Neato!

real-neat-blog-awardSo I decided to start blogging again because I missed it, and then I couldn’t think of anything good to write. Typical, yeah? Navi stepped in and offered a hand this week when she tagged me in her post for the Real Neat Blog Award.

The rules are pretty familiar: there’s some tags and some questions and some more tags. Oh, and I couldn’t get comments to work but I wanted to say that Navi’s idea to go 500 years into the future and see what’s up is awesome and I never would have thought of it but now I have to steal it.

Here’s Navi’s questions for me:

1. What would constitute a perfect day to you?

I like tranquility. The older I get, the more I just want peace most of the time. A perfect day would start with a really good cup of coffee and a little bit of chill in the air and a porch or a img_2848balcony where I can sit quietly and think. Then some quiet time with my family (which is itself a miracle). Definitely a restaurant in there somewhere because I admittedly love going out to eat. I’ve had a lot of perfect little moments lately–if I could string them together into one whole day, that would be it.

Honestly just a peaceful day with my family and some good food thrown in. It really doesn’t take much to make me happy.

2. Which super villian (if any) do you secretly admire or feel sorry for?

Mmmm, Magneto maybe. Not admire so much as feel sorry for. You can look back at his history and see why  he’s become what he’s become, and that’s kind of heartbreaking.

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There’s a whole ‘nother thing about villians I think are amazing villians. I hate them, and I am allowed to hate them because of how evil they are–I guess that’s kind of a backwards admiration? Agent Smith from The Matrix, Voldemort from Harry Potter, and Negan from The Walking Dead. The thing these three have in common is that they aren’t redeemable characters. They are unquestionably, undeniably bad, which makes them incredible villians.

3. If you had to recommend one book to read, what would it be?

wrinkleintimepba1Ugh, that’s really hard, limiting it to just one. There are 2 books I read early in my childhood that had a lasting impact (as in, I still read them today), so I’m going to have to mention both. First, A Wrinkle in Time, and second, The Giver. These are books I am encouraging my daughter to read because they’ve stuck with me for so long. If I were a middle school English teacher and was allowed the choice, these books would be in my curriculum.

4. What is something you wish you could do but you can’t (eg draw, sing)?

Draw for sure. I love art, I have all these images in my head that are amazing in my head but they live there because I’m not an artist. To try to reproduce what I picture would be to do a disservice to anyone who saw it.

5. If you could play with someone in World of Warcraft, who would you play with and what would you do with them?

With anyone or with someone that already plays? That’s difficult. For as social as the game is, I tend to spend a lot of my time alone (and I’m perfectly content with that). If I’m choosing anyone, probably my little brother, just because I rarely get the chance to spend time with him (he’s not a gamer and he’s a very busy band nerd!).

If I’m choosing someone famous, I think it’d be fun to play any video game with Chris Hardwick. He’s all Nerdist and The Talking Dead now but I remember when he was on G4 and I think that’d be a blast.

6. What was the kindest thing anyone has done for you in a computer game?

Ahhhh there are so many things, honestly. I’ve said it so many times, but the IMG_2917.JPGWoW/Blizzard Twitter community of players has been an amazing network of people for me. There are many of you guys who have supported me in everything from game-related stuff to things with my kids to my husband’s heart attack…the list is long and full and I’m very blessed by you guys.

The most demonstrative thing any one person/group of people has done for me was when my previous guild, Syzygy-Sargeras, sent me and my husband a gift basket following his heart attack full of healthy foods he could eat and thoughtful notes of encouragement. I literally cried; it was pretty amazing.

Also, the little leadership team of that guild when we first started surprised me with my good friend Pepe because they knew I wanted him, and it still makes me smile every time I see him.

7. If you could choose your spirit animal, what would it be?

I like to think more of a Patronus (a la Harry Potter) than a spirit animal, and I think that would be an owl for me.

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Yeah, like that! Googled and found Owl Patronus by Tribalchick101 on deviantArt. Pretty cool.

