Tag Archives: meta-blog

Fire And Rain: aka a Look at the Future

My WoW life yesterday started out pretty well – I beat Blackhand (and I did it in style – top of Recount, baby!) and I was feeling pretty good about the future, about 6.2, about my alts, and so on.

Then, after I logged out for the day, Blizzard dropped the bombshell which I’m sure most of you have heard about by now: We’re getting no flying for the rest of this expansion, and don’t get your hopes up about it being a thing in future expansions, either.

I probably should have seen this coming, but it still felt to me like a punch in the gut.  Partially because it seems like such a weird step backwards in regards to content accessibility.  Partially because the announcement came right after I was feeling really good about the game.  And partially because of the fact that this was all apparently first mentioned offhandedly in some interview with a third party site rather than, I dunno, on the WoW forums or something.  It all just came out of nowhere and felt weird.

On to the topic itself – I have written before about why I wanted to see flying in the future, so I won’t recount all of my reasons here.  Suffice to say that flight was one of the big things I was looking forward to seeing in the future.  I was looking forward to exploring Draenor in a whole new way.  I was looking forward to doing archaeology properly rather than starting a dig, looking at a big mountain, and promptly changing my mind.  And I was really looking forward to being able to finish those Treasure Contract garrison quests, which I’ve done ten million times by now, in five minutes instead of twenty.

But now it looks like none of this is going to happen, and, silly or not, it put a big damper on my mood last night.  And I say this as one of the most hopelessly optimistic video game bloggers you’ll probably ever meet.

flightIt got me wondering about my future with the game and my motivations for playing it.  For the most part I have been a staunch supporter of Warlords of Draenor and of garrisons (beyond a few annoyances), and it was weird to feel negative about it for the first time.  I wondered – and still wonder – how long the feeling will last.  I wonder if I’m being melodramatic.  But I also wonder if I’m not.

That said, I still have a blog to write (and I am having a blast being back, by the way), and as of writing I still have something like two and a half months of game time left thanks to WoW token.  So I suppose for now the best I can do is continue to play until then, and then see how things are and how I feel about them.

We’ll just have to see!

On MMOs

As a returning blogger after a long hiatus I have opted to participate in a lovely program called the Newbie Blogger Initiative this year.  I do feel slightly, uh, awkward being involved as a newbie when this blog is almost eight years old, but I digress.

The Newbie Blogger Initiative is aimed towards video game bloggers, and most of the ones I’ve seen are blogs about MMOs.  Most of which are not WoW.  What I find interesting is that MMOs, as a genre, have such a following.  Many people proudly call themselves MMO gamers.  Not me.  I’m just a gamer.  (Or, to use my preferred term, a “video game enthusiast.”)

ENTHUSIASM!
ENTHUSIASM!

Many people can clearly remember the first game they played.  Not me.  I was born alongside the Atari 2600, the Nintendo Entertainment System, and the Commodore 64 and I grew up with my tiny little paws wrapped around a joystick.  There has not been a time in my three decades of life that I cannot recall games as being a major part of my existence.  When I began playing WoW oh so many years ago, it was not because it was an MMO – it was because it was another video game (and one set in a world I was already familiar with, since I’d been obsessing over Blizzard games for many years already.)

To this day, I don’t really play any other MMOs.  I don’t really have anything against them.  But between all of the other games I regularly play the heck out of, I suppose I feel like I only have time for one MMO.  And that MMO happens to be my first true love in the genre – one World of Warcraft.

Quel'Thalas is the greatest of the nations in lore.  Fact.
Quel’Thalas is the greatest of the nations in lore. Fact.

So yes.  To any curious newcomers to my blog:  That is my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.

…there might be time for FFXIV though.  Maybe.  Maybe.

Stuck On You

The last time I had a subscription for an entire WoW expansion, with no breaks, was for The Burning Crusade.

I took one or two short breaks towards the end of WotLK, I took a very long break during Cataclysm, and I only played the first couple of months of MoP.  That last break there was the longest, clocking in at two years and some change.  In fact, I’d actually convinced myself that I wouldn’t be coming back.  The game was different now and I’d moved on to plenty of other games – heck, there were plenty of other games I was pouring hundreds of hours into, just as I had with WoW.  My gaming life was good.  WoW was a memory.

And yet, like a loyal dog, WoW waited for me to come back.  And like a sap, I did.

The Warcraft section of my gaming display shelf.  Did I mention I have a gaming display shelf?  I do.  It's big.
The Warcraft section of my gaming display shelf. Did I mention I have a gaming display shelf? I do. It’s big.  Not pictured: Warcraft I, because I have that too.

