Tag Archives: World of Warcraft

Liebster Award – Kamalia’s 11 Questions and my 11 Answers

liebster2

The badge of pride

I have been nominated for the Liebster Award by Kamalia et Alia. I read her questions and thought they were brilliant, so this post is me answering them. It got a bit wordy, so I’ll have to fulfill the rest of the rules in another post (11 personal facts + 11 questions for 11 new people).

Below are the Liebster Award rules:

Liebster-award-rules I

The six Liebster Award rules

.

Kamalia’s 11 Questions and my 11 Answers


 

  • tangled1) Tell me about a game or games — video or table or both! — that you are really enjoying right now.

I have really been enjoying this little mobile game, which is quite simple and has worked wonders in terms of reducing stress for me.

It’s called Tangled (found on Google Play) and the screenshot to the right was how it used to look before it was patched. Now it crashes on my phone whenever I try to play it.

The goal is to make the red line as long as possible, by turning hexagonal tiles to create a path. I loved playing this game when it actually worked on my phone!

  • 2) What classes, races, or roles do you find yourself most drawn to in RPGs, whether in D&D, a single-player video game, or an MMO? + 3) When you make your first character in a new game, do you try to make a character that is in some way an avatar of your RL self, or do you make someone entirely different?

I prefer hybrid classes and I think this has to do with the fact that I like to keep a few doors open at a time. Originally I was drawn to elves, anything beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. Now that I’ve tried creating characters that are not a projection of an ideal self, but instead have their own story and motivations, it added another and very interesting dimension to me. In the future, I see myself going further down that road.

draenei female character revamp april fools 2014

Hey, look at this gal! Not your standard beauty, but still good material for an interesting character. No, I’m serious!

In fact, I take great pleasure in toying with character creation modes. I don’t even care what game it is or if I’m going to play it any further – I love character creation modes! Usually I will first make a character that inspires me and looks cool. Then I will make the most hideous thing you can imagine, really getting all the sliders off to the extremes, scars, pinprick eyes, bad hair and probably also bad breath! I crashed The Sims 3 recently when making the most perfect evil-looking witch-sim you can imagine!

  • 4) Describe a typical session of playing your current favorite video/computer game.

I’m in my bed, about to sleep, with my beloved smart phone and playing a mobile game, often a puzzle. Also, I’m playing one match a day of this mobile game called Robotek (found on Google Play). It’s a small strategic game, you vs. the AI. You win when you burn down the health points of the opponent using various attacks and small bots. It had a bit of a learning curve, yet I’d still recommend it.

Robotek mobile game

Here’s me losing in Robotek.

  • 5) What was the very first computer/video game you ever played? How old were you?
Early hand held game

My first “beep beep game” was about moving a basketball player back and forth on the screen to keep a continuous number of balls from falling to the ground.

I must have been 6-7 years old when I played these really early hand-held games. We called them “beep beep games” based on sounds they made. They were extremely simple compared to today’s standards, inexpensive and had only one game mode. Attempting to beat your own high score, was all you could do.

Later my parents purchased a used computer from my mom’s coworker, who came and set it up for us. It booted in DOS and had an early version of Windows on it. This was when I started to play computer games on a PC.MS-DOS

The thing was, the computer did have games installed and a few games on 3,5″ floppy disks, but most of them were demos! As a kid, I didn’t know what a demo was (I was playing beep beep games!), and thus believed that Wolfenstein 3D, was actually called “Wolfenstein Demo”. I believed that the reason I couldn’t make the elevator go to the next floor, was the game being bugged.

wolfenstein 2d Back then, I was too creeped out to play it on my own. When I look at the screenshots today, it’s so much more pixelated than I remember.

So I only played this with a friend. One of us would control the arrow keys for movement, and the other space bar for shooting. Of course this resulted in panicked screams whenever an enemy appeared. Even worse, somewhere along the line, I must have messed up the key binds, because we couldn’t get the main character to turn right anymore. So to shoot and hit the soldiers, we would have to spin left, often several times, until the gun pointed in the right direction again. That keyboard sure took a beating. In short – it was a mess!

  • 6) Do you have more than one blog? If so, what is/are your other blog(s) about?

Yes, I have a Tumblr, but it functions as my inspiration log. It will probably be uninteresting to most people. There’s also WoW Roleplay Gear, although I don’t consider it a blog per se.

  • 7) Name three non-WoW/game-related websites that you visit frequently.

