Thursday, August 27, 2009

57 channels and nothin' on

I know I promised updates, but there really hasn't been much to report from the World. It seems that most of our guild has that last minute summer itch. I don't blame them. The draw of the final weeks of long, lazy evenings filled with golden light and a hazy warmth that lingers even after the sun has started to sink below the horizon is hard to resist. So live it up Indian Summer! It won't be much longer until the bone chilling cold settles in and the appeal of the World catches up with us all.

As far as raiding goes, the new schedule seems to be working out well for most of us. The renewed focus on single instance progression has sharpened our approach. Tuesday night we went into Ulduar 25 and one shot three of the bosses in the first quarter. Ignis, the giant-sized blacksmithing dwarf I mentioned before, was still a deal breaker.

But not for long.

We made great progress with him and over all, it was our best single night adventure in the ruined halls. Wednesday night's attempt didn't materialize for a number of reasons. (Damn you real world!) There may be another night of frivolity among the brainwashed masses in store for us yet, but it remains to be seen. We have our regularly scheduled Naxxramas adventure on Saturday. (That one will be fun to break down.)

As far as the ten man progressions go, it was another night of no shows. Our beloved priests Avatie and Grimcross had prior commitments and our second tank Wardone's computer has bitten the proverbial Dust. (It's a gratuitous Queen reference.) We managed to pull together a second group, only to be thwarted by the server gods! >.<

Blizzard apparently had a serious hardware malfunction in several areas that caused us to lose three team members. Apparently, it was not to be. We spent the evening with 7 people driving tanks and trying to amass enough dwarves to achieve nirvana (a.k.a. Dwarfageddon: the annihilation of 100 rune forged sentries within 10 seconds). It was a lot of fun, just hanging out with our people and having no agenda.

So, really, it was a couple of days of government timing - hurry up and wait. :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Old School

First, I have to make a very public apology to Arcarsenal. I reported that he had died during our Mimirion encounter and it was incorrect, as he so wonderfully informed me earlier. ("Your blog is wrong Nem!") So, everyone, the RET PALADIN LIVES! *cough* In all fairness, he is one of the best DPS paladins on our server. He's consistent, skilled and clever. I adore him, but that's between us, hm? I wouldn't want him feeling special and thinking I was going to be nice or anything. :)

Aside from that, there's really nothing to report from the world. Our raid week doesn't really kick off until tonight, so there are no new attempts at anything. We foray into Ulduar 25 tonight, however, so there should be quite a few new stories to pass along come tomorrow.

As I promised in the beginning, most of my writing has been about the World and all the things we do in it. However, there are many other types of games I've enjoyed over my lifetime and some of them have been hilarious. Considering this, I've decided to dig deep into my memory of games past and dredge up a story to tide you over. Enjoy. :)


It had been a grueling three week long dungeon crawl. Every Tuesday and Thursday for years, a group of us would meet at the local comic shop, load up on mountain dew and honey buns and geek out hard core playing table top Dungeons and Dragons. (D&D, people. Oh yeah.) For anyone not familiar with the system, think Warcraft without the automation or the built in faction conflict. All of the storylines and conflicts came from the imagination of the Dungeon Master, or DM. You had to act out your characters part in the story and test your luck with real dice.

This particular campaign had been incredibly intense. Killman Knightbridge, King of the Dragons, had charged us with a quest to locate all of the forgotten Dragon Orbs. These ancient relics were used to summon the dragons back from the nether to which they had been banished during the Great conflict that split our world in two. Killman himself was no longer allowed within our realm, only able to speak with us through a hazy avatar and cryptic notes. I was a young, half-elven acolyte within a secret order of wizards, sorcerers and priests who had dedicated themselves to serving the Dragon King and awaiting his return. I was devout. I was steadfast.

A group of haggard adventurers found our sanctuary. Two dwarves, a cleric and a warrior; an elven bard and a human Paladin were among them. They bore a note scrawled on parchemnt that simply stated they were to find my master and get a map. They claimed Killman had sent them. However, my master was very ill and lie dying on a pallet when they arrived. It was up to me. I chose to trust them.

