Monday, May 10, 2010

I've seen the world, baby!

I did it! I decided that there was a goal within reach for me before Cataclysm changes our world forever.

For those of you that are new to World of Warcraft, there are things called achievements. Some of those achievements are rewarded with a TITLE. What that means is that when others in the game see your name, they also see the TITLE. (If you have it turned on)

For example, (points up) that is a screen shot of Cantique achieving the Title "Explorer". All I had to do was check out each zone in the game. That meant lots of running around on a ground mount, flying where I could (there are fly zones) and sneaking a little bit to check out the other faction areas.

There are lots of titles a toon might have; several of which I will not attempt at this time for various reasons - not enough time, not enough skill, not enough will power!...LOL

Titles fall under several categories: (to check these out further see WoWWiki)

PVP (player vs player)
World Events

Argent Tournament
Dungeons and Raids

I have the Title Jenkins. This is in tribute to a very funny video about Leroy Jenkins . (warning - a bit of swearing) I actually never wear this title. It is a surname and for RP reasons I created my own surname. I wish Blizzard would let us give ourselves a surname - sorta like when a hunter has the option to name his hunting companion.

I also have Champion of the Frozen Wastes title. What a mouthful! Some titles are pretty easy to come by, I wasn't even working toward this. What a nice surprise.

My newest title, the Explorer, falls under the category Miscellaneous.

I am in awe of people with some of the titles available, like Loremaster. Those folks had to complete ALL of the Loremaster quests for Eastern Kingdoms, Kalimdor, Outland, and Northrend. I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone wearing the title the Seeker. (3000 quests completed!)

There are titles for achieving cooking quests, fishing quests, even for simply using the dungeon tool in to finish random heroic dungeons with 50 random players - The Patient title. (A very nice thing is that - after you have done it with 100 random players you earn an in game pet - a nice little pug dog!)

Anyway, I just wanted to share my latest in-game happy, happy, joy, joy moment!

See you guys later!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Cantique lays her fishing pole down. Looking around to be sure she is alone, she removes her clothing and walks into the water.

For the rest of this wee story, please see . . "I hate Stormwind" blog o mine

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hey! That's my egg!

Camping for these eggs
Ninja standing on my head
Oh, I am one too.

In World of Warcraft there are holidays. These seem to correspond with RL (real life) holidays – for example it was Easter Sunday a few days ago and Noble Garden holiday began in WOW, Eggs, Bunnies, fancy clothes and all.

There are points for achievement to be done! There are areas (4 on Alliance side, and 4 on Horde side I think) where colorful eggs are liberally strewn about. If an egg is picked up by a character, pretty soon it will re-spawn. (Re-spawn means “show back up” for those of you new to some online gaming terms.)

There are achievements to be earned, quests to be done, and loot to be had!!! What that means is ….people are running around like crazy “finding” the eggs. This pretty much promotes what is normally considered rude in the game.


Ninja-ing something means that you take loot away from someone that has done something to get to the loot. Okay. I know that is vague. Scenario: You have just fought off three mobs in order to get to a plant that you really very much wanted to “pick”. Someone else runs by while you are fighting and “picks” it. They are considered a Ninja and people get hopping mad when that happens to them. I know I do.

So, here I stand in a spot (“Camping”. That means standing in one spot waiting for something to happen) near a bush (or whatever) and wait and wait and wait for the egg to re-spawn. If I blink just right someone else gets it first. Sigh. This holiday in World of Warcraft is all about getting enough eggs.

I am sorta forced to be a ninja. I am not the only one working to get these eggs, a gazillion other people are working to get the eggs too. I just have to be on my toes, quick to click, I must be the ninja.

Here I just imagine myself dressed in shades of gray, stealthily still, moving only my arm when the egg spawns. Quick. Quiet. No gloating. No, “ha ha…I got it before you did you sneaky wabbit!” Quiet, calm, quick.

I am a ninja today.

Any thoughts on this WOW holiday?

Friday, March 26, 2010


It was the year I was 9 and my sister was 7 – brother was 5. Life was wonderful for us We were always exploring our surroundings especially since our dad was in the service and we moved at least once a year. Stuff was always new and exciting.

We were in Florida this time and one day we found an unopened can of beer in the gutter and dropped it, causing a tiny, tiny hole. The hot beer spewed forcefully out of the hole arcing into the sky, seeming to us like a wondrous fountain of fun. We did NOT put that in our mouths, we played in it. RIBL. (rolling in beer, laughing)

Parents used to have friends over and they would play poker and smoke and drink * gasp * hard liquor. Siblings and I would get up early the next day after those parties (parents snoozing happily) and we would wander through the house finishing off the partial glasses of whatever and eating match heads. Yes. We would eat the burnt heads off the matches in the ashtrays. They were salty and very good. (Sulfer I guess doesn’t harm in small amounts – wait – maybe that’d explai. . . nevermind.)

My sister ate the head of a fly once while I watched. Ewwww. A babysitter in Germany let us have raw bacon sandwiches for lunches. “Mom, mom, we like it raw!” …”WHAT!?” (ummmm bacon)

I remember crying with my tongue stuck to a frozen pop treat one day as mom and dad tried hard not to laugh at me. That was NOT funny!

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, this one day when we were 9 and 7 and 5, we were sooo excited. We played and had sooo much fun with our find. Then, it was time to go in for dinner. Mom and Dad got so . . . Well, as a child I wasn’t sure what. They weren’t really mad, but they were yelling at us. They were very stern, yet we didn’t get sent to our room for a paddling. We stood, dumbfounded, eyes wet with fear, and nodded listening.

“But we found it, it’s ours, (sob)”
“Outside. (sniffle)”
“Outside where? (stern look)”
“In the back alley where we play with rocks.”
“Was it in a box or a sack or anything?”
“No, Daddy, we didn’t steal it, it was lost on the ground. (poutyfaces)”

They admonished us sternly and then they took our free, not broken, funny balloon away, and let the air out of it. WAH!!!!!

We learned, never, never put balloons we just “find” outside or “ANYWHERE for that matter!” in our mouth. They never did tell us why.

(I did not understand the seemingly irrational behavior of my parents until years after this event. I laugh still.).

What does this have to do with World of Warcraft? /loot woot!! It's mine I found it!! /nod I know it has a gazillion armor and stamina and I'm a priest...but it's purty!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

“Is This A Role-play Realm or Not?”

I see that question in General Chat and Trade Chat often. I understand why people ask. The fact that there are Role Play realms indicate that there might be people actually doing it. However, some of the answers coming across the channel indicate that the only people watching the channel are non-role players. That makes sense as people that role play probably turn off the extra channels in order to keep up with and thoroughly enjoy the role play without loads of “chat” interruption. /shrug?

On the game World of Warcraft, characters inside a city are busily running from the bank, to the auction house, to the mailbox, to the trainers for either their class or their skills -- cooking, sewing, first aid, blacksmithing, jewel crafting, leatherworking, etc. You get the picture. Busy, busy, busy! Usually the only ones walking where I play are NPCs that are selling something like bread, fruit, or guards that are busy making sure the THEM aren’t going to get me. LOL.

I have found that it is a good thing for me to change my pace in the game sometimes. It becomes more relaxing and fun to simply walk, not run. On my keyboard my forward slash key toggles from run to walk. Believe me, in a city where everyone is running on foot or riding fast through the city, someone walking stands out. If you want a bit of attention (I admit at times I do), just walk. What I desire when I do this is some nice role-play adventure.

