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Looking Back at a Year O’ Pike

I decided to go back through aaaallll my blog posts and see what I did this past year. Here’s what happened, in a nutshell:

January 2009:

The remnants of Pike’s old and exploded guild < Entelechy > coalesced into < Friend Ship > a few months prior and because it’s a tiny baby guild we’re mostly PuG’ing stuff. At this point I was in Naxx25 PuGs with Tawyn, topping the Patchwerk meters in blues with endless Steady Shot spam. Pike misses her shot weaving. She welcomes the impending Beast Master nerfs despite the fact that she never spec’d into BW/Readiness because she found it to be rather inane and cheesy.

Beast Mastery is nerfed hard; I march into VoA the next day and score second on Recount.

Still, I was feeling self-conscious, so I spent a few days plinking around with Survival and Marksmanship. Saw a Big Fat DPS Decrease with Survival and just plain didn’t enjoy it. Marksmanship was more fun and I stuck with that for a few days before going back to Big Red BM, nerfed or not. At the end of the month I decided I missed my raptor, Wash, a pet which I’d had long ago and then released for various reasons, so I went out to re-tame him. He would be my companion for the rest of the year.


February 2009:

Pike rolls a paladin who quickly gets to level 20-something before she gets distracted again.

I’m still PuG’ing Naxx. I rant multiple times about dying on Heigan.

I’m also PuG’ing heroics, leading to a couple of fun times in LFG.

I make a “quilt” out of pictures of my pets that I had at the time across all most of my hunters. Looking at the picture now, it’s rather oudated, but I still like it.


March 2009:

My little guild starts doing Naxx every Saturday afternoon. At that point I was working every Saturday afternoon. I won’t deny I felt miserable being left out as they cleared it week after week while I struggled along in PuGs, but I tried to make the most of it. In one of those PuGs I survived Heigan for the first time ever in smashing fashion, and another led to what, out of all the blog posts I’ve ever written, is quite possibly my very favorite. In addition, I fell in with a guild called < Song of Chu > that was raiding on my days off and I did quite a few Naxx runs with them and even made a Hunter Guide Movie in one of their runs.


Eventually I requested a Saturday off from work specifically so I could raid with my guild and I finally cleared Naxx.

I still missed Karazhan, though. A couple of friends and I went back there for kicks. Then my druid ding’d 70 doing the Karazhan key questline.

April 2009:

I drew a picture that I’m still quite proud of.

I started tinkering with Survival again, mostly because I was tired of having mana issues. The spec change didn’t last long, though.

3.1 hits; Beast Mastery is semi-buffed. I’m still puttering around in Naxx PuGs.

I decided to see what all the hype was about and I tamed a wolf. I became quite attached to him, but he was no Big Pink Raptor.


May 2009:

I walk around the world as a rabbit, just for kicks and giggles.

I miss chain trapping.

While the rest of the world is in Ulduar, Pike goes to Black Temple.


June 2009:

I write up a whole series on Doing Naxx As a Hunter.

My guild is slowly dissolving as friends go off to join raiding guilds and we opt to stick to a chat channel and AIM chatrooms to maintain ties. So for the first time in a long time, Tawyn becomes guildless.

Because all I’m doing at this point is leveling my druid and occasionally PuG’ing Naxx, I decided I needed something more interesting to write about so I start a Grand Spec Project where my aim was to really learn the other two hunter specs. My verdict was that I still royally sucked at Survival and I still didn’t like it. Marksmanship again proved itself as being pretty darn fun, though, and became my official Alternate Spec.

The end of the month is pretty exciting: my druid hits the bit Eight-Oh, becoming my first non-hunter character ever to reach endgame, and I go on some solo’ing shenanigans with Tawyn.

I also play much with my druid’s stealth in the name of epic Photo Ops.


July 2009:

I decide it’s time to start looking for a new guild but I don’t actually do anything about it for a while. So, not much happens this entire month. I’m playing low-level Hordies and the like. I wrote some good posts, though.

I released my wolf so I could snag myself a turtle and attempt to solo Attumen in the name of a necklace which has never dropped. (Guys, I did it two days ago with a couple friends. IT STILL HASN’T DROPPED.)