Okay, so I hate tagging people cause I never like to feel like I’m putting someone on the spot OR leaving someone out, so as usual with things like this, I will leave it open-ended. If you feel froggy, I’d love to read your answers to my questions! Here, your own blog, Tumblr, Twitter…skywriting? Maybe not skywriting. 😉

My questions…sort of questions? Prompts?

  1. Pick one of your favorite characters (from anything–movies, games, books, TV) and tell me why you like them.
  2. Write a Tweet to your future self.
  3. Are you more of a social player or a lone wolf?
  4. What new game are you most looking forward to playing?
  5. What movie are you most looking forward to seeing?
  6. Share one of your favorite quotes.
  7. You are given the power to change one thing about yourself–what would it be?

And thank you again, Navi. ❤ Thank you for always making me feel like part of the community. You’re a star at what you do, and we’re all better off for it.

 

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About this Whole Blog Thing…and everything else

Where to begin.

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Legit the first pic I ever posted. Hai Pengu.

Tastes Like Battle Chicken has existed for almost 8 years. That’s a really long time when you think about it. Lots of things kept me writing: the community (especially Twitter! <3) the Newbie Blogger Initiative (remember that?!), my friends at the time.

And lots of things kept me from not posting, but let’s not dwell on that.

I’ve missed this. So here I am.

Where is Here?

So I’ve been on kind of a WoW journey in the past few years. Left my guild of 6 years to join a new one, raided with that guild–dysfunctional family that it was–for 2 years, left that guild and transferred servers for the first time to raid with a new guild on Sargeras only to leave and join yet another guild.

Yeah okay. The point is, now I’m a shaman and I play in <Crisp> on Baelgun. And for the first time in a while, I’m pretty happy with where I am and what I’m doing.

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Probably should’ve stuck with balance druid, though.

What Now?

Now we play and we raid and we chat on Twitter and we run Mythic+ and do world quests and complain about the legendary system and then complain about the legendary nerfs and post screenshots and get frustrated and get excited and all the things we’ve always done.

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Cause that’s how we do, and it’s all right that way.

 

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My Little Army: Warlords of Draenor Characters

It’s here! Legion’s less than 12 hours away from launch. I’m sure there will be server queues and lag and downtime, but that has never stopped me from being awake at 3am to see it happen.

I’ve been almost exclusively doing invasions for levels and gear (I know I’m not alone, I see you all out there), and now I have a little army of level 100s ready to go. As I did at the end of Mists of Pandaria, here’s my collection of characters as we say goodbye to Warlords and a big hello to the Legion, starting with my new main ❤ :

AmberstormAmbermissedAneemiaSonoraSerenityhopeHeiressHotbladezNessiaBowskillzGourdapherDeevuh (1)GlambermistOstentacious

I could not be more ready. Let’s go.

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A Brand New Sky: The End of Warlords of Draenor

With the pre-patch event starting and two weeks left in Warlords of Draenor, I think it’s safe to go ahead and say our goodbyes. Hell of an expansion, this one.

Warlords…Meh

I didn’t hate Warlords of Draenor. There were a lot of little things I liked: Shadowmoon Valley is still one of the most beautiful places in WoW, some of the lore stuff was interesting, and I loved Highmaul as a raid (even though I still think it felt a little out of place). Mythic Imperator was and will always be one of my favorite boss fights.

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But there were a lot of things I didn’t love about it. Sometimes stories and raids felt incomplete or rushed, there wasn’t as much focus on the actual Warlords as I thought there would be, and I think we can all agree Hellfire Citadel lasted way too long. Oh, and then there was Garrisonville, which stopped feeling like fun and started feeling like an obligation pretty early on, especially if you had an army of alts.

It’s not my favorite expansion, let’s put it that way.

The Company You Keep

This expansion has been an interesting trip for me as a raider and guild member apart from the content.

I started the expansion having recently joined <Check Please> on Durotan, a guild with which I’d had a dubious history. I was an officer because I had been in officer in my previous guild and brought my raid team with me, but I immediately jumped into doing stuff because that’s just what I tend to do.

For a while, it was fun. It was new and exciting, there were new people who actually enjoyed playing (there at the end with my previous guild, there were a lot of people who just didn’t want to be there anymore), and it was a completely different environment.

