Category Archives: Experiences

Entitlement, Feats of Strength, & the Removal of In-Game Rewards

This is a lengthier discussion on something I posted on Twitter.

For some who read this, this is going to sound a little bit cold and maybe a touch heartless: you aren’t entitled to every achievement and mount in the game.

As 6.0 draws closer and closer, there’s a small cacophony going on in a few segments of the WoW community. I’ve seen it on the official forums, Twitter, and let me assure you, I’ve seen it a lot in-game. Trade chat, whispers, ignores–you name it, I’ve experienced it.

This outburst is related to the fact that there are many things that will be unobtainable after 6.0/Warlords. The two that spring to mind most quickly are the legendary cloak and the Normal & Heroic Garrosh achievements and their accompanying titles/mount. While the reasons stated for the request are often different, the statement itself is always the same: “Don’t remove them, I should be able to acquire them once they are no longer content.”

Let’s just stop right there for a second and talk about a good word: achievement.

Don't judge me.

Don’t judge me.

Of course, most of us who play WoW relate that word to the blingy bling that pops up when we do something cool (or sometimes ridiculous, stupid, tedious, and seriously-what-were-you-THINKING-with-this-one-Blizzard).

a·chieve·ment
əˈCHēvmənt/
noun
  1. 1.
    a thing done successfully, typically by effort, courage, or skill.
    “to reach this stage is a great achievement”

That is a stellar, 10-point word.

When I raid and we down bosses, it’s an achievement, an accomplishment. It is a thing we have done successfully with effort and skill. We put time and energy and practice and skill into raiding and we are rewarded for our efforts with gear, achievements, titles, and mounts.

But everyone has different interests and skills in WoW, and while they often cross over (and some people are just boss at everything, P.S., I both love you and despise you), usually each player will have a focus–a thing that they like to do and are good at doing.

Though there are MANY examples of this, the most obvious to mention in relation to raiding is PvP. Some people are amazing at PvP. When they build up their rank and their points, when they win arena after arena or rated battleground after rated battleground, they also experience achievement. They also receive rewards of gear, achievements, titles, and mounts.

You know what? I will never see those high-level PvP rewards. I don’t love PvP the way I love to raid. What little skill I have is focused on PvE, and that leaves PvP mostly out of reach for me. And you know what? That’s okay. I don’t expect to receive the rewards PvPers do. That’s their skill, and I am impressed. More power to them!

PvP? Nah, I'm good.

In the same way, there are those who will never see the Heroic raiding achievements, mounts, and titles. They’ll never have the highest level of raiding gear. And that should be okay, too.

Whatever you do in this game, whatever you’re skilled at, you have something available that allows you to say, “HEY, HERE I AM, THIS IS WHAT I’M GOOD AT!” PvE, PvP, pet battles/collections, reputation, professions, quests, leveling, even gold-making. I’ll never have the high-level PvP rewards, I’ll never have the best archaeology rewards (my eyes are bleeding just thinking about it), and I’ll definitely never see any awesome pet battle achievements.

But I have Heroic Siege under my belt. I have the titles and the mounts and the gear. It’s what I’m almost good at, it’s where I get my rewards.

Iron Juggernaut

I guess here’s where my issue with those who are making an uproar over the removal of these achievements: if you aren’t a raider and you haven’t put the time and effort into raiding, why do you feel entitled to the rewards of that section of the game?

It’s okay to be a little envious or a little disappointed that you’re not going to get something you want, but instead of dwelling on it, enjoy what you do well. Enjoy the aspect of the game you like. Put all of your effort and time into that thing and become the BEST at that thing. Get all of the rewards for that thing. I won’t expect to get the rewards from the thing you’re amazing at. Please don’t get angry about not getting the rewards from the thing I’m good at.

Addendum: When this comes up in Trade chat, the next message is usually, “But you sell Heroic Garrosh for gold, doesn’t that ruin the special-ness?” Well, I’d say that the people who spend their time, effort, and energy making butt-tons (yes, that’s an official measurement) of gold are allowed to spend that gold how they wish–gold-making IS their skill, and their reward for their effort is being able to buy whatever they want most, be it an insanely expensive pet, mount, PvP rating, or PvE achievements. 

