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Archive for August, 2012

Hand’s down, transmogrification is my favorite thing Blizz did in Cataclysm. Almost a year ago when they first announced transmog, I couldn’t believe that all of my packrat ways were finally going to benefit me. I’ve always collected interesting armor and staves and swords and whatever else for my toons. FINALLY I would be able to use them again! Never again would I have to wear a WWE belt against my will. Let’s just say I was excited.

A year later and I love this feature just as much as I did then. I recently posted a page giving the run down on all of my characters, and it was kind of funny how much I stressed out about their outfits. Hey, I was introducing my toons to the community. Had to make sure they look good, right? Anyway, I thought I would also post the outfits I’m wearing here because dressing up is fun.

The moment patch 4.3 went live, the first thing I did was run to the transmogrifier and change everything into the full t6 Thunderheart set. It had long been one of my favorite druid tiers, and I love that it looks like it was designed with tauren in mind. I kept that for a good long while, and switched it up on occasion so that I wore t8, t13, t7, and some other creations in between. The other day I got inspired to go back to t6, but with a twist:

Head: Thunderheart Helmet I love this model of tauren ladies. Helms often look so silly on them, and the bird’s head look covers up some of the awkwardness and hides some strange thing with textures as well

Shoulders: Shoulderpads of the Forgotten Gate These shoulders are what inspired the set. I really liked rogue t12 and was kind of sad that I didn’t have one to play. When Fay got these shoulders, I was happy because they have such a neat model, but sad because I would never see them in her kitty spec. Yay for transmog making them relevant!

Chest: Thunderheart Tunic Happens to match the shoulders very well, so I decided to just use it again

Waist: Belt of Primal Majesty The obvious choice

Hands: Loramus’ Gloves I don’t really like the way the bulkier glove models look on tauren ladies since they’re already so broad. I tried a few different glove models and was a little sad to realize that the ones I really wanted where a Cataclysm quest reward that I deleted a long time ago. Happily, a pair of gloves in some of the revamped low level quests worked just as well!

Staff: Origin of Nightmares One of my favorites, and matches the whole bird theme of the set quite well.

You can try it on here.

Not one of the most creative transmogs out there, but I like it all the same!

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Contrary to popular belief, this is actually true. 90% of the time (made up percentage) it’s easier to be respectful than to be a dick. This goes for real life and WoW life, professional life and personal life, and everything in between.

I work retail. I haven’t always worked retail, but the economy being what it is, it’s very difficult to get a job in the creative fields. So retail works for now, and it lets me do something I really enjoy, which is study human interactions.

And let me tell you something. Those interactions? A lot of the time they make me sick. It’s hard to say where I’ve seen people be treated worse, in the retail environment or in a PUG raid. I’m going to say PUG, but only just. It’s amazing the sort of things that people say to those lowly retail employees that they’re buying things from despite knowing nothing about them. I’ve had coworkers who are smart as hell be called stupid for no good reason. One of my coworkers had a woman tell him that he was useless and should be her landscaper (said coworker is Latino).  I’ve had to give hugs to crying coworkers after they’ve been cursed out by some person they don’t even know because that person didn’t get their way. It’s depressing.

And the worst of that is, it has a cause and effect. When you ruin someone’s day, chances are, they’re going to ruin someone’s day in return. Plenty of the arguments that my husband and I have are not, in fact, about the dishes, but about the fact that he had a shitty day of work because someone he didn’t even know  acted like a dick to him at work. Is it fair? No. Should people be able to rise above that? Of course. But the point is, negativity breeds negativity, and it’s awfully difficult to fight against when it’s a constant thing.

Which brings me to WoW. I was in an LFR the other day. I don’t need any of the gear from LFR. My pally has almost all of the gear she could want out of regular DS and I’m really only there because I need the valor to convert to conquest and because I like playing my pally. I generally pass on everything, even the healing off spec stuff that I would sort of like to have. I don’t care if there are people in there pulling low healing and DPS  numbers, as long as we’re not wiping. And yet there were (of course) people in /raid spewing such seething hatred for those at the bottom of the DPS meters. These same people bitched about loot the entire time. These same people tried to troll newer folks during the ooze fight by calling out the wrong color to kill. Or they pulled extra groups of trash. Why? To make their epeens bigger?

Guess what? Doing stuff like that just makes you a dick. And again, contrary to what  popular society and especially the internet would have you believe, that’s not a good thing. Saying things like “I’m an asshole and proud of it,” means that you enjoy treating other people like shit. What does that say about you? Human beings are social creatures. Even the introverted ones (like I tend to be) generally feel better when they have positive social interactions. That’s why having friends or a loving family feels good.

Respect has always been a big thing for me. I might be snarky and sarcastic, but I generally try to go into situations believing that the person I’m interacting with deserves some measure of respect. After all, I don’t know their story. All I know is that they’re a person, just like me. And that goes for pixelated people too. Behind every blood elf or orc or tauren there’s an actual person sitting there with a real life and real problems that they’re probably playing WoW to escape from, if only for a little while. Who am I to ruin that for them just because they weren’t sure which ooze to DPS first? In fact, it’s when people start acting like disrespectful dicks that I lose my respect for them.

