Current Affairs

What's on your pre-WoD Bucket List?

Anexxia getting her black wings of legendary doom from the Black Prince (a.k.a. legendary cloak quest line complete).

Now that we have the Warlords of Draenor expansion's release date in hand (it's November 13, 2014 if you hadn't heard), it's time to make that last pass at a bucket list for the Mist of Pandaria expansion.

At the top of the page, those black wings you see are my beloved Forsaken shadow priest getting her black wings of doom from the Black Prince, in exchange for finally finishing off the legendary cloak questline. I'd stalled out and not done the PvP portion of the chain after it taking forever to get my tokens in LFRs. So there's one item checked off my list.

A shadowy Xu-Fu battle pet with Anexxia

I've been doing a serious amount of pet collecting as well, with the 4 Celestials pets at the top of my want list. I've gotten my first one, Xu-Fu, seen here in shadowform with me, and am on my way to the other 3, and should have them in hand before WoD drops.

 I'm also working on getting my first-ever paladin to 90 (she's at 77), and got my first level 90 hunter Alliance side a couple of months back. Which means of course I had to go and start a horde hunter this weekend...

But that's the easy part-- the what I'll be able to accomplish. It's what won't be done that always weighs heaviest. For me, it's the Challenge Mode dungeons. I had high hopes of getting a regular group together to run these, but it never seemed to happen. So I'm actually going to end the expansion without having done even one. Which is a bummer.

So how about you? What's on your bucket list for the next 3 months?

The Joys of the Newbs!


Lookie! I'm a quest giver, on my new Belf paladin. I've never gotten a Paladin past level 21 before until now. And I hadn't leveled a Forsaken or Blood Elf post Cataclysm, so I hadn't done all the quests out that way either. Tho this one I'd done on my Forsaken shadow priest. Johnny Awesome never fails to crack me up!

Oddly enough, this is not the only baby alt I'm working on at the moment. I've rolled a Panda hunter on a new to me server, to check out a possible place to play some of my neglected Alliance characters. Although my heart belongs primarily with my Forsaken ladies, I do enjoy some gnome shenanigans from time-to-time. Which means I need to find a new place for that, given how many of my D'tan peeps have faded away over the past two years.

I've levelled so many baby alts over the years, and have 6 or 7 90s spread across 5 servers. I love that now, in addition to questing and LFG, I can pet battle my heart out to get that much needed XP, if I'm not feeling a particular questing zone. Mostly, that restlessness with questing sets in when I get to the Cataclysm content. I've pushed about a dozen characters through it in total, and really and truly over it. (see all those level 85s gathering dust after that push).

Honestly tho, I love all the newbie little quests. And revisiting my favorite quest areas. So much has changed post Cataclysm, but some of my favorite places and NPCs are still there to make me smile.


In other amazing alt news, I finally leveled up my Forsaken mage to 90! That's right, my wee lass who sat out the Cataclysm zoomed up from 80 to 90, primarily through doing my pet battling bidding in the greater Mount Hyjal area. I was pleasantly surprised how quickly she was able to gear up and be ready for SoO LFR, thanks to the island loot pinata. Good stuff.

What's keeping you busy in game?

Iron Circle: A New Home for my Forsaken Shadow Priest

Can't we all just get along? This means YOU, Lady Jaina Proudmore.

I am happy to report that as of a few days ago, my Forsaken shadow priest has officially found a new home, on LLane, in Iron Circle. Huzzah!

As those of you who follow me on twitter know, it's been a real challenge for me Horde guild-wise since mid-Cataclysm. When our friend-led raiding guild server transferred off Bronzebeard in the dark of night, leaving us guildless, I mostly stopped playing this lady, despite her being my all time favorite character.

When Wrenz and I returned from our time away from WoW (a.k.a. our flirtation w/SWTOR), I had hoped to find that things had livened up on Bronzebeard, but I really didn't ID a guild that would be a good fit for my interests and raiding timeframes (I'm PST and can not get online prior to 6 PT weeknights.)

I had been a little stubborn about considering other realms, in large part because almost all of my playtime on Anexxia had been on Bronzebeard. But at a certain point, you have to know when to let go of the past and move on.

For me, the turning pointwas my getting restless with not raiding. Even tho my gnomey shadow priest was quickly geared up via LFR, I was not able to find her a raiding team. And although I love doing the retro raids with friends, the inability to form a cross-realm raid group meant she was pretty much stuck with LFR as her only raiding outlet. Now don't get me wrong-- that is better than not raiding at all. But in my heart, it's the comraderie and sense of achievement from raiding that keeps me most interested in the game.

And thus, I shipped off this lady, and a passel of alts, to app to Iron Circle last month, at the urging of a number of twitter WoW peeps, with @glyneth being the prime inspiration/instigator for my application.

I've been thrilled to get to do a few of the recent tier raids in the team 2 10man group, and the weekly current tier raid LFR with almost a full guild raid. I've got my WoW mojo flowing again. I am filled with the urge to compile best-in-slot gear lists. And write posts on optimizing your raid DPS. i.e. things are back to normal again.

Now, I can't promise to be better about posting in the blog mind you as I am still super busy with the new job. But I can promise that when I do, it will be back to the raiding shadow priest topics of yore.

And just in time to get prepared to put that jerk Hellscream in his place...

Wish me luck!

P.S. Vol'jin for Warchief!

Gone Fishing...

Anexxia has gone fishing. BBL
Farewell, and thanks for all the fish!

I've been putting off the inevitable. But this morning, I took the plunge, and canceled my World of Warcraft subscription, almost 6 years to the day I started playing.

I haven't logged in since Christmas Day, when I logged in to pick up a few gifts for my alts under the Winter Veil tree. MIA were the many folks who've made the game fun for me. And thus I quickly logged off and went back to playing that other MMO.

I have 6 years of memories-- both amazingly awesome and incredibly disappointing-- behind me with this game. I don't think I can say the same for any previous game or online distraction.

And then there are those of you who are actually reading this post. The amazing online blogging and twitter community that has sprung up around this game over the years has been a prime motivator and instigator of so much of the fun I've had in game. I won't miss you guys b/c I am taking you along with me via twitter and the other blog.


I may be back for the next expansion, becuase I really am excited about my 150 vanity pets becoming Pokemon.

In the interim, I will still write about MMO guild management topics here when the mood moves me to do so.

But for now, I'm shifting out of the purple shadow form and hanging up my Boomkin dancing shoes for a bit.

Catch you on the flipside...

My 2011 World of Warcraft Year in Review

hitting a dead end in Tanaris

As evidenced by the increasingly irregular posts to Bible of Dreams, 2011 was not the best year of my almost 6 years of playing WoW. But still, I bring you, my annual year in review meme...(see also 2010's edition)

What were you most excited about in the past year?

