Belghula Rising

Wow-64 2016-08-27 23-56-55-65

Wow-64 2016-08-27 23-56-55-65

This week marks the last week of the Legion Invasion event, and with it goes the insane leveling elevator that many of us have ridden over and over.  At this point I have every slot on Argent Dawn Alliance filled with level 100 characters, and over the last bit of this week I have been pushing Belghula my female Orc Warlock on The Scryers.  Scryers is a linked realm with Argent Dawn and when that occurred I made the choice to roll a complete set of Hordies over there, so that I could hang out and play with friends I had other the other side of the server.  The Argent Dawn community has always been an odd one, and for a period of time we had a thriving official… and later unofficial server forum.  I still somewhat wish I had not killed the domain behind that forum, but at that time I thought I didn’t really want to be playing World of Warcraft anymore.  In any case I have a large community of horde friends that I love dearly, but never got to play with.  When I purchased Legion I ended up using my boost to create a level 100 Tauren Paladin and I even got to raid over there for a period of time…  until Sundays didn’t really work that well for me.  Now I am pushing up a second 100 to have a more balanced set of characters to play.  Something happened and I decided that I don’t mind casters… and even really like the Warlock so that ultimately is the one I have decided to push.

Last night during the podcast I managed to get her to level 95, so it should be relatively trivial to finish off and ding 100 today.  Similarly I have an Orc Deathknight waiting in the wings as well in the 60s… but I am not completely sure if I am going to push it hard or not.  I would like to at a minimum get it to 80 because the Cataclysm/Panda/Warlords grind seems much faster than getting a single character through Wrath of the Lich King.  I’ve talked about this in the past, but content design has changed a lot since Wrath and quest stacking was a much harder proposal back then than it is now.  By quest stacking I mean gathering up a bunch of quests related to a specific area and then burning through them all at once.  As far as the Cataclysm/Panda/Warlords grind… I feel like I have that one down to an artform jumping zones each time my adventure guide lights up telling me there is a new zone to jump to.  The most interesting thing about the whole experience however has been seeing how folks have broken the event over their knee and abused the hell out of the system.  The other day I talked a bit about the idea of resetting the event, but ultimately decided that it just made it a boring grind.  Some folks however have apparently taken this process to the extreme.

Last night I was sitting in the Crossroads minding my own business and working on the event, when someone broadcast a message across general talking about an Exp Grinding party.  They had auto invite scripts set up so that if someone typed 1 in chat it would throw out a raid invite.  The level of organization was impressive, even to the level of asking those of us who happened to have two seated mounts to use those and give rides to the players who were on foot or on slow land mounts.  From there we took a very specific route, killing what I feel was probably the optimal path through the mobs.  There were several times were we paused for a second to wait for the next mob in the sequence to spawn in… or when she went off to pull one that was within range to burn them down at the same time.  I cannot state how impressive this level of organization and cooperation from players actually ended up being.  She shouted the next target to general so that anyone else NOT in our raid could also reap the benefit.  The real coordination however was that when we finished phase three she told everyone to log out, and disbanded the party.  The idea being that when everyone logged back in they would potentially be in the same Stage 1 event.  I went ahead and finished out this event and moved to the next zone instead, but I have to marvel at how well that worked.  In truth I don’t want to really abuse this event, because doing it legitimately provides more than enough experience and loot for my tastes.  That said I guess this method probably works much faster and provides and endless supply of experience in one of the easier zones that the event is taking place.

The Kerfuffle

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Getting Out

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For the last few days we have more or less been stuck in the house.  We had quite literally three and a half days of nonstop rain, that then turned into ice, sleet and snow.  Yesterday however we were getting to the point of being stir crazy.  It is funny how much different you feel about your home when you feel like you can’t or at least shouldn’t leave it.  I can happily stay home for days on end without leaving… but the moment I feel like I am trapped there…  I start to go stir crazy.  So as a result my wife and I had decided that yesterday we would get out regardless of how cold it was.  Admittedly cold for me is sub freezing…  not necessarily the negative temperatures that the rest of my readers might consider cold.  We essentially had one task that needed to get done, and a bunch of other things that we sorted out somewhere in the middle.  My wife’s tribal tag was due, so we had to trek out to the small town that has a Cherokee nation tag office, and what I thought was going to take fifteen minutes ended up taking close to an hour because they were short workers due to the holiday break.  After that we grabbed a friend and went out looking for post holiday clearance bargains….  and the strange hair stuff my wife uses that no one seems to stock.