So the other day, I went to realm Argent Dawn and walked around in Stormwind with my little female dwarf. She is only level 3 or 6 (why can’t I remember?) and she has absolutely not one cent left to her name. Here is why. She walked into the city and went to the inn and talked to the inn-keeper there . . (imagination must come into play) …The inn-keepers’ prices were too high for Cantique, so she told her she was welcome to build a fire outside near the inn, “But don’t harm the tree out there, mind!”

Cantique walked outside and found that she didn’t have a way to make fire. She realized that she needed to seek out a cook somewhere in the city and get a fire kit. She walked up to a guard in the trade center and asked for directions, which he promptly gave, smiling and nodding his head before snapping back into his watchful stance on the corner.

(Note, all this was played out verbally in the chat pane, of course the NPCs didn’t /say anything, but Cantique acted and spoke as if they did.)

She walked out of the Trade Center and stopped at each signpost and sounded out the words to make sure she was finding her way to Old Town. During the walk (I) looked around and noticed that there was a night elf following and listening. I attempted to draw him in by smiling at him. No response.

Anyway, when Cantique arrived at the Pig and Whistle and found the cook, the price he wanted for the training to learn to cook and build a fire was more than she had. She needed 95 coppers. Cantique looked at the woman standing nearby who had flour and spices to sell and she asked the woman if she would like to purchase her dress. Well, Cantique must’ve look pretty desperate, because the woman did indeed purchase the thin dress and Cantique ended up with 95 copper. She looked into her coinkeep and there was not another penny. She could now make fire.

(And THAT is odd because she had some few coppers and the sale of the dress made the EXACT amount she needed – I’ve always been fortunate IRL with having exactly what I need when I need it…that this carries over into the game is spooky. My hubby is always amazed that when I make new toons I “loot” bags pretty regularly. /grin)

She looked into her coinkeep and had not another penny, but she could now make fire.
She walked (did not run) back to the Trade Center and found her way back to the front of the inn, build a fire and sat down, her tummy grumbling.

During all this time, no-one spoke to me, neither role-play wise nor OOCly (out of character). A couple of folk stopped and “listened” and/or watched but did not comment or interact. I was amazed at the lack of even a derisive comment. Maybe I was in an alternate universe. (play eerie music here) But more likely the timing was wrong and when I go back and walk again, so many toons will talk I won’t be able to keep up with all the chatter.

But that day, I simply finished out my story and faded away. LOL…I still had fun. Am I crazy? Please tell me.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Screenshots of life.

In the spirit of Spring I did some cleaning in game this week. My friends list updated, my ignore list ignored and last night I cleaned up my World of Warcraft screenshots folder. (While you are playing the game, at any time you may push the [print screen] button on your keyboard and a picture of your screen is automatically saved in a folder in your World of Warcraft folder. This folder is titled “screenshots”.)

I had pictures of pillows on a bed in an inn in Dalaran, flowers on a ledge, ceiling detail, the picture at the top of this blog (Ulduar) and many, many shots of my character flying off into the sunset. /laugh.

Just as some of my screenshots took some time and thought to get them to come out “just right” it also took some thought before I deleted them. My character’s life is just like rl (real life) in that there are things that happen that will never happen again for her. The day she turned 80, the day she got 11,000 damage per second in a 5-man raid, the day someone whispered something really nice to her. (In World of Warcraft, people can whisper to you and it shows up on your screen in the chat box.)

I had screenshots of heartfelt conversations with other characters that were telling me how they felt about this or that in the guild, or how they dealt with something in their real life. I kept the majority of those. I had some screen shots showing a couple of acquaintances telling me how stupid I was in my rps. I deleted those. I don’t need the reminder of the bad times. I kept those screen shots initially as a defense if anyone else tried to grief me about the same subject. They are gone now, as are the tears and hard feelings.

Thinking of all this makes me wish someone were taking “screenshots” of me as I sit at my computer laughing at silly chat or being totally immersed in a dungeon. Reminders of how much fun I’ve had with this newfangled kind of game. I know there will come a day when I am no longer able to raid with my friends and will only be able to slowly make my way around Azeroth picking flowers, standing on my corner in Stormwind or Orgrimar looking wistfully around for someone who will stop long enough to role play just a bit about nothing much -- the weather or the prices in the auction house.

Being an older person gives a different perspective of what it takes to be able to raid. My fingers hurt sometimes. They don’t move as quickly as they used to – All the fish oil in the world won’t make my hands young again. My eyes lose the cursor more often. I wipe my glasses and get a larger monitor, but I still wish I could make my cursor a vivid hue of color so I can find it again. I wish I could reach up and touch my monitor with my finger and have the cursor center to my touch. That would be very good. I would target the enemy with my finger - /point /say “Okay you oogly damned scourge, time to pull up yur panties and get serious.”

Please don’t tell me to get a life. I have a life. This IS what I want to do right now. Playing this game isn’t any worse than sitting for hours watching soap operas or other non-interactive shows on the television. I choose my entertainment to be World of Warcraft. I at least get to have a part in the drama. It is very entertaining. It uses more of my senses than television. It tugs my heart like a good movie, it makes my heart race like an action film.
Cleaning out my screenshots file was necessary, to make room for memories of new in-game experiences. AND I AM READY!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Whiney Post Day

Whiney Post Day – TODAY!

I’ve heard in the blogging world that March 17 is whiney post day. Imma take advantage o’ that right now.

So, I didn’t even get on WOW yesterday. What did I do after you work? I actually cooked (tore the top off a bag of veggies and opened a box of frozen fishies)! What else? I watched “Unbreakable” and “Sleeping with the enemy”. Did I miss the game? Sure did. Did I miss getting pugged by a feral druid that rolled heals just to get quicker runs? Are you kidding!?

I can’t really whine about bad pugs though, since the majority of them are pretty good, really. So, lets see, what can I whine about?

Simply put, I do NOT have enough energy to play my favorite Massive Multi-player Online Game as much as I wish! Oh I know, “Get Real! Is that all you have to whine about?” /nod – pretty much.
Raiding, though very fun, is exciting and makes my heart rate and blood pressure go up. Tiredness creeps in. I have a raid tonight, so last night I stayed away from WOW to store up enough energy for today’s run. I want to have fun!

Dwism wrote Whiny post day: When you run out of fun

I had to smile. Hubby and I sit next to one another each night and play, he with his character of the moment, (he has like 8 or 9 80s and never raids-gasp!) and me with either my Alliance priest, or my horde Mage. We aren’t playing together, we are sitting together. “Hey look at this!” or “Argh!! We wiped again!” and we take turns encouraging one another. (In an earlier blog I mentioned why we have two accounts Hello again -- Cantique here, sorry for the delay ...)

So, it was different for him last night, as I sat all snuggled up on the couch watching movies: He kept turning in his chair and looking at me and then would get involved in the movie and just sit there with his back to WOW. He couldn’t quite get himself totally away from his system, though. LOL! I did not mind. I could stretch out and have the whole couch! (And hey Dwism, if you are reading this . . . I hate watching news at the same time as hubby cause he can’t shut up either!)
I love that noob.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

2 posts today

Bless the Healers little heart.

In a non- heroic pug last night, and the healer said in party chat,

“If the pants drop off (boss) can I have them?”


He continued:

“I've been coming in here over and over and over trying to get those pants.”


I finally typed “Boy! Haven't we all?”

“If they drop and I don't get them, I'm leaving.”


I was waiting to see if someone would initiate a /kick and had my fingers poised.


I finally typed

“Now we see how you are.”


Boss downed, no pants drop.

Healer typed,

“I wasn't really going to leave.”

Total silence.
Why am I just standing here?

