Friday, April 30, 2010

New Template & Politics

For all 3 of you who read my blog, this is still Deuwowlity. I was having some trouble with the font and how it affected the punctuation, etc. So I changed the template, made it a bit more clear. It's better this way.

I had a thought, I'm curious what responses would be. If a nation's government and political structure were forced upon the WoW community in-game, which would you prefer? No, you cannot say "leave it how it is", that's not an option. This is all hypothetical anyway, so it's all moot anyway. So, what do you think? What would be the best governemtnal/political structure for World of Warcraft?

I don't think I would choose a democracy. Much like the real world, there are too many people that don't know what they are talking about. It would be difficult to give them a voice.

A Dictatorship? I don't think so either. I know I would not play a game where I HAD TO FARM 6 hours a day in Sithilus. "Do it or you're banned!" No, Dictatorship definately wouldn't work.

Caste System? We would all be divided into our groups, Raiders, Trolls, Farmers, etc...but we wouldn't have choice there either. No, a Caste system wouldn't work due to the lack of choice.

Communism? See Caste and Dictatorship above.

Socialism? The thing is that there are many Socialistic societies that are democracies also (not the exact form of the USA, but democracies still). But in this system more people would share resources with one another. I'm sure that those people who play the gold game would definately not play then. Why should they have to share the money that they earned by undercutting everyone and creating a monopoly in their profession? No, even for the average player, I'm not sure that the sharing of resources would be fun for them.

Disclaimer: Please understand that I am making broad generalizations for the governments I list, it's all for fun, not political debate. Anyway, to continue...

Anarchy? Now before you say anything, I assure you that your definition of Anarchy is far different than the actual Anarchist political party that has existed and perhaps still does exist in parts of this world. Part of their beliefs is that given freedom, people will naturally form societies that work, where people help each other for the greater good while keeping a sense of independence. (If I got this wrong, please let me know, all I know about this political party I read in a book in college, so I might get some of it wrong).

I think in a way that's the world we live in right now, there are no people or guilds who control us, we're free to play the game how we want it. We raid or don't raid. We farm or don't farm. We chat or keep silent. We buy, sell, trade, all without the oversight of the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission - in the U.S.) It's nice. It works.

I know there are many other kids of governmental stuctures out there that I didn't mention. I think in general we are all Anarchists already, and you know what? I can live with that. So despite my own warning, I guess I can say we should just "leave it how it is".

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Where would you go to "get away"?

I had an interesting discussion with my 7-year old son the other night. He loves, and I mean LOVES to watch me play wow. I let him play too, he's actually quite good. Let me rephrase, he's exceptionally smart and understands the spells and mechanics of just about every class, has the NAMES of quests memorized from dozens of locations around Azeroth, and has all but memorized the speech given by the Lich King at the Battle for Light's Hope Chapel. Clever kid...he also gets straight A's in school...but I digress.

We were discussing the virtues of escaping the capital cities and much of the senseless chatter on the chat channels. He was right, unless I've got some business there it can get boring to hang around the big cities, it would be better to blast my way through the Deadmines. At least I'd be "doing something", as he likes to put it.

So I asked myself, if I was stressed or just fed up with the mindless repitition of capital city chat, where would I go and why. Here are my top 3 hot spots (or cold, as appropriate) - in no particular order, just my top 3:

1) Winterspring: Snow. If for nothing else, snow. I grew up in New Hampshire and now live in the freakin' Mojave desert, of all the many, many things I miss, it's snow. With it comes a crunch under the feet, where the foot breaks the millions of tiny snowflakes and compresses them into the ground. The sound alone brings back fond childhood memories. Snow also brings with it a sense of sleep.

The grass, the trees, the bushes, the animals, just about everything takes a long nap during the winter. But it's not dead, you never feel like the land is desolate, just asleep. There's a longing that reaches for me, a hope that in my life I can sleep with the peace of winter instead of the back pain that constantly wakes me. Snow is white, a symbol of purity. There is no place in the world as white as Winterspring. Dun Morogh comes close, but Ironforge is there so I'm not really "getting away" in that zone.

