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Back to My Horde Roots…and Having Fabulous Hair Again

Back to My Horde Roots…and Having Fabulous Hair Again

Once upon a time, I tweeted: “Had a weird dream that I server-transferred my DK again. Enough! No more throwing cash at #Blizzard. They already have more money than God.”

Well, folks, I just handed them more money and made them richer than God and Satan combined.

Patty-Death Knight

You: ZOMG WTF YOU TRANSFERRED AND YOU’RE HORDE AGAIN WHO CARES BUT WHY???

Why? Below are the reasons in random order.

– My husband is a die-hard Horde. Since I switched to Alliance, he and I have never ran anything together in the game. We were always saying how much we missed our bonding moments in Azeroth – questing and farming and skinny-dipping in Nagrand – plus his chaos bolts really hurt. Ya know the old saying, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

– I am a Horde at heart. I started out as Horde and plan on exiting this game as a Horde. I never felt any faction pride as an Alliance. Not once did I cry, “FOR THE ALLIANCE!”  in battlegrounds. Come to think of it, I did only a couple of BGs during my stint as a Human. I just couldn’t bring myself to kill Horde. I. just. couldn’t.

– I needed a change. I wasn’t happy anymore as I was being held back again, progression-wise. I was getting angrier and angrier and losing more and more patience. I was afraid that if I didn’t leave, I would spew very hurtful words that could kill a lot of friendships, and I didn’t want to take that risk. I was in danger of mentally and emotionally snapping in the manner of Walter White:

Walter-Before and After

– I missed having fabulous hair.

– I missed the thug life in Orgrimmar.

– I missed being a member of the one true cool faction. (Cute as they are, gnomes will never be cool.)

– Vol’jin was calling my name. I couldn’t say no. And you know how I love the guy.  #sicklove

– And did I say I missed playing with my husband?

Moving to a new realm where I don’t know anyone besides my other half is always a terrifying experience for me. You know that feeling you get on the first day of school as the new kid who doesn’t know where to sit in the cafeteria? That’s exactly how I felt. I checked Trade for guild recruitment, I checked out other players and their gear. I felt so naked…until I chanced upon a small guild that was willing to let me try out for a spot. I’m on wait-and-see status as of this writing.

So what did I name my Death Knight this time?

I named her Patty after Homer Simpson’s cranky spinster sister-in-law Patty Bouvier…

Patty Bouvier

(Credits: Matt Groening and Fox Broadcasting Company)

…because that’s who I was turning into raid night after raid night. I was becoming mean, impatient and cantankerous. All I needed was a smoking habit and a job at the DMV and I was all set into becoming a human version of her.

You could also say I was in danger of pulling a Patty Hearst if I had stayed.

Patty Hearst

Well, good luck to me in my home. This is it, folks. This is my last and final move, I swear on a stack of Bibles.

Colbert-Stack of Bibles

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.

Hello Stormrage

Hello Stormrage

And goodbye Whisperwind!

To my friends reading this post (especially Hordor), I just know you’re taken aback that I transferred again. Well, lemme explain why, and I’ll try to give you the Cliffs Notes version, but knowing myself and how I tend to ramble, this might turn into a TLDR dissertation.

The guild on Whisperwind (out of respect for both my former and current GMs, I will not mention the guild name in this post) was one of the best guilds on that server. Everyone and his grandmother wanted to be in that guild because the GM/RL was so well respected and he cared about everyone’s progression.

My Alliance hunter joined that guild in September 2011 and while she’s never been a core member of any raid team (since I’ve always focused my energies on my then-Horde Death Knight), the length of time she’s been there allowed me more than a glimpse of the guild’s awesomeness. Well, wanting to raid with only the best, I moved my DK to that server in February this year and joined the guild in the hopes of becoming part of said awesomeness.

Unfortunately, by the time I joined, there were these vicious little cliques that formed in the guild…

Grease-Clique

…who cared more about their individual teams than what was best for the guild.

Now, here comes the retarded part: an entire clique broke away and formed their own guild, poached more members, and as a result, each team lost a few key players. So what happened next was that each raid team had to pug for those missing spots.

Fast forward to the event that was the final nail on the coffin: when our then-GM proposed that we pool all the best people and form one 25-man raiding team, many people threw a bitch fit.

Frickin Pissed

Fast forward again: GM resigned peacefully, more people quit and the guild’s progression as a whole died so tragically that Congress decided to give it a state funeral.