I managed to find time to level up some goblin ladies and found myself enjoying every minute of it. Well, other than a few really jerky LFD groups. Overall though, had a blast and highly recommend you roll one as they are just too darn adorable to miss out on. I also logged in to make the most of the various holiday activities and bosses, other than Winter Veil.

 What was the best thing you bought?

Buying myself and Wrenz each a Vial of the Sands was definitely my most well spent G of the year. A big Bank of Azeroth balance is nice and all, but being able to turn into a huge shadowy dragon, grab a friend in my claws and fly off-- that's priceless!

What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

I would like to have a new reason to log in and play. Right now, I am really not terribly motivated to do so. There have been little pockets of excitement like logging in to transmog my favorite ladies into the gear I most loved, but honestly, other than that and a few other things I've blogged about this past year, I haven't been super motivated above and beyond logging in to hang out and chat w/some of the folks I love playing with across my collection of servers.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Hitting the 125 pet mark for Anexxia and Psychocandy, with a little help from my friends. Thank you. :)

What was your biggest failure?

I tried to lobby Blizzard to add a tuxedo kitten to the assortment of vanity pets in game, but they didn't bite. Even though I served up the most adorable cat model for them, my much loved and missed kitty.

What do you wish you'd done less of?

Waiting around to see if I was going to actually be invited to a raid group.

What did you do in the World of Warcraft in 2011 that you'd never done before?

I stopped raiding. And it was really really weird. I've been raiding consistently on one or two characters ever since my first character dinged 58 and we needed another healer for our MC raid alliance raid. Raiding didn't work out for me, despite being in both horde and alliance guilds that were raiding. As became all to clear to me once I gave up the ghost of raiding being a possibility, I didn't find myself having as much fun in Azeroth on an ongoing basis without it, and thus, spent significantly less time there.

What was your favorite new place that you visited?

The new Dark Moon Island. And of course, SWTOR, but shhh that's not in Azeroth.

What was your favorite WoW blog or podcast?

I honestly can't pick one specific WoW blog this year, because I simply loved too many different posts from too many folks, thanks to the amazing WoW twitter community and folks like MMO Melting Pot and the WoW Insider Daily Quest that are always sharing links to posts that merit immediate reading/commenting. I will say I was really sad about so many of my fave peeps hanging up their WoW blogging hats, especially Reflections from the Pond.

Tell us a valuable WoW lesson you learned in 2011.

Watch your back. The dwarves say this to me all the time. I should have heeded them! Also, actions speak louder than words. I have never heard as much malarkey from folks as I have this year. If you don't walk that talk, don't bother flapping your jaws about it! ;p

What was your Year in WoW like? Share a link to your year-in-review in the comments!

PS Haven't written yours yet? Steal my list of Qs and link back to this post!

1) What were you most excited about in the past year?

2) What was the best thing you bought?

3) What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

4) What was your biggest achievement of the year?

5) What was your biggest failure?

6) What do you wish you'd done less of?

7) What did you do in the World of Warcraft in 2011 that you'd never done before?

8) What was your favorite new place that you visited?

9) What was your favorite WoW blog or podcast?

10) Tell us a valuable WoW lesson you learned in 2011.

Darkmoon Island: Fun for All Levels

Psychocandy in druid T2 with her My Little Seapony

I spent some time tooling around on Darkmoon Island this past Sunday, running errands for some carnies and fishing up a storm. the fishing is what netted me the Sea Pony vanity pet you see in the screenshot above. It too fewer than 50 casts off the coast (both in and outside of wreckage pools) to catch this guy. I obtained my second sea pony, on my Forsaken shadow priest, in a scant 12 casts. But in contrast, my gnomey shadow priest fished the coast off and on for several hours (while I baked cookies) and never saw a sea pony land in her bags.

The sea pony fishing wasn't the only excuse to bust out my mad professional skills on the island however-- there are quests you can complete for all flavors of professions, netting you some rep with the Faire, plus prize tickets and cash or XP depending upon your level. Some of the professional quests will require that you bring some supplies with you (or head out the portal to your staging area at the end of the dock to go grab some.) Thus I started bringing my stack of flour with me on all my chefs, and blue dye/red dye/simple thread on my tailors.

One of the more silly but fun aspects were the many new World event achievements the Faire brought with it, including the "I was Promised a Pony" achievement. As seen below, there are some ponies you can abscond with and ride around the island on for a bit. And who doesn't like ponies?? EVERYBODY likes ponies. But I digress.

The Faire also hands out some quests that involve incenting you to grind mobs complete Battlegrounds and Dugneons back on the continents. Thus, even though there is a little bit of a grind involved if you plan to save up your tickets to purchase some of the fabulous prizes (which include mounts and vanity pets, heirlooms, and replica tier gear) they actively aim to make it feel less grindy than Firelands for instance. Somehow I doubt I will return to the Faire to play the games very often, or complete the in game challenges to rack up the tickets for even one pet, but it was a nice day's excursion to bring out my favorite toons to go see.

  My Little Gnome Pony!

Transmogrification: Validation for a Game Lifetime of Being a Pack Rat!

Psychocandy in her full 8-pieces of Druid T2, with Onyxia Scale Cloak and Shadow Wing Focus Staff

As recently noted, transmogrification was the #1 thing I was looking forward to in Patch 4.3 which dropped this week. Thus it should come as no surprise that when I finally logged in to WoW, post-SWTOR BETA weekend, that the first activity on my agenda (and my only activity thus far) was to get my transmogrifitcations in order.

My first order of business was my druid, Candy. At one point, all of her bank bags, plus two of her personal bags were stuffed full of old gear and vanity pets. Eventually, our pets went into the Companion tab, which meant she was able to hoard even more gear and tabards. I considered her full set of Tier 1, and the T2 recolored set from BC heroics, but settled on her full set of T2. In addition to loving its look, it was a minor miracle to have collected all 8 pieces at level (only 1 other druid on our team also got all 8 pieces, my friend El.). My vanilla WoW raiding days were definitely the high point for my druid, so I love that she is now able to forever memorialize that moment in time.

Snakedriver in her Frozen Shadoweave set with the Staff of Infinite Mysteries

Next up: my gnome shaodw priest Snake. She was born a Draenei at the dawn of the Burning Crusade. And as soon as she hit max level, she was tapped by her friends and family guild to start coming to the weekly Karazhan raids. Everyone wanted her OP replenishment and healing powers. I still remember the night the Staff of Infinite Mysteries dropped for her. I couldn't stop grinning for a solid hour. It totally made the outfit. "...the Menagerie is for guests only..."

