Tag Archives: thoughts

Where In The World Is…

(The correct continuation of the title, by the way, is “Carmen Sandiego” said in a deep Rockapella voice. This shall not be disputed.)

One of the things that has been on the ol’ mind lately is the popularity or lack thereof of various specs and classes. Not so much in a QQ sense even, but in a “Man, where did all those [insert spec] here go? I kinda miss having one in my raid” sense.

These mysterious endangered species specs vary from server to server and even from personal experience to personal experience but here, I’ll tell you mine, class by class…

Death Knight:
I actually see all three DK specs fairly evenly represented. Unholy is probably ahead by a smidge. It’s the pet, I tell ya, people love ’em (more on this later).

This is what inspired me to write this post. Where the heck are all the feral druids? I can’t even remember when the last time I had a bear tank was. The other druid specs are doing quite well. Trees are arguably the healer I see most these days (though not by a large margin… but I would put them in front), and I probably group with more boomkin than mages. Cats are seen frequently in lower level dungeons, and by the same token, bears are seen relatively frequently at low levels too because it’s easy for a leveling kitty to just step in.

But at endgame? Where are all you lovely fuzzy teddybears with a yummy 5% crit bonus hiding? My hunters miss you dearly. Seriously, let’s say I get into a VoA. “We need one more tank,” someone says. “Invite [so-and-so]”, says someone else. /who So-and-so. 40% chance it’s a paladin, 40% chance it’s a death knight, 15% chance it’s a warrior, and 5% chance it’s a bear. Why? I dunno. Ghostcrawler keeps saying they’re OP, how does he know if no one is playing them? =P

It is my hope that with the next patch and the improved forms, more people will be inspired to take Feral for a spin. I miss bear tanks.

I’m sure most of the readers of my blog know this one goes without saying. Survival is currently eating the biggest piece of the cake by far in my groups. Interestingly there seem to be roughly similar (though much smaller) numbers of Marksmanship and Beast Master. I sorta think it’s cause I’m on an RP server. We’re more likely to get the people who think about their character when they think about their spec, hence, more people staying BM. On the same token, I swear I am the only hunter on the dang server without a Spirit Beast in the stable.

Okay. What I am about to tell you is going to blow your mind.

I raid with Frost mages more than both of the other specs combined.

It’s actually gotten to the point where I wonder what it’s like to raid with a non-Frost mage.

I think it’s the water elemental. Like I said, people love them pets.

Or maybe it’s because the poor frost mages are in the same boat with me, the Beast Mastery hunter, so all we do is PuG stuff. Who knows!

Paladins are living the high life right now, I swear. They’re so ubiquitous that being in a group without at least one is a surreal experience. “…where’s Might? Where’s Kings? Didn’t they come default with Heroics? Is this a bad dream?”

I see paladins of all three specs quite frequently, although I see Prot and Ret slightly more than Holy. Probably because they synergize together better so everyone dualspecs to those. Although, the Prot/Holy types who are good with both specs? They are to be feared. For being the most useful person in the world. Seriously.

I see priests pretty evenly represented. Shadow priests are in vogue right now mostly because the good ones are Gods of Recount. Disc is still sorta that crazy spec that no one understands so they’re lagging behind Holy a bit, but I’ve seen them in my groups too.

My priest knowledge is roughly comparable to my knowledge of higher mathematics (“Oooh look guys, I can make my caluclator say “Hello”), so moving on…

I know nothing about the rogue specs. Like, Subtlety is for sneaking around I guess? I couldn’t tell ya who is what by playstyle though. Fortunately I’ve configured my XPerl to show me someone’s spec when I target them. As such, I have cleverly deduced that Assassination was all the rage at the beginning of WotLK, but since then the pendulum has largely swung back around to Combat, at least from what I’ve seen. Subtlety is pretty much extinct although you still see the random Sub rogue while leveling.

Did I mention I know nothing about rogues? I know nothing about rogues. The class is a completely foreign concept to me.

I have no idea where all the resto shamans are hiding, because I know they’re there.. I sorta think they all got scooped up by raid guilds the second they materialized in the game world because I never see any in PuGs, but I always see them standing around in Ironforge (never Stormwind) with super fancy gear and usually an Amani War Bear and a Hand of A’dal title. Hence my hypothesis.