When I am online with my level 80 character, I have time to stop and smell the roses, one of the roses being in the form of /guildchat. Whether I am flying around looking for pretty plants, or fishing in Wintergrasp and fighting off the occasional hordie, I have time to read what my guildmates are doing. If I want to, I can chime in with a few "LOLs" or "Grats!" or I can simply be quiet. My guildmates don't know whether I'm actually at my computer watching the screen, so If I don't respond there is no guilt on my part and no angst on theirs (hopefully) during quiet times.

On Horde side I have a character, Monjini. She is busy. She is only 75 and working hard to level to become an asset somewhere. She wants very much to be able to go into Naxx. When I began playing with her again the other day, it just felt weird to be guildless. It was too quiet, even if I didn't want to actually "say" anything, there was a void without the "chat." So, when a nice person invited me to their guild I joined after asking about the size of the group. I wish to be a part of a certain size guild so there would be "chatter" and a possibility of raids later on.

Now the conundrum. After joining I found out that my new guild doesn't really use guildchat -- they interact via teamspeak. When I asked about communication for raiding it did not occur to me to ask about their communication process in general--during the "rest" of the time. In fact several times in the course of my second night in the guild the only guild chat basically consisted of a reminder to activate teamspeak for all communication, the guild announcement for the day, and as achievement auto-announcements popped up my "Grats".

So the "Get to know your guildmates" is done verbally.

That means headset and microphone (check) and the teamspeak program (check).

Pros: For raids, and instances, yes. I like that. Officer decisions, totally good.

Cons: I wear a headset all day at work. Sigh. I don't want to wear one constantly. I am willing to wear one for instances and decision making process, BUT NOT ALL THE TIME. >.< My ear hurts.

I want a bit more anonymity. I want to be able to ignore questions I feel uncomfortable answering with simple on screen silence. It is easier for me to Type "um I'm not ready to discuss much of my real life" than to hem/haw around in voicechat.

Voicechat is not a comfortable thing for me. Typing is.

When I am concentrating on questing, it takes all my brainpower to do it. I know, some of you can do this stuff, talk, chew gum, and knit a sweater all at the same time. I cannot. So, I was trying to quest, with my headset on, and trying to be somewhat attentive to the chatter and not miss out on a cue if they were speaking to me and I really got flustered. I stopped questing and found myself just sort of hanging there, in mid air, on my flying carpet, not going anywhere. (Funny, troll fems loose their straightback posture and look undeadish standing on the carpet.)

Don't get me wrong, those I've met through the guild using this venue of communication all seem very nice. Helpful. Calm. Mature. It's not them, it's me. I am not comfortable.

I have to decide how much time to give myself to find my niche. This is the trial period after all. A time not only for the guild leaders to see if a potential full member will fit with them, but also for the new member to see if the guild dynamics are a comforting presence in her life online.

For now, I want to just stand here. I chose discomfort over running away. I want to give us time. Like two individuals that have just looked into one another's eyes, there is wonder and trepedation. It is okay to be uncomfortable, it adds a tension that causes growth and excitement. So just standing here, quietly watching and shyly smiling is okay. I will find the roses in this new encounter.

It's hard to be "new".

Potential for personal growth FTW!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I am totally lost.

When I get bored or stressed out in game, I make a new character, play until about level 10 or 12 and delete them. Over and over, I have done this, wasting time and in-game resources. I have had multitudes of Alliance side toons and a few Horde side. Always deleted.

Yesterday I did something different. I paid for a faction change and moved a level 73 character to Horde side. Since I paid for this and since I’ve already invested much time in the character, I will be more inclined to stick with it.

I am excited and scared at the same time. I am totally lost. I ported to the city of Dalaran, and then had to figure out where the horde blimp docks out there in the wilderness. Simple things are no longer so simple.

As I roam around as the other faction (OH MY! …I am the THEM now!) my sight is filled with a totally different “look” of the game. Imagine my surprise when I came upon an enclosure full of pigs and Alliance deserters. The dwarves were just sitting in the pig slop. I felt like laughing and at the same time, I felt insulted. I will get used to it I know. I am already enjoying the differences. Heck, I might even get to spend more time in the Wintergrasp fortress. LOL!!
Why am I nervous about this?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sorry, It Just Slipped Out

Sorry it just slipped out.

/sigh - points to self

The guild I belong to is a G-rated guild. There are underage people that are part of us. Use of foul language is a no-no and we actually have a chat channel set aside for adults. (no holds barred in there, though it runs to the mild side and is usually used to express one’s self in innuendo filled speech. LOL.)

I’m old enough to have heard all the swearwords. I believe in freedom of speech be it typed or spoken, scrawled in sand or carved in a tree, yelled or whispered. I also believe there are certain arenas in which a person must curb their desire for the attention they believe foul language affords them. Believe me, when I TYPE certain words I totally mean it, it is not a slip. But I do not do it in guild chat nor do I speak in an unseemly manner in a family restaurant where youngsters can hear me.

For example, in a G-rated guild. There are youngsters in there. I know, I know, we all believe the youngsters have already heard and said every swear word ever invented – we might even be correct. You know who else is in there? Me. And sometimes, the parents of children are watching.

I am somewhat uncomfortable if there is foul language around children. Other peoples’ kids. There is a sense of responsibility that rears up in me – A desire to project a modicum of gentility – to the underage people who belong to our group. (Oh the trouble, if the youngsters parent happened to stop by and read the g-chat – I don’t want our nice guild to be a source of contention in a family.)

But what should be done if the offending party is in fact a minor? Well, simply enforce the rules of conduct set up for G-chat and remind him/her that we don’t use that kind of language out of courtesy for others.

A few weeks ago, someone typed a word that means the act of intercourse -- I believe they were expressing frustration about a pug – and when reminded about the rules of G-chat, they responded by typing, “I can’t help it, it just slips out.” The person went on to say that perhaps they need to quit the guild as they are tired of being told to “watch” their language in g-chat. I responded in whispers that they should do what they feel is best for themselves if they feel unwelcome because of the cursing rule.

Perhaps processing the word in the mind and moving it down the arms into the fingers and onto a keyboard can be a slip - /Shrug. Maybe. I contend though that the person that is cursing is a person who has learned to control himself in other arenas e.g. public defecation. The urge to defecate is usually a bit more urgent than the urge to curse, yet we pretty much all have learned to “help it.”

stinking mess – “Please don’t do that here. Okay?”
“Sorry, it just slipped out.”

Friday, February 19, 2010

No, Doctor, I Don't want to discuss this!

Remembering that first 5-man.
No, doctor, I DON’T want to talk about it!

Yes, I know I’m paying good money for your time. Doesn’t that mean I can decide what to disclose to you about my personality known as Esi? No? /sigh.
. . . . . . . . . . .

Esiwlil was a wee gnome mage at the time of the traumatic experience. She did not belong to a guild, or have a core group of friends running around with her. It was a dark day.

A stranger came close and whispered into her ear. (I know she should have run away from the stranger danger, but well, Esiwlil was innocent in the ways of the World.) The stranger asked her if she would like some candy from a place called Scarlet Monastery. What’s more innocent than candy? Esi bounced up and down in her excitement to be invited to go with four strangers (4??) to church. It all sounded so safe.

“What is this place you are speaking of? How do I get there? YES! I wanna come!” She was so proud and felt so excited to be singled out by these strangers (Yes, strangers!) to come help them in the Monastery. And off she went.

They didn’t talk to her. They didn’t tell her what they wanted her to do. She had no idea, she was just caught up in the excitement. She had a new wand she wanted to try out. /shrug. One of them said, just fight when we fight.

/nod. “Okay, I can do that! Wow, thank you soo much for asking me to come along!”


The strangers and Esi fought their way deeper and deeper into the Monastery. Esi saw many books – she wanted to stop and look around, but everyone just pulled her along so fast, she stumbled trying to keep up. After all, she needed to do good to impress her new friends. (Friends?)

