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Matticus had an interesting post where he references an excellent writeup at the site “Girls Don’t Game” called “Confessions from a Former Hardcore Raider”. The story presented is a very powerful and touching one and can hopefully be seen by some people as a wake-up call of sorts– not even necessarily a 180-degree one, but one where you sort of sit back for a few minutes and see her point and where she is coming from.

See, here is the thing. WoW is a hobby, not life. /gasp I know right?

Now I’ll be the first to tell you that I love this game, and I love hunters, and I am very proud of what I have been able to accomplish not necessarily in terms of endgame progression, but in terms of feeling like I am knowledgeable about my class– at least enough to be called a teacher and a class leader, and enough to have a blog on it that seems to be popular and helpful if many of your kind comments and e-mails are any consideration. Many of my friends and family, even those that do not play WoW, have even told me they are proud of me in this regard. I am proud of my WoW accomplishments just as I am proud of my Neopets accomplishments or the way I knew games such as Starcraft or Final Fantasy Tactics Advance inside and out.

But I think that we are all guilty of sometimes turning the game into a job. Maybe some of us do it more than others.

I myself am certainly guilty of the no-work days where I say “I’m only going to play WoW for a few hours in the morning and then get other non-WoW stuff done” only to get distracted by heroics, then alts, and have the entire day turn into a pure unadulterated WoWfest.

I am guilty of saying “I’m going to take a break from instancing and raiding” and then showing up at Karazhan the next day because I feel the group needs me.

I am guilty of spending three hours doing dailies, yawning and bored out of my mind (instead of, you know, having fun in a game, heaven forbid), because “I need the gold”.

One of the scarier nightmares I had in recent memory was a never-ending Karazhan pull. No joke; that was my nightmare. Mobs kept coming and coming and I was out of mana and I was desperately fighting to stay alive and yet we never wiped, but never got past the pull either… I woke up countless times that night in a cold sweat, wishing for it to simply end, but then I’d fall asleep again and the mobs kept coming. Yep, other people have nightmares about dying or being chased; I have nightmares about World of Warcraft. I look back on it now and I can’t decide whether it was hilarious or pathetic. (Probably a little of both, really. I giggle at the memory, either way, even though it was a seriously scary dream at the time.)

When you realize that you are maybe playing too much and starting to be guilty of some of the things I mentioned, that’s when you’ve got to take a step back and remember that the game is a hobby, and there are tons of other hobbies out there to cover and only a limited lifetime in which to do them. Playing one video game to the exclusion of others isn’t bad in and of itself, but you’re missing out on a ton of other great stuff, you know?

Barring a brief ten minutes to /wave to the guild and test my new install, I haven’t logged in since last Tuesday. Almost a week now. Instead of playing WoW, I have been able to reacquaint myself with an old and faithful friend: my hobby of tinkering with computers and Linux. It’s been both a frustrating and thrilling five or six days; pounding away at the keyboard and racking my brains for solutions to various problems. This culminated in three days of trying to figure out why my new WoW on Linux install was crashing on me at the login screen; three days of hard work and trial and error followed by the inevitable sheepish “Eureka” moment when I discovered the solution and realized how embarrassingly simple it was.

Trading in a week of WoW to rekindle an old hobby was well worth it in my opinion, and actually gave me a deeper appreciation for why I play the game in the first place: to relax and have fun. I think when I return to active playing tomorrow I’ll have a lot more fun than I was having a week ago.

Well, that’s all from me for today. In closing, my new computer desktop is made of equal parts win and awesome:

And yes, that is the Gnome desktop manager. Yes, I know, I am normally a hardcore KDE fan. I felt like trying something different though. (Besides, “sometimes you feel like a gnome, sometimes you don’t”.)

P.S. I am fully blaming the Spell Shades for that nightmare I mentioned. /shudder

Brief Technical Difficulties

Because I am bit of a tinker, I decided to start messing around with my computer the other day, and to make a long story short I basically blew everything up, in true goblin fashion. So these past few days have been spent hacking away at my keyboard trying to fix things, and reinstalling more than one operating system. As such I currently do not have access to World of Warcraft and I imagine I won’t for another couple days (I actually am in the process of installing it right now, which is taking longer than usual because the “Copy the Old Folder Over” method does not want to cooperate– but I won’t have time to really touch it very much for a bit, even when it is installed.)