Anexxia not wearing her shiny halo because it has gone missing

My beloved shadow priest Anexxia, however, did not have a similar happy transmogrification story to share. Her bank is somehow a mess of mismatched helms and shoulders, one dress, and a few other misc bits. But most importantly, her halo is missing. That's right-- my most favorite piece of her gear, which I have posed with in numerous costumes/dress up screenies-- POOF! To say that this deflated my transmogrification high would be accurate. I poked around, and settled on an outfit, but I am not happy with it. I wanted the halo. I've put in a ticket asking to have the item restored, but given my recent track record with GM requests, I won't hold my breath.

How about you -- how has your transmogrification been going?

What Can a Guardian Cub Buy You?

image from

Now that the 24-hour cooldowns have passed and the Guardian Cubs have started popping up on auction houses all around Azeroth, ranging from $9500-$20,000 G, I have to ask: does this RMT transaction really amount to much given the current state of the WoW economy? What can you actually *buy* for 10k-20k G anyhow? In my opinion, not much that matters.

Sure, you can upgrade to the fastest flying speed, or buy epic flying for another alt, or finally build yourself a mechanohog. But other than a few bits and bobs in the forms of random raid BOEs, there really isn't a whole heck of a lot you can purchase with G in game that matters.

When I asked on twitter last night what those folks who'd purchased the cub for resale planned to do with their profits, no one replied with any big plans. Perhaps some were going to sell a couple of cubs to save up for something like the Spire of Scarlet Pain, or perhaps others might intend to blow their proceeds on purchasing other vanity pets for their pet collectors, but I suspect that many folks were just going to stash the cash away in their WoW bank accounts, and use it for the more mundane every day expenses that eat through your saving (i.e. repairs and enchants and gems etc.)

To me at least, it feels like the Real Money Transactions (RMT) tree fell in the Azeroth woods but no one heard it fall.

I'm a Face-Melting Shadow Priest But I Still Love the Whimsy and the Adorableness in WoW

This poor goblin must have been very naughty to be jack-o'-lanterned this way...

Recently, on twitter, pretty much from the moment Blizzard announced them as the new expansion's focus and new race at Blizzcon, there has been much backlash against the Pandaren. I've seen many comparisons to Ewok and gnomes (because apparently many many people feel sickened and/or threatened by gnomey awesomeness) and assertions of how their "silliness" as a class equates to Blizzard having jumped the shark and ruined the World of Warcraft.

All I can say to that is: BALONEY!

Personally, I am equally at home with my love of vanity pets and gnomes and kittens and being a face melting shadow priest! I challenge anyone who has played with me to honestly say "Oh that Anexxia is such a carebear gnome lover and kitten scratcher that it gets in the way of her being a good player; she really needs to L2play."

The entire style of WoW, to me, is somewhat cartooney, versus hyper realistic. It's not meant to be a very serious representation of modern life. I don't want to play a character that looks just like me in real life-- I play me in real life every day. Having a little fun with appearances doesn't change my ability to play in any way. Yes, sometimes we are going about very serious business, such as very important raid boss killing, but at the end of the day, we are playig a game, with a goal of having fun. And having a dancing gnome shadow priest in your raid is fun! Not as fun as a dancing boomkin perhaps, but FUN all the same!

You know what else is fun? Bouncing along as you run. I bounce on my night elf. I bounce on my Forsaken. I bounce on my gnomes. And the bounciness is contagious. Before you know it, you have other folks bouncing along in synchronization with you! And suddenly that long run back from that wipe isn't quite as annoying.

Frankly, it always puzzles me how much anti-gnome sentiment I'd hear while playing my beloved gnomey casters. Now, Pandaren have taken up the mantle of most heckled and despised race. I don't particularly like the hunchbacked, ever-sniffing worgen, but I don't go on Internet tirades about how they ruined Wow and are ridiculous insults to my gaming self. I just simply don't play one. Hopefully the anti-Pandaren uproar will die down and folks will find something else to deride. If not, at least all you pandas will have a nice thick furry skin to deflect the criticism. And hopefully you'll have an awesome beer-powered dance to dance those cares away with...

PS a big thank you to Cyn for suggesting I actually post about this.

Keeping the World of Warcraft out of my Facebook

Forsaken shadow priest Anexxia checking out a remodeled house in Brill

Yesterday, on twitter, I started a small twitter poll, curious to find out if my policy of keeping my World of Warcraft life separate from my offline life was a common occurrence. It was fun to hear from a few folks about the real life meetups they've had with guildies, and how they'd gotten to know players better thanks to being Facebook friends. And still others replied that of course they did, as they didn't have anything to hide.

That latter comment stuck with me for a bit to ponder. Do guildies whom I've politely refused to RealID friend or to share my Facebook info with feel I must have something to hide? I hope not, since that's pretty far from the reason why I don't overlap, except in a tiny number of cases, my gaming life with the rest of my life.

You see, I like to log in to WoW and submerge myself as Anexxia the shadow priest, or Psychocandy the Boomkin. Someone calling me by my real name drags me out of the magical World of Warcraft, and puts back smack dab into every day me. Everyday me works as a digital marketer and manages content, and slogs around a cold and rainy city on transit each day to get to and from work.

Further, even my friends who game (and they are a minority) primarily play console games and have little or no interest in hearing about my WoW adventures, much like the people who unfollow me on twitter after I post about food or some sort of RL event didn't have interest in hearing about things outside of Warcraft from me.

One-on-one, I will talk to guildies and my warcraft buddies about all sorts of RL stuff. But please don't be offended that I don't FB friend you. You'd just be annoyed by all the social gaming SPAM and baby animal pictures anyhow...


This is the point at which I must disclose that I have met a small handfull of guildies IRL over the years. They know my everyday name, have met our crazy cats, and I would friend them on Facebook in a heartbeat if only they used Facebook. But those folks have transcended being my gaming friends -- they are, blessedly, just friends at this point, with whom I'd be just as likely to talk about something tasty I baked as some awesome WoW achievement.

How about you? Are your Warcraft worlds and your Facebook worlds combined?