We set out with the map in hand to locate the first of the orbs. The battles were fierce; many times we came exceptionally close to losing one of our party. (Unlike Warcraft, death was far more permanent. Resurrection was expensive and cost experience as well as ability points. You took permanent rez sickness and had to start over.) The land was harsh and all the inhabitants were hostile. You couldn't trust anyone. In the course of our adventure, we came across a band of goblin pirates with the second piece of our map and a flying ship. We needed both, in order to access a secret coven of wizards that could lead us further. They wanted to trade. They needed an alchemist to make some explosives. It was a mission. We were going to find an alchemist.

For three more weeks (real time, two nights per week), we searched. During the course of our questing, we amassed enough experience to level up our characters. As the five of us sat around with player handbooks opened, assigning skill points, we discussed what we could try next. The struggle had been really tough, trying to find what we needed. Apparently, alchemists with a skill level high enough to create the powders needed just didn't exist.

We had hit level 12 (about the World equivalent of 60) which meant we got an extra ability point. Being a wizard, I decided to spend my point in intelligence. It meant a I got an extra boost to my skill points as well. Listening to the discussion of my friends ebb around me, I started doling out the points and leveling up. About midway down the list, I noticed one that stuck out and made a decision that has followed me for years.

My head snapped up, eyes wide. Everyone at the table focused on me. "Oh damn, guys. I have a +18 in alchemy. I'm an alchemist."

You can imagine their faces. O.o

Don't worry! I'm an alchemist. *sage nod*

Monday, August 24, 2009

the Times they are a Changin'

Morning people. :)

Wilder announced this morning, upon exiting the shower, that we were changing things up - for better or worse. He's decided that we're spending too much time banging our head against walls that aren't ready to come down. So, in the interest of the Guild as a whole, the raid schedule will be modified.

In fairness, it speaks very highly of our people and their abilities that we've kinda forgotten that there are steps to this progression thing. You have to spend time collecting keys in order to open doors, right?

In order to understand this, you have to know a little about the social structure within the World. There are tons of people playing this game. Everyone wants something different and Blizzard has been pretty awesome about accommodating this desires. If you just want to spend your time fostering the war between the factions, so be it. Battle grounds are the place to be. In these specially designed combat areas, the Horde battle the (often greater numbered) Alliance for control of prime sections of land, resources, bragging rights, ...basically positions to better their sides advantage in the war against the Wrath. You can hook up with buddies as a whole group, or just a couple at at time if you like to do it pack style. or, you can allow Blizz's queue system to pull you into a random group of like minded players. Either way, your getting your bash-the-enemy fix.

If raiding is your thing, then it takes a little more coordination as far as social aspects go. You have to find a group of people who are able and willing to go into the content zones you want to be in. Sadly, this is where programming genius ends and the failing of humanity begins. (*le sigh*) Many of the hardcore progression guilds require potential members to fill out application, complete with references and abilities, specifics about play style, class, skills, etc. In fact, this is sort of the default group type. It consists of people who dedicate huge amounts of time (upwards of three to four hours nightly, three to four nights a week) organizing 10 and 25 man groups of people to progress through new content. On any given day, you can see people posting recruitment messages in the general chat channel, which functions as a sort of community bulletin board or SwapShop.

You do this for many reasons. Mostly, it's a desire to better your character with better equipment. Like most games, you have to fight bigger bad guys to earn better gear to make the next bad guys easier (or, even possible in some cases). Some people do it from a true and distinct love of the content and storylines that come from those clever dudes who created the World. Testing your skills against the game has long been a serious pull for most of us. It's why we play. We want answers to the age old gamer questions: Am I good enough, can I react fast enough? Are my reflexes honed? Can I pay attention to all of the different aspects and phases and still manage to do my job? It's doubly addictive and highly frustrating when it's not just you playing gainst the core elements of the game in question. When you have to learn the style and abilities of and entire group of people and where you fit into it, the game takes on a new element of excitement.