At the very end of the month I decided I really was tired of being guildless this time, went to the Silver Hand forums, found the first “Recruiting!” thread I could find and applied. The guild was called “Order of the Rose”. Sounds nice enough right?

August 2009

The month starts out on a high note when Order of the Rose chucked Tawyn a guild invite.


In addition, my druid heals all of Naxx. In a random PuG, no less.

ToC is released literally the next day and Naxx is forever obsoleted. I’m glad the Tree got to see it first.

My Hordie Hunter hits 80!

My new guild starts dragging me around to all sorts of places, so Tawyn finally gets a title she probably should have had a long time ago, and suddenly she has Ulduar epics too.

September 2009:

The blog gets defaced and Pike is not a happy camper.

Kael’thas goes down, now that I finally have a tenacity pet.

And I talk about why guns and mechanostriders > bows and Barbie’s Princess Adventure kittycat mounts.


I rant about hunters who do not use their pet.

And I get a Super Cool Title of Win.


October 2009

I’m playing my druid a lot. Whee!

Tawyn, uh… isn’t feeling well.


< Order of the Rose > takes on Anuby. After a few weeks of false starts, we triumph.

I make a new hunter alt and walk all around the world to tame a Northrend pet at level 10.

I also talk about chemistry. One of my favorite posts of the year, probably.

November 2009:

The blog is infested with some sort of bug and after a day or so of trying to track it down I got frustrated and re-did the entire site from scratch. Not a particularly good start to the month, but hey!

Most of this month I actually took off from WoW in the name of National Novel Writing Month, which I won. Said book has since been finished and edited, by the way, although I still want to add some things and tighten up the story. We can all blame Krizzlybear and the rest of the Twitterati for getting me excited about NaNo and inspiring me to do it. (<3 Krizz) In my absence, my guild nails A Tribute to Insanity on 10-man. My only regret is that I wasn’t there to FRAPS it because from what I hear, it was epic. Much grats to them, though!

Also, WoW turns 5!


December 2009:

I talk about Alliance vs. Horde vs. Penguins. Another contender for “Favorite Blog Post of the Year”.

And because I like hunters and druids, I get even more to Outlands-level.

Aaaand… that pretty much takes us to where we are now. I haven’t stepped foot in ICC yet, but I’m no rush. I’m rather enjoying playing my BabyLock at the moment.

This has been a crazy year and it saw me take the grand leap from being a casual PuG’er to being a “raider”, which was a first. Now, onward to 2010 and Cataclysm and all that fun stuff! /charge

Pike's Top Ten WoW Moments

I recently wrote up a post over at my LiveJournal where I listed and posted movies of the top ten video game moments that gave me goosebumps. Anyways, I had a lot of fun writing that post, and I figured I’d go ahead and make a similar post, except focusing on World of Warcraft, which would let me get away with posting it here! I also figured I’d make it more of a “Top Ten WoW Memories” post to broaden the criteria a bit… oh, and add commentary in lieu of having a video for everything.

And so, I present Pike’s Personal Top Ten WoW Moments

10. The Gnome Rogue: You can read the full story here if you haven’t already; this is one of my favorite memories of PvP, period. To this day, I swear to you that you could see the shock on the poor guy’s face.

9. Ice Barbed Spear: For days I lived in Alterac Valley. For days we lost. For days I would push back dinner if it looked like we were in a winning game, which always turned out to be false, of course. And, then, one day… we won. I went from completely Neutral with Stormpike to halfway through Friendly by the time it happened. But we won. I have never seen a battleground chat so filled with shock and cheers. And I, at long last, had My Shiny.

8. The Safety Dance: Most of you who have been reading my blog in its WotLK incarnation for a while know about how Heigan was my Ultimate Nemesis for weeks. Every time I would go doggedly into Heigan, and every time, I would die on pretty much the first glimpse of green fire. Dead. Kaput. Tawyn Flatbread. It got worse as before long, most people I knew were talking about how easy it was. Not for me. And to add insult to injury, “The Safety Dance” is seriously one of my favorite songs of all time. How embarrassing.

Then, one day, in there with a PuG, a friend of mine gave me some brief last minute advice before I headed in. “Just keep moving.” Five minutes later…


The achievement. And the first time I survived. At the same time. I was on a high for days.

