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Archive for the ‘Mostly Personal’ Category

 Many of you may have noticed that I took a good break from providing you with the ooey gooey Healadin content you love. Well unfortunately due to semi-serious life rearrangements I have had to take a break from WoW. I have thought about it a lot and I feel really conflicted.

I miss writing for you. It was so much fun to watch as my seedling grew up, nutured by the community. I miss the community, not just the friends that I had made during what was practically a career of WoW but also the folks who were nice enough to email me about the blog and chat through comments.

I used to joke that being a Guild Master was on  on my resume.  It’s not but wouldn’t it be nice if we could explain to folks who are unfamiliar with the game why we love it so much and what we get from the experience? There are those of us who eat, breath and sleep WoW. Heck I’ve even heard one of my guidlies theorycrafting in his sleep!

I am reluctant to say that this will be my last post so keep an eye out for the ocasional thought bubble popping up on the site.  I was really happy to see people still visiting, reading, and commenting on past work. Feel free to check in from time to time and drop me a comment and I will do my best to respond.

In the off chance that this is my final article I would like to offer one piece of advise that I am sure most of you take to heart. It’s life is short so live it the way you want, love the life you live. I feel that so many people try to fit themselves into a box with the tag “Normal Life” but that box is tiny and cramped. Never be ashamed or embarassed to let your freak flag fly.

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With less than a month left in Winter, I am counting down the days until Spring. It seems a little foolish, I know. As if on this day, the first day of Spring I can expect nothing but warm sunny days. Not in New England but with every passing day I know that I am closer to not having to don my hat gloves and coat every morning, that the days are getting longer, and I won’t have to worry about snow for another eight months.

A lot of exciting stuff is happening right now. I just got back from vacation. I was visiting a friend who I originally met through online gaming. This is not the first time that I have been able to meet the person behind the avatar. I met some of my guildies at Blizzcon and then in December more of us got together for the release of Cata. I often sit back from the keyboard and wonder what some of my guildies might be like in person. It’s always cool to be able to put it all together. I am really hoping to meet some more of my friends from Azeroth at this years Blizzcon. Yoda, Red, Van, I’m talking about you here.

In game, my raid team is only working on Cho’Gall, Nefarian, and Al’akir for our progression. You can expect to see some more raid boss guides popping up on the site in the next week or so. Our Tuesday night romp through BoT ended with Cho’Gall decimating the team with only 4% health remaining. That was after about a dozen attempts where we took the fight into the second phase. The first phase of the fight is a faceroll compared to the mayhem in phase two. Hopefully with a little more practice we will have it this evening. Any tips or tricks your team uses for the four tentacles would be appreciated.

Out of game, PAXeast is in two weeks. If you have no idea what I am talking about, PAXeast is the biggest gaming event on the east coast all year-long. I attended this three-day convention last year and I felt like I had died and gone to gaming Valhalla. There will be plenty to please everyone from casuals, to hardcores, console gamers to pc players, serious RPers to munchkin board gamers.

I am really, really excited about this event and if you live in the New England area I would highly recommend getting a day pass and checking this thing out. You will not be disappointed. I will be in attendance all three days and would love to meet up with fellow pallies, or bloggers,  gamers, or basically anyone who wants to meet up. 🙂

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When I think about what it means to play too much a few different things come to mind.

I think of Clara from hit web series, The Guild. Clara, for folks who have never seen the show is the loveable stay-at-home Mom who neglects her kids, her husband, and almost every other aspect of her real life to play a MMO, not unlike WoW. The character emphasizes how hard it can be to balance real life responsibilities and MMOs, especially when you throw young children into the mix.

Back in Wrath, I regularly pugged in a 25 man where the  raid lead and his partner just had a newborn daughter. My heart went out to him because I know he was trying hard to keep it all together. But, twenty-minute baby afks started to add up and it didn’t take long for him to realize that he had to take a break from the game.

I am not at the point in my life where I am thinking about taking on the huge responsibility of raising children. I may never get to that point. I would like to say that I am willing to give up gaming if I had to but it has always been such a huge part of my life.

When I ran my guild back in Wrath, WoW took up most of my weekdays after work and some weekends. It’s probably safe to say that it was way too much WoW. I was religiously running raids four nights a week and sunday night guild meetings. I found myself blowing off everything besides work just to be there for the guild. It was definitely way too much.

Being a member of Obsessive, I show up for raids at least twice a week. I always set aside Monday and Tuesdays and nothing comes between me and raid night. Pretty much I’m like this kid twice a week. As you can imagine this becomes a bit of a bone of contention with the misses.  

On Tuesday I wasn’t feeling so good. I left work in the afternoon and went to the doctors passed out in the waiting room. Eventually they saw me gave me some Tylenol for my fever and sent me home with some antibiotics. That night, I was sick as the dickens but I wasn’t going to let it stop me from downing bosses. The girl said that it was a serious problem that I was putting raiding before my health. 

That night, post-patch we downed six bosses. It was the best raid night that we have had post-Cataclysm. We one shot Atramedes. I got three pieces of loot if you count my T11 pants bought with Valor Points. She went to bed early and told me not to wake her up. She was mad as hell in the morning. Was it worth it? Maybe…

Back in Wrath, I remember being on vent one beautiful sunny sunday afternoon running some BGs with guildies and one of my buddies came back from being AFK. He said, “my girlfriend is packing her stuff up right now, she’s leaving me.” Then he said something that I’ll never forget, “third girlfriend I lost to WoW, good riddance”, and then he cracked a beer.