Honestly I probably could have had this all fixed and taken care of in just a day or two, but it’s hard inbetween long work shifts!

I am still going to be on the Twisted Nether podcast tonight (note to self: install Skype) so that will be fun.

In closing, lemme tell ya… it’s surreal when you Google “WoW on Wine with Kubuntu” to make sure you’re doing it right and you are the top result.

"Our logic is to be illogical."

Mania’s Arcania had an interesting post the other day about a hunter who refuses to use guns because he doesn’t like them. The comments were also full of people agreeing about how much they disliked guns.

My first thought was that this was silly, because guns are awesome. They make big “Pew-Pew” noises that accentuate the damage you’re doing! They look really epic in silhouette! And from a roleplaying perspective, they throw a unique spin on your character; that you are a bit of an eccentric mechanic or tinkerer on the side, perhaps, at least enough to know how a newfangled gun works. I’ve always been drawn to that sort of character; one with a curious enough mind to be willing to wonder how a gun works. My crossbow is the weapon I’m sure I’ll be keeping until WotLK, but I do miss my Wolfslayer.

(And have you seen a male blood elf hunter with a gun? /drool)

Truthfully, perhaps this all simply my lifelong crush on Han Solo coming to fruition (curse you Princess Leia), but the fact remains that it’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that many people don’t share my Thing for Guns.

…but then I started thinking about it and realized that I have my own silly little quirks too. Other people may refuse to use guns; but Pike refuses to use…

Saber mounts.

They drive me insane. I don’t know why. I think it’s because many times it seems like every Alliance toon and their dog has one.

Tawyn was exalted with Stormwind at level 37 and has ridden horses her entire career. My druid is in her 30s now and is slowly grinding Ironforge rep so she can ride rams. Fortunately both of these characters have appropriate backstories for why they ride the “wrong” mount (I actually seem to have an affinity for that kind of thing, hence why my blood elf is going to ride a kodo even though I actually do like the chickens).

The really illogical thing is that I love cat pets on my hunters, even though they look exactly the same as the saber mounts and they are just as popular. So I really can’t tell ya why the mounts bother me. This probably makes me much sillier than the people who dislike guns because at least they usually have a valid reason (i.e., they’re loud).

What about you guys? Do some of you guys have silly opinions about various aspects of the game or is it just me who is completely illogical?

Feelin' it: A Manifesto

Close your eyes for a moment, forget the world around you, forget your day job or your classes at school and feel that you are a hunter. What does that mean to you?

Does it mean you see you and your pet as being so much a part of each other that you draw energy from one another as you call on the aspects of the wild to give you speed and grace and a precise rhythm to your attacks?

Does it mean you see yourself as being the calculating sniper from afar, masterfully weaving your full pantheon of tricks and abilities into your weapon as only you can do?

Does it mean you see yourself as a wielder of defense and survival, knowledgable about the land and the terrain, impossible to kill, always ready when the enemy isn’t, and quick to use all your resources to your advantage?

Well?

That’s how you should spec.

I don’t tell people how to spec. If somebody is clearly unsure about what they are doing I will offer suggestions, just as I do if people ask for advice. I am also not afraid to come right out and say that in most cases it’s Beast Mastery topping the damage when it comes to our class.

But if you prefer to be a Marksman or a Survivalist I will not look down on you in the slightest and you will have earned a lot of respect from me for being a hunter. Pike does not discriminate against any well-thought-out spec.

You don’t choose the spec. The spec chooses you.

In other news, I have been slowly picking through my blogroll and rearranging it a little and moving inactive blogs to a separate section. If you happen to be the author of an inactive blog, I still love you, and will restore you to the “active blogs” list upon a new update.

And if you link to me and I haven’t noticed yet, feel free to poke me about it. I try to link to everyone who links to me back and who has some decent content. ^^ (Yes, this means my blogroll is huge. Wall of Text crits you for 47k. You die.)

I live! I promise!

Huge apologies for the lack of meaningful posts recently, and my lack of presence in the WoW blogging community in general. Basically I’ve had a lot of stuff going on lately both in-game and in-real-life, and on top of that, I’ve hit a bad case of… maybe not writer’s block so much as “Editor’s Block”. I have probably five or six posts I’ve written on various subjects in the past couple of weeks that are “in queue” but have not been published because I’m unsatisfied with them, and I’m having troubles trying to fix them so that I am satisfied with them. So they don’t get published. I’d like to get them all out there someday, though.