Seriously, though, 800k gold for a Spectral Tiger? I’ll pass!

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The Value of a Copper

If you’ve played World of Warcraft for any length of time, you are familiar with both the changing value of gold over the past several expansions and the fact that someone is always going to bring it up in Trade Chat eventually. Until recently, I mostly stayed out of Trade, but there are always a few things that entice me out into the open, and this conversation usually works:

Random Monk #472: WTS [Pretty Cool Pet] 5k PST
Random Warlock #829: That’s not worth 5k, it’s like 2k.
Random Warlock #829: On my other server, it’s 500g or less.
Random Monk #472: It’s going for 7k on the AH.
Random Warlock #829: That’s stupid, it’s not worth that.

SoapboxGive me a sec to grab my soapbox…okay.

Value is not a static principle. At best, the value of anything is circumstantial, constantly in flux based on what is occurring around the assignment of value to a particular item or service.

It’s like this, K: The value of any item or service in WoW is whatever people are willing to pay for it at a given point in time. This system fluctuates and is self-regulating.

Here’s an example: If Random Monk #472 up there lists his [Pretty Cool Pet] for 5k and someone buys it, then good for him, he’s made some gold! If, however, he lists [Pretty Cool Pet] for 3 weeks at 5k and it never sells, then he has two options: keep the pet or lower the price. Self-regulating, see?

Then you throw in variables like competitive sellers–Random Paladin #386 undercut the monk and offered the pet for 3k, now the monk has to decide if he’s willing to sell the pet for less than that or if he should keep it–and you’ll see that prices really are continually in flux.

Each time one of these decisions is made, buyers and sellers are determining the worth of an item for themselves. In the above scenario, the monk has to ask himself: is the pet worth more than 3k to me? If it is, then he’ll keep it, and if not, then he’ll sell it for the lower price. Easy peasy.

When you say to someone, “It’s not worth that,” what you’re actually saying is, “It’s not worth that to me,” which is perfectly fine as long as you don’t claim to speak for the entirety of the server population. If [Pretty Cool Pet] isn’t worth 5k to you, then you have the option to go farm/capture the pet for yourself, and that’s a value-determining question in itself: what’s worth more to me right now, my time or my gold?

Next time you’re tempted to piss on someone’s gold-making Cheerios in Trade Chat, just don’t. Whether it’s a [Pretty Cool Pet] or a Heroic Garrosh kill, determine its value for yourself and let everyone else do likewise.

And to the Random Warlock #829’s of the world, I say:

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10 Years, 10 Questions

There’s a lot of reflecting going on in the World of Warcraft community, from the things we love about WoW to this massive project from Alt:ernative Chat: 10 Years, 10 Questions.

10 years, has it really been that long? 8 years for me, now–hard to believe that one game can hold collective attention for this long. I guess asking “why” is a natural step!

1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?

Because it was epic. I watched my then-boyfriend raiding Molten Core and listened to him explain how he was playing with other actual people, each person with a different role; a different task. I thought that was incredible, and I wanted in.

2. What was the first ever character you rolled?

The same character I main today and have mained since day 1: Ambermist,, druid. I started out as resto, leveled some as feral, resto-raided through BC (if you can call it that, I was pretty awful), and then switched to moonkin, which I’ve been doing since Wrath.

It’s funny, I get a lot of crap when I forget to buff stats, and that’s been an issue since the inception–I remember my husband saying, “Wait. You have one of the strongest buffs in the game and you aren’t even using it?”

Buff Stats!!1!

Some things don’t change.

3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?

I wish I could say there was some thought involved, but there wasn’t. I picked the faction my husband played; that said, I’ve never been unhappy being Alliance!

4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?

8 years of memorable moments and I can only pick one? I don’t think I can do that!

