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Wishful Thinking: Free Transfers for the Outnumbered and Oppressed

Wishful Thinking: Free Transfers for the Outnumbered and Oppressed

It’s been almost two months since my Whisperwind raid team moved to Stormrage and I can honestly say that I have no regrets (so far). From getting stuck at 3/12 in Throne of Thunder, we are now at 9/12. We had a rough start during the first few weeks, but now that everybody’s schedule is in sync and our ilevels have improved, getting the job done has become so much easier.

Stormrage is a pretty active, highly-populated and extremely crazy server. Yes, it has its fair share of elitist jerks and trolls and attention whores — Throne of Thunder General Chat is worse than Trade and twice as vile and distracting…

Crude ToT-1

Crude ToT-2

Crude Tot-3

…but I can deal with all that. (Praise Baby Jesus for the Ignore Button) The only thing I really can’t stand is the horrible, horrible queue time.

Stormrage Queue

The only way one can avoid being stuck in queue is to log in way before the witching hour of 7:30 PM Eastern. On raid nights, I play it safe by logging on my toon as early as 5:00 and ensure I don’t stay AFK long enough for me to get booted. God, I miss the days when I could log in 15 minutes before the raid, but if this is the price I have to pay for progression, then so be it.

But on to the meat of this post. The other disconcerting thing I discovered about Stormrage was the near-absence of Horde players. I’d do my farming in Valley of the Four Winds and it would be all Alliance where the cooking trainers and quest givers are. It was like that for several weeks until I bumped into a lone Horde while killing goats for Fatty Goatsteak. I was so shocked to see the female Tauren druid and even more so when she hugged me. He/she looked so lonely and out of place there that it nearly killed me — a Horde at heart.

And I just had to talk to him/her.

So I quickly rolled an orc and struck a conversation with that player.

(By the way, I’m concealing the second half of the toon name lest he/she accidentally stumbles upon this blog post and becomes unhappy about being featured here.)

Joblack-1

Joblack-2

Joblack-3

Joblack-4

Joblack-5

Once a Horde, always a Horde. That’s what I am. Who do you think caused the Alliance on Whisperwind to fail in their For the Alliance raid in Orgrimmar?  #BenedictArnold

Yes I confess! But moving on…

Dear Blizzard, I know you are in the business of making money and can’t (or is it won’t) always offer free or discounted transfers. But there are many, many players out there like Nomi who are stuck in dying and/or grossly imbalanced servers. They are loyal players, Blizz. They want to continue playing but are disheartened by the circumstances they find themselves in. It’s hard to keep your enthusiasm for this game when your friends have quit or moved servers or faction changed, and you’re the only one left because of financial constraints.

I know virtual realms are in the works, and as far as I know, they involve fusing select realms to function as one. Sounds like a great idea to give life back to low to medium population realms. But what about the likes of Stormrage, Illidan and Mal’Ganis? How do you plan on helping the outnumbered and oppressed on such servers? While you’re still trying to figure that one out, how about offering free transfers again to those high-pop servers, only this time they get to choose from a list of potential new homes instead of having to settle for the one destination you’ve pre-selected for them.

Please don’t ignore the likes of Nomi, Blizz. Give your players more options and we’ll gladly keep paying for our subs.

P.S. Speaking of options, when will you actually make it possible for us to mail heirlooms cross-server?

P.P.S. I believe I am the one billionth customer to ask you that heirloom question. Do I get a prize like a car? If yes, I want a pair of fuzzy dice to go with it.

Introducing Lizzie

Introducing Lizzie

Friends, meet my Death Knight, Lizzie.  /cue mood music



Lizzie - Death Knight

So this post is about the inspiration behind her name, being written on a slow night on half a brain (with the other half already thinking of what I should cook for breakfast tomorrow Tuesday, a day reserved for more meticulously-prepared morning meals due to it being patch/maintenance day and a time for me to get my ass off the computer chair and do something different and creative, though I have yet to see a downtime announcement.)

Right, so why Lizzie?

Prior to doing the server/faction transfer, I was toying with the random name generator and occasionally checking out a society gossip blog penned by a Manila writer. I saw a photo of one of my country’s most prominent socialite-philanthropists, Lizzie Zobel de Ayala.

Lizzie ZdA

(Image from the International Peace Foundation)

I’ve always been an admirer of Ms. Zobel and her family, who are down-to-earth people despite owning bazillions. Her sister-in-law was my classmate in college and she was probably the only billionaire heiress who didn’t go about town in a limo and a horde of bodyguards. They were that low-key. Anyway, I’m starting to digress so to get back on track, something prompted me to check if the name Lizzie was available and – lo and behold – it was and I quickly reserved it.