Due to these demands, attendance is strongly encouraged. After all, it's impossible to learn how to dance with a partner who doesn't show up, right? And what is the best way to make sure people show up on time, every time? Loot restrictions. Several different distribution systems have been attempted within these larger groups. DKP (aka: Dungeon Kill Points) is the time honored standard. Each raider is awarded a standard number of points for each boss downed, or content progressed through nightly. You can then use these points as currency to bid on the spoils of war your group manages to uncover. Clever, yes?

However, much like the Communist Political system, it only looks good on paper. It has a good basis; the idea is sound. You get paid for doing your job, the same as any one else so that everyone has a fair shot at the same rewards for time and effort. However, after you add into consideration the fact that one person (generally the raid leader) is in charge of distributing these points fairly, to only the people who have earned them. They flaws and cracks in this system have run rampant. Things such as 'loot council': the powers that be decided that someone else in the group deserves the gear more than you do, for the good of the group as a whole. (O.o Mhm.) Like Stan Lee's beloved Uncle Ben's words of wisdom caution, "With great power comes great responsibility." People who disagree with the decisions made usually have two choices: lie down and take it or leave and try to start over with a new group of people. Neither one is very appealing after dedicating 15- 20 hours a week into the group effort. Tempers flare, dramatic crises occur and relationships crumble like the Roman Empire. Many a raiding guild has been made or broken by the spoils of war.

Now, if you aren't much for all the pressure, there have social leveling guilds. For the casual, laid back player who just wants to hang out and enjoy a leisurely stroll through the World's many facets. You can see the tiny corners of the world, discover the storyline, study the lore, and earn the trust and respect from the many different native races. The bonus? Low pressure people to hang out with while you goof off. It can be a lot of fun, getting to know people and exploring the social nature of MMOs. (It's what separates them from console gaming. You get to do it with friends.) The draw backs? Progression is nil. You don't get to see the big bad guys. You don't get to forage into the seedy darkness of betrayal or feel the all encompassing adrenalin rush when it's your army against the Wrath. Which also means you don't get to earn the chance at the really neat peices of loot.

There is always the option to PUG, but at their own risk. A pug is a pick up group, consisting of many different people who can do specific jobs. It's kind of like shirts vs skins at the park. You never really know who your going to get, if they are any good at what you're doing or if you will be able to get along. Plus, you run the risk of being jilted out of your earnings. Trust is an iffy thing outside of your Guild in the World.

Aside from those two options, people were kind of stuck. Until now. WDB has very slowly reformed the face of Azeroth, at least in our own little corner. We are a social guild. We like to hang out with one another; we help each other level. We don't have attendance requirements or specifications for membership, unless you count my quiz. :) It has questions on it like "Who is your favorite Beatle?" and "How do you feel about pillows?". I think I even asked one guy if he believed in faeries. (Good answer too Shen. He said "Only when I'm wishing on a stars.")

The reason I ask these? Simple. They speak to a person's personality. Can you take a joke? Are you laid back, or do you take everything too personal? Will you slide right into our little world like you've been here all along or make a giant splash and shake it up? Either way, we like to know what to expect. We have a fantastic group of people. I'm incredibly proud of them all and consider them a huge online family. We don't recruit. Word of mouth adversities really well for us.

After all, we're an oddity. Now, what makes us different from any other social guild? Raid progression. We actually press through to see new content on a weekly basis. We also do it without demanding that our people give up their lives outside of the world to dedicate huge blocks of time the cause. Our motto? You're paying for the right to do whatever the hell you want to in the World, so we're not going to tell you how to spend your free time. Your kid has piano recital on Tuesday and you can't come to our Ulduar run? Ok, no problem. There is no penalty. Your not going to miss out on a chance to run next time or loose DKP. Why not? We don't use it.

Wilder's loot system is truly inspired. Every raider starts the night with one Primary roll. Think of it as a token. If something you really, really want shows up in a chest then you can toss your hat in the ring against the other people willing to give up their primary token. Once you win, your primary roll is gone. The feild stays narrow, becasue most people are hesitant to spend that primary roll too quickly for fear that they will miss something better. After all, the further in you go the better the reward.

