Written by | Posted November 19, 2013 – 4:46 pm Deconstruction

Bad things are happening in Stormwind – and beyond.

The Hand of Lothar, they call themselves.

Yva Darrows was their first target.

Tirith and Aely were their second and third.

They have since… expanded their reach and escalated their methods …

An Epidemic of RPer Disease
comment Comments Off Written by on November 29, 2012 – 8:28 am

I’m here today to talk to you all about a very serious problem I see in the RP community – RPer disease. I don’t know any roleplayer who doesn’t suffer bouts of this infection, and while not exactly contagious it seems to come in waves. It’s a serious problem with potentially epidemic proportions, and something we should all be on the lookout for.

What is RPer Disease?

It’s the disease that makes people say things like “I never RP because I’m not good enough” or “I don’t know why people RP with me, I’m really bad at it” and “I’m a terrible writer, I don’t know why you people put up with my additions to your stories” or worst yet “I really want to RP but I’m afraid I’ll be bad at it so I don’t try.”

RPer disease can infect you in lots of ways. It can show up as straight-up fear, your inner editor, or self-doubt, or a lack of confidence, or getting outside your comfort zone, or being new, or whatever.

There is only one cure for RPer disease, and that’s actually getting out and roleplaying. I know that seems counterproductive, but console yourself knowing that every single roleplayer goes through periods of suffering from this disease.

We all get it. Even the people we think would never feel that way, the people who are so good at roleplay, who craft amazing stories and have great characters and ideas. Even the best roleplayers sometimes feel like that too.

I get over it by not letting the disease ruin my fun. When I feel myself starting to come down with a case of RPer disease, I have to face it head on. Take a deep breath, log in, maybe voice my fears to a sympathetic friend, and then jump headlong into the story.

Your character doesn’t get RPer disease, it’s a disease that infects players. Let your character help you beat it back.

It may never fully go away, but see it for what it is. A pestilence. A plague of self-doubt and fear that does not serve your abilities, nor does it fairly represent what you’re capable of doing. If you find yourself with symptoms, know that, like the common cold, we all suffer from RPer disease, but it’s far from terminal. You can overcome it with creativity, stubbornness, and a good dose of story. You can even enlist some friends to have a pub night – it doesn’t have to be a big elaborate story, just enough to get your brain involved and the creative juices flowing.

Refuse to be put out of commission by RPer disease!

Getting Better At It
comment 5 Written by on November 27, 2012 – 8:20 am

I have come to realize something, over the last bit of running heroics and such for gear and badges.

I kind of suck at being a ret paladin.

There are a lot of reasons for my suckitude, but regardless of how long a break I took, how much the class has changed, and how out of practice I am with being ready to raid, the TL;DR version is still that I’m a baddie. My healer instincts are still pretty good (I catch myself using Flash of Light procs on other people around me), but trying to eke out something resembling a rotation while running after an add and trying not to stand in 12 kinds of bad and keeping behind the boss? I’m terrible, and my DPS numbers show it.

This is, fortunately, not a terminal problem.

I’ve seen myself improve pretty dramatically over the last two weeks, and that’s just through a new addon, a few Sha of Anger raids and a couple of heroics. I didn’t level in the instances, and learning the fights helps a lot, which shouldn’t be that surprising either. But I’m definitely still in the “wait what button?” phase of learning all this.

I was a decent retadin at the end of Wrath, so I know I’m not a hopeless case. Eventually I’ll get back to tweaking my rotation and knowing when to blow wings and when to wait for it. My raid would prefer that to be sooner than later, I’m sure, so now that Thanksgiving is over, I’m putting some extra effort into getting geared up. I’m 4 points of iLevel short of LFR, which will also help. Gear upgrades are still making marked differences in my DPS, in a way that healing didn’t really feel. I guess because DPS is so much more… easily numbered and rankable.

If I’m honest, part of that terrifies me. I know that my raid isn’t made up of the kind of people who will tell me I’m not worth my raid spot because I’m not that good… but I also REALLY don’t want to be THAT GUY, especially after all the help I’ve gotten to get gear so late in the game. So I’m working on it. There’s no shortage of resources on the fights now, so in a lot of ways the learning is much easier than it used to be.