Now it might seem a bit off naming an axe-wielding Death Knight after such a sweet, generous lady. But on the opposite end of the spectrum, backtracking 121 years ago, that name became synonymous with a still unsolved-murder that took place in Fall River, Massachusetts involving a dour, heavy-set broad and an axe. And if you guessed Lizzie Borden, BINGO! You win the grand prize plus the turkey deep fryer we’ve been wanting to get rid of (oh wait, my S.O. threw it in the trash, never mind.)

Lizzie Borden Rhyme

(Image from Wikipedia)

I’m not about to bore you with details of the case where she was acquitted, but suffice to say that whoever wielded the axe sure did a real number on Borden’s father and stepmother:

(Click to see actual size)




(Images from UMKC School of Law)

Oh, and contrary to what that sick nursery rhyme says, the killer didn’t give them a total of 81 whacks. Andrew Borden got 15, his unluckier spouse Abby 18.

So the two namesakes – one from present times and the other from over a century ago – serve as the perfect representations of my Death Knight’s dual personality. My Lizzie is both nice and nasty, calm and temperamental, giving and avaricious, peace-loving and bloodthirsty. She’s easy to get along with, but get on her bad side and she’ll wield that axe like an executioner on PCP and give you the proverbial forty whacks.

Or she can just suffocate you to death with her breasts. Take your pick.

And Yet I’ve Got a Good Feeling About This

And Yet I’ve Got a Good Feeling About This

As you all know, I made the most painful transition two days ago:

Character Transfer

Call me a traitor to the Horde if you wish, but for the last several weeks I felt that my fellow Hordies betrayed me, albeit not in a backstabbed-me-betrayed kind of way, but more of a you-let-me-down kind of way. What the heck was I supposed to do, stick it out for a million and a half more wipes while we scrambled to get reliable peeps? I knew the writing was on the wall when highly skilled puggies started refusing to raid with us, hell, didn’t want to do anything with our raid group. (“Bitches couldn’t down normal Elegon even if you decked them out in Heroic Elite gear,” said one, um, bitchy player.)

Plus: 1) I couldn’t bear to be in a guild where there were hardly any people online unless they planned to raid, and 2) One particularly mouthy guildie (Cloudrunner’s almost-namesake, that’s your clue) was getting on my nerves that I knew if I stayed longer, I would have blown a gasket and said something cruel on guild chat and I didn’t want to cause any guild drama.  Bla bla bla, yadda yadda yadda.

At the end of the day, it all boiled down to me being frustrated, so I left. I still feel a bit guilty for not saying a proper goodbye to my Raid Leader and GM; after all, they were very kind to me and I liked them a lot. But I figured it’s best to leave quietly rather than make a big production out of it. One friend said – jokingly, of course – that I could have left a note saying, It’s been fun, it’s been a blast / But raiding with you guys has been a pain in the ass. Nah, I don’t believe in adding insult to injury…or burning bridges.

Now moving on…

I customized my Human chick to mirror some of Cloudrunner’s features — dark blue hair, semi-stern expression — so I’d still be reminded of him. But now I have to get used to having T & A, not to mention child-bearing hips and a strange need to purchase some Spanx.

Missing him and dealing with new curves aside, I feel welcome in this guild where my hunter has been in for more than a year. They recently celebrated their fourth anniversary (FOURTH!) and they just keep growing and growing and downing current and old content with gusto and PvPing the hell out of the Horde. I have yet to be in a raid group but it’s nice to see that there are open raids for all. There are at least 20 people online each day, and on raid nights, attendance shoots up to around 50. You’d be hard pressed to feel lonely in this guild!

Yesterday, I did old Cataclysm raids which my GM organized on a whim. We half-assed our way through Heroic Bastion of Twilight and Heroic Blackwing Descent, and I had fun.

I had fun.

Gee, I haven’t said that in a long time.

Speaking about my GM, I have to say that, out of all the GMs I’ve had, this is one guy I privately hero-worship. I even wrote a post about him last year listing why I thought he was “da man”. And there’s something else about this guy: he makes me want to behave. I kid you not, he has this calming effect on me and his leadership makes me want to be a better player and person. He makes me want to stay for the long haul,too. Conversely, other GMs send me fleeing.

Fleeing

I don’t expect to be part of his alpha team soon, nor do I expect his raid leaders to just take me in and guarantee me a spot every week. I know I got to pay my dues first, prove what I can bring to the table, and show them I’m a reliable player. Other players would groan at the thought of starting from scratch again, but you know what? This is one transition where I am more than willing to work twice as hard to market myself as a team player. I’m in a happy place now (God, I hope I just didn’t jinx myself!) and I’ve got a good feeling about all this.