Friday Five: Five Dreamy Additions to the Darkmoon Faire

We goblins have high hopes for this new Darkmoon Faire Isle

In Patch 4.3 the Darkmoon Fair stops being that traveling caravan of carnies and gets its own permanent year-round home. Now that they're putting their roots down, I have some thoughts for a few Faire additions to give it that immersive good 'ole Fair time feeling:

  1. A rodeo. Preferably one wherein your entire guild can take part in various vehicle-based challenges in an arena full of your favorite friends and frenemies.
  2. An Old Tyme Photo Studio. With dress-up outfits and the ability to include your BFF, with the resulting screenie mailed to you in game and to your battlenet email address.
  3. Crafter's Corner. Any good fair has a hall of crafting, showing off the handicraft skills of the local citizens. Seeing as how the Darkmoon Faire is run by goblins, there needs to be some profit in it though. That's why this crafting hall should have all manner of rare patterns, AND commemorative plaques with the names of your server's crafters of truly rare items.
  4. Coin Toss. But instead of the traditional mugs and glassware, have vanity pets or vanity gear as what you're shooting for.
  5. Vanity Pet Parade. What's a fair without a 4-H show? Since we can't raise our own cows and bunnies, we could instead have denizens sign up to have a pet show.

If you had your say, what would you add to the Darkmoon Faire?

A Sort of Homecoming in Brill

Anexxia at her new office desk, thinking...

Anexxia had been at loose ends for a few weeks now, ever since walking out on her raiding team. They continued on with their never-ending fight against evil monsters, leaving Anexxia puttering about in Orgrimmar, restless.

One hot Sunday afternoon, she packed a small bag with her herbalism scissors and her sewing kit, and hopped upon the zeppelin for Tirisfal Glades. It was an easy decision to leave the dust and bustle of the City-- she'd never felt welcome there. It was merely the most convenient point from which to set out with the raiding party. With those days behind her, she was free to return to the only place that had ever felt like home -- The Dark Lady's kingdom.

Even from the zeppelin tower, it was clear that things had changed in the years since she left on her crusade for justice. Brill had grown up. No longer a hastily slapped together burg, it was now a respectable place to call one's home.

Anexxia kept her eyes peeled for for rent signs. The office was the easier find. But it took poking about in a number of unsatisfactory rooming halls before she found the studio. She'd nearly decided not to head up the stairs to look at the place after her encounter with the landlady. She was quite possibly one of the most dim-witted shadow priests Anexxia had ever met. Standing about with her flapping outdated bat-wing staff, not having been in shadow form in aeons. But her feet were getting tired, so Anexxia trudged up the stairs, and found the absolutely perfect place.

Nice rock hard bed, candles everywhere, cobwebs in every corner. Yes, this will do, she thought to herself. "I'll take it!" she yelled down the stairs at the landlady, who chirped back something about being just thrilled to have another shadow priest in the house.

Taking off her dusty boots, and lying down upon the bed, Anexxia still didn't know what she was going to do with herself. But at least she was finally home. And thus, she rested.

shadow priest at rest.

Three Things I Learned in WoW This Weekend

Here, foxy foxy! Little shadow priest wants to play with youuuuu...

  1. Rogues can use spirit/int leather gear.
  2. It is perfectly acceptable for your mom to do your dailies and character leveling because you are so busy with work and things.
  3. The vanity pet RNG hates me.

On newbie rogues

True story...I walked myself into Stratholme this weekend, on my shaman's road from 45 to 50. It felt weird to be in there as such as a lowbie. But it felt even more weird to find myself arguing with a rogue about how it was inappropriate that he need rolled on a spellcaster chest. I especially enjoyed it when he told me I was dumb and should shut up. That's the point at which the entire rest of the party lit into him.

Thankfully, I was eventually able to kick him from the group. Nd for the first time ever I used the following as my reason for kick: Bad.

Here's the deal: I do not care what leather jerkin you had on previously. A spellcaster piece of leather is NOT an upgrade for you, mister rogue. No matter how much higher an ilvl. It's just NOT. I hold you even more accountable for this nonsense than all those mages and warlocks who keep rolling against my clothies on spirit gear (b/c at least that stat USED to be helpful for them last expansion.)

On slacker kids who live at home with mom

Kid: "OK, guys I'm out, going to work. So it won't be me on playing."

Me: "So, you are account sharing?"

Kid: "Nah."

Other kid: "His mom levels for him."

Kid: "Yeah, my mom does my dailies and my leveling for me. I am real busy with work and stuff."

Me: /facepalm

No offense buddy, but just wait until you move out into your own place and work a 40+ hour a week job. Get back to me THEN about being *so busy*. But then again you'll probably just take all your laundry home for mom to wash...


On my inability to hit the 125 pet mark

I chased after Baradin foxes. I conquered Ahune daily. I killed creatures in EPL for hours. And yet my two pet collectors are still short of their 125 pet goals. Candy needs 1 more pet, while Nexxi is still 5 or 6 away from the goal.


At this point I am haunting my AHs trying to find affordable pets I do not have yet. Ended up buying the druid 4 pets yesterday otherwise she would still have not made any progress.


I'm at At Loose Ends

sometimes, all you can do is dance with a friend.

Two months ago, I left  the guild I'd raided in through most of WotLK and been an officer in for over a year, and joined a friend's raiding guild. Alas, our friend's guild had a bad case of Main Tank Syndrome plus a RL revolving door and start time. Although offered the opportunity to run the B team raid and thus have complete control over the RL and start time, in a guild that is now 11/12, my SO and I both put raiding on the back burner for the first time in over 5 years (5.5 years for the SO.)

Truth be told, my RL schedule has been too hectic for the past month to take on progression raiding prep, let alone leading a raiding team. But this leaves me at loose ends. Yes, I have a whole army of neglected alts who would love some attention. But my World of Warcraft -- from the time my druid hit 58 and stepped into MC to heal our META guild's raid-- has revolved around raiding. Not always cutting edge, top 5 on the server raiding (though there has been that too), but I've always been a part of a regularly scheduled raid team since that first night of raiding.

It feels weird to not need to make any flasks.

It feels weird not to be watching tank spot videos and pestering people to read Jaded Alt's strats.

It feels weird to be poking around on alts in the evening instead of slaying Internet dragons with friends.

I don't think this hiatus from raiding will be permanent, but I do think it'll be longer than a vacation break. It's absolutely exhausting to think about trying to find a guild that raids horde-side, 6 PT start or a bit later, with fun and friendly and interesting guildies. I am positive it can be done, but I don't feel like I have the energy or the time to do it right now. And my schedule with the classes I'm taking means I don't have a more open schedule for raiding at the moment. But I know that once 4.2 hits the live servers, the urge to raid will likely tip the balance back to "must raid!" from the "not enough time to find the right fit in a guild."

One thing I know for certain is raiding progression is not enough reason to stick it out in a guild where you don't connect with the other people, or worse yet, they don't even connect with anyone else. I've already spent too much time in guilds where folks were only all about the raid and were PUGging 5-mans alone in a sea of 25+ guildies online, in-between bouts of snarking at each other in the guild forums. I want more than that. And I'm positive I'll eventually find it.