Anyways, Elemental/Enhancement representation seems to be pretty even, with Enhancement gaining the edge in lower levels and Elemental gaining it at higher ones. I like shamans. I could never get into playing them, but I like having them in my group. *pets them*

You’d think I’d know more about warlocks seeing as my boyfriend plays one and writes about them on WoW Insider. But I really don’t. All I know is that there are approximately 1395802462 times as many Demonology warlocks as any other spec, and I blame the Felguard. (See? It’s that pet thing again like I was telling you about.)

Sometimes I’m in a group with an Affliction or Destruction warlock that isn’t my boyfriend. It freaks me out. “Wait, you mean warlocks that aren’t my boyfriend use their imp/felpuppy? /boggle”

Warlocks in general are kind of an endangered species, which saddens me, because the world could always use more in-instance summoning stones, don’t you think? >.>

I am convinced that 99% of the world’s prot warriors either rerolled Death Knight, or respec’d to DPS. Yes, I have no idea where our tanky warrior friends went. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for prot warriors, they just looked like they were working so hard in Burning Crusade– no idea if they still have to work hard or not, but the soft spot remains. I’d like to see more of them just for that.

This one time I saw a Fury warrior dual-wielding Legacy and something else. I was kinda jealous. The End.

And that, as they say… is that.

This has been a Pike Incorporated Presentation. One’s experiences with various classes and specs may vary. Some restrictions may apply.

Lessons Learned

Marksmanship Week wraps up with a VoA10 yesterday where I did a pretty dang good job– I was in the lead on Recount by a large margin on both Archavon and Emalon, and some of my long-time friends who were in the group commented on my sudden noticeably big jump in DPS. Yes, where Survival failed to bring the increased numbers, Marksmanship delivered– a lot.

And so we reach the end of this great Spec Experiment. Things I’ve learned?

– Marksmanship is definitely replacing Survival as my dual spec. I don’t need to be the raid group’s emergency replenishment bot when I don’t have a raid group anymore. >.>

– I was using my wolf this whole time as part of my experiment to really try to min/max this as much as possible, but I miss my raptor so much that I will probably go back to using him full time. Furious Howl has a cooldown, but Raptor cuteness is forever <3 - I was sort of expecting to spec back to BM and suddenly flail around feeling like I had nothing to do and everything was "easy" after playing specs with a lot more buttons to push. But in all honesty, the reverse was true. For me, Beast Master feels very difficult to play well, and I think a lot of it has to do with perception. With Marksmanship, topping the DPS chart feels smooth and near-effortless, whereas with Beast Master, it feels like I'm prancing on a rather precarious position and one misstep will cost me. So I really really have to try to coax what I can out of it, merely to reach the lower level of what I got as MM. The result is that, oddly enough, BM has suddenly become sort of a more stressful spec to play o.O It’s kind of weird and I’m not sure what that will mean for me in terms of playstyle. Though lemme tell ya, I can’t wait until BM gets this supposed buff that we’re supposed to get… and hopefully still will… /crosses fingers

(Note: I don’t mean to offend anybody here; I know the idea of “which spec is the most challenging to play” seems to be a really touchy subject, with most everybody clamoring to claim theirs as the most difficult to play. I think first of all a.) it’s subjective, and b.) I haven’t found a single hunter spec thus far to be boring to play– awkward, yes, *glances at Survival* but certainly not boring– and to me, that’s what counts. They are all challenging in their own way. /nods)

In the end though, I don’t really aim for giant DPS numbers so much as I aim to be competitive; so long as I am somewhere in the top 3 or 5 (depending on whether it’s 10man or 25man) then I am content. This experiment has been an awesome and eye-opening experience to me, but I’m glad now I’ll be able to close Recount for a while and not worry about it.

/leans back and streeeeeeeeeeetches


For those of you looking for the last portion of my Naxx guide, fear not, it’ll be up tomorrow morning. I was really itching to write something “contemplative-ish”, though, so here we go.

Basically I’ve found myself rather… “lost” when it comes to what I want to do in WoW lately. The summer slump has hit my Naxx group, hard, to the point that last I checked they’re done for the time being, so I’m out a raid group. My little casual guild o’ friends is losing people (on good terms, by the way) either to real-life issues, or to bigger raiding guilds. Oh, we have chat channels and the like, but still. I suppose more and more I am feeling lonely in game, and my two level 74 alts that I have been playing, while fun, seem to be losing their luster. In fact, I’m really glad that I have my Naxx guide to post this week, because I honestly have done nothing in WoW these past several days except dailies and occasionally dinking around on random alts.

