Category Archives: Rant

Follow Friday and Other Baffling Twitter Phenomena

I’m feeling a little ranty today and I figured I’d take it out on social media since it can’t defend itself, and WoW has done nothing to provoke my ire lately. I have a love/hate relationship with Twitter. I love it more than hate it since I’ve ‘met’ so many awesome people on it who I like to chat with. But certain Twitter behavior can irritate me to no end, especially when I’m kind of grumpy in the first place. Here are the top offenders. They’re all related to filling my Twitter feed with a bunch of crap I’m not interested in seeing.

Follow Friday

Alright, I can understand this conceptually but, practically, most #ffs are duds. If I see:

#ff @Serrath_ @RunningTracy @ThunderRodent @WTSHeals @healiocentric @Therya_EJ @Rezznul @Restokin @Smmoke_ @SerrinneWoW @Kaleri_ @kurnmogh 

You know what the chances are that I’m going to follow any of these people? (Pretend that I don’t follow all of them already :P ) Zero. Why would I follow these people? Who are they? Why should I want to see what they have to say?

However, if I saw this:

#ff @Serrath_ because he’s taken over as the new healing lead of Apotheosis (sucker). He’s an awesome holy Priest, even though he plays a gnome.

Then I might actually follow, assuming I was interested in Apotheosis, healing, or Priests; and not too turned off by the gnome part.

If you really want to get someone some new followers, put in a little more effort. Otherwise, why bother?

The worst thing people do is when they post 12 big blocks of #ff tweets that list every single person they follow. Please, stop.

Thank you

I admit this is a strange one and I could possibly be the only person bothered by it. It’s especially odd considering I’m Canadian and all about being polite to strangers. However, it bugs the hell out of me when people say thank you for RTs. Yes, it’s great to be appreciative, but it’s also great to not clog your other followers feeds with 12 tweets that say “ty” to various people. That said, I do appreciate when people RT my blog posts! I just do it silently.

The worst Twitter thank you behaviour is related to Follow Friday. If someone mentions you in one of those big blocks of names in a #ff and you feel the need to thank them… for the love of god, just thank the person who wrote the #ff. Do not reply to everyone. Argh! (Reply All is a function that many, many people can not handle. Not just a Twitter problem.)

Auto Tweets

Worst thing. I seriously find these more annoying than DMs telling me about how you lost 10 lbs with Garcinia. So many sites do this auto posting BS – I find YouTube, FourSquare, and Raptr the worst offenders, and it’s the quickest way to make me unfollow someone. I don’t care that you liked a video on YouTube. I don’t care that you’re at the Tim Hortons on 4th and Main (and it’s kind of creepy that now everyone knows where you are). How twitchy my unfollow finger gets when I see these depends on my mood, but if I see more than one or two of these in a day from a person, I’m probably not following them anymore. It’s really annoying. There are a few people who I really want to follow so that I can see their actual thoughts on things, but then 25% of their feed is: “Played World of Warcraft (PC) in the last 24 hours. http://raptr.com/” and I don’t want to see that. I generally wind up following and unfollowing these people every couple of weeks.

PSA: Help control the auto-tweet population – check your settings on these websites and turn them off!

Alright, I think I’m done ranting. Oh wait – Get off my lawn! There, now I’m done.

Because I don’t like to write posts that are totally whiny, self-indulgent and negative, here’s a cool screenshot of Jasyla rocking her legendary cloak proc. Four wings are better than two.Dual-wing

A Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy

Usually when I use the phrase in the title above, I’m referring to the official WoW forums. But today I found another place that fits this description perfectly: Looking For Raid.

My experience in LFR has been extremely limited. I’m not really the target player, and I’m somewhat opposed to being expected to do it. When Dragon Soul was released, a bunch of my guildmates ran it frequently to get their four-set bonuses quickly, but I wasn’t one of them. I would rather gear up a bit slower than run the same content each week on two difficulties (TotC, anyone?). I always considered LFR as a way to gear up alts when I’m bored, rather than something I’m interested in doing on my main.

Anyway, I haven’t done an LFR in months, but the topic came up yesterday and I decided I’d give it a go on my warrior to try to pick up a piece or two of gear. I queue up as dps and quickly get pulled into a group that is on Zon’ozz.