Oops Wrong Pic

My raid team (or what’s left of it) moved from Whisperwind to Stormrage, and my RL offered to pay for my transfer as a wedding present. Ain’t she sweet? I just wanna hug her to bits!

Daffy and Snowman

So here I am in my new home, and with a new name since “Lizzie” was taken. I chose the French/Swedish name “Josine” because it was sorta-kinda close to my real name, and it was the best “normal” name I could come up with. The random name generator sucks monkey balls so I didn’t bother using it, and I ignored a certain someone’s insistence that I name my toon “Dingleberry” for shits and giggles. Not gonna happen, punk.

Dingleberry

Hope things are indeed better here. It’s no fun being a nomad.

Now excuse me while I read Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace cover to cover while waiting in queue:

Stormrage Queue

Decisions, Decisions

Decisions, Decisions

When your raiding team moves to another server and your Raid Leader offers to pay for your server transfer so you could resume progression with them, what would you do?

Hiker

(Image from: Cybex Fitness Blog)

Eh, I’ve made my decision.

To be continued.

Hitches and Glitches

Hitches and Glitches

It’s been a month since I transferred to this realm, a decision I don’t regret at all. I’ve been raiding on both my DK and hunter and racking up fun and cheesy achievements like…

WoW Achievements

…and there’s always plenty of people online everyday – even during ungodly hours – organizing all-guild events.

However, my transfer included a couple of minor but still irritating glitches that required a ticket that remains unanswered today, such as:

– I lost portals. Logging on my first day on this server, I found myself in Stormwind. Seconds later, people were screaming that Galleon was up and I joined their raid group. To my horror, there was no portal to Pandaria in Stormwind. No one could summon me. I ended up doing the starter quest to get me to the ship to Pandaria, and guess what? When I got to Pandaria, I fell to my death due to some phasing bug. I remained phased from the raid until they downed Galleon, and I didn’t get credit for the kill.

– I’ve retraced REPEATEDLY the quests to open up the portal, but I keep getting stuck on The Mission quest. I even followed that suggestion to speak with Taradormi to fast-forward the phasing for me but no luck. Come on, Blizzard, this is getting to be really annoying!

I don’t know if I should blame Mercury for being retrograde during the last few weeks, but this patch has been downright buggy. Besides servers going offline while you’re in the middle of an instance (among a bunch of el crappo glitches), my hunter lost an item in her bags overnight. I had won the Sul’lithuz Sandmail chestpiece from the new LFR but didn’t equip it right away. I did purchase a couple of gems from the Auction House for it (which I didn’t socket into it) and logged out for the night.

The next day, I logged back on my hunter so I could check the stats and reforge it, but it was gone. The gems I bought were still in my bag. It was the biggest WTF moment in my WoW life.

Okay, so you’re familiar with those scenes in suspense/horror flicks where the main character insists that she saw a ghost/intruder/whatever and other people start questioning her credibility and state of mind? That was the situation I found myself in that day. I know I won a chestpiece in the new LFR! It was in my bag and those gems are proof to myself because I NEVER buy gems OR keep them in supply UNLESS I actually acquired a new upgrade.

Oh, and to raise my shock even further to the power of holy f*ck, the Item Restoration list didn’t include said chestpiece. Talk about casting even more doubt on my claim and mental state.

My S.O. asked me, “are you sure you even got the chestpiece?” “Yes!” I replied, a little too vehemently lest he thought I was losing it, as I wrote a ticket.

Well, the ETA for a response on that ticket is 5 days. For the portal-related one, another 4 days.

Le sigh.

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.

Exodus from Exodar: Postscript to “Well, It’s Been Fun”

Exodus from Exodar: Postscript to “Well, It’s Been Fun”

A mini-exodus took place last night. Suffice to say that a number of us have had it and made our graceful exits into the quiet evening. I took the exodus a step further by leaving Exodar, my home for a year and a half. My raiding experience was way more satisfying on that server than Borean Tundra, but I was ready to find a new home for my Death Knight.

I didn’t say goodbye. It might have been rude of me but let’s put it this way: I will exercise courtesy to those who know how to reciprocate it. But if you give me and other people the attitude that you don’t feel compelled to explain the real score, then I feel no need to bend over backwards to apologize for my sudden departure.

It has indeed been fun. I will always treasure the fun times we struggled and succeeded. We were the server’s equivalent of the Little Engine that could – “I think I can, I think I can, I THINK I CAN!” How I wish that mindset still existed but unfortunately it’s been replaced by “I think I’m bored! I think I’ll play D3! I think I’ll stop caring about others!”