My first guild raid–Gruul’s Lair. I remember seeing the invite popping up on my screen and having a mini freakout, followed by a whisper from the healing lead, “Heal the tank and don’t panic.”

Every memorable moment–raiding through BC, those achievements I just had to have, my legendary staff, shenanigans with guildies, becoming an officer, the last half of heroic Siege, even Challenge Modes–started with that invite.

CMs

5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?

At this point, I must sound like a broken record, because every time this comes up it’s the same answer: raiding.

And yes, it has always been the case. I got sucked into WoW because raiding looked like the most fun thing I could imagine in a video game, and that hasn’t changed. I play to raid.

6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?

It changes, there’s never one place that I’ve stayed since the beginning. The bank area in Dalaran, the clock tower in Stormwind, the tallest hill near Halfhill, my perch or the stoop in Shrine–each of these areas has been a place for me to park.

7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?

Oh dear. Hang on.

90s Played

The calculator tells me that’s about 588 days on my level 90s. Holy crap!

I have played since September 2006 with a 9 month break in 2011.

8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?

Yes, I definitely do, at least the first time through a zone.

9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?

All of my regrets are related to people in the game, not the game itself. Times when a miscommunication or misunderstanding led to a parting of the ways or when friends ended up being not the friends I thought they were, those are the things I regret.

10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?

At different points in time, it has had different effects. I had to back out for almost a year to get some stuff in my life together, for instance; but there are a lot of things I’ve learned about myself, people, and communication as well.

Besides, at the end of the day, it’s just a good time. ;-)

- See more at: http://www.alternative-blog.net/2014/09/time.html#sthash.yofgrt2P.8qPRhAkd.dpuf

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Why I Still Log On Every Day

If you haven’t seen it yet, there’s a buzz coming from Mr. and Mrs. WoW this week: a community project aimed at combating the negativity that tends to spawn at the end of an expansion by taking a look at the things that we still love about the game. We each pay $15 a month to log in–but what do we do once we’re there? For those of us who have stayed subscribed in pre-Warlords Warcraft, why do we log in?

Friends

Hands down, this is the number one reason I log on at any time other than raid time. I said it on Twitter jokingly but it’s not untrue: most of the time these days, WoW is an extremely interactive chat program. Real ID, guild chat, the best private channel in the entire game (sorry, I don’t mean to put down anyone else’s, but ours is the best, okay?), and sometimes Mumble–there’s almost always someone around to talk to.My Perch

There’s a reason my blog and Twitter have a billion screenshots of this spot. Most days, if you’re on Durotan or Ysera, you can find me on my perch or The Stoop, and if I’m not AFK, you can bet I’m sitting there talking to someone. I’m not going to get sappy, but I am going to say that I do care about the friends with whom I play WoW. They’re genuinely awesome people, and if I unsubbed and couldn’t chat anymore, I’d be bummed. 

Raids

I’ve said this a million times already in the past few years, and it hasn’t changed: I play to raid. Killing dragons with a bunch of people that I usually don’t hate is a good time. Most of the time. Except when I’ve got 5 fps for almost an entire raid night because I forgot to close background programs on my crap computer. 

lolcat_confiscated_computer

Okay, even then, I still enjoy raiding. If they took raids out of WoW, I’d stop playing. Maybe I’d go be bad at League of Legends some more. I hear Hello Kitty Island Adventure is a pretty good time…

The Carrot

Blizzard, as a company, is exceptionally good at carrots. I am not naive; I get that it’s intentional and it keeps us playing the game–and it totally works.

Right now, there are two carrots that I’m aiming for every week, though they look an awful lot like mounts:

Invinciblemountedknighthorseblack

For weeks, I solo-cleared ICC 25 & Heroic Lich King; I got tired of that and stuck a lockout on my rogue to use instead. There’s a moment when I loot his corpse (again) where there’s hope it’s going to be there–of course, all that’s on it are tokens and axes (again), but I’ll keep doing it until I get it.