Here’s something that I’ve come to learn in my adult life. Being nice to other people almost always is easier. There’s this belief that if you want to get your way, especially in situations with strangers, that you have to be a jerk about it. I just don’t think it’s true, at least not most of the time.  Most of my coworkers will bend over backwards for the customer who is nice to them and, you know, treats them like a human being. A lot of people say things like “oh but if you’re nice, people just walk all over you and take advantage of you.” To that I say…bullshit.

You can be firm about things and still not act like a dick. You can explain why something is wrong without tearing everyone else down. And in situations with random people that you’re never going to see again, how hard is it to just shrug things off and let it go? Or, even more unbelievable, give people encouragement or real advice? Guess what? It’s just as easy to type “Stack please,” as it is to type “OMFG STACK YOU FUCKING NEWBS.” Seriously. It might just even be easier.

And that’s the thing. When you have respect to other people, they’re more likely to turn around and be the same to others in return. Just like negativity breeds negativity, respect breeds respect. If you accept that there’s a real living person on the other end of those pixels and actually treat them that way, they’ll turn around and do the same. And maybe next time when it’s you taking your undergeared alt through something, you’ll get that positive vibe back.

The most fun random groups I’ve had are when people are actually friendly. I’m not talking about chatting the whole time or anything like that. But someone saying “whoa, nice DPS,” or “I love your transmog set!” or even “Hey guys, thanks for the painless run!” always feels better than someone spewing out hate the whole time. Carrying on the good feelings that come with positive interactions can make your day that much better and easier too, since you have something to feel other than anger or frustration. And I’ve always had to really question how happy it really makes someone to act like a dick. I don’t think those after school specials about the bully who really just wanted love are too far-fetched in this case.

We have this saying at work. We call it the feedback bank, and the idea is that when you give people positive feedback (for things they deserve that feedback for) on a regular basis, it makes it ten times easier to give them negative (yet respectful) feedback later on. The idea is that if someone knows that you respect them, they’re much more likely to take criticism you might have because they know you just want them to be better and that you respect them enough to help them with it. It would be nice if people treated their WoW life the same way, whether it be between guildies or just random pugs. And besides, making someone’s day by giving them good feedback makes you feel good too. Helping someone who needs help makes you feel good. WoW is at it’s best when it shows how positive human connections can be made through a silly online game. Realizing that there are connections between people, even if we’re only in an instance together for 30 minutes feels good. And if you don’t believe me…

I still remember the name of one guy I was in a group with when looking for group first launched. The group was largely fail, but this one guy was nice. He didn’t curse anyone out, despite obviously overgearing the content. When he died due to a tank fail during a fight and I threw a brez on him, he whispered me to thank me and then complimented my healing. And then he said, “The worst thing about these random cross realm groups is meeting cool people and not being able to add them to my friends list. Look me up if you ever switch to my server!”

The worst thing about the group wasn’t that we wiped on an easy boss. The worst thing about the group wasn’t that the shadow priest was doing less DPS than the tank. The worst thing about the group was that a connection that was made couldn’t be continued.

If more people in WoW, and really the world at large, would think like that, we’d all be a lot happier.

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Hey Blizz, I heard your subscriber numbers are down. Well do I have an idea for how you can make up some of that lost revenue. Inspired by Big Bear Butt’s post about the WoW Megablocks I thought of something I want even more than an giant XT.

Please make a Karazhan chess set. I’m not comfortable begging, but I really think this would be a good idea. You already made Warcraft Monopoly, which I guess was cool and everything, but the chess set would be better.

And I don’t want an Alliance versus Horde with Thrall and Aggra versus Varian and Jaina chess set either. I want a replica of the one from Kara. I want Laine and Blackhand and necrolytes and clerics. I want wolves and chargers. If you don’t feel like the chess set fits in with your current design themes due to the out of date armor, okay. Maybe redesign it a bit so that the orcs have 100% more spikes on their shoulders. But really, you don’t have to. I’m fairly sure at least a million WoW nerds out there would buy it as an exact replica. Hell, I want one, and I don’t even play chess.

But if I could have a Karazhan chess set, I might just learn how.

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This week’s Blog Azeroth shared topic post comes from Frinka from Warcraft Street:

Are you playing the MoP Beta? Why or why not? How much time are you spending there vs. the “live” servers?

I have access to the Mists beta (my sparklepegasus confirms this) but I spend very little time playing it, which I’m a little surprised about. I couldn’t wait for the beta. I was a little annoyed that I was in one of the last rounds of invites. And yet when I finally got my invite…I’ve barely logged on.

I’ve played around with it a little. I took a peak at the Pandaren starting zone (which was insanely crowded and therefore not fun) and I went to the Jade Forest to check it out, though I didn’t really do much. I struggled with my lack of desire to log on for awhile. I wanted to provide feedback, didn’t I? I would be a good beta tester. I’m a coherant (if long winded) writer, and I can express my frustration about things in ways other than saying “OMFG BLIZZ YOU SUCK.” I love this game and I want to make it better. So why was I not logging on?