I know, I know, you can’t force people to play to help out other people in the guild if they don’t want to. Guild spirit can’t be faked. But in the same vein, you can’t expect people on the other side of the equation to act like lap dogs and quietly accept the sorry situation they’re in. People will respond accordingly to your leadership and demeanor, and there is nothing more repelling than an attitude of detachment, disinterest and evasiveness.

The great thing about living in the free world is that you have a choice to leave, and leave I did. Off to another adventure I go!

Back to Exodar, A Sex Change and Hello, Natsu and the Alliance!

Back to Exodar, A Sex Change and Hello, Natsu and the Alliance!

Sometimes you find out a bit too late that the server and guild you chose don’t match your toons’ goals and needs. I pulled out my pally and hunter from Exodar to a server where a few old friends happened to be happily ensconced. I gave the new realm a shot but something was still amiss. 🙁

I want my pally to become a good tank someday, but she’ll never be one if she stayed there. I know I also said in an older post that I don’t enjoy the hunter class anymore, but I have had a change of heart. I want to give the class another shot.

So I changed their realms again.

My pally returned to Exodar to rejoin my Death Knight.

As for my hunter, since my old Borean Tundra friend Natsu (who is now Alliance and part of a great raiding guild) has been coaxing me for the longest time to join him, I finally went ahead and transferred that toon to his server.

Not only did Anhur undergo a faction change, he also underwent a sex change operation plus took on a new identity:

Draenei Hunter - SW

This is my hunter’s new home. I just joined Natsu’s guild. I feel welcome already and I’m very happy to be with one of the sweetest people I ever met in this game.

(Click to see actual size)

Bye Borean Tundra: A Bittersweet Prose and a Bitchy Message – Part 2

Bye Borean Tundra: A Bittersweet Prose and a Bitchy Message – Part 2

Part 1 is here, folks.

This post is horribly delayed, but with so many exciting things to do since Cataclysm dropped, I didn’t have time to dwell on the negative experience I had that prompted me to leave Borean Tundra.

But since I feel compelled to finish the second and last installment (I hate leaving anything unfinished) , I figured it’s best to do it now, on the last day of the year, just to get the toxic stuff out of my system. See it as a cleansing ritual of sorts. Then I can move on.

So where was I?

What exactly was the straw that broke the camel’s back that prodded – nay, donkey-kicked me – into paying $75 to pull out my three major characters from Borean Tundra?

If you guessed the culprits were from my guild, you just won yourself a washer, dryer and a trip to a Hawaiian island (the good one, not the leper one).

Just think: you and your core group have been slaving away in ICC for a few months. You paid your dues. You learned the fights. The one day you found yourself with 11 bosses downed and facing the Lich King — the last bastard left stopping you from earning that much-coveted Kingslayer title.

You expect to wipe on him repeatedly and that’s okay. You’re thinking, we’re gonna get him sooner or later. Just keep extending the raid lockout. We’re gonna focus on that son of a bitch.

Then one day, the warrior dude responsible for extending the raid lockout decided he didn’t want to be locked to anything and passed raid lead to another Death Knight who technically was never part of our core group but nonetheless still a member of our guild (read: bench warmer), but just happened to be with us in the last raid.

Same Death Knight, eager to down the LK and with raid lockout in hand, decided one sugar-fueled evening that he couldn’t wait for the rest of us to get online and proceeded to advertise on Trade chat that he was looking for more to down the Lich King.

Ain’t that sweet! He was practically giving away several free golden tickets to the Lich King combat to people who didn’t have to effing sweat it out 11/12. When I saw the names of the people he invited, it struck me that majority of them haven’t even gotten past Putricide, and now they were getting easy access to the Lich King.

THE FUCK!!!

I blew a gasket and complained to Shath, one of Good Intentions’ big cheeses, and asked him to stop Bar — I mean, the other DK, from giving away the LK combat to non-guildies. I flipped a wig over how Scor that inconsiderate RL could easily give the lockout to a non-officer, throwing away our 11/12 efforts in ICC. I protested the injustice of it all. Months and months of hard work…and it was all going down the fucking toilet.

And it took one inconsiderate, thoughtless, two-faced person to trigger it all.

That’s right, loser, I’m calling you two-faced. What, you think I never found out that you would blame me for your own fuck-ups every time an officer questioned your lapse in judgement? How brave of you to point the finger at me when I am not there to defend myself. You have the cojones of a weasel. You must be so damn proud of yourself, bringing cancer to a guild that was already suffering the loss of our two best healers. We relied on you to help us sustain our progression but you only served to wreck it forty ways till Sunday and Sunday itself. You kept bringing all these loser puggies to fill our slots in the raid — people who can’t heal or DPS to save their sorry asses. But because they were your pals, they stayed, even though I wanted to beat them with a red-hot poker after the umpteenth massive ice block on Sindragosa.