We have all heard stories of MMO addiction getting out of hand. In the new millenium rehabilitation centers for treating video game addiction have started opening around there world, spotlighting this issue. I think many of us justify how much time we spend playing by comparing ourselves to others who never seem to log out of game.

I have heard a lot of crazy stories about MMO addiction gone terribad. What stories have you heard? When do you think it’s time to set up an intervention? Just how much is too much?

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Some years back I remember reading a news article about a college student who took advantage of some desperate male MMOers by pretending to be a sexy lady MMOer on his sexy Nightelf female toon, flirting with them and getting them to shower him in gold and in-game items. The article said that this guy was doing it as a social experiment, but I wasn’t buying it. 

I bet you’ve heard stories like this pop up from time to time. Not everyone who is  trans-tooned is rolling that way to take advantage of unwitting players. I know players on both sides of the gender fence who choose not to roll their own gender for various reasons.

I know plenty of females who don’t want people to know they’re girls. They can fly under the radar without anyone harassing them, male or female. It’s been my experience that female gamers can ruthlessly harass other females worse than men, so I can understand why girls might want to do this.

My ex-girlfriend always played male characters. She said she thought people in LFD and BGs were more likely to follow directions if they thought they were coming from a member of the male persuasion. This brings up interesting questions about the role gender plays in authority. I liked that we could be flirtatious and playful with each other while in randoms without making it obvious that we were not a heteronormative couple.

Plenty of folks (male and female) say they do it because they prefer the look of the in-game character models of the opposing gender. The troll female comes to mind when I think of notoriously terrible looking female models. Reading up for this article, many girls on the forums say that they play female but wouldn’t be caught dead playing one of the Worgen female models.

TimmyPowegamer: “They are trolls, they should look ugly and frumpy and hunched over like the males. Not pretty and upright like humans and elves. Same with Orcs.”
Many women prefer to play an attractive looking character. Listed as one of the female options the picture at the right could mistaken for male.

A lot of people hate the way armor looks on a specific gender. I personally am glad that blizzard stopped putting midriffs on female armor,  but I think they could do a little better at differentiating it from the male armor models. I have heard guys make the argument that they don’t like the way cloth armor looks on male models. One guy told me he liked the way plate armor looked on his female toon’s back side.

Strych: “My college roomate had a toon named and modeled after his girlfriend. I think he spent more time oggling his toon though. When he finally got the ultimatum, he chose his digital GF over the analog.”

Do you find it strange when your male friends have female names for their female toons? Or do you think it’s just a normal part of the RP experience involved in the MMORPG? I would never judge the trans-tooned, I just want to get some insight on the reasons players roll the opposite gender. I find it fascinating that so much of this goes on in the MMO world.

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David Bowie

Cha-cha-cha-cha changes… Ok we all know the song and so I’ll spare you my terrible rendition. You may have noticed that there has been some graphical changes to the blog lately. You’re going to have to bare with me. To me, what the blog looks like is like the gravy to the meat and potatoes that are my regular posts. But what’s meat and potatoes without the gravy, right? I was not satisfied with the previous changes I had made so I enlisted the help of my sister, who is a Photoshop Guru to add a professionals touch to the site.

Thanks Sis for creating one mean Cata banner for the site! If you’re reading this right now and thinking that you might want a spiffy custom banner for your blog or website, you can email me at the email found on my About Porkchop page.

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Another Xmas came and went and like most, this one was not without its dissappointment. I hate the idea of being judged on my gift giving ability. I won’t give a gift card becuase they’re like giving cash, there is very little thought involved. I make it a point to put a lot of thought and effor into finding the perfect gifts. The hard part for me is that I love giving gifts but during the holiday it feels forced and less appreciated.

I am a very hard person to shop for. Out of game, I usually tell people to donate some money to charity on my behalf. I don’t want people wasting money on things that I just plain won’t like and won’t use. However if there is something I really need then I’ll ask for it. Out of game, I asked for a liquid measururing cup. This probably seems strange to most people but I love baking and not having one is a major inconvenience. For Xmas I baked Irish carbomb cupcakes. Thats a Guiness chocolate cupcake with a chocolate whiskey ganash and Irish cream frosting. My roomate said they were the best cupcakes hes ever had.

In game I asked my favorite bear tank for Vial of the Sands. I saw someone on my server selling these for an easy 28K so I didn’t actually figure that she was going to get me one. I also hinted, subtlely that I wouldn’t mind having a few Illusionary Bags. Is this asking a little much? Maybe… Needless to say if you read the first paragraph, I did not get either of these things. I didn’t even get my liquid measuring cup.

I did get some really nice gloves and a really sweet homemade Xmas card which I totally loved. I got to spend time with family and friends and I got an extra day off from work due to the blizzard. So pretty much this more than made up for it. Plus my holiday was full of running successful Heroics and healing them like a champ.

My good friend Strych got a whole cookbook full of cakes baked with alcohol for xmas so I am looking forward to some fun recipes for future cupcakes. I loved the recipe  I used for my Irish carbomb cupcakes, you can find it here.

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