Since then I’ve only died on that fight if the disease on me isn’t cleansed fast enough. My druid even got the achievement on her first sojourn into Naxx. What was once my Fail Fight has become my speciality. Miracles can happen.

7. “We’re Going For the Epics. Epiiiiiiics!”: The boy and I were level 40ish, questing in Hinterlands, when my comrade-in-arms let out a gasp. I asked him what had happened, and he said, “I just got my first purple drop… and… I think… I am going to give it to you.”

It was called Bow of Searing Arrows, and it was my very first purple. I used it with pride for a very long time.

6. Home Sweet Home: I know I’ve written before about the feeling of flying into Elwynn and immediately feeling that very cozy “home” feeling so I’ll keep it brief; suffice to say it was one of the major motivators behind upgrading my Trial Account to a full-blown paid account. Because no video game had ever made me feel like that before.

5. My Kingdom for a Horse: The other big motivator behind upgrading my Trial Account was access to a mount. I decided early on that I wanted a horse rather than the typical Night Elf Cat, largely because of Tawyn’s RP backstory but also partially because I just really dislike the look of the cat mount. And so I began my long climb up the mountain that is Stormwind rep. Fortunately for me, Stormwind is arguably the easiest faction OF ALL TIME to gain rep for, so I was exalted at level 37– this was back when mounts were at 40, remember.

The boy and I were smack in the middle of Stranglethorn Vale quests when the big 4-0 happened for both of us; he got his special fiery warlock mount and I got my Chestnut Mare, which I promptly “named” Buckles. Then, the two of us rode up and down the entire southern half of Eastern Kingdoms together, simply out of the sheer joy of being able to do so.


4. Healing Naxx: This PuG Naxx10 was basically the culmination of a project involving my only non-hunter character to ever get anywhere near endgame– the final exam, so to speak, of my decision to doggedly level a druid as 100%-pure-Resto. I’d never healed a raid before (that wasn’t “Kara with 80s”, anyway) so I was ridiculously nervous, and then I found out that this group wanted to do it with only two healers: a trade of faster boss kills at the cost of less room for healer error, which absolutely terrified me.

And yet, one by one, all the bosses that I was afraid of as a healer… Patchwerk, Razuvious, Loatheb… went down to the healy might of a scrub tree druid in blues and the nice holy paladin who coached her and whispered her tips. At the climax of it all was a Kel’Thuzad kill during which, after a few false starts, not a single person died to one of my worst fears: Ice Blocks.

Most of the memories in this post are of my hunter(s), and naturally and understandably so, however, my healing alter-ego is very proud of what thus far is probably her finest hour.

3. “ENTELECHY GLORIAM!”: I have no doubt my fellow Silver Handers will recognize the guild that is involved in this story: a Paladins-only super-hardcore RP guild that focuses on, well– zealous paladins. They’re pretty well-known on our server, and as frequently happens with really well-known RP guilds, everybody starts tying in their RP with them. Our guild was really no different at the time; although we made a pretty conscious effort to have “our own RP” it was hard to not have tie-ins with the biggest RP guild on the server.

So it was that we held our weekly in-character guild meeting on the steps of the Stormwind Cathedral, against the in-character wishes of the Paladin guild. It wasn’t long before several members of said guild showed up and demanded that our little group of ragamuffins left; we countered that the Cathedral was for everybody. Now our guild meeting had had a rather impressive turnout that day, and it wasn’t long before, a good fifteen- or twenty- strong, we all marched right into that Cathedral. Paladins were yelling at us left and right to get out, and we were /yelling “ENTELECHY GLORIAM” which was actually sort of a spoof of the paladins themselves (hey, you can have some fun when you RP!) and we had a little gnome making “Myek!” noises and Trade Chat was hating on us and it was all around one of the greatest things of all time.


2. The Gift: This one was the mastermind of one of my bestest-WoW-friends. He had a level 80 hunter long before I did, and I idolized him for it, but he eventually perma-switched mains to Tanky Warrior and that’s how we all leveled up together. Anyways, one day, when I was level 65 or so, he asked me to meet him out in Blasted Lands. Mystified, I did, and when I got there, he traded me a present, all wrapped up. I opened it and inside was The Gunblade— it would be Tawyn’s very first gun.