I’ve put a little bit of thought into what to do, and I’m still pretty undecided. I don’t want to be done with the game, and more importantly I don’t feel done with the game, but I could use a rez, so to speak.

The prominent thought that has hit me is “join a raiding guild already!” I don’t see this happening for a few different reasons:

1.) Super crappy and unreliable work schedule. What raiding guild would want someone who could only show up once, maaaaybe twice a week and thus would probably wind up super-undergeared?

And to make things harder, assuming the aforementioned guild exists in some iteration or other…

2.) It would have to be on an RP server. The number of times I have rolled alts, gotten them to level 15ish, and then quit in a fit of depression, is exactly equal to the number of times I have rolled alts on non-RP servers. No offense meant at all to you non-RP folks, it’s a matter of playstyle. There is just some difference that I can’t quite pin down between RP and “normal” servers and I feel uncomfortable playing on anything but an RP server, I really do. This also rules out transferring to an Oceanic server since they have no RP servers (aside from the fact that I’m a failure of a computer geek and raiding at 4am wouldn’t work for me.)

and 3.) It would preferably have to be on Silver Hand, my home server. I wouldn’t be completely averse to a server transfer, I just… aside from my friends being here, I’ve grown oddly attached to my home server, Trade Chat trolls and all. Nowhere else really feels the same.

So once you’ve looked at my criteria you can probably see why I’m thinking the odds of me ever getting into a raiding guild are slim to none.

But what else is there, really? As mentioned, playing the alts and the “funding-epic-flyers-for-all-my-toons” game are fun, but something is definitely missing. Last time I reached this point, Wrath of the Lich King came out a month or two later, this time…

I suppose I am looking for advice and ideas on how to spice up my WoW again. I want to be able to feel the spark that I used to and be hit with random flashes of inspiration to write for you guys. What would you guys like to read? Lemme know.

Oh and, no promises and this is tentative, but… Alliance hunter LF guild, PST.

In The Blink of An Eye: The Lost Art of Trapping

clapslateI majored in filmmaking. Yes, that’s right, while the bulk of my friends were busy doing math or science or English courses, I was learning about cinematography and lighting and screenwriting and sound design and watching dozens of movies. (Actually, probably the two courses that taught me the most were the black-and-white darkroom photography class and the “class” where I was the prop manager for an on-stage rendition of “Kimberly Akimbo“, but I digress).

One of the 200-level courses was an editing course and its professor was a guy that most of us loved to poke fun at. The reason is because he was a very proud self-professed “dinosaur” who liked to go into long rambles on how kids these days would just rush into digital editing without ever once touching a real piece of celluloid, and how this was a horrible, terrible loss. Because of this, our big project for this class was to take a bunch of footage that was filmed long, long ago and turn it into a ten-minute long story. Oh and this was “real” film footage– no digital editing allowed.

This project was notorious throughout the school’s film program for the tears it induced; little sketches and cartoons depicting the hellishness of it all hung taped to various shelves in that dark, warm, sticky editing room filled with Moviolas and splicers. There was almost always someone in there working on a project, and everyone was filled with relief when the semester ended and the project was over and we could all safely move on to doing the rest of our school career’s projects on Final Cut Pro.

And so it may shock you to discover my reaction when I discovered not long after that, that my class would be the last ever to do that project– from then on out the school’s program was going completely 100% digital from the start, and no future students would have to do the one token “film editing” assignment.

I felt sad for them.

Because suddenly I realized that in a way, my professor had been right all along. There’s something about actually handling that film footage that teaches you something that is hard to explain. Those future kids wouldn’t get to experience literally being drowned in reels of loose film as you sat on a hard metal foldup chair in that tiny room, bent over your projector, trying your best to imagine your near-microscopic viewing screen was a wall in a theater. They would never get to experience having to think over all your editing choices and weigh them carefully with your instincts before making that splice, because if you later decided you wanted an extra two frames of footage you had to go tape your film back together– no “Undo” buttons here. Those future students would never get to experience all the literal sweat and elbow grease and wouldn’t get to view the joyous celebrations of a group of college kids who would sneak bottles of wine into that infamous room on the night before the project was due, refusing to uncork them until 2 or 3 in the morning when their cut was done and they could wind up your final film with pride, knowing they had just accomplished something very tangible. Because nobody did that in the clean, airy, and yet somehow very sterile computer rooms.