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But, to be honest, I was outclassed as a player in my new guild, and I knew it. Any criticism anyone had, constructive or otherwise, I listened and tried to learn from it. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in my guild for whom that wasn’t good enough, and there was a fair group of people who spent a lot of time talking about how terrible I was behind my back or making jokes at my expense.

I offered to sit out of raids if I was holding us back. A few times I looked for and even applied to other guilds, but I always got talked into staying. It made for a lot of unfun raiding but it definitely turned me into a better player.

It wasn’t all bad. There were some good times, times I laughed until I had tears streaming down my face, and I made some friends that I adore and will never not be my friends. And we killed bosses!

We progressed through Highmaul, finishing Imperator at US93rd:

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we pushed a little harder in BRF and finished at US66th:

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and in HFC we were making solid progress with eyes on US50 or better until our tank disappeared and regressing on Mannoroth killed us.

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During our 8 month hiatus, I still wanted to raid, so I raided with a cross-realm mythic pug I found through the LFG tool. I thorougly enjoyed it. I loved the raid leader, who was direct but incredibly patient and kind, the people, who welcomed me and were genuinely glad to have me in the raid, and the fact that we were doing decently on bosses despite being a pug.

In March, I got the word that we were going to try to resurrect <Check Please> to clear the tier, so I stopped raiding with the pug, progressed on Mythic Archimonde with a friend’s guild a bit until we killed it, and focused on bringing the guild back to life.

3GTlVH2We succeeded at reforming, killed Mannoroth and Archimonde, dealt with random drama which was a lot less amusing the 14th time around, did some farming on and off, and…I wasn’t happy. I kept thinking about those nights in BRF when I didn’t want to raid because I knew I was just going to feel like I shouldn’t be there the whole time, and how once we got into Legion all of those people would come back.

And then I found out that the pug I had raided with was becoming a guild, currently <Syzygy> on Sargeras.

I told my GM and my guild that I was leaving. I knew it would cause a ripple; I didn’t realize that the effort I had put in to keeping the guild on its feet would mean that my absence would kill it.

In short, RIP <Check Please>.

But it was the right thing for me to do for myself, and I don’t regret it. I’ll go into Legion with a group of friends who like me and like having me in the raid, and except for a few people from <Check Please> that came to the guild with me, even respect me. 😉 It’s a nice change.

LEGION

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I mean, I enjoyed the hell out of playing beta, so I’m looking forward to it being live. For the first time, I’m switching mains from druid (gasp!). I’ll be an elemental shaman for Legion unless something crazy happens.

Everyone’s at the point where we’re all chomping at the bit for new content anyway, and it’s about to get delivered. We’re like Pavlov’s dogs and the bell is ringing, friends.

Personal Note

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A week and a half ago, my husband suffered a massive heart attack. The doctor said it would have been fatal if we hadn’t acted so quickly getting him to the hospital. No prior symptoms, nothing to indicate that it was coming, just a sudden stabbing pain in his chest and a terrifying several hours followed by several days in the hospital.

It’s been an adjustment. There are a lot of things we’ve had to change, a lot of things we’ve had to think about and worry about and consider for the first time. He’s monitored 24/7 by a telemetry device that’s equipped with a built-in defibrillator if needed. Most of the time we’re okay, but every once in a while the whole thing unnerves us. It’s been a journey and it’s one we’ll be on for a long time.

ngoe8n8But I have to say once again HUGE kudos to my Twitter friends and several of my guildies who reached out with thoughts and prayers and encouragement and support and advice. When you’re sitting on the other side of the computer trying to find something to say to someone who’s hurting, words feel so inadequate, but I appreciated every message. You guys are the best. ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Legion Beta Picture Dump 2 – Val’Sharah & Stormheim

It took me longer than it should have to hit 110, but I’ve been taking my time. And, of course, screenshots. What’s a vacation without pictures?

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More after the break cause don’t wanna accidentally spoil for someone.