I’m ready to cook feasts of the grill, I’ve got gems and enchants lined up for when I get some not-PVP gear. Now if only I could find some stupid Golden Lotus (my Tiller’s Rep isn’t high enough to farm it yet), I’d even have flasks!


Ask Anna: Guild Advice
comment Comments Off Written by on November 14, 2012 – 8:59 am

On twitter, @argardes asks:

“help! I am in a 125 member guild with only 30 real players sigh they are friendly and but they suck in Ilvl”

Ok Argardes, I answered you on twitter, but this is a good thing for everyone to remember.

If you are experiencing frustration with your guild, evaluate how well it actually fits what you want in game. There are lots of guilds full of lovely people in which I probably wouldn’t fit, because I’m interested in both roleplay and (at this point) casual raiding.

I’m sure, by your question, that you like your guildmates. They’re probably fun people, and you like hanging around with them (or you wouldn’t be in their guild).

However, if your guildmates aren’t interested in progression raiding, and you are, you’re not in the right guild.

If they ARE interested in progression, and are just moving at a slower pace, it’s time for you to decide if you’re having enough fun with them to either wait or do everything you can to help them get better. Step up and start a heroic night, help coordinate professions so that people can get crafted gear to make up for holes in drops. Help with dailies and be social (I love being in vent while I’m doing dailies because it helps it feel less like a lonely chore) – group up to run content and get people more gear so their “Ilvl” is better. Your progression options may stop with LFR, but you’ll at least have some content to clear with people you like.

(However, if by “Ilvl” you’re trying to find a nice way to say that they play badly and don’t care to optimize their spec/gear/consumables, you may have to do some teaching as well. You don’t need to know every class, but encouraging people to spend time with Icy Veins guides and a target dummy can go a long way.)

Remember though, you can’t change other people. You can’t force them to like progression. While you can try to encourage them to do more high level stuff, if they’re not that interested, they’ll always feel like a hindrance, especially if you’re expecting a level of performance that they’re not up to doing. There’s a huge difference between “yeah raiding sounds like fun” and “I’m willing to put in the time to have a raid ready character”.

Also, it probably means you would be leading a raid, which is a pretty substantial undertaking. Doubly so if you’re the only one in the guild who really wants to raid.

If you decide that you’re more interested in progression, you have a few options. You could try finding a guild that would take you on as a non-guilded raider, if you really like your guildies. Or you can take your main to a raiding guild and leave your alts in your social guild (this works for lots of people).

I’m not saying you should be a jerk. Be upfront about it. Tell people you’re interested in a more progression focused guild and are looking at other guilds. It’s likely that they’ll be OK with that, even if they’ll miss you, because that’s what you want to do with your $15 a month. Through the magic of BattleTags, you can still group with them for heroics!

But don’t stay in a guild where you’re unhappy, longing for a chance to raid. This is a game, and you should be having fun playing it. There are tons of nice people who play WoW, and many of them raid. You can find a guild that suits your raiding preferences and make some new friends in the process.

TLDR version: If you’re really unhappy with your guild, either work to make it better, or find a new guild!

Not Mutually Exclusive
comment 2 Written by on November 13, 2012 – 12:16 pm

The reality of an upcoming raid opportunity finally sunk in, so I got Aely to 90 on Sunday. I still have a few lingering quests in Kun Lai before I get the achievement, and two more quest hubs in Townlong. That, plus cooking quests, plus farming quests, plus… let’s just say a quest log that only holds 25 quests just isn’t gonna cut it right now!

I’ve got a set of crafted gear, so my ilevel is enough to run heroics, but I’m way short of being able to do LFR. I’ll be working on that with friends as I can find people online – my wonky schedule is going to make grouping hard, since I go to bed at 7 server time.

I’m depending on Icy Veins to get my skills up to speed in terms of how to not suck at being a ret paladin. I think my spec is decent, and I’ve got a stat priority now. I downloaded ClcRet to help me memorize a raiding rotation. Still need to get glyphs. I’m probably not going to waste a ton of materials on enchants for gear that is essentially just a placeholder.