Yeah… my professor was right.

You’re asking why I’m telling this story, and you’re going to giggle at me when I tell you why, but oh well. I’m telling this story because everytime I think of chain trapping and how it seems to be such an un-needed and un-practiced skill these days, I think back to editing class and how once again I feel like one of the last of the old guard.

Some of my favorite memories in Burning Crusade where when I would go into a heroic with a tank that knew me and maybe a healer who knew me, and then two PuG DPS. The tank would mark up a pull– on a hard pull there would be the tank’s target and then there would be, for example, a sap, and a sheep, and then my beautiful blue square– the trap target.

I’d lay down my trap, the rogue would sap, the mage would sheep and then the pull would begin and I’d pull my mob into my trap and pewpew away at the skull. Then skull would be down and the rogue and the mage would run towards my trap… but oh wait, what’s this? The tank is headed at sheep, instead! So we’d all DPS sheep and I’d retrap my target and then the mage and the rogue would rush over to– oh wait, she trapped it again? And the tank, who knew me very well, would go right over to sap without blinking and we’d all DPS sap and then everyone would turn around right as I had finished calmly pulling my mob into yet another trap. At which point the tank would perhaps pause and /dance a bit before finally charging in.

Those moments were beautiful. And every time they happened I grinned to myself and knew I had pulled off a job well done. These days, things are easier and we don’t have a chance to pull that kind of thing off anymore. More than ever before, we are about the fabled Massive Quantities of Sustained Ranged DPS once spoken of by a wise man, and we have little room for anything else. Better? Easier? Your opinion. But as for Professor Pike, who has turned into her editing professor– I think that a hunter who has never trapped before is missing a little piece of knowledge and experience that they would find useful and fulfilling if they learned how, even in today’s world (of Warcraft).

Which is why my hunter kindergarten courses will always contain something on chain trapping, and why my sidebar still links to my Chain Trapping Tutorial Movie. Some of the specifics are different, but the basic gist of it is the same. And I still talk like a dork, so that hasn’t changed either. >.>

Remember: time and space are your friends. Lay your trap out early and use distance to your advantage, because that will buy you more time.

<3 (Oh, and in case you are curious, the title of this post, "In the Blink of an Eye", is the name of a book I read in that class, by master editor Walter Murch. I have long thought there was something very “huntery” about editing (or “editory” about WoW hunters), in that in my mind, both are sort of the unsung heroes of the finished product. Looking through that book recently, I’ve discovered there is actually a chapter called “Misdirection”. I rest my case. =P)

The Beast (Master Spec) Within

I don’t know about you guys, but I am a huge dork so I tend to play a little game with myself where I’ll try to come up with awesome new talents for the Beast Master tree. Most of these imaginary talents really focus on my favorite part of that spec– the synergy between pet and hunter. So most of my ideas involve the hunter and pet bouncing things off of each other, making each other more powerful. My ideas also tend to be a little, well… let’s put it this way. I really dislike those talents that are a flat “Your pet does n% more damage, period.” Not so much because they are bad talents, so much as they are a.) overdone and b.) simply not very exciting!


In the Beast Master tree:
Unleashed Fury: Increases the damage done by your pet by 15%.
Kindred Spirits: Increases the damage done by your pet by 20%.

In your Ferocity pet’s talent tree:
Spiked Collar: Increases the damage done by your pet by 9%.
Shark Attack: Increases the damage done by your pet by 6%.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to complain or anything. I like having a pet who can make things explode with a single swipe.

But I’m that person who sits here and thinks “Ooooh they’re redoing talents this expansion/patch/etc., I wonder what types of things we’ll get! Maybe we’ll get like… a Poison Dart attack that increases the damage done by mine and my pet’s special attacks for ten seconds and maybe if my pet crits it will increase the critical strike chance of my next hit or maybe my pet’s attack power will be increased by a percentage of my stamina and my intellect will be increased by a percentage of his stamina, or maybe when his Frenzy procs I go into a Frenzy too and I get some sort of bonus, or or or or…

…or more increased pet damage. Kay.”