I almost feel bad that there are bad monsters there that want to kill me, but even then I don't quite believe their resolve. I'm sure they wish I would stop going there and disturbing their hybernation...why do you think those Yeti's are so angry? They just want to take a nap but we adventurers keep going back to kill them.

So if I wanted some peace and quiet and still enjoy Azeroth, I would go to Winterspring because of the tranquility of the snow and, I must mention, it's one of the most out of the way zones in the game.

2) Sholazar Basin: I enjoy getting away to this jungle land for various reasons. It reminds me of a new world, a world where humans (or gnomes, goblins, etc) have not yet settled. I admit, there are some scourge and dragons...and some nasty bees flying around, but as long as I stay away from the north/north-western part of the zone I can convince myself they don't exist.

It just feels like a place of history, magic and nature all rolled into one. There are a few reminders of ancient Titans, but it's not overwhelming. There are these little creatures that both seem to have a claim on the land, they are at war, but even then I don't feel like they blame me for anything. So I'm free, safe to travel among them as I wish.

And the flowers, there are so many flowers. It's nice, because not only do I get to smell them, but I get to pick them and sell them for gold that I can spend on a really awesome...wait, I'm supposed to be here to "get away", I need to stop thinking about money.

I enjoy getting away to the basin, nobody seems to bother me there, I'm sure I'll be back soon.

3) Nagrand: The great thing about this place, it's in the Outlands. Which means, it's not exactly a part of this world, but it is, but it's not...I actually have no idea. What I do know is that it's so far away only a giant magical portal will get me there (or a Mage, or a portal from a capital city, but let's just pretend for a min, shall we?).

So much of Outland seems to be infected by some unnatural disease, but as soon as I cross into Nagrand a certain familiarity washes over me. I know this place, but I've also never seen it before. My eyes become wide as I see the floating lands with everlasting waterfalls, the green grass sprawled out before the feet of my horse, and the crystals...powerful, beautiful, dangerous.

I know there is danger here, and the worst part is that so many of Nagrand's waters are polluted or infested, it makes me sad. I remember hiking Mount Washington in New Hampshire (where they get the Worst Weather in the World) and dumping my head into a perfectly clean mountain glacial stream. I want to return Nagrand's waters to that blissful state as well, so I'm willing to fight if I need to.

The elements are everywhere, Earth, Fire, Water, Air...of course it seems natural to be here, relaxed in the mist of the great protecting and life giving powers. Nagrand to me is definately a place I go when I want to "get away" but still remain a part of the game I love to play.

So there it is, that's my list. I think my son said: Elwynn Forest, Moonglade, and Ashenvale. All very serene as well. Where do you like to go to get away from the madness, while still playing the game?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The New Face of Raiding...

If it looks anything like my face, we're all in for a great time!

I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself. It's just that there has been so many opinions based on the recent news to changes to raiding in Cataclysm the past couple days, I'd like to offer a simple perspective from a simple guy.

I didn't really start "Raiding" until some time the second part of last year. I work all day and spend time with my family, and my time to play wow I like to get the most out of it. As a result I decided to join a fairly casual and nice guild that really likes to raid 10-mans. I've pugged into some 25's when I've had time on the weekends, but I only have time for so much.

I feel bad that 25-man raiders feel like their way of life is being threatened, and I feel disgusted by 10-man raiders that sneer at those 25-ers and laugh with twisted pleasure at their "supposedly inevtitable demise". Honestly, I have no idea what'll happen, and it may sound callous but I'm not sure I care too much.


Well, cause I'm a simple guy, and as many of you quite selfish too. I like to play and enjoy the game how I want to, and so far that's worked out. Come Cataclysm I wonder if changes that Blizzard makes will take away some of those things that I enjoy, I hope not, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did. So I can sympathise with 25-maners who fear for their way of life.