Immediately upon zoning in, I could see that this wasn’t going to go well. My first hint? No one would shut the fuck up. Raid chat was full of obscenities, people berating each other and stupid ASCII macros. And what are people not doing when they’re spamming raid chat with inanities? Any damage or healing! Though we killed Zon’ozz without any problems, after he dropped I was quickly reminded about one of the other qualities of LFR: loot drama. I started thinking about the groups of people who do LFR, and I think pretty much everyone can be put into one of four categories.

The people who just want it to end

These people are quiet and unassuming. They know what they’re doing, they do their job adequately, or even very well. They don’t talk down to the bad players in their raids or try to create drama. They just want to kill some bosses, maybe get a piece or two of loot, and get out of the raid before the people in the other 3 categories drive them to violence.

The Loot Whores

I’m going to go ahead and assume that loot is the driving factor for most people who do LFR, and boy can people behave badly when they don’t get it. There are the people who curse out anyone who outrolls them, and those who beg for people to trade them gear.  There are the people who roll need on absolutely anything they can, even if they’re already wearing it, or something better. There are also a number of people who feel they don’t need to put in any effort in order to get gear, they AFK or just stand around doing nothing while the rest of the group does their work for them. The worst case I saw of this was a Shaman – they had queued as dps, were in a healing spec and gear, and spent the whole time in ghost wolf with someone on auto follow. Until they were kicked, that is.

The assholes

These are the people who just like to cause trouble and make everyone else’s time less enjoyable. They spend all their time beings dicks to everyone else in the raid. They’re always sure to tell people, in the most rude way possible, how terrible they are. Then there are the griefers – like the dps who pull all the trash packs or pull the boss before the trash is clear. In the first LFR I did we had a Mage who kept blinking around, pulling everything in Yor’sahj’s room, then blaming it another Mage. The two then mages argued in raid chat through the entire (8 minute) fight, rather than doing any damage to the boss. In another LFR we had a Mage who thought it would be clever to put a portal to Theramore over the portal to the Eye of Eternity. Charming!  In the short time I spent in LFR I put 5 people on ignore because of the ignorant, offensive language they used. My report button got a nice workout too.

The Utterly Clueless

This group is what makes every boss fight take 4x longer than it should. I’m not expecting top-tier play from people in LFR, I’m really not. But I do hope for at least a little bit of effort. The damage or healing some people put out is just astoundingly bad. In the first LFR I did I managed to do more damage than all but one or two people on most boss fights. This is incredibly sad. My gear wasn’t great – no raid gear, I still had a couple of pieces of tank gear (I levelled as Prot) that I hadn’t been able to replace. I’m also just not good at melee. I see the error messages “Target must be in front of you” or “Target is out of range” pop up on my screen more often than I’d like to admit. But somehow I doubled the damage of half a dozen of the dps. A ran with a group of 4 Moonkin who couldn’t cast their way out of a wet paper bag and seemed averse to using any spell with a cast time. In one of the LFRs I tanked, the healers couldn’t switch healing targets worth a damn. Every time there was a tank swap it was a white-knuckle moment where I needed to use all my cooldowns as I watched my health start dropping and didn’t start receiving heals until I was almost dead.

It’s not just low damage and healing I’m complaining about either. So many people know nothing about the fights. The first time I fought Morchok four people died in the Black Blood. There are so many ways to avoid that. You could read your dungeon journal and learn that it is bad to stand in. You could ask somebody before the fight. Or you could just look at your health bar, see it dropping, see your screen flashing red, and run out of the goo on the ground. But people don’t do any of these things. On Yor’sahj, half the dps ignore the incoming slimes and stay on the boss, despite repeated raid warnings telling them otherwise. Switch to the Bolt on Madness? Stop damaging the Amalg on Spine? Not happening. It drives me up the wall that people come into a raid unwilling to work, unwilling to listen, but expect to be handed shiny new gear.