“Look at this! Look at this nice knife!” one of the strangers said. Then they handed Esiwlil a piece of paper that had choices on it. Make a mark, the paper read. About the knife. Do you want it? Three choices.

No one explained the paper to her. They just thrust it in front of her face and said, make a mark in one of the boxes for the knife.

Esi looked at the choices. She was so careful. She knew she did not want to check “pass” as the blade was a good blade. She read “greed” and “need” and knew that being greedy was a bad thing if you wanted to make and keep friends. She confidently picked need. The blade magically was in her hand!

Suddenly the group of strangers turned on her. One of then slapped her and another spit on her. She was kicked and pummeled. She cried out asking what was wrong.

“You are so stupid!!” “You are horrible!”

Esi was so hurt and confused, but her tears and wails went unheard by any. Suddenly she was alone. Running for her life! She could not see through the tears.
- - - - - - - -
Doctor, why do I have to talk about this? It still hurts. I don’t like remembering that Esi was sooo stupid, dumb!!! /cry.

“What did you do after that? Immediately after?”

Me? You mean Esi, right? She remembered the name of the stranger that had whispered into her ear and wrote a very heartfelt letter, apologizing for what she had no idea she did. She begged him to forgive her and tell her what happened. She admitted in her letter that she had only came to the big city a few days prior and was still trying to learn her way in the big world.

She went home, and lay down and sobbed the rest of the day. Her chance at having a friend and she had messed it up.

She never received an answer. Time passed. The stranger’s name forgotten. But Esiwlil learned that day that the word “need” was such a bad word in her world that using it would cause others to spit on her. She had been brought up to believe that “greed” was a bad word. The confusion caused her to be very frightened, especially of strangers. Which pretty much everyone was. Her growth was stunted.

She now knows that the stranger should have talked to her about the rules of their gang before she ran with them. It was his responsibility, not hers.

“How did that affect you?”
“Me? You mean Esi? She um still tried to make friends and go places and do things with ‘em but she stopped even looking at the treasures her friends found for fear of messing up again. You see to her, friendship is way more important than a knife.”

Friday, February 12, 2010


The other guys. You know THEM (not us).

Scenario . . .

Esiwlil, a little level 6 mage just running for her life from wolves, defias gang, and spiders in Elwin forest runs into the village of Goldshire. Whew! As she stands panting in front of the inn, she sees and hears a commotion. What is that? A huge Tauren warrior, so far ahead of her in levels she can’t even see his level. The Chuck Norris of Warriors! She watches in horror as he swings his axe and kills 4 toons in 2 seconds. Her hands clench a little stick of a staff, but she has just learned a couple of new spells. She positions herself in the doorway of the inn, takes a deep breath and casts a bolt of pain. As the bolt barely touches the Tauren Hordie, she becomes “marked” and the Tauren laughs at her pitiful attempt as he slices through her without even seeming to move. She falls. Dead. She can hear the Tauren laughing even from the graveyard. As a spirit now, she runs back into the doorway where her body is laying twisted in death. Horror!

She can see that she is still marked and remains a ghost for 5 minutes. The mark goes away. She bends and caresses her own dead face and re-enters life. She is shaking a little and needs time to regain a bit of health and Mana (the force that allows her to use magic), but she is safe because she waited until she were no longer marked PVP.

The Tauren is still there. He is dancing on the body of his latest victim. Furious and fearful at the same time, the little mage yells . . . “Where are all the heros of this land!? Don’t you care that we apprentices of warcraft are being dealt death from this brute?”

Someone yells back, “Leave him alone!” or “Ignore him.” But, the mage looks around and sees that all the NPCs are dead and so she cannot speak with them. She really needs to speak with someone about this last quest, right now. But they are all dead. Killed by the Hordie, by the “THEM”.

She yells, “They are killing us all! We need help!” “Please?” She remains hopeful that some high level will come to rescue the denizens of the town of Goldshire from this horrible fate. Hordies. “They are dancing and making chicken noises at us . . . Where are the he . . .” Her voice falters as she sees a group of her allies riding (They have horses? Wow!) down the street toward the Tauren. Her allies are all very big, wearing armor that glitters and shines and they carry huge weapons.

Big fight! Tauren dies! Finally! . . . most of the others new toons make their way to the newly spawned NPCs to continue their gameplay, but not Esi. She looks at her saviors and /bows and /claps and /cheers and /dances!! She is ecstatic!! “Thank you, Thank you!!”

Those allies on horseback (they have horses!) . . /nod to her, turn and saunter back to the big city of Stormwind.


In World of Warcraft there are enemies or “bad guys.” For example I might walk up to a computer generated character and this character gives me a quest (a job) to go kill, lets say, a character named “Hogger”. Now Hogger is a computer generated character that when engaged will fight and give me the chance to kill and loot him, thus completing a particular quest. I then go back to the quest giver to let him know I completed the task he has set me, and he rewards me with goods, money, and/or experience. (He has killed me several times!)

Hogger is NOT the THEM .

To play World of Warcraft you create a character or a “toon”. For example you may be human, dwarf, gnome, nightelf, draenai, death knight on the Alliance Faction or troll, orc, tauren, undead, bloodelf, death knight on the Horde faction. Since my character, Cantique is a dwarf, I am Alliance. That means all Horde are THE OTHER GUYS.

You cannot have both factions in one guild. You cannot have the other guys as “friends” in your in-game friend list. In fact they even speak a different language. You cannot send mail (unless the other guy is one of your toons and you are sending a piece of equipment called heirlooms which are bound to your account with Blizzard.) You cannot group with the other side to go into a dungeon. You cannot trade with them.

You can “emote”. An emote is something like /dance or /rude or /laugh, wave, hug, kiss, poke and on and on. You can purchase items they have placed on neutral auction houses. You cannot go into one of their towns or cities without serious consequences from the computer generated characters or from actual players!

Upon entering the other guys’ cities you activate something called PVP. PVP stands for Player (real person) versus Player. Suddenly any of those OTHER GUYS can attack you whether you want to fight or not!! (NOTE: There are different servers where you are always tagged PVP as well.) I happen to belong to a RP (role play) server. So, unless I do something to cause myself to go PVP I am safe from THE OTHER GUY.
Gotta go for now, /wave /bow ….

Friday, February 5, 2010



an organization of persons with related interests, goals, etc., esp. one formed for mutual aid or protection.

In the online game of World of Warcraft a person can join a guild. I have belonged to three types of guilds:

Personal – family – bank: This guild is created by getting ten signatures on a guild application (charter). You name your guild and kick everyone out except yourself or the peeps you wish to have access to the guild bank. This type of guild is usually only held for extra bank space in order to keep more in game stuff. You might be the only one in it. It is up to you. I belonged to one at the very beginning of my gameplay because when I first created my “toon” another character ran up to me and whispered “you wanna be in my guild?” (In the game a whisper is a form of communication that only the whisperer and the person whispered to can see.) The name of his guild had something to do with The Lord of The Rings and nothing to do with World of Warcraft. At the time I had no idea this was considered “un-cool”. Anyway I said “Sure!” and poof! He promoted me to guild leader and left. I was the only one there. LOL. I imagine him saying to his friends, “Yeah I dumped it on a noob in Northshire. (Noob is a word that means New to something … Newbie … thus noob – I think).

I had no idea what to do. I couldn’t figure out how to get rid of the guild, so I invited family members to it and we used it for extra bank space. Eventually a GM in WOW made us change the name of the guild. It didn’t matter to us, we didn’t name it to begin with.