What if no one is willing to spend their primary roll? Then it goes to secondary. Anyone who can use the item in question is welcome to try for it, without using an primary rolls or even if they have already won something else through the run, primary or otherwise. Basically, it's Need vs Greed. It works really well for us, as far as fair distribution of the spoils. It also keeps our group pretty balanced.

Now, I've explained all of this to illustrate how awesome our people are. Sometimes, we forget that we aren't quite as hardcore on progression because of the caliber of players we've collected. So, Wilder is slowing things down a little bit in order to find a solid groove for us as a group. One of the things that makes him such a good leader is that he knows when to go a little crazy and try for the stars but he also knows when it's time to rein ourselves in and focus our abilities.

We'd follow him anywhere. :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

BlizzCon: Night One

I know I already posted once today, but some things deserve mention. For the record, I was slightly skeptical about streaming the live feed over the internet. I thought it would suck, watching all the things I couldn't be there to see. However, I am so so so very glad Wilder talked me into it. Even disregarding the vanity pet you get (woot for Murloc Marines!), the show is totally worth it.

We watched the discussion panels while making dinner, checked out the trailers for the new expansion. It looks really wicked cool, by the way. I kind of like the it being heavy content, but only brief leveling. The graphics alone in the Cataclysm expansion are going to be worth the investment. Can you imagine relearning the terrain we all grew up on? Not to mention the heavy shift toward more player vs. player, with the introduction of formal hostile and neutral races into the current factions. I wonder if the Horde will get Booty Bay, Tanaris and Gagetzan as home cities, or if they will be wiped off the face of the player/ overrun with baddies?

Can any one say DeathWing? I shiver with anticipation to see all of the mysteries woven into the Lore of the World slowly come together in a tapestry so vivid and compelling that Blizzard outshines the sun. (If only briefly.) I'm really glad to see a lot of the old content get a new face, with an actual storyline to back it up. Even in my old world table top and text based gaming, the plot did it for me more than anything else. I adore the work put into the graphics, mechanics and game play, but the story is what gets me. Way to revamp your efforts and pull them back into the fold, guys. Gary Gygax would have been proud. No plot twist left behind.

The dance contest at the end of the broadcast was so amusing. I am really disappointed in the females that showed up to represent the real girls in WoW. (We do exist!) If only BlizzCon sponsored clever brunettes with witty blogs! No blood elf females danced on the red X and all the girls who attempted the Night Elf dance were people to lazy to learn to grind a pole. >.< There is a fluid motion with a rhythm and continuity. Sexy takes skills. (Mad props to the girl who did it in pointy ears and corset, though. That took guts and you looked great!) There was one girl who went all out, painted herself blue and wore a really awesome red wig to simulate that vibrant Troll hair color. She had a great shimmy, along with a fantastic roll of her hips. If she'd slowed down just a little and put a little more soul into her groove she'd have been perfect. As it stands, she was my favorite among the women. The ninjas weren't half bad either, trouped up to do a well timed and choreographed Blood Elf male (Napoleon Dynamite) routine. However, the best performance male side was the well executed Orc Male dance, complete with gold lame costume. Well played, my friend. Well played.

For part of the night, we hung out on Ventrilo and chatted up the developments with the guys in WDB. We're all pretty stoked about the upcoming changes. (assuming they don't release the new tier content starting in patches next week, right? >.<) Share the love amidst the guildies. :)

Anyway, for those of you who opted not to stream the feed, ... may better judgment come your way in the future. It really is well done and probably the closest second to actually being there as you can get.