Friday Five: Twitter Edition

Just a typical day in the life of a Shadow Priest: a solitary path, down a long corridor, into a dark room.

Twitter, how do I love thee? Let me Friday Five the ways...

  1. I love twitter for getting to know guildies.
    I'm the first to admit this is a double-edged sword. Sometimes you learn that your guildie is a two-faced, passive-aggressive, card carrying member of the opposite political party with whom you'd really prefer to have nothing to do with ever again. But that's usually the exception, not the rule. (of course, if you find that *is* the rule with your guild, maybe you can find a new, better guild.) Seriously though, creating a twitter list of your guildies and checking in on it throughout the day can be a great window into the daily lives of the folks with whom you like to slay Internet dragons.
  2. I love twitter for enticing new guildies.
    You know that list of awesome guildies on twitter? When other folks see the camaraderie and good conversation amongst your guildies, it sometimes has the effect of enticing them to roll yet another alt (or better yet to server transfer over a max level toon) to play with your peeps.
  3. I love twitter for helping me find new places to play.
    I recently rolled a goblin toon, and needed a new server on which to roll. How'd I choose? I asked around on twitter, of course, and found some tweeps I already enjoy chatting with who were willing to take in a slow leveling baby goblin. And when I wanted to start playing my Alliance toons again last year, it was twitter that connected me with my beloved AF peeps.
  4. I love twitter for the conversation.
    A casual aside or snarky comment can often turn into a lengthy, in-depth discussion about a WoW topic. Or it can crack you up so that you are laughing out loud in real life making everyone wonder what's so much more awesome on your smart phone than theirs. And when I'm feeling bummed out about one thing or another, it's amazing how quickly a twitter check-in can act as a pick-me-up.
  5. I love twitter for giving me more bright ideas than I could ever have time to pursue.
    Every time I have a crackpot idea or hair brained scheme, I tweet about it. I love to see how other folks build on the idea and improve it. Even if none of us actually do anything about it, the joy in that moment of having the back-and-forth and ideation is worth it by itself.

Are you on twitter?

If so, follow me on @Anexxia and check out my WoW Bloggers list and and Citizens of Azeroth lists to find more folks to follow. And to find out who the active WoW tweeps are on your server, check out Psynister's big list of twitter folks.

Cataclysm FAQs

gnome shadow priest gains cooking tips from Robby Flay and Barrio Matalli in Stormwind

Ah, another expansion is upon us. Which means...Gchat full of people repeatedly asking the same questions over and over. Admittedly, when WotLK dropped, I made a few macros to quickly and accurately reply to some of the questions that kept popping up in guild chat. And thus, the inspiration for this list.

Some of these questions will be old hat for those players who have been online daily since the Shattering hit us. But rest assured most guilds will see an influx of  folks who will, undoubtedly, start asking these questions straight away...


OMG! Where did the portals in Dalaran go?

Deathwing ate them.

Are the ones in Shatt still there?


How the hell am I supposed to get back to Azeroth now?

The same way you did before you got to Dalaran: take the boat/zeppelin.

Boat? What boat? / Zeppelin? Which Zeppelin?

Alliance: Valiance Keep, Borean Tundra --to-- Stormwind Harbor

Horde: Warsong Hold, Borean Tundra --to-- Orgrimmar

How am I supposed to get around from continent to continent now?

Boats go many wonderful places.

  • Ratchet, The Barrens --to-- Booty Bay
  • Menethil Harbor, Wetlands --to-- Theramore Isle
  • Menethil Harbor, Wetlands --to-- Valgarde, Howling Fjord 
  •  Stormwind Harbor, Elwynn Forest --to-- Rut'theran Village, Teldrassil 
  •  Rut'theran Village, Teldrassil --to-- Valaar's Berth, Azuremyst Isle 

 Zeppelins also go many wonderful places.

  •  Orgrimmar, Durotar --to-- Grom'Gol, Stranglethorn Vale  
  •  Orgrimmar, Durotar --to-- Undercity, Tirisfal Glades  
  •  Orgrimmar, Durotar --to-- Thunder Bluff, Mulgore  
  •  Undercity, Tirisfal Glades --to-- Grom'Gol, Stranglethorn Vale  
  •  Undercity, Tirisfal Glades --to-- Vengeance Landing, Howling Fjord

And druids may teleport to Moonglade, which is your fastest route to Kalimdor.

But there isn't a boat to Darkshore from Darnassus now. Help!

The flightmaster will happily fly you there.

 Why can't I fly now? I thought we could fly in Cataclysm?

Did you buy your Flight Master's License yet? It will allow you to ride your flying mount in Kalimdor, Esastern Kingdoms and Deepholm. It will cost you $250G.

I don't have my flying license. Where can I buy it?

Visit your favorite flight trainer. I suggest the new trainers located next to the flight paths in Stormwind and Orgrimmar.

I can't buy the flying license. Why?

Did you install Cataclysm yet? You can't fly in Azeroth without it. Cataclysm is also needed to visit the new areas and roll goblins or worgen, level your characters to 85, and to level your professions past 450.

Where do I learn Archaeology?

Talk to a guard in any major city.

OK, I learned Archaeology. What do I do with it now?

Check out the Wowpedia archaeology guide for details on where to go and how it all works.

Where do I train up my professions?

Talk to a guard in any major city; they'll put an icon on your map where your trainer can be found. Progressing past 500 on some professions may require that you level your character and then visit a specialty vendor in a higher level area, such as Twilight Highlands.

Twilight Highlands...? Where's that?

MMO Champion has a map of that area and tons of details.

What are all the new areas?

I went to Gilneas. Why isn't anything there?

It's a phased area for new players of that race only. If you want to see it, go roll a worgen.

Do I have to fly all the way back to the new areas?

Not after your first time visiting them. World of Raids has maps showing where the portals are located in Sotrmwind and Orgrimmar that can return you to those areas after your initial visit..

Can anyone in the guild link me their <profession name>?

We sure can! But did you know that you can see all the recipes everyone knows on all their characters for yourself? Go to the guild menu. In the view pulldown menu, select professions. That shows you a list of everyone who is on now, and their professions.

Why can't I see anyone for <profession name>?

Try checking the "show offline members" box in the lower left part of the window. That way you can see recipes for alts of players who are on now, and items for everyone else in the guild.

Where are the new cooking/fishing dailies?

They are given out in Stormwind and Orgrimmar now. Here's a guide to the new fishing and cooking quests and achievements for more details:

Hey! Can you bump up my guild reputation. It says I am just neutral. But I've been in this guild for years.

No can do. Everyone -- including the guild leader-- starts at neutral.