I read several Danish news sites. I also read Sociological Images, I like how the comments often continue the debate and offer more facets to the article. People are mostly civil, which I appreciate. I don’t comment there myself though. If I want to pass time, I browse Thought Catalog. There’s a lot of trashy articles there, with the occasional gem. I avoid places like 9gag, who are notorious with omitting references and links to the creators, whose creative content they use.

  • 8) What was/is your favorite animal to see at the zoo?

Anything feline. I’ve also had a laugh triggering monkeys to mimic my facial expressions. Do a wide open mouth (no teeth) and wide open eyes really quickly a few times, and they will do it too. Warning: other people (and monkeys), might find you a tad weird.

  • 9) Cake or Pie? What is your favorite flavor of your preferred dessert?

All of it! I don’t like it too nutty, but fruity or chocolate, I’m a sugar junkie!

  • 10) What toppings do you like on a pizza? on an ice-cream sundae?

The pizza here is notoriously bad! They put layers upon layers of meat on them. And I don’t mean, “ah lots of nice beef on my pizza” – no I mean, all kinds of meat: Shrimp, chicken, bacon and kebab on the same pizza (and a bit of horse, I’m sure). I prefer mozzarella, pesto, spinach, salad, smoked ham, that kind of stuff.

  • 11) What is your favorite writing instrument?

I have kept a diary since ’95, and I use pens in all colors, even glitter pens – yay! Anything finely pointed will do.


The remaining 11 personal facts about me and 11 questions for 11 new bloggers are in the making and will be published in another post!

“Has Privacy Become a Luxury Good?”

Ever since Edward Snowden (bless him) blew the proverbial whistle, privacy concerns has been proven to be even more serious than anyone dared to believe. And I’d like to make a small case for one of the problems I see in Wow.

I remember reading a forum post back in 2012 about the activity feed on the WoW Armory.

activity feed wow

The WoW Armory logs the activity of every character above level 10, who has also been active within the last 6 months. It logs the date of the last 50 entries.This can be viewed by anyone online, and you can not opt out of it.

It was a player asking for the ability to simply opt out of having the activity feed public:

“Am I the only person who think it’s uncomfortable to have everything you do, and when you do it broadcasted to the world?

Maybe I don’t want family/partner/boss/co-workers/stalkers/etc to know exactly how much I play or when I play for a number of reasons.

I want privacy features, I want the choice to disable the activity feed.” (link)

Is this really a lot to ask?

- Apparently for some! Because people in the thread were completely hung up on the suspicion that this guy might be playing WoW when he should be working. The answer to that is – that’s why we need privacy to begin with – because it’s none of your damn business what he does in WoW or when he do it. We don’t even need to have the discussion about why he wants it to be private in the first place – privacy is a human right!

Besides, to make a point, I have played WoW when ill – as in – legitimately ill. I did some pet battles, some farming, just something to take my mind off of the blazing flu I had going.

But you can also imagine how, under certain conditions, that could have been construed as me not being ill enough, if this information was in the hands of the wrong people.

You also see this argument about privacy often:

Basically, you are responsible for your own privacy. Which means you’d have to censor yourself – don’t play WoW when ill lest someone find out and use it against you.

Grumpy-Cat-01

Great! That will make the internet a fun, free and democratic place to hang out!
- Artist Inti Orozco

Another consequence of this line of thinking, would be the question author Julia Angwin asks: “Has Privacy Become a Luxury Good?

“As more privacy-protecting services pop up, we need to consider two important questions: Can we ensure that those who can afford to buy privacy services are not being deceived? And even more important, do we want privacy to be something that only those with disposable money and time can afford?”

She spent $2,200 last year on privacy protection measures, some of which weren’t able to live up to their promises. Besides, is it fair that one has to be a tech-expert to work around this stuff? I feel bad for my ol’ man then.

I see my friends on Facebook using nick names and falsifying their personal information, in order to diffuse their online tracks. My own strategy has been to just leave as much blank as possible. This means Facebook constantly asks me where I grew up, where I went to school (all the way back to kindergarden, Facebook wants everything!) and what movies and music I like. I sometimes enjoy watching Facebook squirm in the absence of my data, but then it also annoys me – “quit asking me private stuff, Zuckerberg, I don’t wanna date you!”

Edward Snowden, though!

Pandaria Secrets and Hidden Locations – The Secret Aerie

Pandaria has a lot to offer when it comes to secrets and hidden locations. One of them, “Riches of Pandaria“, I interpret as a recognition of exploration as a play style by Blizzard. Some of these treasures are placed slightly off track – finding The Hammer of Folly near the Black Market Auction House, for example, will also reward you with a great view over Western Jade Forest.

