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Ten Year Reunion

Hey.

Hey guys.

Pictured here is the first post I ever made on this blog.  The date?  August 9, 2007.

This blog is ten years old.

Needless to say a LOT has changed in those ten years.  I have seen many, MANY bloggers come and go.  Many games have come and gone.  I saw this blog go from being just a personal place for me to store my thoughts to a whopping 1200 subscribers and over 1000 unique daily hits at its peak in 2009, and then as I went on hiatus and WordPress blogs sort of started to die out in favor of various other discussion formats, I saw this blog kind of fall by the wayside, too.

And yet.  Here I am.  I actually, uh… if you’d told me this ten years ago I probably would have laughed, but I actually have an active WoW subscription right now.

No, really.

I took this screenshot a couple of days ago.

What’s that?  Pike still plays… a Beast Master hunter? STOP THE PRESSES.

Granted, I’m… not exactly doing anything.  I’m not raiding.  I’m not even doing heroics.  I am collecting mounts, and playing the goldmaking game for no other reason than I like watching the shiny number in the corner of my backpack rise.

Actually, this post and ten year anniversary day is really good timing because today I managed to cross this little finish line:

SO YEAH, that’s what’s up with me.

What’s up with you guys?  Are any of the old guard still around?  Come on out of the woodwork and say hi and tell me what you’re up to!

As for me, well, I’d love to return to blogging again but I don’t know if I have anything worth saying (unless you all really want to hear about my Farming Adventures) and I feel like most of my old readers have long since moved on to greener pastures anyway.  I am still writing, of course, just… elsewhere.  I do NaNoWriMo (and win it) every single year, which I am pleased to say I was originally encouraged to do by the WoW blogging community in the first place.  I’ve also been writing, uh, *coughs* fanfiction.  A lot of it. Oh, and I’m on tumblr a lot, although you should probably only look into that if you really like the Dragon Age series because that’s my current obsession.

So, where will I be in ten more years?  I mean, a part of me wants to say I’ll finally be free of Blizzard’s grasp and this blog won’t even exist anymore, but honestly I thought that would be the case ten years ago, so I’m not going to put anything past my future self anymore.

And come on, let’s face it.  I’ll never be free of Blizzard’s grasp.  I’ve already pre-ordered Starcraft Remastered.  Like, I did that the second it was up for pre-sale.

Anyways, that’s really all that’s going on with me!  I know it’s not very exciting, but I couldn’t let this day go by without making a little post about it.

/hugs and waves to all! *pops cork on champagne bottle*

BESTIAL WRATH IS GOING OLD SCHOOL, THIS IS NOT A DRILL

BMBestial Wrath now lasts 15 seconds (up from 10 seconds).

BM 2I REPEAT, BESTIAL WRATH NOW LASTS 15 SECONDS

Do you guys remember back in the day when this sucker lasted 18 seconds?  Do you?  DO YOU?

WELL THIS ISN’T QUITE THAT BUT IT’S PRETTY DURN CLOSE

everybody-stay-calm1Okay.  So let’s relax.  Everybody stay calm.  Couple deep breaths.  This is still “in testing” so it may not go live.  And if it does, who knows when it will actually hit.

But… but… guys…

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OLD SCHOOL BESTIAL WRATH MOTHERF*CKERS

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!

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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.

Is it time? It’s time. Pike is back.

Been a while, hasn’t it? The WoW blogosphere has changed a lot in my absence. I had to wipe my entire blogroll clean because 95% of the blogs listed there didn’t exist anymore or hadn’t updated since 2010. I feel rather like an outsider; I don’t know anyone in the blog scene anymore, and when it comes to World of Warcraft, I don’t know anything about the Cataclysm raids or heroics.

But perhaps that’s good. It lets me start from scratch.

I poke my head into the dusty room that was once Hunter Kindergarten and I don’t really know where to begin. At one point, I was probably one of the most well-known hunter bloggers on the internet. I don’t say that to brag, I say that because it’s pretty damn accurate. I prided myself in teaching people how to play their class; teaching them about shot rotations and chain trapping and pets and all that good stuff. But these days I’m all washed up. My beloved hunters are wearing greens and probably couldn’t DPS their way out of a paper bag. Rotations are different. Trapping is different. Pets are different.