In the cities with banks and mailboxes you can always find characters around that are called “bank alts”. What that is, is a toon that created just to have extra places for holding stuff. Lots of times these bank alts create a guild just for the purpose of purchasing guild bank space. In order to do the bank alt guild thing, you find 10 people willing to sign your charter and then kick them out of the guild once you have it. (Please let people know this is your intention.) Some indication that a character you see standing in the bank, auction house, or at the mailbox is a bank alt with a guild is sometimes the name of the guild. “Stuff Box”, or “Bankie Doll” or other names like that. It makes sense that a lot of people dress their bank alt in tuxedos or pretty dresses. Those toons don’t usually ever leave the city to enter the grubby, dangerous world of quests and fights.

Role Play Guild: I remember very well the day I was running through the main square of the trade center in Stormwind and someone whispered me, “You want to join a role play guild?” I stopped and looked around for the character that sent me that “tell”. (When someone whispers to you, their name is attached at the beginning of the sentence so that you know who is speaking to you.) I saw a tall night elf druid standing there with a voodooish wooden type mask on. His name was Olwei. I whispered back, “What is Role Play?” He explained something I had already been doing without realizing it. Whenever I interacted with others on the game, I always tried to “be” the character I was. Not the real me, but the female dwarf (at that time Nanaive).

I joined the guild. It was amazing and fun! Within the hour one of the leaders of the guild (I believe it was Adrahan) found me and brought me some very nice big bags to replace the tiny ones I was using to hold my stuff. (He didn’t have to, he just did.) I was so grateful I almost cried. I was new, someone other than my family asked me to be part of them, and then amazingly they encouraged me immediately by introducing themselves and chatting.

When you join a guild, there is something called a Guild Chat Channel. You join the channel for your guild, and everyone in the guild that is online at the moment can “talk” to each other – no matter where they are in the huge world of WOW.

I learned a lot about role play. There was a guildmate named Alastyr and whenever I accidentally said something that didn’t fit into the rp category he would sort of tease me into doing it the right way. For example, I was running down the road and saw a character that had been killed (either by a wild animal or a mob (bad guy) or even by a Horde – ((oh boy, we’ll talk about the other faction later!))

I said in the role play channel, “Oh no! There is someone here named Sillyboy dead in the road. (I don’t really remember the name of the toon) -- Alastyr immediately typed OOCly – out of character – “Um, how did you know this dead persons name?”

Please note: If you are role playing, you actually aren’t supposed to know anyone’s name even though it is listed with his character when you look at him -- unless you are actually introduced or the character himself tells you his name.

I quickly joked, “Well, didn’t you know that people have begun engraving weapons with their names? – His sword is laying right here with him.” Anyway, point is there are rules to role play and belonging to a role play guild is a challenge. There are usually role play events scheduled and lots of fun in the chat channel.

Raiding Guild: After making a lot of friends and some enemies in the game, I found myself needing to leave the world of serious role play for a while. I wrote in an earlier post – Emo means emotional – part of the reason I found myself guildless one day.

As it happened, I had known the leaders of The Illuminati before there was a guild by that name. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but I asked Vowain for a home. I just needed to be somewhere safe, and have the comfort and joy of guildchat. I was very nervous to make the change – and at the time – I was very discouraged with the game. The Illuminati graciously allowed me to be a part of them. I am so blessed and as time passed I found that the guild fit me like a very good bra. Necessary and supportive without being restrictive. AND – They did stuff I hadn’t really done much of, something called “raiding.”

I had never had to think about my gear before, or my talents, or my enchants, or my glyphs, or my gems, or my base stats or . . . anything that had to do with being an asset to a group - fighting a good fight. Whew.

I have learned a lot. Some of the questions I asked seemed so basic now, but the patience of everyone in the guild came through. I had NO idea what I was doing. I wrote stuff down. I watched others, I listened.


GUILD: an organization of persons with related interests, goals, etc., esp. one formed for mutual aid or protection.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Get Screenshot or It Didn't Happen

Get Screenshot or it didn’t happen.

Really. Sometimes things happen in-game that are amazing. It might be a feat you’ve accomplished or something absolutely funny that someone said. If you want to brag a bit or remember what someone said . . . STOP and push the Print Screen Button. Mine is right there on top of my keyboard. These screen shots will automatically be saved in your World of Warcraft screenshots folder. (Mine are.)

There is a guildmate named Sophrosune – She has created an Illuminati member album of some funny screen shots of conversations in her chat window. It is funny stuff. When I look at those I laugh. Her album encourages me to use my screenshot button more!

Two things happened to me and I DID NOT GET MY SCREENSHOT…I was too excited, sigh, so basically they might as well have not happened.

1. I’ve been having more and more fun with the LFD (Looking for Dungeon) tool in the game. At first it was scary and sad but once I got over the “but they’re not peeps that I know” and the fear of being kicked out of the group – I actually started seeing the funny stuff and having amazing things pop up.

I am a shadow priest and have been struggling to get good DPS (damage per second) in fights. Typical for me in 5-man right now is around 2000 to 3000 dps. Well, I went in with a pug the other day to one of the Uptgard dungeons. The tank (Tanks are the characters whose job it is to stand toe to toe with the enemy and dish out a pounding and take the pounding because they have the armor and the skills to do so – thus they are called tanks) said, “Do not hit anything until I stop moving.”

In other words he wanted us to follow him into the room full of bad guys and not cast any spells, or use a knife or do any type of damage, because he wanted all the bad guys in the area to concentrate on him and leave the rest of us alone. That is so he could gather them all up and we could then help him take them down all at once -- sometimes this makes for a faster run (fight).

He gathered them up and stopped running. The rest of us began our fight. When it was over, someone in the group typed “Wow! Shadow priest what did you do?” I looked and saw that I had done 12,000 dps!! I was very excited, but I only said – AOE FTW!

(“Area of Effect for the win” – There are spells that can be cast that affect more than one target at a time and the damage done is applied to them all – for instance a hunter might rain a sky full of arrows down on them, a mage might rain fireballs or ice from the sky on the enemy and so on. That is called Area of Effect or AOE.)

I did NOT get a screen shot of that. I wish I had. I don’t usually brag, but that actually was a very exciting thing to happen for me.

2. Another time, I had a run with a 5-man group and one of the characters was named Robinwilliams. I didn’t think anything of it. Within a few minutes of the end of the run someone in guild chat mentioned that Robin Williams plays WOW. What a coincidence. Of course I said that I had just run with someone with the character name Robinwilliams (which could be anyone but who knows, right?) Because of the timing of the conversation and my run, it seemed a bit fishy I’m sure – but cross my heart … it happened. Again NO SCREENSHOT as the run was over a minute before I saw the guild chat.

Well, I now have a habit of getting screen shots at the beginning of each dungeon showing where I am and whom I am with.

And who knows? I might have brushed avatar shoulders with the famous Robin Williams. Maybe.

So remember -- Get Screenshot or it didn’t happen.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Emo Means Emotional

Emo means emotional - and trust me, when I first started playing this game I could not believe some of the things that caused laughter as well as tears.  For this post, I want to write about some of that.   If you are familiar with online gaming, perhaps these same things have happened to you.   If you are thinking about online gaming just be aware of your vulnerabilities.

Playing WOW puts a person into a "child" state. Your inner child gets a chance to shine. What that means is that things are so stinking big sometimes that they can feel overwhelming.  Immaturity is the theme of the day. LOL!!   And in the world of online games people can pretend all kinds of stuff they would not do in real life.  For example, I am not really a warrior.  I am not a priest.  I don't really do magic and I am not as beautiful as the toon that I play.