Thankfully, flying to Karazhan is more time consuming than actually killing the Huntsman, but he disappoints me every week, too. Jerk. Keep your Warhorse, what do I care.

Those are my three main reasons for playing–what are yours?  Don’t forget to take a look at Mr. and Mrs. WoW’s series of posts and all of the bloggers who have contributed to the community project!

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Make New Friends, But Keep the Old

A Look Back 

I created Ambermist in 2006. I leveled her when I came to visit my then-boyfriend on weekends (if you’re wondering, yes, it took forever). Not quite a year later, I hit 70. Within 10 minutes, I was invited to Chi Cerca Trova. My guild note then? “UK’s girlfriend.”

The next 4 years, I raided with CCT, climbing our way through BC & WotLK raids. I moved away from being UK’s girlfriend and worked to become a raider in my own right.

CCT in Naxxramas

At the end of Wrath, having met the end of my rope in the drama of the time, I gquit and raided with a different guild before taking a break from the game. When I came back in summer of 2011, the guild I had raided with was a skeleton, and it didn’t take long for me to find my way back home to CCT.

In 2012, we started in Mists of Pandaria, and were almost immediately sacked with guild drama. When the dust cleared, we had lost 12 members within the first 4 weeks of the first tier. In the midst of this chaos and in need of new officers, I was promoted. The last year and a half have been a crazy ride. We rebuilt the guild, thanks in no small part to one of our officers reaching out to everyone he could, and pulling in several of the players I have grown closest to in the past year.

We progressed halfway through Heroic Siege of Orgrimmar before our 25-man went 10, and then we cleared Heroic Garrosh in our 10-man. I was proud to be a part of making that happen, even if there were moments that made me want to quit altogether.

Last 25m CCT Kill

In the past few months, though; I’ve been slowly coming to a realization, and things have been changing little by little during that time. I love CCT, I always will, but what I want from the game has changed.

…And a Look Forward

Last night, with a heavy heart but a big dose of optimism, I left Chi Cerca Trova. I hope that the friends that I have there will still be my friends today.

For Warlords of Draenor, though; I will be raiding with Check Please. Of all the things I expected to happen, this was definitely not it, but it’s the right decision for me right now. I have thoroughly enjoyed raiding with them over the past few weeks in our 25-man collab, and when we go back to Garrosh on Monday, it will be as one guild.

A New Guild Tag

 

Thank you, CCT, for letting me be an idiot sometimes, and for putting up with my sometimes frenetic leadership in the past 6 months. Thank you for memories and moments and funny pics and mumble conversations I will never forget.

And thank you, Check Please, for taking me in. I’ll see you all on The Stoop. <3

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The End of the Expansion: Heroic Garrosh, The Realm Connection, & A Bit of Mischief

I’ve said it before, but when Mists of Pandaria was first announced, I balked. “Of course, I’m still going to play it,” I readily admitted, “but I don’t know if I’m going to like it.”

Turns out, I did, but it hasn’t been an easy road for my guild this time around. At the very beginning (and I do mean the very beginning–MSV), we lost 12 people in 2 weeks, two separate groups that broke off and went 10-man. This left us down half of a raid group and without four of our 6 healers. 

MSV Wipe

This expansion for our guild has been about discovering who we are and what we want to be as a guild now, or at least, that’s how it has been for me. I have very clear ideas about what I want to see in Warlords of Draenor, and my raiding goals are higher than they’ve ever been. Whatever happens next, I am certain that Mythic raiding is going to be an adventure.

Speaking of raiding goals, we reached one we had never actually set before as a guild: clearing the content before the next patch. It’s been an uphill climb from those troubling moments in Mogu’shan, and there were times this expansion that I honestly wondered if we were going to be raiding much at all.

But we pulled through. We got stuck on 25-man Thok for over 2 months and made the decision to go 10-man, on which we cleared Thok through Paragons, and then, this week, 188 wipes in, Garrosh died. 

Grats, CCT. Thank you for not giving up on the guild and thank you for not giving up on me. 