In the meantime, rest assured knowing that all is well in Pike’s WarcraftLand. I’ve been logged into Tawyn a lot, doing Kara and various heroics and rep/gold farming. A lot of my alts are sadly being neglected, though, in favor of a… Top Secret Project which will reveal itself later. Whether or not the Top Secret Project goes as far as I want it to, I can’t say, but this particular one has gone farther than most of my others, so… we shall see.

World Raid!

I’m writing to you instead of driving to work right now because it’s about -10 degrees Fahrenheit where I am, which really wouldn’t be too bad except my car is refusing to start. So here I am writing up a post inbetween trying-to-get-my-car-to-work.

Basically, yesterday, apparently a few pretty sizable raid groups of level 60+ Alliance on Silver Hand got together and successfully raided Orgrimmar and downed Thrall.

Sadly, I wasn’t here for that, I only heard about it.

I was there, however, for the resulting Horde counter-raid on Stormwind. It was chaotic and very, very laggy. Now the sort of semi-lag that results from some of the more epic battles in Alterac Valley, I can handle. But about 50 Horde clashing with 75+ Alliance at the entrance of Stormwind was ridiculous. I was trying my best to get in on the action but it was like… I’d fire my bow and nothing would happen for several seconds… and then I’d send in my pet on something and again, nothing would happen… and then everybody would just be running in place for a long time… yeah. Apparently everybody was having the same lag issues though; I just don’t think the server was prepared for it.

Somehow… no idea how… but somehow I managed to get 4 honor kills out of it, despite the lag. And because the Horde were just too hopelessly outnumbered despite their own numbers, the majority of their counterraid was defeated right at the entrance. There were some who managed to get back to Stormwind Keep, but there were more Alliance waiting for them.

Then we heard that apparently a lot of them had managed to get to the Deeprun Tram and were headed to Ironforge. So away we went– probably 60 or 70 Alliance all dancing on the Deeprun Tram and then making a mad dash for King Bronzebeard’s throne room, where we apparently had just missed all the action because a bunch of dead Horde were there alongside the still-intact-Bronzebeard.

Now it was at this point that the Alliance decided to launch a counter-counter-raid and try to take Undercity. Visions of screenshots of downing Sylvanas danced in my head and me and quite a few of my guildies decided to go. So off we went!

Unfortunately, this Undercity raid was not nearly as coordinated as the Orgrimmar one had apparently been… I really only saw about 6 or 7 fellow Allies there (despite the fact that a /who Undercity revealed over 50 of us) and I was killed a few minutes into the thing because I jumped off a high ledge bringing me down to about 100 HP, at which point a mage came up behind me and one-shotted me. Most of my Undercity-raid-time was spent bouncing around my corpse in wisp form, waiting for the orc hunter with jealousy-inducing gear to go away. Finally he did and I managed to rez, run around frantically for a few minutes while being chased by guards, feign death, and then hearthstone out to Shatt and safety.

And so our counter-counter-raid had apparently failed (or maybe they’d succeeded without me? I’m not sure) but it was still fun to be able to participate in my first real “worldwide PvP” event and I hope I can participate in more of it in the future.

Other things of note that happened yesterday included our guild’s first ever attempt at a Heroic instance, namely Heroic Mech (we couldn’t get past the first mini-boss, which we were kind of expecting anyway, so we just did it on Normal mode instead); and some fantastically intense roleplay between our guild and a Scarlet-Crusade-esque guild. The downside to roleplaying in Stormwind on a Sunday afternoon is that you will always attract the mockers; honestly I have no idea why they decide to roll on an RP server if they have a problem with roleplaying. It will forever be a mystery.

Hmm. My car still won’t start and the soonest I can hitch a ride off of somebody isn’t for another hour or so. At least I’ve called work and updated them of the situation. In the meantime, there is always WoW to be played or my story to write (have I mentioned I’m working on a story? I’ll be posting it here for you guys!)

Oh and apparently I now have an authority of 50 on Technorati which really just blows my mind. Thank you all so much.

About the Author

Way back in 1997, a then 13-year-old girl stumbled onto the Internet. She called herself “Pikestaff” after a character she’d invented based on the “Redwall” series of books; a hare with a penchant for causing mayhem.