As I allow my "childself" to play, my adultself has to be on guard constantly against letting the unreal world of the game hurt me or others. WOW is like sitting down to a game of cribbage with friends -- and with strangers.  It may involve conversation and gossip, and maybe insults about playing style - only difference is anonymity.  People say and do stuff in an online game they would never do or say IRL.  (In real life)

Sometimes I expect people in the game to be nice, honest, real, and of the same moral fabric as myself.  I wonder why?  Since the people I meet IRL aren't all just like me, why then do I expect the gamers I meet to fall into a certain narrow category of humanity?  I do not know.  I am aware of debauchery, idiocy, rudeness, hate, contempt, and such -- these exist in the game as well as real life.  After all, why should the people playing the game be any different than the real world? 

If you do not want to deal with meanies, rudies, naughties, emos, and haters just play your game and ignore the chat window.  Isn't that cool?  Hopefully along the way though you can pick up online friends.   Just like in real life there are risks to that as well.  Even more risk really, as a "friend" can suddenly disappear from the game (for whatever reason) and you never see or hear from them again.  And you don't call 911 because they aren't there anymore.  There is nothing you can do.  Sometimes they quit playing, sometimes they are banned, sometimes their computer died. You worry.

If you are a social player (I am) and love to role play (RP) it is very easy to take the game theatre into your heart and be really hurt by events that are just part of the game.  Because it "feels"  very real.  Remember to separate yourself from the drama.  For example, you might walk into a tavern to find others there making fun of how you are dressed or something.  It's a game!!  It's called role play.  Play along and react with your toon.  Try to not take things internally.  This takes energy.  If you don't have it, don't RP.  I've had to cut WAY back.  LOL!

You might develop what you feel is a "real" friendship with someone in game.  They; however, might just be there for a bit of fun and not for commitment to the real you.  If they get tired of playing they may leave the game and you may never hear from them or see them online again.  It happens.  And if you internalize the game, you will hurt.  You will find yourself looking constantly for him/her and you might even worry that real life has harmed them somehow.  Just because you really like rp-ing with someone doesn't mean they have to continue. 

If you aren't a social player I must say you will miss out on some really good stuff, funny, friendly people abound.  Joining a guild with people that feel about the game like you do is very much a bonus!  You will make friends if you try.  I am not a guild hopper, but I will say that I left a guild because of guild drama..."they did this to me, they did that to me", and found a guild that does not have role play as a major part.  The guild I belong to has wonderful chat log times, wonderful dungeon runs, and the people are courteous to one another.  There is a chat room for adult language and innuendos (over 18 please) and the guild has a website for keeping up with all that is going on. 

Sometimes the guild chat is quiet, sometime full of funny stuff, sometime serious discussion about gear and instances and about the mechanics of the game.   What I really love about my guild is - they are accepting of various kinds of folk, young, old, marrieds, singles, silly, and serious folk.  It is a great guild.  I personally cannot imagine playing the game without belonging to a guild.

My husband and brother-in-law; however, find that guild life is distracting and confusing.  They do much better ingame just soloing along and mostly ignoring (not noticing) what others are doing.

They enjoy the game as much or more than I, and I enjoy it far too much!!  I know I spend too much time wondering how everyone is and what everyone is doing.  I am this way because growing up, I was so shy I never had any rl friends.  We moved at least once a year during my school years until I was a sophomore and that is not conducive to someone with my personality making and keeping friends.  I am not shy now, but I am somewhat immature in my dealings with others.  I am working on that.  WOW bring out the child in me.  The child that wants others to accept and like me.  I admit it.

The fun and good stuff FAR outweighs the pain - so don't be scared off.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Happy Monday

Happy Monday!

Friday night was family night on WOW. We five, Surdor, Thything, Shommie, Omin, and my shadow priest, Cantique went to burning crusade 5 man instances. All 80s and overpowered for the places we simply blazed through them having loads of fun and no stress. Shommie got a lot of achievements. (For those who do not play, Achievements is Blizzards way of enhancing game play to provide for those who might be bored just playing – certain things to “achieve”. A little screen pops up which tells you just achieved something and there is a point system. In fact you can compare your achievements with other players within the game.)

An achievement might be as simple as getting your first haircut in the barbershop and might be as hard as, well, I know there are some hard ones out there. I haven’t done them. LOL. Stuff like killing a bazillion things in a certain amount of time with a stupid hat on or something…*shrug*.

I believe we did 7 instances in Burning Crusade and 1 heroic randam instance in Northrend. When I hit the bed it was 1 a.m.

Saturday, I spent all day with Cassity, my sister. She has a shadow priest – level 51 and I play with a druid named Eliment - level 50. We spent loads of time just coordinating our quests with one another, making sure our bags were fairly empty so we had room for out “loot”, and gathering potions and food to help us do our work. That preliminary preparation is, for me, part of the fun of WOW. I love to arrange the stuff I have in the bank and in my bags into categories. I know. Time consuming.

Well, coffee made, abundant snacks close by, we were finally ready. First we had to go to various places in the world to turn in completed quests. That took a lot of time. Then, we went to a place called Unguro crater, full of slime blobs, reptiles, and dangerous gorillas to finish off two quests we had both started weeks ago. We went up a little hill because I could see on my map and question mark and wanted to talk to the computer generated character there. We ran into trouble and died!! We were saying “ah ah!! …wait what just… Oh Oh!” Then we got lost for about 10 minutes trying to find our bodies in order to become alive again. (felt like 30 minutes) Finally, we looked up and it was around 3 p.m.!! For a minute I forgot that this was a game and got a little stressed out because we still weren’t in Winterspring which was a goal I had for the day. Cassity and Eliment only get to play together maybe once every couple of weeks.

We took a flight to get us to a place called Felwood. I was so wanting to be in Winterspring! We ran forever up a road and came to a tunnel. The tunnel was full of creatures called Furbolgs (I think) and we had to run through them while they hit us. We ran out the other end of the tunnel into Winterspring and down the road to a town called Everlook. Well, when we arrived there, we found that we were still too low a level to get any of the quests for the immediate area, so we hopped onto the flight out of there back to Felwood. Sigh.

We talked to the NPCs (Non Player Characters) standing around at the little flightpath stopover and took several quests from them. I had never done any of the quests in this particular area with my Main character, Cantique, so I really had no idea where stuff was. I had a new Addon though called Carbonite which gives me a map and helps me know where to go to do the quests (or jobs) that the computer game gave us. I assured my sister that I would be able to get us to the places we needed to go to complete the quests. Sigh. I had a headache. Hills and trees and rocks were in the way. It took a long time.

In the process of getting everything out of the way to get to Winterspring we both “dinged twice”! (Ding means we moved from one level to the next.) She dinged to 53 and I dinged to 52. Woot!!!

And we finally made it to Winterspring and there are quests for us. Yay!! Our major goal is to make level 58 so we can begin the “Burning Crusade” part of the game. At this rate it will be another month.


Because I knew I was going to have WOW company all day Saturday, I did not sign up for my guilds regular Saturday night or Sunday afternoon raids. It wasn’t until raid time Sunday afternoon that I felt like I had enough brain power or energy to do anything and at the last minute signed on with The Illuminati’s Raid for ICC. (ICC scares me because I’ve not even seen most of Ulduar at this point and Ulduar is supposed to be before ICC).

I was pretty nervous as on our website someone posted a forum saying in essence, “If you sign up for a raid, be sure to check out the details online (somewhere?) before you come so you aren’t stupid about it.” Um, I have tried doing that and totally become confused, as there is no live person to answer my questions. So I have a problem. Sign up for raids and keep my questions to myself and do a half/assed job or ask questions and be seen as someone who didn’t research? Either one is no fun. Anyway. I got to go only because there was still a guild spot unfilled. Yay.