Right now I just feel really behind.

When it didn’t matter and I wasn’t responsible to anyone, I didn’t really care that I wasn’t capped or doing dailies. I figured I had time for whatever. I still have time, as my raid isn’t starting for a few weeks yet, but I really would like to avoid the game feeling like a second job. I’m finding that my sense of personal responsibility is kicking in. Which is to say, I’m feeling guilty about ignoring WoW to take care of other parts of my life, like running errands or planning a Thanksgiving for 10 people, several of whom will be staying at my house, and will be bringing their dog.

I don’t like that feeling. I want gaming to be a fun hobby, not something I feel guilty about or anxious about. Granted, I’m the queen of making up things to be anxious about (see: Xanax), but finding a balance is going to be a lot harder with the way my job is right now.

After the first of the year, my schedule is changing. Really, it’s changing for the worse, as I’m no longer going to get every other Friday off (because my company is a bunch of turds who think that the way to solve a turnover/morale problem is to cut benefits, but that’s another post). But I’ll probably be able to stay up until 8 or 8:30 server on the new schedule, so my ability to group with people will be significantly better. Also more time for RP!

Still, that search for balance remains. How do I balance being a good, prepared, ready raider with not making the game into a second job? How do I balance life responsibilities (like a clean kitchen and a long commute and a high stress job) with game responsibilities (like having flasks and food for raids, being on time, knowing fights)?

You’d think, after *mumblemumble* years, I’d have this all figured out, but it seems like every time I think I have a handle on it, the game changes (see what I did there?)

The motto of this blog is “Because raiding and roleplay are not mutually exclusive” – something I truly still believe in and will fight for. Now I just have to figure out how to make “being a responsible adult” and “being a responsible gamer” not mutually exclusive either.


November 19, 2013 – 4:46 pm

Bad things are happening in Stormwind – and beyond.

The Hand of Lothar, they call themselves.

Yva Darrows was their first target.

Tirith and Aely were their second and third.

They have since… expanded their reach and escalated their methods …


November 13, 2013 – 9:59 am

The cathedral bells stop ringing overnight, except for chiming the hours. Three bell strikes, and Angoleth padded softly around another corner of the Cathedral District, staying carefully in the shadows. Trained ears picked up Mogget’s soft breathing – nearly inaudible …

Riders in Lordaeron – Memory

November 7, 2013 – 1:33 pm

(Written by Jolly, Tarquin, and Annalea)

The highlands of Lordaeron were not for the faint of heart; be it the putrescence of the Scourge’s long-lingering remnant, or the rock-strewn hills and valleys that made farmers out of only the most …

Riders of Lordaeron – Logistics

September 13, 2013 – 7:11 pm

(With Tarquin and Annalea)

Once more, four people made their way through the thickets and hills of Lordaeron, this time in the crisp chill of late morning, seeking after the Rider. Aelflaed had snatched what sleep she could while Chryste …

Riders of Lordaeron – Problematic

September 11, 2013 – 9:47 am

(With Tarquin)

She hadn’t wanted to leave Jolly – not so soon after finding him again – but once away, it took about five minutes for Aely to figure out she had a problem.

That problem had just announced that …

Riders of Lordaeron: Arrangements

September 9, 2013 – 10:05 am

It was an uneasy goodbye for him, but it was agreed by both he and Aely that a stroll back to Hearthglen would not be very easy to explain, nor would the explanation needed for the three Argent soldiers once …

Riders of Lordaeron

September 7, 2013 – 9:02 am

“Light sent me ye when I needed ye afore – an’ now again when I need ye. I canna ask fir more than tha’.” She sighed and slung the shield back across her shoulders. “It’s… Light. Been awhile hasna it? …

Dark Rider of Lordaeron (Part 4)

September 6, 2013 – 2:02 pm

She blinked, but did not drop either of her shields. “Aye, though I’ve been Caltrains fir th’ last near three years. Canna say I’ve any memory ay ye.”

“Yeh’ve far moar’n yeh realize,” he replied evenly, his grip tightening on …

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