The most clueless person I saw was, unfortunately, a Druid. He was Feral (0/40/1). He was wearing an agility dagger with a Demonic Skull in his offhand. He had a number of pieces of blue pvp gear. The rest of his gear seemed to be anything that he happened to win a roll on in dungeons, be it a strength helm or an intellect trinket. He didn’t have a single gem, enchant or a lick of reforging.
I don’t think he ever used Shred, possibly because he never attacked the boss from behind. When I see people like this (and I’ve seen quite a few) I often wonder if they’re just trolling – I sometimes hope they are, because the alternative is so sad.

So…

Why do people put themselves through this!?

LFR came from Blizzard’s desire that everyone be able to see raid content. I’m not the target audience, but I have to ask those who are – those who don’t have the time or desire to be part of a regular raid team – is LFR an acceptable solution? Is it really worth it to spend so much time with random jerks who treat everyone badly or can’t be bothered to try?

PSA: Twitter, Communication and Manners

Imagine this…

Someone on the Internet has pissed you off (I know, I know, this is an outlandish situation I’m suggesting, but bear with me). Maybe they’ve disagreed with something you firmly believe in. Maybe last night in Dragon Soul they wouldn’t get out of the fire no matter how many chances they got and kept wiping the raid. Maybe they’ve just been an absolute jerk.

Despite common practice, the appropriate course of action is not to go on Twitter and snidely make vague, undirected comments about the situation. This doesn’t fool anyone. Anyone who has been privy to the situation will know exactly what you’re talking about. The person you’re making the snide comments about will know exactly what you’re talking about. I suppose that’s the point. However, acting this way is passive aggressive and tacky. At best it accomplishes nothing. Likely, it makes everyone involved more angry and draws more people into a situation they don’t really need to be involved in.

Try taking the high road. Directly tell the person in question that you’re upset with them and why. If you feel like being super mature about it, you could even do it in private rather than on Twitter. The situation has much better chance of being resolved this way.

Communication tends to work better when you say what you mean, to the person you want to hear it.

/soapbox

Too much of a good thing

I love video games. I’ve been playing them since I was about 3 years old. Sit me down in front of a computer or a console and I can game all day. My favorite games are huge, sweeping RPGs with lots of locations to discover, items to collect, monsters to defeat and easter eggs to find.

But I think I have a problem.

When I play a game I need to do it all – do every quest, get every scrap of experience, find every secret. And this is fun for me – until it isn’t. I sink so many hours into getting perfect scores and achievements that after many, many hours, I just get sick of the games and end up putting them down, unfinished, and don’t pick them up again for 6 months or a year, or sometimes I don’t play them again at all.

Recently this happened with Fallout: New Vegas. I started playing the game immediately after it came out.  I had a lot of fun exploring the wastelands and finding every quest I could and then all of a sudden, I got sick of it. I had spent so much time exploring and trying to find every bit of optional content that I kind of forgot what the main storyline was and I lost interest. I just picked the game back up recently (along with all the DLC) – but am I continuing the main questline? No. I’m doing more exploration and side-quests. Will I be able to finish the game before I get sick of it again? Who knows.

This also happened with another game I played recently, LA Noire. I really loved this game, but I was obsessed with getting 5 stars on everything. If I got less than that, I would immediately replay the case until I got it. The result? I turned a game I originally found very entertaining into a chore. I did manage to finish it, but I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as I could have.

I’ve been doing this kind of thing for years. On my second playthrough of FFVII I decided I would defeat every Weapon and master every materia. After countless, painful, hours of chocobo racing to get the gold chocobo and the Knights of the Round materia I spent even more hours in the final dungeon of the game wandering around, getting into random battles and hoping to run into Magic Pots for their sweet, sweet AP. After this went on for quite some time (I think I managed to get my KotR materia up to 3 stars) I threw my controller down in disgust and never wanted to play FF7 again.

The list of games I’ve ruined for myself like this goes on and on. I don’t know why I do this, but I just can’t help it.

Strangely enough, the only game I’ve been able to throttle myself on is World of Warcraft. Though I’m definitely an achievement whore who wants to see and do everything in the game for some reason I’m able to do it in moderation. When the Molten Front dailies were introduced I wanted those achievement points, I wanted that hippogriff mount, but I took it easy. I did the dailies when I felt like it. It got my achivements and mount a few months later than most people, but that was okay. I knew that if I forced myself to do these things daily I would get burned out and stop logging in altogether.