Last night I found a great hidden location. I had noticed when traveling through the Ancient Passage to Kun-Lai Summit, that the tunnel had several offbeat tracks. So I came back later on a level 90 character to see where they lead.

The Secrat Aerie pandaria map

And it leads to The Secret Aerie! You can see the tunnel symbols on the map of The Veiled Stair below showing the Ancient Passage entry and the Secret Aerie exit.

The Veiled Stair

When you come out of the tunnel, you’ll stand in front of a small shallow lake. There’s a boat and a small shrine, but not much to see otherwise, except the strong pink hue of the area.

Secret Aerie Tunnel

From the lake, you’ll see bamboo bridges leading upwards. This means it is theoretically possible to get there by land mount, but this path and the surrounding mountain pillars are populated with quite a few hostile level 90 sprites.

At the top, there’s two village houses and a Hawk Trainer working on a boat with his hawk supervising.

building a boat people in the sky

Why on earth this guy, being a “People of the Sky”, is building a boat at this location, is a riddle to me!

Another peculiarity of this place, is what you’ll find inside one of the houses.

people in the sky dog

Two hawkmasters, a gryphon hatchling flying in a circle and Hoggle, the pug and its prize-sized poo! I mean, I assume it’s the dog who did it, although it is a rather large poo for such a small dog…

So for your own sake, run out of there! Proceed to the area behind the house. Here you’ll find another unnamed hawk trainer, perhaps practicing a special trick with his hawk circling him.

balancing hawk trainer

Continue on to the cave that you can see to the right in the picture above. This is where you’ll find Hawk Master Liu standing in the center of the cave with a flock of hawks flying above him.

Hawkmaster Liu

This guy will actually talk to you! When I spoke to him he just said “Welcome Ironyca. We have been watching you for some time. You are a gust of wind that heralds the storm of change.” Another one of those stalky NPC’s…

On Wowhead you can read that if you have finished the quests in Townlong Steppes and thus met Hawkmaster Nurong, he will instead say: “Word reaches me you served with my brother in Townlong Steppes. How is the young fellow? Did he ever tell you how he lost his eye?

There’s one more thing to discover here and again you have to look around a little to find it. Instead if describing it here, I’ll just tell you to go and explore a little on your own (if you haven’t been here before) and follow the narrow path behind the hawk trainer balancing on a barrel.

I don’t know what the purpose of the place is, on Wowhead commenters are not sure either, but one of them noted that Hawkmaster Liu has unique voice acting, so he is probably going to be significant at some point. It’s also possible that they are connected to Shado-Pan.

Beasts of Fable and Pandaren Spirits Map

I needed a map to get an overview of the locations of the Pandaren Spirits and all of the Fable Beasts, but since I couldn’t find one, I decided to make it myself.

I made two version depicting the same thing:

  • This one has numbered dots on the map and lists on the side
Pandaria Fable Beasts and Pandaren Spirits Map v2

Click for big version – 2004 x 1336

  • This one has the names of the spirits/beasts and mini pictures at the specific location
Pandaria Fable Beasts and Pandaren Spirits Map

Click for big version – 2004 x 1336

Credit to MikeLive for the original composite map.

I’m Not Here to Scream “IT’S JUST A GAME” at You

Why do I sometimes feel guilty when playing WoW?

It’s not because I play too much, or have other duties that I neglect, it’s far more understated than that.

It’s because of some of the things I do inside the game … I know this may sound like I’m coming out as a severely brutal griefer or corpse camper right now, but don’t worry, I’m not here to scream “IT’S JUST A GAME” at you. In fact, I’m trying to convince myself of exactly that.

Oondasta

Oondasta, the world boss

I, and circa a hundred other players, were fighting Oondasta yesterday. I was not in a raid and took care of my own healing the best I could, it’s still a wipe fest really, healing or not. But he finally went down and I got my loot – “A Shiny Pile of Refuse”. Unexpectedly, it contained a white kitten carrier and since I already had a white kitten, I thought I’d just sell it on the auction house.

UNTIL Noelani pointed out the tragedy of finding a small kitten in a huge pile of dinosaur poo AND then choosing to just sell it. If that is not cruel, then I don’t know what is!

… You know, I actually do.

It’s even more cruel to force this little pooey “white” kitten into pet battles, where I can choose to force it to fight for me. It may even die because of my evil blood sport hobby of pet collecting and battling.

