sat from raids when they refused to apologize, and as soon as they did -- through gritted teeth-- gave them a second chance. No, we didn't become BFFs, but we did in fact become more friendly than we had been before the incident of unbridled rudeness.

I'm starting to feel old fashioned in my wanting folks to have personal accountability, be civil, and own their behavior. Don't folks teach their children any manners these days?

Hey kids! Get off my lawn! And if that ball comes into my yard, I'm keeping it!

10 Tips for Becoming a Better Citizen of Twitteroth

a twitter primer for Warcraft peeps

Tip 1: Narrow Your Focus

Consider creating a twitter account just for your warcraft or gaming related tweeps. Why? Because your non-gaming friends don’t care about your Warcraft achievements,  and your Warcraft tweeps don’t want to hear about your bunions. That said, DO share the occasional off topic RT or photo or recipe so we can get to know you a little better.

Tip 2: Upload a Unique User Icon

It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, but you need to upload a graphic of some sort to identify yourself with. It can be a RL photo, or a screen grab of your character.  If you use one of the default user icons, your followers can’t see at-a-glance who you are,  and might even mistake you for a SPAMbot.

Tip 3: Don’t Name Your Account Jenny2435

Speaking of SPAMbots, they all seem to name their accounts this way. If I see you’ve followed 800 people,  never  tweeted, and are named this way, you’re going to be reported for SPAM and blocked.

Tip 4: Don’t Auto-follow Back

There are tools out there that will automatically add back everyone who follows you. Don’t use them! Why? Because this is a great way to end up with a ton of bots or "Get 800 twitter followers in 10 days" scammers on your following list.

Tip 5: Put Time Into Your Bio

Your bio is a primary way that folks decide if they have enough in common with you to follow you back, so it’s worth taking some time to consider what t put there. It’s also great to have a link in your profile. If you don’t have a blog, you can link to your WoW armory profile, or even your guild’s website. But be sure NOT to use a URL shortener for that link – that’s a common SPAMbot tactic.

Tip 6: Resist the Urge to Auto-Post Achievements to Twitter

If you SPAM my twitter feed with your in-game achievements from an automated feed, or I get a play-by-play through RSS postings of every new piece of gear you are equipping, you are going to take a quick trip to the unfollowed list. It’s one thing to have this as a gadget on your blog; it’s incredibly annoying in the middle of a twitter conversation.

Tip 7: Don’t #FF Your Entire Following List

I love seeing who folks list in the Follow Friday (#FF) lists and have found plenty of new folks to follow from them. That’s because they are a timely,  curated list, or even a 1-at-atime peek into the more interesting folks they follow. If you hurt the feelings of someone you follow by not including them in your 140 characters for #FF, they are probably a little more high maintenance than you need.

Tip 8: Continue the Conversation

If you ask a question or for others to share their opinions, engage them in conversation. It’s tacky to use the question tactic as a way to cheese your twitalyzer standings (i.e. to generate more @you then you @others.) Twitter is about sharing and conversing with others, not about inflating your ePeen. Really.


Tip 9: Don’t Try Too Hard

No one else cares how high your influence score is on Twitter.  If you continually follow others, then unfollow them after they follow you back, to get yourself up to a 1 followed for every 10 followed ratio, you need a new hobby. Twitter is not Farmville. Follow the folks you find interesting, and don’t worry about who is following you or how many more people are following you than you follow. That’s all pretty shallow and meaningless.

Tip 10: Don't be a Drama Llama

Don't have a twitfit whenever someone unfollows you. Don't twitterflame everyone you unfollow. Don't tell anyone who disagrees with you on a topic that they are stupid morons for having a different opinion. Don't flog your blog by RTing yourself 8 times for every blog post. And please disregard those blog traffic builder posts that tell you to ask folks to RT your every blog post (it's OK once in a while, for a post that you are passionate about but gets annoying if it's every time.)

Resources for Finding WoW Tweeps to Follow

My favorite way to find new tweeps is via twitter lists of warcraft folks. Here are a few of my favorites, plus my own lists:

You can also use Listorious or We Follow to find WoW tweeps, or even the new Follow suggestion functionality on twitter. Unfortunately, the latter will often keep showing you the same folks over and over, which makes it less compelling in my POV.

Let me know in the comments if I missed any of your pet peeve twittiquette items.

Following Our Individual Paths in WoW


While fishing this weekend on my mage, aiming to get her skill to 450 (which she accomplished), I had plenty of time to think.

I fished up a penny with Private Marcus Jonathan's wish upon it:

"I wish to grow a glorious, bushy mustache someday."