I haven’t been able to figure out what the difference is. Why can I do the optional content in WoW (for me anything outside of raiding is optional) at a leisurely pace while I go at single player games until I burn out?

What’s Wrong with this Picture?

I generally don’t spend a lot of time thinking about sexism, whether real or imagined, in WoW. Perhaps I’m a bad feminist. I don’t have a problem with characters like Alexstrasza wearing skimpy clothes. I think she looks good. I would likely dress like that if I looked like her (and you know, lived in a fantasy world). I accept that many people find women (or men) with impossible body proportions attractive and often depict them ways that emphasize those assets. I don’t even mind so much that there aren’t as many prominent female characters as there are men in WoW. It’s a video game – I just want to play and have fun, not think too hard about sexual and social politics.

However, last week Vidyala posted a link to some artwork on the offical WoW forums on Twitter. Blizzard has been adding portraits of the faction leaders over the last few months and the most recent image added was of the leader of the Night Elves – Tyrande Whisperwind…in a matter of speaking. As I discussed the picture with some people on Twitter I found myself getting more and more angry about how she was depicted.

Here’s the picture:

Tyrande WhisperwindImage from Blizzard Entertainment (Original can be found here)

What is it about this particular picture that bothers me so much? In a word – everything. There is nothing right about this picture. Everything about it makes me mad. The only thing that could have made it worse is if Tyrande was naked.

So what’s wrong with this picture?

The first problem is that Malfurion is in it. Sure, he’s an important person in the Night Elf world, but he’s not their leader. Tyrande is. The picture is even called “Tyrande Whisperwind”, so why is Malfurion in it? Why does he take up most of the space? None of the other leaders have to share the spotlight in their pictures (except the Dwarves, but that’s a Council). All we can clearly see of Tyrande is one arm, the side of her face, lots of hair and one (large, melon-shaped) boob. The rest of her is obscured by Malfurion.

The second problem is the pose. The pose is wrong both symbolically and anatomically. While every other faction leader portrait shows the leader staring menacingly into the camera or looking intently into the distance, Tyrande is gazing at Malfurion. While every other leader is wielding some kind of weapon, Tyrande is clinging on to her husband. Come on. I know Tyrande is the type of leader who prefers peace when possible but she’s also a fighter. She fought the Burning Legion and in the battle for Mount Hyjal and defended Moonglade from Eranikus, but rather than portray her as a strong leader and fighter, she gets shown in a matronly light, surrounded by flowers, and enveloped in a man’s arms.

Then there’s the anatomy of the pose. As someone with zero artistic talent I feel a little bad about critiquing someone’s art, but really – people don’t bend this way! When I first saw this picture I thought it was a side view of Tyrande so I didn’t immediately see anything wrong with the pose. Then I realised her body was directly facing the audience, with her head cranked around to face Malfurion and her arm bent awkwardly behind her to hold on to Malfurion (though to me it looks like her shoulder is in front of her head/chest, which seems like a recipe for dislocated joints). After seeing what the picture was actually portraying, my first thought was that Malfurion had just broken Tyrande’s neck.  Narci had the much less violent and much more hilarious thought that an evil wizard had cursed Tyrande with back-tits. Either way, she doesn’t look comfortable.

So, while the Orc, Tauren, Troll, Gnome, Dwarf and Worgen leaders are all portrayed as strong, independant and battle-ready, the female leader of the Night Elves is portrayed as a delicate flower, being supported, protected (and twisted into a terribly uncomfotable position) by a man.

Please Blizzard art department, try a little harder next time you create a portrait of one of the few female faction leaders. Maybe you can put some more work into portraying Tyrande in a way that isn’t so diminutive (and offensive) before you start on your fourth picture of Garrosh. I hope Sylvanas turns out better.

Give Comments a Chance

I’ve written about this before. Others have written about it before. But time and time again, I see the same problem cropping up on new (and old) blogs.

Blogspot users, please, please make commenting easy.

This week I found 2 blogs I wanted to leave a comment on, but didn’t because after I wrote out my comment and had to choose who I was commenting as, I was met with options like these:

 

 

 

 

  • Google Account – This links to a completely useless Blogger profile page (useless because I don’t use Blogger).
  • WordPress – Thought this might be usable, but no, it’s for WordPress.com users, and I use WordPress.org.
  • LiveJournal – Seriously?
  • Typepad, AIM, OpenID? I don’t even know what those are, but I’m pretty sure I don’t have accounts with them.