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At the first place we stopped we managed to find both the hair gunk, as well as clearance Legos.  At some point I had picked up The Phantom ship from Star Wars Rebels for cheap…. I want to say something in the range of $8-10.  Then I had seen The Ghost a handful of times marked down but always passed it up for this reason or that.  I had been kicking myself for not snapping it up when I saw the stores start to close it out, but apparently the target we went to somehow managed to still have one after the Christmas rush.  Better yet it was marked down by like $40 making it the best deal I had seen on it yet.  What I am really curious about is whether or not The Phantom will dock with The Ghost like it does in the television show.  Some googling makes it seem like that is the case, so I am really hoping.  My big problem with my Legos is finding a place to display them after I build them up.  This is one of the big solutions I need to figure out for my office.  I thought about some sort of shelving on the walls, but finding a way to make it somehow immune to cats jumping up there and knocking everything around is always going to be a problem.  When we went out to eat yesterday I snapped a photo of what was a broken “legal age of drinking” sign in the bar area.  Apparently we are super hardcore here in Oklahoma as we seem to allow newborns to drink.

The Kerfuffle

Something is going on in the WoW twitter community, and to be honest I am not entirely sure what is up.  I’ve tried to piece things together as best as I can, but the root seems to be that two different groups are fighting… and it somehow is over the #warcraftpositivity hashtag.  What has been so damned odd on the outside looking in is just how many people who are apparently not even involved in the initial kerfuffle are getting pulled into the fray.  I had things I was going to say, but honestly I am not even sure if it matters.  It just really sucks to be on the outskirts and watching two different groups of friends fighting over something that was supposed to be a good thing in the first place.  Essentially while the Internet is a huge place… when you are mostly hanging out in a small corner of it there are going to be times when you keep running into people that for whatever reason you do not get along with.  At this point you can do one of two things…  you can make a big deal of it and get upset or you can just accept that these people still exist in the world and there is nothing you can do about it.  Your friends can still be your good and true friends… and still like this other person.  Sure it is awkward as hell to be part of a sequence of messages that include this other person… that might have you blocked and as a result you are only seeing part of the conversation…  but at the end of the day no matter how much you huff and puff there isn’t much you can really do about it.

All of these things tend to start with a difference of opinion, and then it gets inflated to the point where it is a verbal war.  Well meaning people get in the middle of issues that don’t actually involve them, and as a result it becomes a “thing” that seems to leaving everyone scratching their heads as to what exactly happened.  I was not even really on social media that much over the holidays, yet I still seem to have gotten wrapped up in it as I got some random un-follows from folks loosely connected to the mess.  I’ve used twitter since 2009 and in that time I have found less than a half dozen folks that were not bots getting auto-blocked from reporting spam…  that I actually found vile enough to block.  There are some folks and hashtags that I have muted in Tweetdeck but that is an entirely different story.  Basically it takes a lot to get me to block someone, and I try my damnedest to never act based purely on third or fourth hand knowledge.  I am not big on the shunning of people for a reason  that are not deeply personal to me… and even then while I will never forgive some people, I can still functional and interact with them in a generally friendly manner.  I hold some serious grudges against a few individuals based on my interactions with them in WoW, but I also knew that at some point because of mutual friends I would have to keep interacting with them.

WoW Community

The problem is… that due to events like this happening with a frighteningly regular frequency, the WoW Community has developed this reputation of being like a middle school lunch room.  At times this is absolutely a fair assessment, but it is also a shallow one.  The players who are online and interacting on a regular basis do not represent the bulk of Warcraft players.  Most people just want to log in every night, and decompress while killing internet dragons… and don’t really reach out much past their own guild or immediate circle of real life friends.  I’ve heard the WoW Community referred to as Toxic, and this is also I think unfair.  Sure this particular community has some problems, but those problems are only really noticed…. because it is so insanely huge still.  When you are part of the largest MMO community, even single problem is going to be magnified through sheer numbers.  Sure there are more assholes in WoW, because there are far more players there to interact with… and the folks that hang out in trade chat and heckle other players…  seem more noticeable when you have a hundred on a server… instead of just having two or three in other games.  The same goes for the twitter presence, because the wow community as a whole out numbers pretty much every other MMO gaming community I am part of combined.

What gets lost in the noise is all of the positive things that are happening behind the scenes.  There are people who are doing a lot of good and putting a lot of actual positivity out in the world.  Just because a handful of miscreants takes offense to that, and decides to derail something….  doesn’t mean that it was a bad thing in the first place.  The truth is… were it not for the fact that I was on twitter and interacting with a handful of the folks connected to the events…  I probably wouldn’t have even known something was going on.  Both House Stalwart the guild I founded back in 2004, and Facepull the horde side guild I am finally getting to do awesome things with…  are both doing amazingly well and thanks to the holiday break have more smiling faces active and happy to be in game than I have seen in a long time.  That is what matters in Warcraft, not the bickering or the name calling that seems to be happening somewhere in the ether above the actual game.  I think those of us who are watching things seemingly burn down around us… need to remember that in a couple of weeks time no one will remember what the hell actually happened.  Things will keep moving forward the way they have always moved forward, and people will still keep being awesome all around the community.  So my hope is that if folks still cannot get along after all of this…  that they just quietly disagree in their own corner of the twitterverse, so that the rest of us can continue having a happy place to rest our heads.