I think Noelani knew this too because he offered to take the kitten and take good care of it, even though he already has one. After I’m done writing this post, I’ll log in and the fate of the kitten will be sealed. I hope no one bought the pooey kitten (maybe for their own sake too).

In relevance, consider the case of the guy below, Huggalon the Heart Watcher.

JJJ

I don’t remember there being a dead pandaren female to the left of Huggalon the Heart Watcher when I took this screenshot … It’s so haunting, I don’t think I will be able to sleep tonight.

We ran into him when leveling a couple of alts and we couldn’t decide whether to kill him or not. He isn’t a clear cut case as so many other bosses and elites otherwise are. What to do?

Kill him because:

  • He’s there to be killed, right? (or is he there to force us to have horrible ethical dilemmas ABOUT killing him?)
  • He’s got a mean look on his face, he’s probably evil
  • Look at all the skeletal remains under his huge boots
  • He looks like he might appreciate being put out of his misery
  • He drops a B.B.F. Necklace
It will give a targeted player a buff called "B.F.F"

It will give a targeted player a buff called “Best Friends Forever”, which lasts for a day (instead of, well, forever)

Don’t kill him because:

  • He’s sitting there looking like a lost abandoned child (which is pretty accurate since he is the missing fifth watcher from the Vault of Archavon and Captain Planet reference)
  • His name is Huggalon the Heart Watcher
  • He has a huge bow in his hair
  • He is not hostile, but neutral
  • There is no real gain from killing him, only the necklace, which you then STEAL from him, and that is creepy. Who steals B.F.F. necklaces?

The comments on Wowhead suggest I’m not the only one with this dilemma. People say that all Huggalon ever wanted was a nice big hug and some feel really bad after they killed him. Why are we feeling bad? It’s just a game, there’s no denying that, the only consequence is that he respawns 20 minutes later for someone else to mull over this dilemma.

So, do you think I killed him?

And, would you be able to kill him yourself, and not feel just a little bit guilty about it?

 

Right and Wrong Gamer Girl Edition

I just read the Bossy Pally’s post called “I Had No Idea this Required a License” where she talks about this whole fake gamer (girl) concept that has been a topic of discussion for a months or so. I haven’t seen these discussions around lately myself, but then again, I’ve been M.I.A for a good while, and I’m still slowly creeping my way back in.

Yet, maybe it was no coincidence that this picture was shared on Facebook just a few days ago by one of my acquaintances:

Gamer gurl vs. girl that games

Shared on Facebook. I was so close to writing “lame” in the comment track, but decided to vent my disapproval here instead.

Because we all know that there’s a wrong way to do “it” and there’s a right way to do “it”. In case you are not sure what’s wrong or right, the picture will inform you, and if you are not sure what this “it” is, then I’m not either… because it does seem awfully confusing.

See this one for example:

sims3allthetime

If she’s got a headset on I don’t think she’s playing Sims 3. Headsets are actually one kind of accessory that should earn you just a little gamer cred, but I’m guessing it’s the pout that made this photo such delicious meme material.

I used to play The Sims – all of them – a lot – all the time. I was obsessed with that franchise, I spent several days in a row doing nothing but playing The Sims. I could have told someone (and probably did) “I game all the time”.

BUT WAIT!!! The Sims??? I must have misunderstood! The Sims is not a real game, it’s a simulation management game, similar to so many others, but it doesn’t count!

Playing The Sims just makes you into one of those (per the top illustration) “gamer gurls“. Remember, a “gamer gurl” is always either fat, ugly or slutty!

But there’s also the “girl that plays video games“! She must be doing it the right way, she must have that license Bossy Pally (and I) are wondering about! Here’s a realgirl that plays video games“:

Anger is important in order to carry out an authentic gamer girl performance!

I bet she’s screaming “I NEED A NEW COMPUTER”

What I keep thinking when I look at those two photos, is that the big difference seems to be a matter of performance. And the funny thing is, “the girl that plays video games” also has to perform said position perfectly. Because… you know…. playing games in and of itself doesn’t count, despite the neutral title, it’s actually a matter of subculture! And the fact her title is not even “gamer” or “gamer girl” says a lot. She’s just some girl who happens to play video games.

And you thought belonging to a subculture was all fun and games? It takes extra work to convey your legitimacy if you fall outside the subcultural stereotype!

So what is she doing right, the “girl that plays video games”? We know that playing video games is not enough, so she must be doing something else too. Is it the display of anger, which is seen as a sign of authentic dedication? Is it the trash-talking? Is it her casual clothing?