So I left without commenting.

I’m sure that people aren’t making commenting difficult on purpose. If they didn’t want comments, I think they’d just turn them off. So I can only assume that people don’t know how difficult they’re making commenting for their readers.

Any Blogspot bloggers who are unsure about their comment settings, please do the following:

1. Log in to your blog Dashboard and go to the Settings tab.

2. Under settings, select comments.

3. Next to ‘Who Can Comment?’ select Anyone.

 

 

 

4. Save your settings (down at the bottom of the page)

Tada! People can now comment easily on your blog, with the fantastic name/URL option, allowing them to put in their own user name and link to their own blog, without having to sign up for accounts they’re not interested in having.

You can still use a captcha, moderate comments and your spam filter will continue to do it’s job, but this one little change will make commenting a whole lot easier for your readers and will likely increase the amount of comments you get. Who knows how many people have wanted to leave you comments but have been put off by the lack of options given to them?

Please spread the word to any Blogspot users you know.

*This message has been approved by the Bloggers for Easier Commenting Alliance*

Top 5 things that bug me

I’ve been writing guides and useful posts so much lately that I think it’s time for a big whinge-fest.

Here are the top 5 things that bug me (today…ask me tomorrow and they’ll probably have changed):

1. I’ve been summoned for Jury duty next week.

Though I guess going to work (and getting paid) is overrated anyway  :(

2. People who are overly negative

Yes, I recognize the irony of including that on this list  :P

I’ve been increasingly bothered by people who post negative things on blogs and forums. Nothing is perfect, so everyone will always have a complaint about something, but there are ways to keep it constructive. If you so clearly hate the game/your class/the world, just go away. Don’t try to drag everyone down with you, these negative posts and comments are not contributing anything.

I’ve never thought of myself as overly positive but when I see people constantly complaining and spewing negativity I turn into a bright-eyed optimist – mostly out of spite.

3. Bracers are a myth (aka loot distribution sucks)

Apparently Chimaeron drops leather caster bracers. He’s the ONLY boss that drops leather caster bracers. I have killed him a number of times on my druid and have yet to see any evidence that they exist. What possible rationalization is there for the fact that I can get leather caster belts from FOUR different sources but bracers from only one?

Also, in my personal experience, every Tier 11 boss has a 96% chance to drop mail gear.

4. People who don’t know what they’re doing

Before you jump on me, this isn’t a blanket statement about WoW players. I’m referring to people who apply to raiding guilds and call themselves raiders who really don’t have a clue – Holy Pallies who don’t Judge, Druids who don’t know what a haste cap is, DPS who don’t understand how threat works.

If you can’t figure these things out on your own, do some research. Someone out there on the internet would love to tell you all about your class and how to play it.

Same thing goes for doing a fight you’ve never seen before. Do some research beforehand. If that’s not possible, speak up! The raid leader would be delighted to tell you all about the fight. Don’t wait until you’ve killed 12 people with Lightning Rod to mention you’ve never done this before.

5. Twitter Spam
I’ve already proven that I’m a Twitter convert, it’s extremely useful at times and keeps me entertained during my commute. However…

Apps that integrate with Twitter are the work of the devil.

If you check into foursquare, then your foursquare friends will see that. Do NOT spam your Twitter feeds with your updates. I don’t care that you’re at home, or on the train, or just became the mayor of your local Starbucks. If I cared about that stuff, I would be on foursquare myself.

If you play RIFT (or Farmville, or whatever), no one wants to see achievement spam. If you get an achievement you’re particularly proud of or would like to share, go for it, but automatically generated tweets for every single one…ugh.

If you play any game or use any app that auto-tweets updates, please, please turn the Twitter integration off. It is supremely annoying.

What’s bugging you this week?


A couple last things:

<aus> is recruiting healers and dps for our weekend 25-man raids. Go to our guild forum for more details.

Don’t forget to participate in the Great Blog Noblegarden Egg Hunt this weekend. Go visit Kamalia et Alia to sign up.