I read that coin, then cast my line into the fountain.

What would my wish be, I thought to myself, that I would toss into that little wishy well?

I suppose, this lady's wish would be that she hopes to fight for the liberation of Gnomeregan someday.

I stopped to ponder what my other characters' wishes might be. Candy would wish for 150 vanity pets. And Anexxia would wish that tailors could make custom-dyed voodoo doll vanity pets. And my undead mage would wish she could make a flying potion, and enchant a broom with it...

At first blush, it may seem that they have wishes all over the place. But on closer look, they actually reflect what I like to spend my time in game. I love to collect the virtual pets and bring them out at every opportunity. And it's truly leveling my professions and collecting all the patterns that motivates my leveling a new toon. And after all that is said and done, it's the raiding that keeps me interested in my main.

What's interesting to me is that these things that keep me interested in the game and coming back for more are just but one tiny sliver of the things that keep folks engaged in the World of Warcraft. Some love to level alts. And others love to PvP. And then there are all the creative RPers. And all of us have found our very own happy place within the same game.

How crazy (and awesome) is that? That one game would appeal to so many of us from such varied backgrounds, across the U.S. -- and the planet for that matter. And that we can each choose to play the game and focus on those aspects that truly speak to us.

I think it's pretty fabulous. How about you?

Friday Five: Birthday Week Edition

Ah, birthday week! You were very good to me this year...

  1. My SO gave me the one thing I really really wanted for my birthday...

  2. Blizzard gave my druid her very own fancy schmancy fishing pole.
  3. Cynwise, Ambermist and I had a druid dance party in the Eventide...
  4. ...which inspired a battlechicken rap!
  5. And Anexxia got her very own Elwynn Lamb, bring her up to 100 vanity pets! Huzzah!

Not bad for what turned out to be a pretty hectic week, including a sick day in the middle of it.

Weekend Reading List

Lots of good WoW blog reading around the Interwebs this past week or so…

  • Your first stop should be the Blog Azeroth Shared Topics "What Should Give Guild Rep" post. Some great ideas in the participating blogs. Especially around what, in a perfect world, would *cost* folks some of that hard earned rep.
  • Restokin has the first article I've seen so far from anyone in BETA actually using the reforging mechanic.
  • Flash of Moonfire has a nice article on a few Vanilla quest chains to do before Cataclysm potentially renders them obsolete.
  • Pugnacious Priest has a nice long piece on why whom you are playing with matters. I've been a raid healer in serious raiding guilds, and a DPS in more casual guilds, and swapped between one of each in a raiding 10 setting. And how I felt about my role and whom I was playing definitely fluctuated depending upon with whom I was spending my play time.
  • I keep meaning to write a post on what players want from their guilds and what guilds expect from their members, but now that Alas has written one, I can continue to slack off and not do so.
  • Jaded Alt's post on add-ons for kitten herders introduced me to a mod I'll definitely try out soon. Because who wouldn't want to run a mod called Angry RaidInviter? Ditto for Synergy. Oh to have had these when we ran the 25Naxx scrubraids!

Anything you read this week that I should go check out? Let me know.


Friday Five: Five Reasons I'm Glad I Server Transferred My Alliance Toons


About two months ago, I impetuously gave myself an early birthday present and transferred my favorite Alliance toons off the server of their inception (where I'd started playing WoW 4 1/2 years ago), and to a server where some of my favorite twitter/blog WoW peeps live. After two months in their new home, I give you, 5 reasons I know this was the right move:

  1. I have fun even while on my bank alt, thank to the chit chat in the /twitter channel.
  2. Did I mention the super robust economy yet? I'm not a real hardcore banker, but I do like to have a comfortable cushion of cash, especially heading into an expansion. Fcusing on a few small items, including my inscription, I've managed to squirrel away a little bit of cash, and pay for all sorts of must-purchases.
  3. My boomkin got to see the inside of ICC and ToC. Those were two items not on any of my bucket lists because on the old server, that just wasn't going to happen.
  4. A new home enabled me to finally get the gnome mage to 80. The tumbleweeds rolling through the prior server/guild's chat channels didn't inspire me to play for very long. I really do enjoy the social aspects of this game. Good conversation can keep me on for longer than I've intended, while lack of any conversation, or worse yet, conversation at the junior high school level, can chase me offline pretty quickly.
  5. I absolutely adore my night elf druid, with her 100 vanity pets, and her motorcycle, and her old skool titles, and her silly barrel roll jumps. And I really missed playing her. Getting to log her on and have something to do is absolutely priceless.