In the end, I realized it’s because I love this game. I want to play the hell out of Mists when it launches. I want to get myself involved with the questing and the rep grinds and the pet battles and the dungeons and raids. And I just don’t want to spoil that for myself. Right now  in the live game, I feel like there’s very little to do because the content I have is 8 months old. I don’t want Mists to feel that way a month after it drops. It’s selfish. But I had to be honest with myself about it.

I mostly use the beta now to check random things, like if a certain quest reward will still be around or whether or not I’ll be able to get the Cataclysmic PvP set after the expansion drops. I downloaded the beta onto my new computer so I could ooh and aah over how pretty it looks and to take some screenies for this blog and for my guild’s website. But I’m not questing. I’m not playing around with pet battles. I’m not even playing around with the druid or pally talents. I’m not really reading up much about what’s happening in the beta (with the exception of Cymre’s fantastic posts about pet battles) and I’m actively avoiding spoilers because I just want it to be fresh and new.

I figure…I can experience all of this when the expansion drops, and I can savor it. Will I be a little behind on things on September 25th? Maybe. Will I be cursing myself for not reading up on healing changes? Probably. But at least I know I won’t also be bored. I don’t want to push for any realm firsts and my guild tends to take a pretty casual stance about getting ready for initial raid content. I’m fine with being a little slowed down at the start if it means I love this expansion as long as I loved Wrath. And besides. I have plenty of stuff to do on live before I can go to the pretty lands of Pandaria and start enjoying the content for real.

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The other day I was going through the AH, looking to see if any interesting looking shields were available for my level 60 resto shaman. The shield that I would love to have for her isn’t actually available unless I want to race change her to Alliance then back again. My shammy is supposed to be part of the Horde Navy, so running around with a ship wheel on her back seems appropriate. Alas, it’s not to be.

As I was flipping through the available shields, I happened to see a Zulian Swirling Shield listed for a mere 100g. Clearly the person listing it didn’t realize what an amazing transmog piece this is, as demonstrated on Water Bender, Mist Weaver. I knew it had to be worth more than 100g due to the transmog market alone and I bought that thing and sent it off to my bank alt, considering what to do with it.

I should stop now to say that I suck at the Auction House. I just don’t have the interest to be good at it, and therefore most of my gold comes from doing dailies and randoms. This has always been enough to sustain me just fine, though I can’t get the higher priced vanity items and mounts that I like. I’m okay with that though. I always think that I’m going to somehow use my professions to make money, but I never do it. I’m just not interested in the buy low/sell high nature of the AH. There are other things I’d rather do with my time.

Transmog had slightly sparked my interest more in the AH, mostly because I had a huge collection of BoE gear sitting on my bank alt from years of questing that I think I intended to use to “level enchanting.” Since that never happened, I decided to send it all off to my Alliance alt before I transferred her to Wyrmrest Accord  to put up onto their AH since it tends to be better than Argent Dawn’s. I’ve made a nice little profit so far, enough that I can fund my alts there to get them flying and decent sized bags. But still, it was never enough to get me to want to try to do much else with it.

Until that shield. After I found that shield so cheap, I decided to look through the rest of the AH to see if there was any cool looking gear priced low. There was. I bought that too. It didn’t feel like a waste of time either, because I like looking at pretty gear.

As I was buying up all this gear, I had flashbacks to last summer. I was visiting my grandmother and we were watching American Pickers together. She used to be a bit of a picker herself, and I always remember the wonderful things she would find at yardsales and flea markets when I was growing up. My entire collection of Star Wars toys was due to my amazing grandmother, who would find buckets of them selling for $5 and buy the entire thing to bring home to me. I’ll never forget when I was 8 and  she called me to say “You have to come to my house right now, I got you something neat.” I jumped onto my bike and sped to her house and then was totally extatic to see that she found me an Ewok village. My grandmother was a cool lady.

Anyway, she loved American Pickers. I think she might have had a crush on one of the guys, because when we would both stay up late playing out respective video games, we would either watch that or Phillies games. And the best moments were when she would turn to tell me about some amazing little gem she found at a yard sale 40 years ago that ended up being worth thousands of dollars when the person only wanted $50.

I could almost hear my grandmother sitting next to me when I was looking over this bag full of transmog gear that I bought cheap on the AH. It’s not quite as cool as finding a giant owl umbrella stand for $5 or a Tiffany lamp for $35, but it still felt fun all the same. And it gave me a little connection to the grandmother that I lost around this time last July.

I doubt I’ll ever be an Auction House maven, but it’s a fun little thing for me to play with, especially since it reminds me so much of my grandmom. So yeah. If you see a feisty redhead with a name like Charlotte on your realm, watch out. The Azerothian picker is there to find rusty pieces of pixelated gold. I might not be making too much of a profit, but I still think my grandmother would get a kick out of seeing her namesake running around laughing about people who are silly enough to sell their Arachnidian Robes for 50g.

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