I hope everyone can find something fun to do that also satisfies their style. It's probably impossible, I've witnessed that wow enthusiasts can be overbearing and impossible to please at times, but I can still hope.

I care that people can enjoy this life, and if they do it by playing wow I am all for that. I really don't care what will happen, I'm just excited to witness it for myself and observe the resulting human behaviour (that kind of stuff fascinates me). I'm sure I'll find ways to have fun and fit in with the new system, I hope that whatever side of the fence that you sit on you can find the virtues in the changes and not just harp on the stuff that you don't like. You may be doing more harm to yourself than good.

Good luck!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fruit Salad

I like it. Strawberries, Kiwi, Banana, Seedless Grapes (Green), Pear, Mandarin Oranges, Pineapple, you name it! Fruit Salad is yummy. Today I'd like to take some time talking about a variety of things, just like varied fruits in a fruit salad.

This tasty fruit is long, yellow, and has a skin you need to peel away to see the actual fruit. But until you peel that skin away you don't really know how good that banana is.

The same goes with reclusive wow players. Those that sit on the sidelines and don't disturb anyone. They don't start a group but are always looking for one...silently. When they see something they like they may jump at it. So let's say you're forming a raid and you go into chat to LFM. There's a good chance that a Banana is there waiting.

That long awaiting soul, a bit too scared to get something going, needs encouragement to peel away their facade, but only when that player joins your group and you actually play with him/her do you know if they were worth bringing in the first place.

Are you a banana?

Over the past month or so Blizzard has been forthcoming about upcoming changes that will occur once Cataclysm hits, or shortly before. The blue posts have been many, with even more responses. But I can't help but think it's all kind of like a Strawberry.

What do you see when you see a strawberry? The red coating and the seeds on the outside, right? Seeds are the beginning, the genesis, the motive. We've received reasons for the changes in Cataclysm, we have even seen the color and shape of the game, but there is something that is still out of reach, it seems, which appears to be caused by the fact that we don't have all the information nor can we see the end result of those changes in front of us on our monitors.

I know I've gone to the store and purchased strawberries, but it's not always easy to tell which ones may not be as filled with as much sweet juice as I think, or maybe it's a particularly bitter patch of strawberries, or maybe the inside isn't quite ripe. I think I can see what it will be because I can see the seeds, the reasons behind, but I'm convinced that I won't know how that strawberry will taste, how Cataclysm will actually play out, until I have it in front of me. Still, it does seem mouthwatering.

A most welcome addition to my fruit salad today, and in honor of my wife's love for pineapples, I'd like to say a little something about raiding. Pineapples have some of the sweetest juices and captivating fragrances of any fruit I've tasted in my entire life. A truly ripe, sweet, and perfect pineapple has few rivals anywhere in the world. Versitile as it is it's found by itself or on pizza or part of exotic recipies in some of the most well known restaurants. But there is an evil side to pineapple, one that my wife knows only too well, and that it can be extremely painful to those who are allergic to it.

Raiding, at least in my own experience, I can't speak for you, has provided me with some of the most varied experiences in my gameplay. My sweetest victories have happened with my fellow raiders, conquest filling my mouth with pure satisfaction. I have danced, dodged, jumped, twisted, and willed myself with others to triumphant ends from Naxx to Ulduar to ICC. But often an allergic reaction will surface, tempers flare, and raids can utterly fail. Often all it takes is one to catch the allergic symptoms and it can become contagious.

Hopefully you taste the sweetness that comes from raid success more often than feeling the affects of an allergic reaction. But don't let those allergies keep you from Pineappling!

I know, it's not in my original list above. Deal with it. The other day I bought a watermellon at the store that was about 5-6 inches in diameter. They are larger most of the time, true, some can even engorge to county fair blue ribbon sizes of 4-5 feet tall.