Is it that she doesn’t flag being female? Because, the femaleness is actually the initial problem, you see, it’s what forces everyone to figure out what kind of (fake) gamer she actually is, because she might just be one of those girlfriend-of-a-gamer types (always a healer)… or a Sims gamer… or Wii gamer. You know, the fake kinds that walk amongst us, who needs to be unveiled, lest they think they can actually claim to be real gamers. Us and them, baby, us and them!

Girl+Gamer.+my+life.+oc_187147_3325857

Do notice the bottom left corner ;)

Okay, okay, I understand that subcultures need to constantly define their boundaries, especially from the mainstream, but the game is totally rigged.

… and old. Yawn.

What it really does is creating a conflict amongst female gamers to scrutinize and judge each other to weed out the fakes, because if we don’t, they bring a bad name to us as a group. Lets not fall for this superficial scam!

And if the gaming police actually does show up, then you pull out the “shut your whore mouth” … well, just maybe without the whole whore part … “Please keep your despotic orifice closed” works too.

Sometimes You Meet a Player in WoW, who is a Complete Enigma

Screenshot by Jayrei (via Wowhead.com)

Horde druid travel form, stag version. Screenshot by Jayrei (via Wowhead.com)

Sometimes you meet a player in WoW, who is a complete enigma – I met one such player a few days ago.

Here’s the story of the stag-druid.

Noelani and I were questing in Krasarang Wilds in this area where you have to release Alliance slaves, kill a number of enemies and pick up relics on the ground – a classic combination of quest types.

A druid appears in stag form, he is standing slightly behind us watching while we kill several mogu. We wonder if he is waiting for us to clear the area so he can release the Horde slaves. A little cheeky really, so we sit down and pretend to eat.

The stag-druid then wiggles around on the spot – also known as key-turning. After a minute of idling, he finally decides to attack an enemy and thus he proceeds to walk right up to it and spam wrath – in his natural tauren form.

Odd.

We also see him auto-attacking in bear form and melee hitting with his staff. Stag-druid practically has no modus operandi and seems to prefer standing around in stag form in between combat. After he has killed a few mobs slooowly in these multitude of ways, he gets attacked while again observing us as a stag. He wiggles and wiggles, but ends up dying. We then help him kill a couple of mogu a few times, but he never appears to be looting anything nor actually progressing on his quests.

It becomes clear this person is not waiting specifically for us to clear the area, in fact we have no clue what he is doing. We find him later in Valley of the Four Winds brutally beating a fox to death with the staff again. I know it was a Nesingwary quest, but still.

Valley of Four Winds by Ner1 (via Wowhead.com)

Valley of the Four Winds by Ner1 (via Wowhead.com)

Maybe stag-druid had gained some confidence at this point, because we then see him fighting four mushan beasts at the same time. Stag-druid struggles and of course one of those stealthy foxes comes out and attacks him. Maybe it was karmic, maybe it was just bad luck or maybe stag-druid has always been a tree-hugger and not a killer beast!

Clearly overwhelmed, he backs closer and closer to the edge of the lake nearby and falls down the hill and dies on the bank on top of a turtle. We don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Again stag-druid appears to be a mystery – he was popping cooldowns so he couldn’t be completely clueless. He also used bear form, which is the logical thing to do in this situation, but he would also go out of it to cast wrath and stick fight…

Noelani logs a Horde character and travels to his location, entering a scene where stag-druid is actually about to die again. Noelani tries to strike up a conversation with the intention of offering assistance, but stag-druid stops replying after thanking Noelani for saving him.

We take a look at his armory. It shows him as being mono specced resto and geared accordingly (no respecs), but having only done 15 dungeon ever (never raided). He likes pet battles and has maxed professions. He has waved eight times, hugged twice, but never cheered or laughed – aw! The armory also reveals he has his own guild with 35 members, eight of which are his own, including two level 90 dual-specced characters, which look straight-forward and conventional, though not impeccable.

It’s strange seeing how the armory can be used as a tool for drawing out a whole player-profile. Thinking about this, I’ve often felt like the armory was able to tell people a lot of things about me, that I actually didn’t think were any of their business. Anyways…

It was in the middle of the night on a Saturday, so it could be anyone. I like to imagine this extremely committed, yet young and inexperienced player. Someone who doesn’t have their own account, but they know their relative’s password and they snuck out of bed after everyone was asleep, turned on the computer and beat a fox to death with a stick!

In a way, I admire it. Even though playing is so hard, every mob is a challenge, dying over and over, the guy kept going – like an ironman!