Heroic Garrosh

Durotan & Ysera 4 Lyfe

Durotan has been my home since the day I created Ambermist. From those fledgling days as a healer to learning to Moonkin to Siege of Orgrimmar, I’ve been here. In Vanilla and BC, Durotan lost a lot of guilds to free server transfers as they opened up the option for new servers. Wrath was a fun time for the server. Dalaran certainly promotes spending time with the people around you.

From Dollarsign to Casual’s Gem Cuts to Secular’s insistence on making it impossible to fish for coins to nude dance parties because, well, why not, Wrath was good times. 

Dalaran: City of Nudes

Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria saw a steady decline in our server population, especially for the Horde side, and a bottoming out of progression. We were never a highly ranked server anyway, but we went from a small handful of 25 and quite a few 10 man guilds progressing through content to an extremely small group of guilds that made it into Heroic Siege, and only two so far that have completed it, the first of which only moved to Durotan earlier this year.  

No one is surprised to see “Durotan is dead!” in Trade chat anymore, when there’s active Trade chat at all, and there has been a lot of “when are we going to be merged?” going around. The answer is today, when we merge with Ysera. 

The servers seem similar from what I’ve seen, with a much bigger group of Horde to breathe life into Durotan’s struggling Horde side, and even more Alliance with whom to share the stoop. (Or not, you know, we’re kind of territorial). 

The Stoop

Uh, Clump Check?

 

Welcome, Ysera, I look forward to meeting you!

The Summer Doldrums

Here we are at the end of the expansion in the middle of summer. People are restless, a little (or a lot) bored, and generally causing mischief wherever they go. Sometimes this ends up being some mild trolling, other times it’s Thunderfury vs Thunderfury in an epic melee caster battle. 

Then, sometimes, it’s a fight to see who’s going to be forced to leave the guild, which is what happened last night. I lost. 

After leaving the guild, I asked if anyone was recruiting, and I immediately got an offer from a guild that I couldn’t refuse. 

Check Please 4 Lyfe?

 

And then the other officer that could invite me back to CCT logged off. Then, so did the mage that I was going to promote to get an invite when there was no one else online.

THEY LEFT ME HERE, YOU GUYS. 

It’s okay, though, Check Please has macadamia nut cookies. I think this could work out.

So, that’s my story–how is the end of the expansion treating you, your guilds, and your servers? 

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Going Mobile

Six years ago, a week after they were available for purchase, my husband and I ordered keychain authenticators. The day it came in the mail, I taped it to my desk, and I haven’t moved it since that day.

Image

To understand the importance of this, you first have to understand that I am about the most scatterbrained individual you can imagine. I lose my phone for at least 2 or 3 days about once every 2 months. My keys are a daily adventure. And then there are the extra special moments, like “Honey, why is your wallet in the freezer?”

My husband switched to the Mobile Authenticator not long after it became an option, but I declined. It’s safer there taped to my desk–sometimes you have to recognize your weaknesses and work with them.

Mobile Requirements

When the Armory app required an authenticator, I considered switching to mobile. I wanted to be able to log in and use the app to chat with guildies, but it wasn’t worth losing my authenticator to me, so I sucked it up and lived without it.

Yesterday, though, everything changed–Hearthstone came to the iPad. We have two iPads, one that the whole family chipped in to buy for the kids, and one from my husband’s work, and I have used them both extensively. It turns out I love tablets.

I knew the minute I opened the Hearthstone app, I would need my authenticator number. Drat.

The truth is, I like the incorporation of mobile options into our games. On Twitter the other day, I couldn’t help but wonder if Blizzard will take the desktop launcher chat-with-friends feature mobile. It seems like the next logical step from Guild Chat on the Armory app to Real ID Chat on a mobile app, and I honestly would think that’s pretty cool.

The Decision to Go Mobile

I can’t deny the importance of being able to have my authenticator on the move anymore. I want in on this mobile movement, and I’m going to have to go for it.

Image

Hey, you can’t deny that it’s mobile.

 

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