I think I’m starting to accept now that I’ll never quite go away entirely.  And you know what?  That’s fine.  I’ve reached a comfortable equilibrium knowing that I can play for as long as I want and then drop it for as long as I want, and it’ll still be there.  Different, perhaps – probably a lot different, in fact – but there.

So brace yourselves, Internet – cause this dumb blog is probably never quite going away. >:D

Anxiety, WoW, and Me Part Two: Electric Boogaloo

Wow!  I got a fantastic response on my last post.  All sorts of people came out of the woodwork to comment on the post or talk to me on Twitter about their own gaming anxieties.  Some people even went through it all at the same time or with the same expacs I did.

Frankly, I had no idea that something like this was so widespread.  Oh, I figured a couple of people here and there would know what I was talking about, but the lot of you?  It really took me by surprise.

Since this seems to be a fairly common problem I think I’m going to do more writing about it.  I also think I’ll blog about my efforts to get over my own gaming anxieties.  I know some people are happy with playing solo, and if that’s the case then that’s awesome and keep on doing that.  As for myself, though… I want to tackle the big bad boss at the end of the anxiety raid.  So I think that’s what I’m going to try to do, and anyone else who is trying to do likewise can come commiserate and maybe learn with me!

So… let’s do this.  Ya’ll ready?

[Initiates Ready Check]

Hunter Without A Cause

I hope you’ll all excuse me and pardon our dust as I start this blog anew.  You see, I’m still trying to figure out exactly what I want to blog about.  Any of you long-time readers who were here in the early days (all four or five of you still reading) know that I used to pride myself on teaching what I called “Hunter Kindergarten” (for lower levels) and “Hunter 101″ (for freshly dinged max level hunters).  This is because I loved sharing what I knew about the class with others, so they could enjoy playing it as much as I did.  Plus, then I’d feel set to recommend the graduating students head on to other hunter blogs that focused more on raiding.  (A moment of silence to The Hunter’s Mark, BRK, Stabilized Effort Scope, and all the others.)

Now it’s hard for me to feel that much of this is necessary anymore.  Many of the nuances of the class have been streamlined or changed to the point that I actually find it difficult to play a hunter wrong.  Oh sure, in the early days when your first ten levels were spent sans pet and you had a dagger or axe thrust in your hand, then you bet there were all sorts of bad habits I wanted to help new hunters grow out of.  But now there’s no minimum range, you only have a ranged weapon, and you’ve got a pet right from the start.  Similarly, there’s really no need to learn how to chain trap, due to how long traps last.  And modern shot rotations are, for the most part, simple and intuitive, especially compared to a few of the ones from back in the day.

So what is a Pike to do?

i-dont-know-smiley-emoticonA few people have expressed interest that I try writing about hunters anyway, because why not.  Perhaps I do bring a unique spin to things.  Maybe people would rather hear me talk than read a more “sanitized” Icy-Veins or WoWHead guide.  I have no idea why, but hey, who am I to argue with that idea?

TLDR: I’m still not 100% sure what I’m doing with the blog yet, so please bear with me.  And if there’s something you’d like me to write about, do let me know!  I’m desperate for ideas.

Official Aspect of the Hare Relaunch and Restructure!

[Pike bursts in and shoots fireworks from her Wolfslayer Sniper Rifle]

Having given this ol’ blog a test drive over the last week and a half, I feel ready to come back full-time. I have no idea how successful that will be, given that I’m pretty sure most of my original readership has disappeared into the nether, but hey, at least I like doing it, right?

WorldOfWarcraft-BabyMurlocTopHat

So here’s the scoop:

First, I’ve set up a new theme!  The old one, Mandigo, served me well for many years, but it no longer updates and is really buggy these days, so sadly it had to go.  It’s been replaced by a default WordPress one, which isn’t terribly exciting, but on the plus side it looks really good on mobile phones which is what all the kids these days use to view blogs with – right?  Anyways take a gander at it and tell me whatcha think.  I wanted to keep the original “feel” as much as I could.

Secondly, let’s discuss the blog’s content.  While I’m sure this will remain a hunter themed blog for at least the near future (seeing as hunters are – yes, still – basically all I play), I can’t guarantee whether I’ll be providing guides and that sort of thing yet.  I’m still returning to this whole WoW thing and I don’t really know if I’m going to dip back into raiding or what.  Who knows!

419588

And while we’re on the subject of content – there will be non-WoW stuff here.  Not terribly often; once a week or so.  Partially because I do, as a matter of fact, play other games and I like talking about them.  And partially because I think a lot of my older readers no longer play WoW but I want them to have stuff to read too.

Phew, does that cover it?  Let’s say that covers it.  ONWARD TO BLOGGING!

Want me to blog about something in specific?  Leave a comment or tweet me!  I’ll be glad to see what I can do.