Next post: introducing my freshly-castrated DK and the inspiration behind her new name.

It Took Balls…

It Took Balls…

…to server-transfer my Death Knight for the third time, chop off his nuts AND turn him into a female human.

Human Death Knight

And since the name Cloudrunner was already taken, I had to pick a new one. Nothing airy-fairy-Tolkien-esque about the new name; it is about as ordinary and boring as could be…until I narrate the inspiration behind it.

There’s so much to tell, but in the meantime, let me grieve the loss of my pretty boy who was the apple of my eye since the day I rolled him. Le sigh.

A One-Way Ticket to New Opportunities

A One-Way Ticket to New Opportunities

I’ve made my decision: I’ll be moving to another realm — my hunter’s server, to be exact. I was promised by my significant other that he’ll take care of it soon; I just don’t know exactly when. All I know is that Blizzard/Activision is going to be $55 richer ($25 for the realm transfer, $30 for the faction change).

Yes, I’m going Alliance. And it’s breaking my heart. I’ve been mainly Horde since Day One of playing World of Warcraft, and I love my Blood Elf Death Knight so much, but recent frustrations have constrained me to take this option.

Patch 5.2: The Thunder King is likely to go live in as little as two weeks. While I normally welcome news of a new patch, new raids, new this and that, the (un)official announcement of 5.2 leaves me feeling a bit crestfallen. There are 16 bosses in this tier, and I have downed only five with my raid group, and here come more bosses for me to worry about. Yeah, a sorry five bosses on normal. And how long has this current patch been out?

I’m not a hard core raider, but I love to raid AND  I like downing bosses with efficient people who share my raiding ethic. But after MoP went live, I saw my original raid group — the ones with whom I downed Heroic: Madness of Deathwing at the tail end of Cataclysm– fall apart and since then I would find myself in a raid group comprised of people who were either very talented or very inept. And if there’s one factor that can kill my enthusiasm for raiding, it’s inconsistency.

Someone asked me, “why invest in another realm/faction transfer? Why don’t you just join another Horde guild on your current server?”

I did consider that option, but you see, I am tired. I am tired of moving to another guild where I would be navigating uncharted waters, only to find myself in another dead-end situation or worse, stuck with a bunch of assholes. This time, I want to play it safe and go for the tried-and-tested. My Alliance hunter is in a very well-established, very highly-regarded raiding guild in her realm (an Alliance-dominated one), her GM runs his guild like a pro without being an elitist jerk, they have a good number of raid teams and they get things done (like, ya know, they’ve downed 16/16 and are now working on heroics). That said, I have to shake my head at the irony I’ve been in the last year or so — my neglected alt ensconced in one of the top guilds in one of the top 40 US servers, and there was my beloved main bouncing from one dying guild/realm to another and being held back by the inconsistencies of others. But that’s MY fault — I chose to stick it out and give it one more shot….and another…and another, until my S.O. himself flipped a wig and asked me when the hell I would wake up and smell the poo-stained one-ply toilet paper, short of asking me, “doesn’t your ass hurt from all that wiping?”

And yes, yes it does, hun. Why do you think I’m switching “brands”?

Wish me luck on this move, as this is going to be the last major one I’ll be making. It’s make-or-break for my progression, my sanity and my wallet.

If I Were to Faction Change, Which Race Should I Choose?

If I Were to Faction Change, Which Race Should I Choose?

If Cloudrunner were to become Alliance, should I make him…

…Human?

Human DK

Yuck. Hate the ape arms.

Dwarf?

Dwarf DK

Fugly beyond words. ‘Nuff said.

Night Elf?

Night Elf DK

I hate Nelf guys. They look like male strippers.

Gnome?

Gnome DK

Oh hell no!

Draenei?

Draenei DK

So Cloudrunner goes from looking like a male supermodel to a refrigerator? No thanks.

Worgen?

Worgen DK

The sniffing sounds alone make me want to commit genocide.

Are there no attractive males in the Alliance???

Dynamic Duo!

Dynamic Duo!

WOOT! Got my alliance hunter to level 90 and got two sweet cheevos for my effort. 🙂

(Click to see actual size)





That’s another 45 achievement points to my credit. I plan to make this hunter my PvP toon as today I rediscovered the joys of PvPing as a ranged class. I also got a lot of PvP practice outside BGs today when I — a Hordie at heart — absentmindedly flew into the Horde capital in Vale of the Eternal Blossoms and got my Draenei ass whupped to Kingdom come. Note to self: stop flying around on semi-autopilot mode.

Alright, folks, back to my DK for some auction house PvP’ing. Some ass clown keeps undercutting me. >.< Oh, and here's wishing y'all a Happy New Year in advance!