Ya know? Now those are just examples I pulled out of my hat, nothing too serious, but you get the drift. I guess my point is that a lil’ more variety would be nice.

Ah, but a hunter can dream. I’m sure most of us have spent some time thinking about a personal “idealized” version of our spec or class. …or maybe that’s just me cause I’m a supergeek. I’m okay with that, too. Still, I’d be curious to hear if any of you are like me, and if you are, what sort of ideas you fine folks have thought of.

And in other news, this sort of scenario is kind of turning into a tradition:


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.”

When We Were Young

I had an interesting revelation the other day when I realized that we were now about four months into Wrath of the Lich King. See, I began playing four months into Burning Crusade, myself. Back then everything was brand new for me despite the number of 70s running around. It got me thinking about how maybe a lot of the lowbies I see running around these days… aren’t alts after all, as I tend to assume they are by default.

It occurred to me that there was, in Burning Crusade, some nebulous point where the guard changed. A point where I went into Molten Core with 39 other people about about 30 of us had never done it before. (To be fair, some of the people there had, in fact, been playing in Vanilla WoW, they just weren’t raiding.) It makes me wonder if we’re going to see a similar trend in WotLK. How much longer until I tell people “this boss is just like Romulo and Julianne” or “This boss is just like Gruul’s” or “This boss is just like [some level 70 heroic boss]” and people have no idea what I’m talking about? Or perhaps we won’t get to that point this time because the raids in BC were, in general, more easily accessible than they were in Vanilla WoW?

I’m not trying to say to say any of this is a bad thing, by the way… I’m just pondering. And wondering how many people out there are experiencing this world for the first time.

I’ve been feeling kind of rushed lately in the game– a rush to clear all the available content, a rush to finish turning my blues into purples– and whenever that happens, as it inevitably will every so often, I have to sit back, take a deep breath, and play alts for a while to recharge my batteries.

Lunapike is grinding Timbermaw rep on her quest for the “Diplomat” title. The Winterspring music always gets me all nostalgic for some reason.

Tamaryn is doing the Karazhan key quest. Oh come on, did you really expect me not to? =P

Tawyn is relaxing in Stormwind. The content will still be there later. Just like the Burning Crusade stuff was all still there when I finally set foot into it a year and a half after everybody else did. I didn’t care back then that I was so late to the party, why should I care now? Remember when you were just a wee baby WoWer? I’m sure the game wasn’t always about achievements and loot and progression for you.

Perhaps sometimes it’s worth it, sometimes, to look around at the young’uns and take a page from their book.

…or at least to crack jokes with your significant other about how someday you’ll be able to tell your kids things like “Back in my day they didn’t hand you your mount outside of Northshire Abbey! /waves cane” >.>

When Mend Pet Isn't Enough…

treespotlightI’ve been sort of thinking a lot this morning about an interesting trend I’ve noticed; namely, the tendency of hunters to roll healer alts. I see it quite a bit on blogs; Gun Lovin’ Dwarf Chick has recently realized she is more of a Heals Lovin’ Draenei Chick and has decided to move fulltime to the Twisted Nether Blogcast, and just recently the Kitty Collector has become Addicted to Heals. These are just a few of the recent examples. Then I thought about how my little treedruid, made on a whim several months ago, seemingly running through the forests of Teldrassil only yesterday, is suddenly in Northrend, busily healing Utgarde Keep runs. Then, in typical Pike fashion, I started wondering why. Why are we hunters– often die-hard hunters, to greater or lesser degrees– drawn to healing?

First, I think it sort of stems from a desire to be useful. Us hunters are used to sitting in LFG for hours while people sit there spamming “need heals and tank and g2g”. To be fair, things seemed to have gotten a little better for us in WotLK, at least on my server (I’ve seen more than a few pleas for ranged DPS or even hunters in specific), but there’s still that deep-seated longing among many of us to play a class role that is in more demand.

That brings us to the next question though; why healing and not tanking?