So, how do I raise my reputation in the guild?

There are many ways you can do this, just by playing the game as you would normally. Reputation is awarded for attaining guild achievements, completing instances with guildies, and many other things. There's a helpful guide to guild achievements on Wowpedia.

If I /gquit will I start at my current guild reputation level in my new guild?

Nope. You'll start back at neutral, so you will want to stop and consider the consequences before jumping to a new guild. And those with /gkick powers will want to stop doing joke kicks as those will also wipe guild reputation.

Why can't I see my friends list?

Hit your "o" key, or click on the little person icon in the top left of your chat window.

What else happened during the Shattering, other than Deathwing eating all our portals?

I was asleep when it happened so I really can't say. But Anne Stickley over at WoW Insider wrote a great piece on everything that happened in the Shattering. Note that if you plan to read The Shattering book, you may not want to read the post. Oh yeah -- there are new racial videos that also tell part of the story too, so don't hit the ESC key next time you roll an alt.

Where are the new Justice/Valor point vendors?

Horde has Jamus'Vaz <Valorous Quartermaster> and Gunra <Justice Quartermaster> in Orgrimmar's Valley of Strength. Alliance has Faldren Tillsdale <Valorous Quartermaster> and Magatha Silverton <Justice Quartermaster> in Stormwind in the Old Town area.

I thought there were supposed to be new heirlooms?

There sure are. But your guild needs to attain guild level 10 before you can purchase them. See the WoWhead Guild Advancement guide for more information.

Are there any FAQs I've missed? Let me know in the comments!

Friday 5: Five Ways to Prepare for the Shattering

Night elf druid Psychcoandy under the SW moon awaiting the shattering

With patch 4.0.3a, a.k.a. "the shattering", on the PTR, with many speculating we'll see it on live servers as early as Tuesday, It's time to start thinking about what you need to do to get ready. And before you say "Blizz would never release a major patch like this before a holiday..." I must remind you that we'd never have thought they'd release a huge patch like 4.0.1 the week of Blizzcon either. And thus I bring you 5 steps for preparing for the patch:

  1. Pick your new home city, portal there from Dalaran on Monday night, and wait. Why? 4.0.3a removes the Dalaran portals, replacing them with professions trainers. If you get stuck in Dal, it's the slow boat back to Azeroth for you. And don't forget to set your hearthstone. This doesn't apply, however, to your toons in the 71-80 range.
  2. Get prepared to give your alts stuck in Northrend one last push before the expansion. With the 20% reduction in XP required to get through those levels going live with this patch, you'll be ready for Cataclysm in no time.
  3. Park your 80 mage in front of where those portals used to be. For the first week or so you will get tips galore from helping unprepared and navigationally challenged folks get around.
  4. Design your new gnome priest or undead hunter's look, and get ready for the reroll or the race change.
  5. If you play a Druid, paladin, priest, or shaman, look at the new talent calculators now -- your talents are going to be reset and you'll need to redetermine how you wish to allocate your talent points.

BONUS: Get a chopper made now -- nothing says post-Apocalypse road trip through Azeroth like a motorcycle.

New WoW Armory Character Sheets


Once I saw all the tweets about it at lunchtime, I couldn't wait to get home so I could peep at the new WoW armory design and community website accessible via Battlenet. After I ditched Firefox and opened it in Safari, I was able to enjoy the beauty that is the new character sheet.

What's especially nice is they have the pretty version above, plus one with a lot more detail about the equipped gear and its enchants and gems. I haven't been playing my shadow priest much in the past month, thanks to taking a trip to Scotland and pre-expansion raiding burn out, so I hadn't even noticed that the patch ate several of my enchants (including the one on my chest piece. Thanks a lot!) until I saw that view. Now I have a to do for each of my characters...

Now that the official armory has your average gear level, and shows all your enchants/gems and does a character audit, there won't be much reason to visit WoW Heroes or other gear rating sites, except to see at-a-glance what raid content a character has completed, or for an easy way to see how that item level prepares them for which instance.

As currently implemented, the community site lets you pick which of your characters to display in the pulldown and to thus use for posting. I would put in a screenshot of the new overall pageview and how it shows a nice big adorable picture of your avatar, but it shows your real name right above it and I am too lazy to Photoshop it out this evening.

I have to admit I was a little surprised that Blizz didn't set up a system similar to the Starcraft forums, whereby we have to pick our main character to post on. At least for now, it appears you can change your main character as often as you'd like, and post as any of your characters, as per the existing forums. It will be interesting to see if that remains true after the trial period is over.


Updated: Blizz Con @Home: Livestream

Despite my best refresh and clicking efforts, we did not get lucky enough to purchase tickets to Blizzcon. As a condolence prize, we ordered the livestream of the event, and are watching it (well, the pre-show right now) on the 27” iMac in glorious HD.

I am bummed to not be in Anaheim, getting to meet the many tweeps and bloggers I enjoy chatting with online. But I am happy to be sitting at home with the kitties, wearing comfy clothes, and still getting to participate virtually.

There have been some hiccups with the stream, right now probably due in large part to the opening ceremonies and pre show being viewable for free to everyone.  I’m not going to be liveblogging everything word-for-word, but I do plan to make some regular updates here with highlights of what I see/hear.


Opening Ceremony Update

Not at all comprehensive, but these were the highlights from my POV:

  • Mike Morhaime announced the Moonkin Hatchling will be this year's charity pet! Available for sale from the Blizzard store in November.
  • Last year's Pandaren Monk pet raised $1.1 million in proceeds for Make-A-Wish.
  • Arthas has been slain ~489,000 times.

Chris Metzen

Getting all the fan love. Which makes sense. How often do CEOs get fan love? Other than Steve Jobs I can’t think of any others off the top of my head. Today's word? GEEK. The power of the word.

And MAN he does a great Arnold Conan the Barbarian impersonation.

The Geek is segment got a little long but Metzen did a nice job of getting the crowd engaged and excited. Cute how he got a little choked up over the idea of his kids watching and absorbing Star Wars for the first time.

Big announcement? The 5th and final Diablo 3 class -- demon hunter. Nice bonus that she was a fully-clothed, bad ass chick.

Also, Cataclysm will be available for download digitally as of midnight on release day, December 7. (Personally, I am OK with my release day delivery from Amazon.) Will be interesting to see if folks will be able to pre-order and download it all in advance and thus actually start playing on December 7, or if that's when downloads can start. UPDATED: later in the event they said one could start playing at midnight.

Between Sessions

Cryptozoic is going to be releasing the World Breaker WoW TCG expansion close to Cataclysm's launch. Nice to see the card game finally synching up more closely to what's happening in WoW.