Though I was glad you got kicked from the guild, it still wasn’t enough to fix the clusterfuck mess you left.

You sold us out.

Bumping into you in Dalaran was something I could no longer stomach. Seeing you and your ilk polluting the server and hurting your own friends made me realize it was time to take a sabbatical. Though it meant leaving some people I have grown to love, I valued my sanity too much to stay further.

Time to leave.

Before I could fucking chop your dick off with my two-handed axe.

With Mastercard in one hand and the other on the keyboard, I made Blizzard $75 richer.

Ladies and gentlemen, Cloudrunner has left the building and Borean Tundra. Thank you and good night.

Bye Borean Tundra: A Bittersweet Prose and a Bitchy Message – Part 1

Bye Borean Tundra: A Bittersweet Prose and a Bitchy Message – Part 1

I never imagined I would leave the first home I made in Azeroth. Being the sentimental sap that I am, I find it extremely difficult to tear myself away from people and places — albeit virtual – I’ve become quite attached to. I rolled and leveled two characters to 80 – and a third one up to 79 – on Borean Tundra, determined to enjoy my experience and earn every achievement possible. I shed blood, sweat, tears and cussed a storm. It was an experience filled with trial and error, comedy and tragedy, victories and defeats, romance and intrigue, and a few threats. I ran through the entire spectrum of emotions, sometimes chastising myself for allowing a mere game to get to me.

But you see, World of Warcraft evolved from being a mere game in my life. Being a social game where one can’t help but become attached to people, I found myself over the course of time developing friendships with caring individuals I was lucky to meet. And as for the horrid ones I was unfortunate enough to run into, let’s just say that those were the people who reminded me that the extreme flaws of Man — greed, lust, arrogance, pride, selfishness — do not spare even the virtual world. Flesh and blood mortals, after all, control the mouse and keyboard that serve as the strings of the pixelized puppets that inhabit Azeroth.

I became a resident of Borean Tundra in February 2009, the month and year that my hunter Anhur was born. It was a time of hope. When you’re new to WoW and you’re playing a freshly-rolled character that you plan on taking all the way to the level cap, you’re filled with all sorts of optimism and dreams and plans, and you say to yourself, surely I will run into like-minded players with the same goals, and we as a guild can all help one another conquer end-game content.

But as weeks and months passed and my hunter leveled and got into his first few guilds, I realized my own naivety when I learned that:

– Not everyone plays fair.

– It pains some people to show even a modicum of respect to their fellow players.

– You may be the nicest person they’ve ever met, but don’t expect them to be nice to you. Some people are just plain jackasses to others, all the more if you turn the proverbial cheek and select dignified silence.

– People actually take pixelized prizes very seriously. Way too seriously.

– Racking up achievement points is serious business. So serious I know someone whose achievement points are higher than his bi-monthly income. So what if he’s broke? At least he’s got more achievement points than you and me, he can finally afford to brag for once in his life! Come on, people like him need to feel like winners for once in their lives, so let’s cut him some slack.

– Trade chat trolling – and feeding the trolls – is serious business. Wintergrasp and that ICC boss can wait. Funnypiggy needs his audience.

– Not everyone who puts up a guild is a caring, fair and dedicated Guild Master.

– Not all your guildies will be nice and helpful to you. In fact, if they could sell you and their own grandmother down the river to have an edge in the raiding and loot department – and even sleep with the GM to secure a permanent spot in the core group – they would so in a heartbeat. If they could heap the blame on you for a raid gone wrong to save their own sorry asses, well hell, they would gladly do so – and with panache!

– Guilds are like high school all over again. You’ve got the token jackass, the token pacifist, the token gossip, the token heartthrob, the token hot babe, the token bad boy, the token bad girl, the token shy wallflower…you name it. There are people who play these roles to the hilt, and God forbid you’re the token shy wallflower who catches the eye – or ire – of the token jackass who would not hesitate to bully you around and humiliate you on guild chat and Vent.

There are flaws and irritations I am willing to let slide, but when push comes to shove, when you’ve been taken for a ride one too many times, when too many people have wrecked guild progression, when the negative experiences outweigh the positive ones, someone’s gotta choke.

I choked.

To be continued…