By the Way! I’m Back. Sort of.

It’s occurred to me that I’ve announced this pretty much everywhere BUT here, so I thought I’d announce this here in case you’ve missed it and are interested…

*clears throat*

I have a new video game oriented blog, called The Android’s Closet. (Yes, it’s like my fourth or fifth blog. I know, I know.) This is not WoW-centric (or any other game -centric) by any means, but unless I make a truly serious return to WoW in the future, any future WoW rambles will probably be over there and not over here.

Oh, and! The blog is being co-written by me and one Mister Adequate, aka “The New Boy” (long and lovely story, that! But I digress), so be sure to say hello to him if you do decide to swing by!

Anyways, that’s about it! You’re welcome to follow me over there if you’d like to continue watching me filibuster at length about various games– I’d love to see you! If not, thank you for being here and reading and following along with my WoW adventures for all these years. I can’t say whether or not this particular blog will return, but my memories of both the game and this blog are fond ones and won’t be forgotten.

[insert obligatory “Aliens” reference about hypersleep here]

AFK. No, I mean, REALLY AFK

There are rumors on the internets that I’m returning to Aspect of the Hare full-time.

And you know what, I’d love to do that.

It’ll be different. At the moment I lack both the time and interest to raid or really play “hardcore” or provide hunter guides. However, I had a lot of fun writing, say, the food post and I’d like to do more “fun” stuff like that, a few times a week, if possible.

Unfortunately this is going to have to wait a bit. See, due to a REALLY long and convoluted series of events I am moving to the west coast (Western Washington to be specific.) I am doing so, uh… *checks watch*… in under twenty-four hours. I also had to quit my job. And I haven’t been able to find a new one yet. (Which has me absolutely terrified, by the way.) So these next few weeks will involve the following: throwing things into a truck, driving 600 miles west, unpacking, and frantically job-hunting because I have bills and crap due in a few weeks.

I’m telling you all of this primarily because I feel bad about repeatedly getting everyone’s hopes up about the return of the Prodigal Pike which is inevitably followed by me not really delivering. But this is what’s going on, so now you know.

TLDR: I’d love to come back but gimme some time to make sure I can actually afford food and stuff.

Much <3 to my most dedicated readers.

Quick Logistical Post

I get a lot of spam comments. A lot of it. I clear out probably five or so spam comments a day on both of my blogs combined– and that’s not counting the several thousands that Akismet has caught in its spider-web.

Yeah.

Most of the spam tries to cleverly disguise itself as not-spam, which is how it gets through the filters. But it’s still not something I want to deal with every day.

As a result I have decided to auto-close commenting on all posts older than 14 days. I hate to do this, because I know some people have a lot of blogs to catch up on and don’t get around to individual posts for a while, but it will help tons with the spam situation (as 90% of it happens on old posts).

You are, of course, always welcome to contact me via e-mail, Twitter, or by commenting on more recent posts, though!

Every New Beginning…

…comes from some other beginning’s end. ( – Seneca. Or Semisonic. Whichever…)

The account has expired, and I’m done with World of Warcraft for the foreseeable future. Having done everything I needed to do on my “mains” last night, I was actually in the process of going around and double-checking my lesser-played alts today for any rogue items in their mailboxes when I was kicked off of the server.

So wait, you’re coming back, right? When?

I’ve hesitated to say for certain one way or another because I don’t want to make any guarantees. At best I want to give myself a few months to get things sorted out. If needs be I’ll wait until Cataclysm and see how things are looking then. Let’s just give it the ol’ Blizzard “Soon“™

What about the blog?

As I said, I will keep blogging. Probably in more than one place, because apparently I’m an addict like that (or a masochist, take your pick.)

I’ve thought about it for a bit and although I initially figured I’d just keep blogging here, I think I’d rather leave Aspect of the Hare “as is”. That way, people who want to continue linking to me for guides and the like can do so without worrying about people having to wade through non-WoW stuff. Plus, if/when I come back, I can just jump right back in to a ready-to-go WoW-themed blog.

What I’m probably going to do is set up a couple of subdomains here and then when they’re all set I’ll make another post linking you all to them. Gimme a couple days and I’ll get back to you!

Also, if you have a LiveJournal account and want to read my somewhat less-structured and more non-sequitor rambles I don’t mind if you friend me over there, either.

Commissions?

Will continue, send ’em my way! I’d like to think the fabled “Sitemeter Avatar Contest” will continue in some fashion also, though we’ll have to wait and see how things go once I get my “New Blog” all set up.

And now, roll credits:

Thank you…

…to BRK and Lassirra, without whom I would never have started blogging. Your blogs were inspirations that got me excited about the WoW-o-sphere and taught me how to play a hunter in the first place.