He proceeded to show me how to level up my gun skill (from zero) on those mobs that never die, and as I did this, he performed a little mini-ceremony that was half-RP and half-not, about how he was proud to present to me the same ranged weapon he’d used to get his hunter to 70 (and how he liked to pretend it was the same gun), and how I was the best hunter he’d ever played with.

That gun is in my bank, and it is never going anywhere. <3 1. Karazhan: I’m sure you all saw this coming. The raid that is all at once the mystical awesome-land that I only heard about in hushed whispers on Trade Chat as a nubling, and the setting for my favorite Warcraft novel of all time, and the weekly watering hole and training grounds of a bunch of friends who were having the time of their lives in Ventrilo.

Not long after that guild gave up the ghost, I pulled together a montage of the things we did in there together and made a eulogy video of sorts, one I can’t watch without my eyes getting misty…

And that, well, sums that up better than any words I say ever could.

Well, that and the Outtakes, of course…

Phew! That was a tough list to write. Seriously, I had so many things I wanted to put on this list, and trimming down to what would make the final ten was tough. And ya know what, that’s really the point. I dare you all to think about your top ten best memories in game– write ’em down if that’s your thing, or just think about them otherwise. I sorta hate to be the stereotypical “count your blessings” guy, but really, I think you’ll find that there’s more of those memories than you thought there were. Don’t forget that…

A Very Special Aspect of the Hare Post

“So instead of constantly boring my friends on my personal journal (It’s over at LiveJournal) with the random things that happened to me on World of WarCraft, I’ve decided to start posting them here.”

-Aspect of the Hare, August 9, 2007

The WoW blogosphere was a lot different two years ago than it was now.

BRK (now Daniel) was on blogspot and while he was very popular, I don’t think he’d quite reached mega-star status yet. Matticus was in his bloggers’ larvae stage. The Hunter’s Mark was well established, but it was still being written by one person and not the large group of them that helm that site today. There were a lot of blogs out there that no longer operate, and several popular ones of today that hadn’t yet been conceived in the minds of their writers.

And then a WoW player whose main was a level 42 hunter at the time started a WoW blog. She knew full well that no one would read it because she didn’t think she had anything to say that would interest anyone but her, but she started it anyway on a lark.

Two years later here we are; this site averages over 1000 unique hits a day and that doesn’t include the 800 of you tuning in by feedreader. For some reason that I cannot comprehend, this blog has become an informative and entertaining hangout for a variety of hunters and non-hunters alike, and I have somehow been promoted in status from someone who simply wanted to write about a class she loved to some sort of expert on said class. How did this happen? No idea. Early exposure from BRK, Matticus, and Mania of Petopia as well as several others certainly helped, but the rest was sheer word-of-mouth. I don’t advertise my site. I don’t make particularly large efforts to gain new readers. You all have just shown up– why? I dunno– but really, it’s not bad for someone who back when she started her blog assumed that the “ravagers” everyone was talking about as being the hot new DPS pet were the wolves out of Duskwood.

And so, I’m happy to announce my two-year-blogoversary. In celebration we have an all new banner (you will have to visit the actual site to view it if you’re reading in a reader)! Yes, it is the Safety Dance picture, and yes, that’s Deadwind Pass and not Naxx. Partially because I was having a hard time getting a good, wide shot of Heigan’s dancefloor that wasn’t filled with UIs and/or players, and partially because I like the idea of it being a nod to my love for my favorite raid instance in the game.

I am also in talks with someone about a potential new site theme overhaul, so I’d finally have my own “custom” WordPress theme– I promise that if and when that does happen, the site layout will still feel the same overall– magazine-style formats and other similarly complicated blog formats always throw my navigational skills for a loop (I suppose I’m not that bright) and I just like the straightforward theme of your sidebars on the sides, your posts in the middle, and a bright blue color scheme that has been the trademark of this site since Day One.

I really have little else to say, other than a sincere thank you to my readers for all the support you’ve tossed my way through the months. I am very proud to be the head of the Aspect of the Hare community and a small part of the “Blog Azeroth” one as a whole. It’s always hard to say what the future plans are of a site like this; I can guarantee that so long as I am playing WoW, I will be blogging about it, and I’ve no doubt I will be blogging in some form or other after WoW’s time has passed. There’s nothing particularly fancy about Aspect of the Hare– no forums, no chat rooms, no online stores, no podcasts, and, very staunchly and proudly, no advertisements– but I am very happy about what I’ve managed to accomplish.