These are my theories:

1.) It’s not melee. We’re hunters. We pride ourselves on staying as far away from the enemy as possible. My two-handed axe skill sat at 349/350 for months after I’d gotten Legacy out of Karazhan… and I was proud of it. Tanking involves going up to something and letting it hit you in the face. For many of us, especially those of us who started out in this game as a hunter, it’s uncomfortable and counter-intuitive. Healing is a lot more attractive in that regard.

2.) Buffs. I dunno about you guys but I was always really, really sad that I couldn’t really buff anyone as a hunter. Well, I could through things like Ferocious Inspiration, but I couldn’t run around Stormwind and buff people. So it’s no surprise that I’m super-buff happy on my druid. Sometimes before I log out I run around and buff as many people as I can with Mark of the Wild until my mana is nearly empty. I am always careful to buff hunter pets, and I always make sure that the pet has Thorns, and not the hunter (because come on, the pet is going to be the one getting hit!) I think all the times my pet has failed to received bufflove has really ingrained that one into me. So long as I am nearby, your pet is gettin’ buffed.

Now paladin and druid tanks can buff too, of course, but toss priests and Fortitude into the fray and heals have got an advantage here.

3.) …no, really, Mend Pet isn’t enough sometimes. Improved Mend Pet is a talent I couldn’t live without 2/2 in. In fact, remember how I leveled Marksman and switched to Beast Mastery around level 58 or so? IMP was one of the major reasons I stayed. I’m serious. I am super OCD about cleansing debuffs from my pet. Super OCD. Mend Pet was the first skill I actually started using a keybinding for, and while I now have keybinds for a good chunk of my abilities, alt+2 will always remain dear to my heart. And seriously, how many of you are as anal-retentive about Mend Pet as I am? I’m sure a good chunk of you are. How many of you draenei have a Mend Pet/Gift of the Naaru emergency macro? How many of you have been in a raid or instance, noticed that your target’s target’s health was dropping low, and instinctively spammed Mend Pet before remembering that, um, the tank is tanking, and not your pet? I know I’m guilty of that one rather frequently.

I’m sure several of us have been in those situations where we think “Ugh if only I’d had a little more heals.” I wonder if that perhaps influenced our healy-alt-tendencies at all.

4. Survival. Hunters are about survival. And not just the ones spec’d into it. All hunters, from a lore standpoint, are beast masters, marksmen, and survivalists. That’s why you have tabs for all three when you open up your spellbook. Your spec just determines which one your hunter sort of specializes in– hence the word “spec”. Hunters of all specs are about pulling all the stops to stay alive when the outlook is grim. Makes sense that some of us would want to expand a little and try our hand at being responsible for more than just our own survival.

So, those are my theories on why we see so many hunters-gone-heals– whether they’re a new main, or just a minor diversion like mine– running around.

…though I’d love to hear from the devil’s advocate hunters out there who hate healing and rolled tanks, or more DPS… or no alts at all…

The Needs of the Many Outweigh The Needs of The Few

…or one.

This was first said by a wise man (er, Vulcan), and it’s something I’ve found myself thinking a lot about lately. See, my guild and in-game group of friends has begun raiding ten-mans on a semi-regular basis, and more often than not, I’ve found myself left out on the sidelines. Why? Simple. The best times for everyone to raid do not mesh well with my annoyingly unpredictable work schedule. Is this anyone’s fault? No, it’s not. It’s just how things have worked out.

Now I’m not gonna deny that it’s hard to think about it for too long. It’s hard to press that Decline button on the calendar when a raid invite full of people you love hanging out with pops up in your face. It’s hard to know that your friends and guild are doing progression and having fun without you. It’s hard to know that your one guaranteed day off from work is a bad day for most of your guildies to raid, and it’s even harder to know that work has recently swooped down and taken even that day away from you (that last one is one of the many reasons why I’ve been looking for a new job, but job-hunting is a lot harder these days than it has been in the past.) It all makes you feel sad and helpless.

However, my goal throughout all of this is to suck it up and show as little disappointment as possible, because I don’t want to spoil it for the people that I care about who are able to raid. I keep telling myself that maybe the job hunt will be better this month and maybe it won’t be too much longer before I have a better schedule and will be able to join in the fun.

Most importantly, I remind myself that making this kind of sacrifice is just a part of friendship (irony involving our guild name not intended).