…to the WoW Twitterati for giving me one epic chatroom to rant, laugh, cry, and joke in, to bounce ideas off of, and inspire me to do crazy things like draw pictures or write books. I’ll still be around, don’t worry.

…to my guild, Order of the Rose, for being made of at least ten types of awesome. For dragging me around to their alt runs when I was an undergeared nub and then tossing me head first into their 25mans and hard modes, for passing gear and weapons to me, and for pulling together special raids just for me so I could get my Champion of the Frozen Wastes title– on not one, but two characters. For not just “letting” me raid as Beast Mastery, but for flat-out encouraging and challenging me to do so. Every outcast, non-flavor-of-the-month player should be so lucky.

…to my guild in Burning Crusade, the now-defunct but never-forgotten Entelechy. This is going to sound dorky and cheesy to the Nth Degree, but ya know what, I’m gonna say it anyway: you guys are some of the best friends I’ve ever had. I love that a good number of us have kept in touch outside of the game, via our forum or our nightly AIM chats, which is awesome because I know a lot of us have quit playing. I think back to the best memories I have of this game– Karazhan, countless Heroic Mech runs, opening all the graves in Zul’Farrak when we were all level 45, marching in on the Caelestis Templares’ cathedral twenty-strong– and I wasn’t doing it alone, but with you guys. May there always be Five Seconds to Evocate on Curator and may “Thundercats, Ho!” always ring through the hall before Shade of Aran.

…to Blizzard, for, well, making the game to begin with. I’ve been a BlizzHead since StarCraft stole my heart away in 1999, and it’s you guys and Nintendo more than anybody that have instilled a love of gaming in my soul. Being a citizen of Azeroth these past three years has been an honor and privilege. You guys are masters of making living, breathing worlds and characters. I was trying to emulate that solid real-ness when I was writing my book and inventing my own fictional world and characters, and if I was even half as successful as you with it, then I think I’m good. And if my book ever ends up published and with even a modicum of success then I’ll owe you a grateful hat tip.

…and finally, to my readers, for being the best readers that any blogger could ever hope for. It’s been almost three years of blogging and I can count the number of truly negative comments that I’ve received on one hand. And it’s because you guys are all amazing and mature and here to contribute to this little community. I have read every single comment ever posted here– every single one– and I wish I could go through and name names one by one and thank you all individually but it would take too long. Suffice to say if you have ever commented here I consider you a friend. Thank you for making me a part of your lives. I really didn’t deserve it.

If you’re going to follow me along to the rest of my blogging adventures, then I very much look forward to seeing you there. If not, it’s been a pleasure and I can only hope that something I said at some point made you smile or made you think. And I hope to see you again should I return.

Before I logged off of my characters last night, I tried to make sure I logged off appropriately. Tawbree, for example, is astride her new Epic Fiery Horse cause I did in fact manage to hit level 40. Tamaryn is in tree form, dancing away, with both trinkets activated and all of her HoTs ticking on herself.

And Tawyn pulled out Tux, her very first pet ever, and went on a little road trip. She went to Teldrassil, where it all began; she went to Azshara and explored the entire thing– including even more things I’d never seen before!– and then… then, she went home.

Bestial Wrath’d right before I logged out. That way she’ll be Bestial Wrath’d out there in Pixel-Land until I come back, and if I don’t come back, she’ll be Bestial Wrath’d until the servers go down.

I thought it was a nice touch.

Long past were the days when Medivh’s tower was much of a threat and adventurers flocked to the pass to donate their skills to the cause, but the few Violet Eye delegates that were holding out there did see the occasional visitor.

Archmage Alturus was on a first name basis with a few of these visitors, the night elf Tawyn being one of them.

“Back again, are you?” he asked, eyebrow raised.

“Ayep,” Tawyn replied tersely as she dismounted.

“What keeps drawing you here, really?” The Archmage was genuinely curious. “The time is past that we really needed you…”

Tawyn blinked. He may as well have asked her why fish swam and why birds flew. “Maybe it’s the ley lines under the place. I dunno. You don’t ask the gulls why they return to the sea.” She shrugged.

“Fair enough,” the mage replied. “And we could always use good scouts, I suppose. You never know if something new might pop up in there.”

“Good. I’m goin’ in.”

“Alone?”

“I’m never alone.”

It was then that Archmage Alturus saw the big gray owl with yellow eyes perched nearby in the shadows. As if in response, he took wing now and alighted on Tawyn’s shoulder as she opened the front gate. She stood there a moment, gazing inside, her eyes clouded a bit as if distracted. “We aren’t getting any younger I suppose, are we, Tux?” she murmured.

Tux hooted something in response and then the hunter and her owl went inside.