Over ten years later, Pike still lives…

“Pike” has been the longtime Internet moniker (heck, offline moniker too sometimes) of a twentysomething geekish girl who lives in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. (Specifically, she lives in the town where Vulcans and Humans will make First Contact, according to Star Trek lore.)

She’s been playing video games basically before she could talk, thanks to the cutting-edge Commodore 64 computer her family owned. A quick perusal of the “Favorite Games” section of her Baby Book would not reveal Pat-a-Cake or Peek-a-Boo, but rather Dig-Dug, Donkey Kong, and Pac-Man.

Then one year they got a Super Nintendo, and other than a very passionate love affair with Starcraft, she was exclusively a console gamer for many years. Until one day her boyfriend said “Hey I’m installing WoW, do you want to play too?” She thought hunters sounded fun, created her first WoW toon, and that’s when the madness began.

Today you can see Pike creating and playing hunter after hunter after hunter because it’s not just a class, it’s a lifestyle. And an obsession, admittedly.

Pike’s other big passion is the Linux operating system. She leveled her first character to 70 exclusively on Kubuntu Linux and the only reason she pops onto a lesser OS sometimes these days is for Ventrilo (by the way, she appreciates all the “Linux/Wine/Ventrilo” how-to links people send her, but trust her when she says she has tried everything and it’s a bug that’s out of her control at the moment).

You can find Pike online most places as “Pikestaff” and chances are if you see a “Pikestaff” on some internet site, it is her (DeviantArt is a notable exception– somebody else took her beloved internet name first and that is perhaps the big reason why she can’t bring herself to create a DeviantArt account).

Other than that, her Pikachu plushie collection, and the Periodic Table of the Elements she carries in her wallet, Pike is just your normal chick who holds a bachelor’s degree in filmmaking which she does not use and who currently works in the Pet Care Department of a popular pet store chain. That means she is a master cricket counter and fish catcher and is bitten by snakes on a regular basis. She can also warn you to never, ever touch a pooping hamster.

…no, seriously.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I link to you?
Yep! =D

Will you link to me? If you are an active commenter and your name links to your blog, chances are I will pick up on it at some point and add you to my blogroll. If I do not, feel free to send me an e-mail and if your site seems to have some decent content and is regularly updated, I will link to you.

Would you like to hook up for some advertising/moneymaking?
No thank you.

I saw a “Tawyn” on [insert non-Silver Hand server here], is that you? Nope. I tend to view my characters as all having distinct personalities and so as such I generally do not share character names across servers, though I have made exceptions. Tawyn is not one of those exceptions. (At one point, though, I did have a “Tawyne” on Dark Iron, but that character is now retired.)

How do you pronounce Tawyn
? Say the two words “Saw Win”. Now blend them together and replace the “S” in Saw with a “T”. And emphasize the first syllable. ^^

What is the cool add-on that makes you and your party’s name plates appear in 3-D? X-Perl Unit Frames.

“For the Horde” or “Glory to the Alliance”? Both! No really, I rather enjoy playing both factions. Alliance if pressed, though these days I am more prone to be found Horde-side due to circumstance.

PvE or PvP Server? RP and RP-PvP! =P

Is your guild on Silver Hand recruiting
? Entelechy is always accepting of new members of any class, level, and activity level (i.e. we won’t kick you even if you only log on twice a year). We are a fun group of people of varying backgrounds and ages (I’ll take a stab here and say our average member age is early-20s) who enjoy goofing off and hanging out in Ventrilo. You do not have to be a roleplayer but keep in mind that our guild’s roots lie in roleplaying so you should at least be respectful to those that participate in RP even if you do not yourself. If you are interested in raiding with us keep in mind that at this point we really only run Karazhan (we aim for once a week, though it doesn’t always happen) but many of our members raid higher-content with other guilds and you would be free to do so as well.

And if you want to get really nitpicky, we could use mages. Desperately. (And healers and tanks, but mostly mages.)

Anyways, if you see me on as Tawyn or Tamaryn send me a poke and I’ll toss you an invite. You can also randomly whisper someone in the guild if I am not on to see who has invite rights, usually at least one person who can invite is online.

Is your guild on The Venture Co. recruiting? No, because that guild is a small personal guild for me, my alts, and my friends and family. That may change in the future, but for the time being, no, Lunapike’s guild is not recruiting, and no, I’m not interested in leaving my mini-guild for a bigger one.