Dungeons and Raids Panel

When doing the Cataclysm dungeons preview, I liked their inspired tagline for Abyssal Maw: "It's nothing like Occulus." Heh. So, not a ton of news in this panel but still a number of nice little chinks of good to hear information:

  • As previously announced, you now get your dungeon quests inside the dungeons. No more zoning in and realizing that awesome blue quest reward item requires you to have done a 7-stage quest chain on the opposite continent.
  • Long dungeons are being trimmed down (removing excess trash or extraneous wings that are not necessary to clear to complete the instance
  • Complex dungeons such as BRD that can't be cut in half (like Mauradon will be) will have teleporters to help get from section to section
  • Graveyards will be within a 30sec run back from the dungeons so no more extra long death march through Serpent Lake!
  • Improved 2D maps for all dungeons (existing and new) in Cataclysm
    • These dungeon maps -- basically incorporating what Atlas Loot used to do (great maps with boss loot details) plus details on the boss's background and abilities


Two Months Until Cataclysm -- So Now What?

image from

It's nice to finally have a release date in hand so I can start figuring out what I want to -- and have time to -- accomplish in game before the world changes. December 7 gives me two full months before I have to start thinking about leveling my primary toons and their professions and the alts' professions...

I'm sure that having a concrete date two months away is going to make some folks angsty. After all, if you don't have an army of alts and killed the Lich King months ago and have already been feeling like you were stuck in a holding pattern, I can see how it would seem like way too long to wait. Had I not rediscovered the joys of playing my Alliance characters, I would likely be in the cursing the release date under my breath camp.

But luckily for me, I have plenty to do and to look forward to between now and then:

  • Level warlock to 80 (she's only 40 now)
  • Level warlock's JC
  • Level a new shaman and their corresponding profession(s)
  • Farm rare pets
  • Obtain remaining old world cooking recipes
  • Work on fishing up the elusive mister pinchy and the turtle mount
  • Complete world explorer for the druid
  • Hallow's End fun and festivities
  • Pilgrim's Bounty (a.k.a. the cooking leveling holiday)
  • Find more places like the Horizon Scout that I always meant to get around to seeing and go there

So, now that we have a date in hand, what's your plan of attack?

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.

What WoW Has Taught Me

Thank you Blog Azeroth for this shared topic, as suggested by Six-Inch Heals. I've been turning this over in my mind for a while now trying to figure out how to tackle it, and somehow ended up a day late. My bad. But here goes.

First and Foremost, I've Learned a Lot About People

First, the good:

  • I've seen how people can come together and really make things happen, due to a shared passion (the game)
  • I've seen people come up with creative solutions to a variety of in-game and meta-game issues
  • I've seen people put aside their RL political and socioeconomic differences and get things done together
  • I've met people from across the country (and this continent) whom I would have had almost no chance of meeting through any other means
  • I've forged casual acquaintances with some amazing people that I spoke to almost daily for years, talking not just about what I was up to in game, but also about the things that mattered to me IRL

But there has also been the bad:

  • I've had to listen to boorish political arguments set forth by those who are unaffected by the issue and thus have no stakes in them (see especially gender politics)
  • I've had what I thought were friendships that extended outside of the game crumble like sugar eggs the week after Easter
  • I've seen hard work for naught, when poor leadership has allowed bad apples to ruin the guild cart
  • I have seen some of the absolutely worst, nasty, back-stabbing behavior I've ever seen outside of daytime dramas, over pixels and in-game power

I've Learned How to Better Deal with People IRL

  • I've learned how to motivate performance long-distance
  • I've learned how to detect all manner of non-visual cues as to something being up with persons I work on projects with virtually
  • I've learned how to work towards a common goal, even when paired with people I don't personally like
  • I've learned more about what motivates achievement for a variety of folks whose situation and motivation are outside of my personal frame of reference.
  • I've gotten much experience in teamwork -- both in assembling and managing teams

I've Also Learned a Lot About Myself

  • I've learned what my deal breakers are for friendships and for collaborations
  • I'm better able to articulate my concerns with people/situations
  • I've built upon my teamwork and collaboration skills, without burning any social currency at work to do so
  • I've learned that I truly thrive and am happiest when I am in a functional, thriving collaborative team of some sort, regardless of if I am leading it, or just one of the team
People may think of World of Warcraft as just another video game, but due to the intrinsic social collaboration model it employs, it really is so much more than that. Overall, not a bad investment of time to have gotten so much more out of it than just some sparkly pixels.

Friday Five: Five Ways I'm Handling Pre-Cataclysm Burn-out

Another Friday, another Friday Five topic courtesy of Blog Azeroth, as suggested by my guild and I are handling the pre-expansion slump:

  1. Gave myself some new short-term goals. Like earning cash for the eventual worgen. And working on fishing for my hordies whenever the fishing daily is in Dalaran. Bite-sized goals, and little morsels of accomplishment.
  2. Cutting myself some slack. RL is incredibly busy at the moment. Thus, I'm only going to be able to do so much in my limited amount of playtime. So that's how it goes. I want to do more in game, including hard modes. But I also don't want to give work or friends the short end of the stick. And since I try to be a courteous person, I'm not going to sign up for raids I might not be able to make it home in time for due to the inevitable working late that's been happening.
  3. Working on getting alts to 80. I am making the most of every last drop of rested XP on my three 70+s to keep them moving slowly but surely towards 80. I make sure these lowbies do the cooking and fishing dailies and any holiday-related quests too. It's all good XP. And every bit counts at this level.
  4. Cutting back on the guild's raiding schedule. After weeks of watching our fearless 10-man scheduler scrape together runs, and watching some of them not go due to no shows, I broached the topic of killing our official 10 mans other than the Lich King runs or the hard modes. It wasn't an easy decision or one made lightly, but it was eventually what we decided. We went from 30 people or more per week t 14 or 15 signing up each week. It's time had come and gone.
  5. Accepting the slump as cyclical and inevitable. That's right. I gave up fighting and went into acceptance mode. It's Summer. And people are tired of ICC. And ready for the expansion. And there's nothing I or any of the Officers can do to change that. Once the weather turns cold, and the expansion promotion hits a fever pitch, things will pick up. They always do.

That's the whole unvarnished truth. I'e embraced the slump. I shall revel in the slump! I shall slog onward and get through the slump and emerge on the other side with a dozen 80s and conquer the World of Warcraft! Or something like that.

Happy Friday!