I have a lot of minipets (65 or so by now?), but there are two that are particularly special to me:


I got this Brown Prairie Dog after spending a solid couple hours screwing around with my friends, we ran all over Azeroth goofing off and in the end someone popped over to Hordeside and bought us all Prairie Dog Whistles to remember the event by.


And this is the Black Tabby Cat, which is only obtainable by Horde (although it can then be sold to Alliance via the Neutral Auction House)… it has a very low drop rate and some of my guildies sat a Horde alt by the spawns that drop it and camped for it for weeks and when they got it, gave it to me, instead of selling it for the 2000g it goes for on my server.

So I remind myself that I don’t necessarily need to raid to have that friendship, that bond with the people I play with who I care about. And because I care about them I’m not gonna drop them for a better-fitting guild, nor am I going to make too much of a fuss when they raid without me because that’s when it works best for everyone else.

So, tonight, when I get home from work and everyone is already in Naxx, I think I’m just going to geek around with my Linux. But I’ll be ready on the bench– just in case.

Ours is a finite hobby.

As I’m sure 99% of the blogosphere knows by now, Phaelia is closing the doors of Resto4Life. I don’t know if she is quitting the game entirely or just the blog, I couldn’t make it out from the entry, however, it’s definitely put a lot of thoughts into my head.

I remember a time when I figured I’d never quit Neopets. (shaddup, do you guys know how long it took me to get my Draik? =P) Of course here I am now having not touched it in months. I miss the friends I made there on the Neoboards sometimes, but other than that, there is very little that I do miss, and although I have tried a time or two, I haven’t been able to get back into it on the same scale that I was before. I have no regrets about the time I spent playing, and I made some accomplishments I’m quite proud of. But eventually I lost interest, and moved on.

World of Warcraft is like that. I think it’s something that we as a blogging community perhaps don’t like to think of sometimes. But it’s true. How many of us will still be playing this game ten or twenty years from now? Will it even be around? Even if it is in some incarnation, I imagine many of us will have moved on by that point. What that means for us as a community, is that these blogs we read and enjoy so very much will not be around forever, at least not in their current form. And it’s hard to deal with sometimes.

It’s perhaps ironic that it’s been on my mind a lot lately. I’ve reached a point where I sort of feel like I need to scale back the time I spend in game. I love this game dearly. Yeah, I try to deny it sometimes, but it’s true. I still have fun with the game. I am not quitting anytime soon, I don’t think (so please don’t think this post is about that!) But man cannot live on WoW alone. And there are days where I feel like I come home from work, I get onto my computer, aaand… I play WoW, I read about WoW, I write about WoW, I tweet about it on Twitter. And sometimes I wonder where that line is. You know what line I’m talking about. Where it becomes too much. Where it goes from being a hobby into being your only hobby. I often find myself wondering if I need a break or something.

And then my mind wanders to how I’ve lost interest in other obsessive hobbies I’ve had like this so fast. Sometimes seemingly overnight. It’s just a matter of time for this one, too.

In a way, it scares me, because when I think of all that, I inevitably end up thinking of this blog and this little community that has gathered here. What will happen when it comes to that point for me where I have to say goodbye? What would I do with this blog? How could I even bring myself to end something I enjoy so much? And more than that, I wonder if it all matters anyway. Will it matter decades from now when I look back on my life? Will it matter that I taught someone how to improve the way they played a class in some long-forgotten video game? Does it matter?

In the end though, I think it does. If for any reason, because of all the raw talent that is out there. Through this community I have met artists and writers and CSS masters and people whose blogs are packed with personality and humor and wit, and that’s only to name a few– I can only hope that Blizzard is at least marginally aware of this massive gathering of talent they have unwittingly drawn together, out of the passion for a video game, of all things. Positive influences from my guildies and in-game friends aside, I am extremely humbled to be a part of this community perhaps best known collectively as “Blog Azeroth“.

So, thank you, Phaelia. Thank you for being the person (well, alongside Bell) to really inspire me to make my own treedruid, who to this day is still the only thing in game that has really caught my interest anywhere close to what hunters do. And thanks for sharing your talent and enthusiasm with the internet.

And to everyone else, the specifics of what we blog about may not be important twenty or thirty years down the road. But positive influences only have to be very small, to be positive and meaningful. Thank you for being both, to me. I do not know how long our time together will ultimately pan out to be. But thank you for making the most of it every day.