Wipe-tacular: Part Two

For part two, I wanted to focus on the not so successful foray into the newest raid, Trial of the Crusader. For some reason, I got the bright idea to go ahead and take our group of 25 into this one ever though we weren't quite ready for it, forgoing the normal Obsidian Sanctum run we do on Tuesday nights. Wilder humored my request and away we went, into the Coliseum to fight it out with the Beasts of Northrend. I say humored because in terms of progression, we shouldn't have been anywhere near this frisky building as a whole group. We haven't cleared the level before this one yet. This is sort of a one step at a time thing. (Individually, we have quite a few people who are more than ready for it, both in terms of equipment and abilities thought. As a full group though... eh. >.<) Surprisingly, we did rather well with all things considered.

The fight starts out with a rather large Magnatuar, which is sort of a centaur hybrid: part Giant man, part woolly mammoth. He has a few tricks up his sleeve for the unsuspecting, but all in all the fight is pretty straight forward. You have to watch out for his creepy mouse like friends known as Snobolds. The shot off a Molotov cocktail worthy of any mob warning that spreads fire on the ground under the unsuspecting fighter. Two or three seconds is about all you get before you are one crispy character and your group is down one player.

Next, two very large worms called Jormongers come barreling through the gate. They were a bit more indepth, as one of them could be frozen in place while the other one got drug around the room, spewing acid bile at whomever it happened to be facing. (This is where I have to give mad props to our tanks - Ciggaspally, Yungwoptoo and Wardone did the honors for us through this one- those guys have to dance around, dragging a cranky beast and keeping it's attention focused while 20 people do their damnedest to kill it. Quite the job.) Of course, one of them had to die before the other and the coordination to do it wasn't there that night. Valiant effort for all involved though.

(We went through with a 10 man group after the 25 man attempt and managed to down the jourmongers and the guy that came after them. A super cranky, head butting Yeti that looked like the thing you fly around on in The Neverending Story. We got him too. *flex*)

The next one, the demon guy who was accidentally summoned from the nether by a cocky gnome, was a bit harder. He punted the gnome (which earned him my undying gratitude) and proceed to open portals to hell and summon forth frisky wenches bent on domination and death as well as some angry elemental demons whose one goal in life appears to be burning something alive. Needless to say, we haven't downed him as a group yet. But we got pretty close. Maybe this week. :)

I need to toss out a quick update: We downed Mimiron last night, after only a few quick tries!!! (I'm really happy about it too because my A-number-one arch-frienemy Arcarsenal the Ret Pally got to come with us for the first time in quite some time. His lovely real life job has gotten in the way of our verbal sparring, which I enjoy immensely. Keeps me on my toes.)

I'm really proud of our group as a whole, too. The last attempt, where we actually downed the boss was epic. We managed to get him all the way to that lovely Phase Four I was so excited about in the last post (O.o) and all three of our very dedicated healers bit the dust. Probably because they were so focused on keeping us alive that they neglected to pay attnetion to themselves. Love for that. :) We'd already lost three of our DPS (the damaging classes, who deal out the punishment - that's what I do. *flex*) so things were looking shaky. But we'd come so far that we only needed a few seconds of what we call "burst damage" - where you use up all of your items, special abilities and magical trinkets in order to do a huge amount of damage in a short amount of time. Most of those things have a very minimal duration, meaning you only get about 15 seconds to do what your going to do before Cinderella happens and your coach is a pumpkin.

We pulled it off. Myself, Cigga, Avatie and Zalderick were the only people left alive and we managed to burn the last of his life off in time to clear out the Keeper's of Ulduar.

The last part of that run should probably be it's own little post, maybe tomorrow. General Vezacx.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wipe-tacular: Part 1

First off, two orders of business. One: Thanks to Grimcross (one of our shadowpriests) for this fantastic title. It's clever as hell. I'll explain why shortly. Two: since I didn't post anything about Monday or Tuesday night's adventures in the World, I'll combine a few posts at once to make it a long one, but a good'un. (As such, this post will be chock full of that tasty catch phrases that I define at the bottom, including a few non gamer phrases that originate the same place I did: the Deep South. Settle in. *wink wink*)