The AH prices for small, nearly obsolete items on my server are county fair sized. Inflation is a natural side effect of the creation of an economy, but so is deflation. My point is that there are various factors that cause a price to move up or down, I won't inflict the tedious reasons upon you here. But lately I've noticed that I can't get an axe for my level 14 whatever without paying 26 gold for it. When I first started playing wow and learned of the auction house I could get the same axe for 1-2 gold, now it's either crap or grind for some heirloom items so I don't have to worry about spending that much gold.

But what about the new players that are still coming into the game? There's little reason to expect that they are carrying around 300g in their backpack at level 15, but that's what they would need to buy any gear upgrades so they don't have to enter dungeons in grays. I always try to keep it reasonable, if I put a weapon for a level 15 at auction, it's going up for just a couple gold, maybe 3. Call me a softie, but I cannot gouge the new player, I feel like I'm doing something wrong.

Don't "free market" crap me, I work in accounitng and finance and economics in real life so I understand all that, but this game ain't the real world, fatty, so listen to what I'm saying. If you charge 25 gold for a weapon with +1 Strength and +1 Stamina, I think you suck. You probably have a low self-esteem that you'll never admit to, and you'll defend yourself by using big words such as supply and demand, but the fact is that you're trying to compensate for not having something else in your life and gouging people with unnecessary inflated prices simply means that you're a jerk...ergo you suck!

Enough with the Watermelloning!

Well that's all for today, I always enjoy ending on a tirade. Hope you take it personally, that means that I'm right and you suck. If not, I hope you laughed. Thanks for your visit, as always!

Monday, April 26, 2010

When to speak?

Disclaimer: By nature I am shy.

Well enough of the formalities, let's get down to business, shall we? I was never much for pugging, until I leveled a second toon to 80 and found that people wanted me to bring my well-geared shaman, not my semi-well-geared priest. The resulting consequences found me looking to join pug raid groups just to get experience and upgrades to gear until I could feel comfortable running with my guild full time. This past week was particularly difficult, for on our server the weekly raid was:

Lord Marrowgar

When Blizzard first instituted the weekly raid quest it was also at the same time ICC became available. The second week Lord Marrowgar was the weekly quest and everybody was trying to form a group to do just that...JUST Lord Marrowgar.

Skip to the present, nobody wants to do JUST Marrowgar, they want a full ICC run. My raid time is spent on my Shaman, I am working again, I still have my disability which limits my playtime, and I needed to find a way to get my priest into ICC to fight JUST Lord Marrowgar.


Every day I would be scanning the chat channels and LFR tool just to see if there were like-minded people out there who would be willing to sacrifice an entire week in ICC for just the first boss. "This is going to be difficult," I told myself.

Then at 3:22 pm yesterday, after completing my daily heroic, I see a LFM [Lord Marrowgar Must Die], 1DPS, 1 Tank. I send a tell...really quickly..."dps here", hoping that will be enough, that they won't ask for gear score (even though it was sufficient for ICC), or achievement link (my Shaman has all the achievements).

I get invited.

I get in and monitor the raid chat, I want to see what the problems were that people were having, if any at all. In summary: 3 wipes, bad tank, fail heals, dps die a lot.

Remember, by nature I am shy, but I saw that I needed to speak up.

"May I ask, since I just arrived, what your positioning has been? Are dps standing under his butt inside his hitbox? Have you been prioritizing bone spikes? When bonestorm happens are you running around like chickens with their heads cutoff or are you being patient, making small moves and letting the healers heal you? Are you staying out of the cold flame?"

These were questions that I asked, because it became quickly apparent that there were several first-timers there, and the rest second-timers. Luckily, there was a new tank (replacing the bad one) that also had experience. We were able to calmly and patiently talk the group through the encounter. We wiped the first time, but had nearly taken the big, bad, bone dude out. We ran back in and hit him hard and finally felled hit butt.