I just listened carefully and tried to figure out the rest. I think I typed maybe two questions in raid chat. Still. Hate that feeling of inadequacy and no amount of watching youtube vids about the fight help. In fact they hurt my ability to “get it”. Since I am 56 years old I really chaff when everyone is expected to learn stuff the same way. People are different that way, you know?

Besides, I already griped enough about doing ICC before finishing Ulduar to our poor guild leader Vowain – So, I am working hard to be quiet and not be a cause of stress. It’s a game! What is happening to me though, is that I continue to be afraid to ask questions. Which means I continue to be mediocre as a player.
Later I will write about a very fun fight involving two ships, rocket packs on our backs, and cannons!! This was all in Ice Crown Citadel.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Hello again, If you already play World of Warcraft you'll know about "pugs". If you do not, PUG stands for "pick up group" or a group of people you do not know that are put together by the game mechanics or that find each other in "looking for group" channel -- for the purpose of raiding. PUGS are different from raiding with your close group of friends or your guildmates in that you have a harder time communicating, you do not automatically know each other's strengths and weaknesses, and in general in my estimation, there is less patience with one another.

Anyway this story is Cantique's experience with PUGS. In the computer generated groups if something goes wrong, 4 can vote the odd one out.


Cantique stands shivering. She leans forward on her staff, straining to see through the gloom. As faint figures approach she questions, “Friend or Foe?” The silence is only broken by footfalls and a slight tinkle of someone’s trinket.

The four arrive from different directions and dim features coalesce into faces -- A paladins frown as he looks over the heads of the group, a Druids nonchalance as she picks at her fingernails, a Mage, tiny grim face vibrating with power and a Rogue, heavy lidded eyes showing no emotion. Cantique wrinkles her brow and purses her lips.

Without a word the group steps into the fog, and they travel quickly. Eventually, the fog clears and Cantique scans the area as she readies a meal of fish. She gestures with her hands her willingness to share as she doesn’t want to be the one to break the silence again. Two companions sit to eat, the other two continue forward.

Cantique stuffs the food into her mouth, hoping she has time for the benefits of it. She wipes her mouth with the back of her hand, stumbling a bit and almost dropping her flask. By the time the group is together again the Paladin and rogue have already killed and they are still deep in the heat of battle. Silently, the mage and druid begin casting magic and heals as Cantique’s shadowform takes her over.

- - - - - - - -

The dream begins again . . .

Cantique stands shivering. She leans forward on her staff, straining to see through the gloom. As faint figures approach she questions, “Friend or Foe?” The silence is only broken by footfalls and a slight tinkle of someone’s trinket.

Cantique crams food into her mouth, hoping she has time for the benefits of it. She wipes her mouth with the back of her hand, stumbling a bit and almost dropping her flask.

This time when Catique catches up everyone is frowning and looking at her. She is forced backward into the fog to stand alone.

- - - - - - - -

The dream begins again . . .

Friend or Foe?”

“Cantique is that you?” Darksparrow says as she and Vais walk into view.

Cantique smiles as her companions appear. “I have fish! Ye want ta eat a bit first?”

Elenntari smiles, “Sure! Thank you for the food.”

As the group finishes the meal and readies for the battle ahead, Graystreak says . . .”I’ve been having the strangest dreams lately . . .”

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hello again -- Cantique here, sorry for the delay in posting. We’ve been talking about WOW or the World of Warcraft game and I mentioned earlier that I’d talk about some of the mechanics of the game, but this post I wish to address some of how I came to play the game.

I think I pay $30 a month for the game. First you have to purchase the initial world of warcraft game – honestly I do not know what it sells for at this time, but when I bought it, It was around $40 for the boxed game. After you install it, you “join” the game online and pay a monthly fee of
$30. Now, since I’ve started playing, the initial game has expanded twice. What that means is that I had to go out for each “expansion” and purchase the “rest” of the game. Twice. About $40 a pop. Each time there is an expansion there is more content and more fun. Blizzard, the company that developed the game keeps things interesting so you don’t get bored and leave. They want that $30 a month. At this point in time, I think they have about 12 million players. WOW, indeed!

There is also a World of Warcraft magazine to which I subscribe. Four issues a year. Very nice rag, colorful, full of information and worth saving. I was so excited to get that first issue! I share it with my family and friends at work. Okay enough advertising…lol.

My grown son, Thything, introduced my husband (Shadew) and me to the game. I sat next to Thything and watched as he showed me a tiny bit of the world of Azeroth. (That is the name of the world in which the game takes place). He showed me a dark underground city called Ironforge and pointed to the characters moving around. When he said to me, see that one’s name (I don’t remember the name, but lets use Olwei). When he moved the mouse pointer (cursor) over the character I saw the name. Thything said, “That is a real person who has also bought this game and is sitting at his computer at home and I can see him and he can see me in the game.” I was amazed!

You can make your character or “toon” walk (or run, or jump – LOL) up to other toons and type things that you would want to say to them. For example you can type “hello” and the toon and all the other toons close enough can see what you typed, or you can whisper to the other person and no-one but you and he can see what you typed. You can do simple commands by using the
backslash and some words - /dance – or /laugh – or /cry and your “toon” will do what you’ve typed. This part of the game can be very intricate and evolve into good rp (or roleplay) or it can remain simply communication of a “hi, bye, whatcha doing” nature.

I have learned that there are some folk that play the game that are very annoying and say things you don’t want to hear. There is a filter for cursing so you don’t have to see that and there is a very handy thing called “ignore”. You open a list and type the person’s name and click “ignore” and they don’t disappear, but you don’t “hear” (or read) anything at all that they are typing and they cannot whisper to you anymore. I will talk about the “Friends list” and guilds at a later date.

Anyway, there I sat absolutely enthralled. Some of the characters are simply computer generated -- not at all real people – they are called NPCs for None player character I think -- but they interact with you to give you directions, or instructions for quests. (more about quests later).

There are cities, and villages all over the place and roads to get from place to place. There are different continents and oceans. There are ships to go from continent to continent. There are creatures from which you can purchase rides to other same-continent cities (remember, I talked about the coin in an earlier post) There is a tram from a city called Stormwind to the
city Ironforge. I couldn’t take it all in. I wanted to play the game just to be able to see the sights. LOL.

Done. Purchased the game, joined the online community and logged in. I had to create my character. There are so many choices I know I took more than an hour just to do that. Did I want to be a cute, small gnome character or a human, or a dwarf? (there are many more) Did I want to be a warlock, a priest, a warrior, and so on and so on. What color of hair did I want? What style? Male or female? Also, skin tone, things like earrings, and the very important FACIAL features. But the most important thing to me was the NAME I picked for my character. On World of Warcraft this is all very easy. It is fun!

Boom! I created my very first toon called Esiwlil – Gnome, female, mage, red hair, three ponytails, brown eyes, sweet face, and 3 or 4 earrings, pale skin. (I still have her and am working with her to get her to her top level) Hubby created a character (forgot its name at this time.) We were set up. Nice.

The very first problem that came up was: Whose turn is it to play? So, hubby played for a while and I watched. Then I played awhile and he watched. – We are good at playing things together, we played Myst sitting side by side with one running the computer and the other helping to think about how to solve the puzzles of that game – However; I think it was the very next day, we decided that we had to purchase another account so we could both play at the same time. Two computers, two purchased boxed games, and two accounts. Whew! I could then take my time and not feel like I had to explain all my choices to hubby who was totally busy with his own game.

Much better.

At this point we also decided that in order to help afford the monthly fees, we would discontinue television service. We haven’t missed it at all! Isn’t that amazing? So we have had no way to watch television shows on our television since 2006. We have a lot of videos and are constantly adding to our collection; however, and that is what we use the television for exclusively. The price of the television service was about the same price as the two WOW accounts. I have never regretted that decision. I can pick up a few shows online if I want to, but I almost never do.