Lemme explain the title. A nifty little twist on spectacular, it's honeyed-up with just enough sarcasm to make it amusing. A wipe in the World is a complete party meltdown, where the bad guys win for whatever reason. It could be that someone wasn't doing their job. Maybe you hadn't even seen the fights before and you are still learning the moves. Or.... >.< ! It could just be that the situation was a little above your abilities at the time (although hardly ANY of us will admit to that last one. It's a leet pride thing). Regardless, you do not down the bad guys, you do not pass Go or collect 200 dollars. In our case, the Tier Tokens. O.o

We have enough people in Guild (ours is called We Demand Blood, or WDB for short) that we split into three ten man raid groups for off nights. Group one is Wilder's personal group, and on Monday night we took off into the bowels of Ulduar to continue our run from Thursday night, before the server reset. (sounds a little creepy, doesn't it? Muahahah....*cough*... Sorry about that.)

The run went really well, all in all. It's spilt into quarters, as most of the encounters. The Siege consists of Flame Leviathan, a battle tank; Razorscale, a giant pissy dragon; Ignis, a grumpy, oversisized blacksmithing dwarf; and the robot known as Deconstructor XT. (That last one is great; she does these aerobics reminiscent of a early 80's music video. Some legwarmers and a few bangle bracelets and you'd start digging for your hairspray and looking for Madonna and Duran Duran.) The second piece of the progression is more grumpy Dwarfs, called the Iron Council; a crazy Cat Lady with a voice sweet enough to curdle milk ( can you taste the sarcasm? I think I dripped some on the keyboard. Lemme get a napkin....) known as Auriuaya. Those to encounters test your ability to tap dance. Lots of moving around, to make sure you don't get shocked by lightening, melted in a void, smushed into tiny pieces or have your head exploded from sonic torture. Good times.

After that, comes the Keepers. These are good guys that you have helped through out the course of the game; the Old Gods of Northrend. But, surprise surprise, they've been brainwashed! The evil god Yogg-Saron has slipped into their brains and taken over!

The first day we downed all of the bosses up through Hodir, the confused frosty Giant Lord. You have to work your ass off doing mundane daily tasks, like feeding ghosts and killing spies, for weeks to earn the trust and friendship of Hodir's sons during the course of the story, so it's doubly insulting to have to battle it out with Papa in order to save the world. I mean, I know they are an ancient race of frosty giants, but communication in families is key. Couldn't one of them have shot over a note? "Hi Dad, it's Junior. Got friends coming by... please don't freeze them into statues and smash them with a hammer, k? Peace." O.o

We also took out Freya, who is a blatant Mother Nature based Celtic nature goddess. Nifty stuff. Take out her viney plant friends and a few giant trees who remind me of the Ents from Lord of the Rings and she's tasty cake.

The next attempt was Monday night, where we busted up their buddy Thorim, who is the only one who kinda remembers you from the storyline. You have to spend quite a bit of time, shape shifting and gender changing in order to wake him up from his greif induced coma that came about after his creepy younger brother Loken pulled a Cain and took out Thorim's beloved wife Sif. After all that workin', you find out that all you've done is help Loken capture Thorim and thus set up the fight I'm describing. Go us! O.o

When you start up his encounter, he does this double taking blink thing and almost shakes off the brain washing. "Wait, I know you....*big bomming voice* Props for the attempt, but needless to say, it doesn't pan out or I wouldn't be talking about it. (Ha! I'm so funny. lol) It's an exceptional battle, where your team has to split up in order to combat the many facets incorporated into the coliseum type battle you've stumbled into. (I think the Blizzard design team has been watching a lot of Gladiator and Troy-esque movies, because they gone all Roman Battles, Old Norse Gods on us. I like it.) This was only our second attmept, but we managed to own him in two tries.

By the way, if you are interested in seeing these things because you're a visual learner, there are really nifty sites like TankSpot that will break it down for you and give you videos. Just click the search link and type who you wanna see into it. Plus, it's bonus that the narrator dude has a really calming voice. So they whole time you're thinking how hard it looks and how much it's going to suck when the bosses kick your ass, you are strangely ok with it.