I have always let other people do the leading and talking in wow, by choice. Yes, I am shy by nature, but leadership is a talent of mine when I choose to act upon those insticnts. If the situation calls for it, I can rise up to the occaision and help lead a group of strangers to victory. Teaching is about patience and accountability. Some people speak out of turn, or when they do it's unproductive and confrontational, still others speak the right words at the right time but in the wrong way...too judgemental.

When I ask "When to speak?" what I mean is not only when but why and how? When we open our voices to guildies or pugs what are we saying, when are we saying it, what tone of voice do we use and why? I realize everyone is different, has their own philosophies and most likely don't agree with me, but in my opinion I would appreciate it if when raiding people would think before they speak. If something needs to be said, it's ok to say, but watch how you say it and consider your motives before allowing the words to flow from your tongue or flow through your fingers.

When to speak? For me it was when the situation required it, not to satisfy my ego or any other selfish reason. For you, what is the answer? When do you speak? Is it determined by guild rules, norms, or personal choice?

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Wow, I suck. I really need to stop making promises I can't keep. As I said the last time I ever wrote something, I had been laid off of work. Basically I just stopped blogging so that I could focus on getting a job and providing for my family. It's important to me, more important than anything else. I realize I may have alienated my reader(s), disappointing them (or just him or her), and perhaps got off track of something that might have been growing. Well, I think I just need to start over.

Hello, my name is Gronthe, and I'm writing a WoW blog. It's the first of its kind. Bold statement? Not really, since it's the first written by me, it's unique...the first of its kind. Let's smile together at that really awful joke. :)

If you like you may go back and learn more about me, I wrote a 3-part series about why I play the game. It's entertaining at best, enlightening at worst, and not a half-bad read at medium. See them here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

But when I promise to do something, I do it...just not always in the time period I promise. Oh well, I gotta work on some things in life, don't I? I wanted to share a story with you, it's not my first, in fact I rather enjoy story time here at Deuwowlity. In case you don't already know, I have a couple kids. Boys to be exact. When my oldest was very young, still learning to speak, he would contrive the most adorable little words. Obviously he was trying to say real words, but they never came out that way.

In particular he enjoyed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. But he could never quite say "peanut butter and jelly", instead it came out as "pigeondudderdabelly". Cute right? Simply irresistable! He had the obligatory spaghetti pronounciation, "pasketti", as well as many other variations of simple words we all take for granted. But "pigeondudderdabelly" always touched a very special place in my heart, as well as my wife's.

It seems to me that kids don't unlearn stuff, however, they simply transfer it to older people. I don't know how my kid transferred his inability to speak to strangers around the world who also happen to play WoW, but he did. Every day I am nausiated by the senseless chatter in trade chat, the ignorance of the masses when they start arguing about why everyone else sucks and they are the only leet person on the realm. The immaturity that permiates party chat during a simple, predictable random dungeon.

I think I want to hurl.

Ok, so I realize that I'm probably older than many and there are a significant amount of teenagers playing this game, kids who know what a noun and a verb are but have trouble using them in the same sentence.

When my kid was young, he couldn't speak properly because of the laws of childhood development and human nature. What is the excuse for the thousands of morons out there that feel it's their duty, their obligation, to tell everyone what to you using only symbols and not words (#$*%#*$%*#%$#$* tank! &*#$&#* #$&*#$& pull #*&$*#&$*&# gogogogo #&*$&#*).

It's not my place to understand. Oh more thing. I wonder about those people who yell in chat, telling some troll to SHUT UP ALREADY. Do they know they have an ignore list? I think they do, I also think they get off somehow by being the sort of person they publicly decry.

As I was saying. It's not my place to understand, I fear. It's my place to /Ignore. I hope Blizzard makes it so I can ignore 10,000 people, because it's going in that direction.

Thanks for stopping by. Good news, I got a job! I wouldn't be writing if I didn't, I had to get my priorities in line first. I take my job as a husband and dad seriously, the way I view it at least. It makes me feel good knowing I can pay rent, have something to eat, and even still have some left over to play a game I enjoy.

Peace out, I'll see ya'lls around the corner, at