In the end, I really am just trying to follow the advice of a wise man named Paul Simon, who penned the following lyric for his song “Hurricane Eye“…

So you wanna be a writer, you don’t know how or when?
Find a quiet place; use a humble pen
You wanna talk, talk, talk about it, all night squawk about it…

Onward and upward~ ^_^

It Was Raining In Teldrassil Today

I’m not going to get all long-winded. I’m not going to get all sappy. I’m not going to turn this into a eulogy because I don’t think there’s a reason for it to be one.

I’m not going to say BRK was the first hunter blog I found, because it wasn’t. That credit goes to Lassirra at The Hunter’s Mark and I will give credit where credit is due. I’m not going to sit here and talk about how I found BRK at level 24ish and grew up on BRK Brand Baby Food, cause I’m sure I’ve mentioned that before.

I am going to tell you a quick story.

Today I got into an already half cleared Naxx25 PuG. Normally I bring Wash to my raids, but today I brought Locke, my kitty. Because it seemed appropriate.

Four Horsemen was the first boss we did, which made me happy cause it’s basically my favorite fight in the entire raid, and then we headed over to Noth. The raid leader said he would give away a free flask to the top DPS on the fight.

I looked around. I was one of four hunters. Every one of the others was cookie cutter Survival. Every one of the others outgeared me.

I looked down at my kitty. Us against the world. As it should be.


The raid leader asked to see the overall damage done thus far in the entire raid, as well. Someone posted it.

I got a free Flask of Endless Rage.

I’m not trying to say that I did the best DPS in the world. But I am trying to say that this wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t stumbled across BRK and the rest of the blogosphere as a young level 20something throwing random talent points around and dying all the time. It goes beyond just DPS and performance, too– it’s about “Look at this amazingly fun class! *skips around with glee*” That‘s what hunter is.

Of course, as I think many of us sort of feel, you eventually “graduate” from the Alma Mater that is BRK-U, (though you never truly leave, of course), and that’s where the person comes in. I remember him IM’ing me when he added me to his blogroll, complimenting me on my writing. I remember shyly whispering him in game on his server and being chucked a guild invite. I remember meeting up with him in WotLK Beta and him dropping everything he was doing so he could come see if we could two-man Molten Core in the name of a Core Hound. He wasn’t shy about whispering me the second I logged into Beta every time after that, informing me that it was about time I showed up!, and the two of would begin us cracking jokes like old friends.

“Of my friend, I can only say this: of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most… human.” – Captain James Tiberius Kirk

In closing, I ask that you read my favorite BRK post of all time, ever, and then head over to the newest post and wish a friend good luck, if you would. We may not be able to read of his adventures and misadventures anymore… at least not for a while… but he is happy.


“Hey, Brain, what are we going to do tonight?”

“The same thing we do every night, BRK. Try to take over the world.”

You knew the rules and the lifelines…

So I had not just one, but THREE screenshots show up in my Inbox today with my Sitemeter showing as 100,000. I also had several screenshots of 99,999 and 100,001, as well as a couple other close ones.

Now I know the original rules were that the “first” screenshot to show up in my Inbox would be ultimately crowned the winner. However all three were submitted within a few minutes of each other, and I would feel reeeeeally bad turning anyone down, so… all three of you will soon be receiving e-mail instructions on how to go about obtaining your own World of WarCute custom avatar!

To all of you near misses, I wanna thank you very much for participating, and stress that I really wish I could make the avatars for everyone. But each one takes an hour and a half to two hours to make. And while I could spend all my free time making them, it would be at the cost of, ya know, writing the blog. And that should probably come first. Regardless, the interest was high enough and encouraging enough that the “Hey, maybe I can sell ’em for $5 or $10 or something” idea that has been kicking around in my head for months now, might actually be more than a dream. I am, afterall, a “Bachelor of Arts” as of 2007. Guess I should be doing something artsy eh?

Really though, thanks once again to everyone. 100,000 pageviews is quite ridiculous (in a good way), and why you guys visit I have no idea. Thanks all <3