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Legion Beta Picture Dump Part 1: Azsuna & The Dreamgrove

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I can’t help it, I have to take screenshots. It’s a thing, okay. And there are lots of pretty pretty things to take screenshots of in the Legion beta so far. I’m going to put everything else after a break; I don’t plan on posting spoilers but some people I know are really particular about their exposure, and I don’t want to risk ruining anything.

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Overwatch & Um–No News?

I haven’t posted in a while and there are reasons for that, but more to that momentarily. There are bigger fish to fry:

OVERWATCH Stress Test Weekend

I haven’t been this excited to buy a brand new game ever. I know there are a few people in the beta/stress test weekend who didn’t enjoy it, and that’s cool, but I enjoyed the hell out of it, and I want to play again (and again, and again).

Play of the Game seems to be connected to multikills/ultimate abilities, and as such it seems like Bastion & D.Va are (imo) the two easiest heroes to get PotG on, so here’s a couple of mine:


Thoughts on the Game

The Good

  • Objectives. I prefer objective-based play over deathmatches (most of the time), and I feel like the objectives are mostly balanced and equally achievable by both teams, which is one of those things that’s pretty important but you don’t usually notice it unless it’s a problem.
  • Heroes. There are a variety of heroes to choose from that fall into 4 different sort of “categories:” tank, support, defense, damage. Don’t get too caught up in that, though; not only do the playstyles differ between the categories, they differ strongly from character to character. For some maps, for instance; you’ll want to start with one tank and finish with a different one. On some you may choose to not have  a tank or support at all. Feeling it out is the best way to get to know the heroes. Though it’s tempting to play one hero when you get comfortable with it, try to play around so you have a small collection.
  • Pace. The pacing in Overwatch is perfect. You don’t have long periods of waiting for fights (thanks largely in part to the objectives), but matches usually last a good 10+ minutes. Every once in a while you’ll be part of a shutout that happens in 5 minutes or less, but I didn’t see this much (and hey, at least then it’s over and you’re already starting the next game).

What Could Be Better

  • Bastion (Bastion is a robot hero that can either shoot on the run or deploy as a shielded turret). I hate writing this because there is nothing better than setting up Bastion in sentry mode on a defending team and just thumping away at the enemy team. But having been on both sides of the onslaught, Bastion is just a little overpowered right now. If he’s in sentry mode against a wall or a corner, the only way to kill him is to get close enough to him to get on top of him, bomb him, or pin him, and that limits the heroes that can take him down and the circumstances during which that can take place. Put two Bastions down supported by a team on an objective, and as an attacking team, you feel pretty hopeless. The nerf I would suggest to fix the problem is make the shield a little less durable–just enough that if I’m targeting his shield and putting significant damage into him, it actually breaks. 
  • Personal Stats History. This may be something in the works that just won’t be live until the game is, but I have done exactly 0 reading (sorry!) so I’m going to mention it anyway. I like the commendation system and the cards and the ratings, but I would like to be able to see more than just my current match and averages. Somewhere I should be able to view my entire history on each hero with similar stats to what we see at the end of a game. Kind of like how you can look up your match histories on League of Legends–I want to do that for my Overwatch stats.

The game is super addictive. Really, really addictive. I’m going to have to set parental controls for myself when it comes out, but it’s addictive because it’s fun.

Okay, The Non-Update

One of the reasons I haven’t posted in a while is because my guild is no longer raiding. 

We were on Mythic Mannoroth, averaging (good) pulls in the 15-20% range with 70 attempts when the tank we had taken on and geared up to replace our druid tank evaporated. He stopped showing up to raids at all without warning. Last I heard, his work schedule interfered with raiding too much (which would have been something nice to know beforehand).

This lead to a few weeks of trying to do Mannoroth with offspec and alt tanks. This lead to regression, and if you’ve raided much, you can probably guess how the rest went.

In the end, the decision was made to take a break from progression. As you might expect, half of the raid team left to find new guilds, another portion went AWOL, and the rest of us are just off doing other things and occasionally checking back in.

We did come together just enough to get our moose mounts, so at least there’s that. I’ve been spending most of my time playing EVE Online and Hearthstone and cleaning house in preparation for the holidays.

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In other words, I’ve got nothing newsworthy to report. 

 

 

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