So what’s the same? Well, my desire to write and write and write is still there.

I resubbed about a week ago after the bug started biting me and wouldn’t let go. I assumed that it would be a passing phase, and maybe it is, but now that the WoW bug is satiated I’ve got the blog bug to deal with. Sure, I could dump it all over at The Android’s Closet, but I didn’t want to saturate that blog with WoW rambles when I’ve already got a WoW blog sitting over here, unused and waiting.

I asked my dearest Mister Adequate what he thought of the situation. Should I try to make a return to AotH? What if I burn out on WoW next week? What if I burn out on blogging in general?

And he said “Don’t worry, just put your WoW posts on AotH and your non-WoW posts on TAC and it will all be okay. If you stop playing, you stop playing. If you stop posting, you stop posting. No big deal.”

He made it all sound so simple and easy. So, for better or for worse, here I am.

I don’t know what I’ll be blogging about; I don’t know if I’ll go back to “huntering” like the good ol’ days and I certainly don’t know if anyone reads this anymore. But I’m back in the building, at least, and that’s got to count for something. Right?

Right.

Let’s do this.

Before You Send Out the Search and Rescue Teams

It’s occurred to me that I haven’t updated this blog in over a month, and as such I should probably say something.

So here is the truth: I have unofficially and unceremoniously quit WoW again. Upon hitting 85 on my main, I looked around and realized that I had no motivation to do what I’d already done several times before in previous expansions. One month later and Tawyn’s still in greens and I’ve hardly touched her.

I did have a brief spurt of motivation when I remembered how much I absolutely LOVED doing Uldum, so I ran over to my Horde-side hunter, powerleveled her to 83 specifically to do Uldum, and went and did Uldum again. It’s just as awesome the second time around. Unfortunately, upon finishing it up, I have, once again, found myself at a loss for what to do.

This is all a very odd feeling for me. I love WoW and always will. In theory, I love Cataclysm, and even in practice I wound up enjoying it a lot more than I originally expected I would. Just a couple of months ago, when working on my worgen mage, I found myself feeling that magical feeling I hadn’t felt since leveling my first character. I really thought that feeling would stick. But… it didn’t.

And so here I am, here to tell you guys that the blog is probably going on indefinite hiatus again. Really, I should have just let it set the way I left it a year ago, because my failed attempt to revive it was just pathetic. But that’s life, I suppose.

To the few of you faithful readers who are still out there (and who really should have quit reading during the Great AotH Quality Decline of 2009, but didn’t), you guys have been absolutely amazing and I have to thank you profoundly for your company, comments, and insights through the years. I could not have asked for a better audience. If you want to keep up with me I’m still blogging (albeit sporadically at the moment) over at Clockwork Hare and I of course am still on Twitter, being a chatterbox over there as always.

And so, I put this poor blog in stasis again. Maybe someday when the time is right, I’ll come back, but I don’t want it to turn into some sort of sad half-baked return like it did last time, so it’ll have to be something big to get me to return.

Until then I’m off to play other games and explore other worlds and write about other things. I’m still working on (more than one) novel, which I will keep everyone updated on over at my other blog, and I’m still drawing commissions for you guys if you have business with me there. Thank you all, and I will see you on the other side. <3

The Fabled Owl-Stork Dropped These Off

In celebration of the new Moonkin Hatchling pet I have created these two avatars, free for all to use!

It is surprisingly difficult to take something that is already insanely cute and make it even cuter, but these will have to do!

You are free to use these on Twitter, Gravatar, forums, LiveJournal or wherever else. I would appreciate a comment linking to me if you LJ these, but otherwise just credit me if you are asked and it will all be good!

You can also modify these in any way you wish, so feel free to personalize.

Happy Tuesday/Merry (Early) Christmas! <3

Dear Jocee of Sen’jin

It’s not often that you meet someone that is

  • awesome at DPS
  • unfailingly friendly and supportive through not one, but two PuGs otherwise consisting of equal parts fail and QQ/whining, and
  • willing to kill themselves, with no compunctions about it, so they can show the dead huntard who hasn’t played in months where the entrance to Pit of Saron is.

Thanks for being that person.

I don’t know if you realized that whispering me boss strats or level headed encouragement amidst all the bawww’ing that was going on in /group would make my morning, but it did. So, thank you. <3

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.