In Defense of Civility

Truth be told, much of what annoys me in-game about the behavior of other people boils down to civility. Specifically, a lack thereof. Some examples over the past few years of playing WoW:

  • Having to talk a guildie out of qguitting due to her absolute panic and hysteria over the teenage boy who refused, after being asked multiple times, to stop making dead baby jokes. The woman, who was 7 months pregnant at the time, had also lost a baby a year prior.
  • The men old enough to know better who pepper their vent chat with gender-specific vulgarities whenever fighting a female boss, and don't give the male bosses the same treatment.
  • The self-centered persons who ninja AFK and leave a team of others waiting for them to show back up to complete the dungeon/raid, never apologizing or explaining their absences.
  • The people who constantly ask for help, be it in the form of your time or handouts, who then never reciprocate.
  • The trade chat troll who spent hours at a time, wearing my guild tag, being condescending to and picking fights with the server at large, including other guild members on their unguilded alts.

I'm sure most people have seen some of the above examples during their game time. What they all have in common is a demonstrated lack of civility.


n., pl., -ties.

  1. Courteous behavior; politeness.
  2. A courteous act or utterance.

Well-mannered behavior toward others: courteousness, courtesy, genteelness, gentility, mannerliness, politeness, politesse. See courtesy/discourtesy. A courteous act or courteous acts that contribute to smoothness and ease in dealings and social relationships amenity (used in plural), courtesy, pleasantry, politeness, propriety (used in plural). See courtesy/discourtesy.

That's the definition.

As you can see from some of the synonyms, civility seems to be a term better suited for a Merchant Ivory film than a blog about the World of Warcraft. Who cares about civilized discourse and politeness? Surely not anyone who gets behind a keyboard and picks up a pixelated sword, right? Wrong.

Civility Isn't an Antiquated Concept

Do you make plans with your friends and then not show up? And then never say anything to them afterward? Why is this OK if the plans are a raid signup and involving 24 other people?

Is your every day language at work, at home, and in social gatherings towards acquaintances full of expletives and racial slurs, and derogatory remarks against folks with sexual orientations that differ from yours?

Would you walk up to a group of women whose names you know but you in all honesty are not good buddies with, and start making dead baby jokes? And casually toss around a number of gender-specific sexual terms? Would you say these things in front of your sister/significant other/mother?

Why then so often is online chat too often full of all of the above?And why is it that when you approach someone about their lack of civility, you often are chided for trying to suppress their freedom of expression, or called the thought police? When did it become unfashionable -- or even extremist to hear some folks reactions -- to ask for courtesy in people's interactions with each other and expect a civil environment in which to play online?

At their core, many of the posts I've written here have boiled down to looking for the human beings on the other side of the computer screens to stop what they're doing and behave more like they would behave towards others they knew in their non gaming lives. The fact that I'm sitting in guild chat with you doesn't mean I have an expectation and desire for the level of your conversation to stoop well below what it would in your living room.

I'm not advocating for a G rated guild chat at all times, but I am advocating for the return of common sense.

Ways to Demonstrate Civility

  1. Think before you type. In person, rude and insensitive comments can fly out of your mouth before you have time to reflect upon them. Online, you're communicating with other via text. Read back what you are saying to someone before you hit enter. This is a major benefit of text-based communications. Take advantage of it.
  2. Be the better person. I don't care if it was someone else who started in with the crass commentary -- you are not obligated to join them. You have free will and the ability to make a better decision than they did.
  3. Don't be a dick (a.k.a. the DBAD rule.) Don't troll in trade to "light things up." Don't pick on a guildie in Gchat over something they are sensitive about. Don't treat the World of Warcraft as your personal soap box and megaphone, with your fellow players as the captive audience who can't walk away from you.

How to Cope with Others Demonstrating Incivility

  1. Let them know. Don't seethe with anger and lash out once you are past all points of patience. When the bad behavior/unwarranted commentary happens, whisper the person and ask them to knock it off. If it continues, or if it is malicious and directed publicly at another person, politely ask the offender to cease and desist, using the same channel the person is using for their behavior/comments.
  2. Set an example. No, I'm not saying make an example out of the offending person. I mean model the kind of behavior you want to see in other people. Exert peer pressure by being civil in your interactions with others. Even when you disagree.
  3. Try to give them the benefit of the doubt. This is probably the hardest thing to do. And this is also why obscenity laws vary from state-to-state: what offends me or goes against my community's standards of acceptable behavior may not align with what offends you or what offends your community's standards of behavior.

As much as it boggles my mind at some of the comments and behavior people I don't know but am thrown together with over the Internet say and do, I can suspend my disbelief and think that there may in fact be a time and a place wherein they are within social norms and boundaries that favor them and not me. That said, however, the online space is neither my place nor their space -- it is a new shared space wherein we have to compromise and come to a workable and tolerable environment for all of us.

When All Else Fails

And for those die hards who refuse to modify their behavior in the face of guildie requests for a kinder gentler place online, you may do well to direct them to the Terms of Service for the game, which state:

Rules Related to "Chat" and Interaction With Other Users. Communicating in-game with other Users and Blizzard representatives, whether by text, voice or any other method, is an integral part of the Game and the Service and is referred to here as "Chat." When engaging in Chat, you may not:

(i) Transmit or post any content or language which, in the sole and absolute discretion of Blizzard, is deemed to be offensive, including without limitation content or language that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, hateful, sexually explicit, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable

Safe travels, adventurers.

Friday Five: Twitter Dev Chat Edition

There were a few nice gleanings from last Friday's Twitter Dev chat (including a few tweeps I follow getting their questions answered -- huzzah!) But I do have a few questions still burning a hole in my pocket. WTB answers to:

  1. Any chance potential spoilers like the Arthas cinematic in the Dalaran fountain might be tagged so as not to accidentally spoil? Because spoilers are not fun.
  2. How about another character slot so we can actually roll a Goblin/Worgen on our servers? Or do we all need to go roll one on the same random server, that will then crash, to get the point across about needing an extra slot?
  3. Do you have any plans to update the classic race models? Because my troll would really love to do something new with her hair.
  4. Now that armory is so robust, any thoughts to add raid progression lists to it at a server lvl? What else is in development for armory anyhow Will the improved guild interface live here and in game? And for that matter, will polling functionality (like votekick) be incorporated into the Cata guild mgmt interface?
  5. Professions. I has questions abut professions. Will tailors get to make some of the cosmetic cloak covers? What is the possibility of tailors making dyed to match companion pet rag dolls or voodoo dolls?

I have questions -- WTB answers! As did many of the folks I follow on twitter whose very good questions were *not* answered.

I do hope next round instead of both developers simultaneously cherry picking from the same feed, they either have a moderator assign questions, or they get on Skype together to coordinate so we don't have two devs answering the same softballs twice...


Happy Friday!