After that, we moseyed on down to Mimiron. He's a cranky robot gnome, with a government defense contract research budget. You'd be amazed at the stuff he pulls out of god knows where to burn you, blow you up and otherwise hurt a whole bunch. He has three phases, each with a machine more complicated that the last. If you manged to make it through all of the rockets, robots fiends, fire puddles, missiles and laser cannons (oh yes, LASER BEAMS!) ... you get the dubious honor of battling it out tooth and nail with the Fourth Phase. A combination of all three machines Terminators up and come at you from all sides, using a gross mixture of all the three machines creepy kill you abilities you saw before.

Thus the wipes began. O.o

It was our first encounter with this guy, so I wasn't surprised or disappointed. It takes a few moments of falling flat on your face sometimes, to figure out you should have probably tied your shoes before attempting to tap dance. Also, Wilder is an exceptionally good raid leader. He maintains a level of calm that is legendary, even when he's struggling to get 10 nerdy gamers with ego issues (myself included) to shut up and do what he tells them to do. *grins* It might help a little that he's and elementary school teacher. You'd be amazed at the similarities between a bunch of gamers and some third graders. O.o

(Speaking of, remind me to tell you a story about this particular run, immature gamers, egos and Wilder. It's a doozy. We'll get to it after this.)

We manged to get him to Phase 4 after only a couple of tries, but never quite got through it. But, considering the fact that we'd only just seen him for the first time, I'm ok with that. We'll extend our raid ID and go on back to dance with Grumpy Smurf again tonight. This time, that annoying little robot won't be so lucky. *cracks knuckles*

That as Monday. Part two will talk about Tuesday, which... wasn't quite as focused, but was equally finny. However, you'll have to wait until this afternoon for more clever banter and definitons. I have to make a cheesecake. :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Understanding WilderCraft

Woot. Welcome to WilderCraft, the daily (most days) review of the world of online gaming and the misadventures of the people who play it. For those of you who do not know what "woot" means, here is the working definition: similar in nature to 'woohoo', it is an exuberant cry used to convey excitement or interest. It's used regularly within the gaming community. You'll see more of this. (Don't worry, I'll decode gamer speak for you. Look for italics and find the words defined at the bottom of the post.)

We will discuss the general play ideas; the sites that tell you how, when and where with the most success; share our triumphs as well as out failures and how we cope with them and the humorous anecdotes that shape the world we play in. Also, I hope to disabuse a few notions the world at large hold about the gaming community at large. Stereotypes have some basis in reality, but they aren't fair.

I call it WilderCraft for a few reasons. First, it's a blatant play on Warcraft. As in, World of. (It's the game that takes up most of my free time.) Secondly, Wilder is the in-game handle my boyfriend uses. He leads the guild we play in, leads the raids we do and generally makes my life awesome. He's not the reason I started playing WoW, but he is the reason I like it as much as I do. But, there's more to that story later. :)

I hope you find some amusement in the things I share. Enjoy.


World of Warcraft- an amazing game, of the massive multi-player online variety, created by Blizzard Entertainment and supported by nerds, gamers, geeks, teenagers and military guys with nothing better to do all over the world. A virtual reality, where you create an avatar of yourself within the parameters of their fantasy environment, choose a side and battle it out against each other and the bad guys. There's a storyline (which we will explore), weather patterns, an economy; you can even get a job. Or two.

guild - a group of people who share a chat channel, common goals and a name tag. Like at those professional conventions where everyone wheres a name tag? "Hi I'm from (guild name) and my name is (whatever)!" You can communicate with people form other guilds, but it's like having a giant common room in your dorm. Only the people who live there get to chill.

raid- as with any game, from old school Mario Bros on up, there is an end battle, or boss fight. In this particular case, multiple people (10 to 25 individuals) have to come together and coordinate under the leadership of ONE Orc... err.. man. :) It's up to your leader to determine strategies, positions, job assignments, etc. It's like a tiny virtual army, with one general, to destroy the .... uhm... virtual bad guys. *nod*