I will wrap this up by saying that the creation of characters to play with in the game is one of the most fun aspects for me. As such I went on to create many, many, other toons, so I do not get bored being a mage, or a gnome, I just switch over to one of my other “people” and do other stuff. In World of Warcraft an account can have up to 50 characters. Isn’t that terrific? Only ten per realm. (we’ll talk about realms later)

So, there I was at the time around 51 years old and super excited about this new-fangled way to play and to interact with people from all over the world. I still haven’t finished the last game of the MYST series. I do still take time to read however -- I try not to let WOW take up all my spare time, but it’s hard. LOL!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Omph!" "Ahh, right there." Cantique moans as Nanaive massages a sore spot on her back.

"What have ye been doin ta get sa kinked oop?"

Cantique looks over her shoulder at Nanaive, "It's joost a Krick."


Earlier that day. . .

The five Illuminati ran back through the pit of Saron to re-engage a leper gnome and his vehicle, a plaque eruptor. As Zaonena's Guard shifted into Cantique's periphrial vision, she jumped a bit and muttered something about making it wear a pink vest.

"Okay, Steinhammer said, "we've learned a bit about these guys. They're tricky -- no matter what they do, run out of the way." Cantique was standing bent over with her hands on her knees, breathing hard.


Grinning,Steinhammer charged in, Melyar shifted to feral and stiffened his stance. Zao's demon stomped forward and Melyan stood as calm as a moonbeam.

"Why did I even think I could cast healin's instead of hurtin's today?" Cantique worried and stood with arms akimbo, waiting for signs of injury on the others.

Suddenly a toxic cloud appeared and they were ALL on the move.

That crazy leper gnome, Krick -- on the back of Ick -- seemed a bit unstable as he yelled "No, that one, THAT ONE!, Get that one!" And obediently Ick would turn and chase one of them. But then Krick yelled, "I've changed my mind -- get that one instead. What are you attacking him for? The dangerous one is over there, fool!" The Illuminati scattered and fought on the run, all of them careful to stay out of toxins and away from the edge of the pit behind them.

"Enough moving around -- hold still while I blow them up!"

The five began dodging the mines that Krick conjured up and as the others stabbed, slashed, hit, and burned the tempo in Cantique's head reminded her of her duty for that day. Heal, heal, don't hit, heal, heal, don't hit.

Cantique tries to relax as Nanaive massages her back for her. "Whut were ye thinkin?"
Wincing in pain, Cantique replys, "Joost rub that krick outta mah back will ye?"

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Magazine

Sweet! The new World of Warcraft magazine arrived. It was in a plastic cover so a bit protected from the elements and the machines of snailmail, but I cringed a tiny bit inside when I noticed the edge of it dented in. The magazine is so pretty I wanted it to be in perfect condition. It is full of glossy artwork and the cover is heavy duty like the cover of a paperback novel.

I took it to work with me yesterday and since most of my time at work is spent on hold I spent all day perusing it. I am thoroughly impressed with the layout, the look, and the information. There were enough bits of information of particular interest to me, so the pages are loaded with stickynotes. The editors have done a good job making the magazine visually appealing as well as informative.

There was information about PVP play - Particularly using line of sight (LOS). I don't PVP much but the article was still a very interesting read. Information about the Trading Card Game (TCG) which I will never be involved in but I did enjoy reading about it, and an Interview with Blizzard Entertainment's president, Mike Morhaime as well as interviews with WOW players of note. I am glad I purchased the subscription. As I turned the last page, I wanted more, but it only comes out 4 issues a year (sigh).

Okay, enough about the magazine. Last night was family night on WOW. What that means is my Son, his son, and my husbands brother all gather at my and my husbands home and play together. I have 3 computers set up ready to go all the time and two guests bring their laptops. Last night was a bit different as my sister came by, so I set up my laptop and there were six of us for a bit. That meant we needed to do a 6 person raid. Five people constitute a group, more than makes makes a raid. The dynamics of the game are that there are areas that will only allow a group and there are areas that will only allow a raid. My sister's character is a level 51 (at this point in time you can only achieve level 80 but that is changing soon) and the rest of us have all levels of toons but we decided to play with our 80s in a place called Zul'Gurub. Bless her heart, she is so patient. Thything told her to stay by him whatever we do (he was heals for this), Omin the pally tanked, Shadew is a druid and I am Cantique, shadow priest.

Okay for those non players...a Tank is the person with the most ability to stand face to face with the enemy and with the necessary heavy armor to engage an enemy and take a pounding. The tank has to make sure the enemy player (computer generated character- not a real person) stays focused on him/her and leaves the rest of the group alone. While the tank is being beat up, the others in the group have roles -- they stab or cast spells etc, they do what they can with their special abilities to hurt the enemy. The healer makes sure the people in his group/raid stay healed. Spell casting Healing spells is his/her job. (There's much, much more to this - This is simply a tidbit of info.)

So we went into the instance to basically help her get loot for when she levels to 60. The characters that you kill have "loot" on them. Loot can be coins, clothing, cloth, potions, food, weapons, bones and other junk. I love to loot to see what I get for my trouble! Sometimes the loot is very, very nice and will enhance your game play, sometimes not so much! LOL. Loot is so important in the game of WOW that if you don't have good loot armor and weapons and trinkets, rings, and necklaces you simply can't continue on in higher level fights. Luckily you can go to the auction house and get better stuff if you can afford it. But to afford anything you have to loot money, loot junk and sell it, loot good stuff and sell it or use it to make good stuff that other people need for their game and sell it on the auction house. Does this all make sense? In the World of Warcraft, you can have a profession! I think that is amazing!

What that means to me is this: If I don't feel like fighting today, I can work to gather materials (ore, or leather, or plants, cloth etc) and use these items to create things -- armor, potions, elixirs, weapons -- you get the idea? Then I can spend time setting them into the auction house for sale. Later other people playing the game, go to the auction house and look for stuff they want or need and might buy your stuff. You get the gold in your mailbox in the game. You use your gold to buy what you need. See? Anyway, there is a lot to buy, and alot of stuff to find, and a whole world to explore!! It's amazing.

Another thing I do If I don't really feel like stressful war/raid/fight is I stand around in the city and just talk and look at other people and check out what they are wearing (with a couple of keystrokes, you can try their clothes on) - it is very fun for me. Before I joined The Illuminati, most of my time was spent doing this kind of thing. I called the game "High Tech Paper Dolls".

I will write later about how joining a guild, The Illuminati, helped me learn so much more about this game. And yes, my sister did get good Loot last night, but she now has to level up her character to be able to use the equipment, weapons, Armor that she found in there. It's incentive.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Is This Wise?

Hello everyone. This is my first attempt at "blogging" -- (unless you count Facebook or guild website entries as blogs. Do you?) LOL. And let me start right there. "LOL" is a sample of a new language I've been picking up since I began playing World of Warcraft. I am sure there are many, many, people out there that are my age and beyond who are enjoying the world of online gaming. LOL is how I feel when I play WOW. (I intend to make posts here about the not so LOLish times as well - It seems I have my fair share of emo moments.)

A bit of history -- as of current writing I am 56 years old, a female playing a female Dwarf Shadow Priest (main) on Earthen Ring in World of Warcraft - Cantique. There is more to me than the game though, so there will be posts about other things as well. I will begin by posting some earlier things that have made their way to the guild website I belong to. The Illuminati - great guild!

If you know me as Cantique, please forgive the redundancy of these beginning posts....*Hug*