Keeping the World of Warcraft out of my Facebook

Forsaken shadow priest Anexxia checking out a remodeled house in Brill

Yesterday, on twitter, I started a small twitter poll, curious to find out if my policy of keeping my World of Warcraft life separate from my offline life was a common occurrence. It was fun to hear from a few folks about the real life meetups they’ve had with guildies, and how they’d gotten to know players better thanks to being Facebook friends. And still others replied that of course they did, as they didn’t have anything to hide.

That latter comment stuck with me for a bit to ponder. Do guildies whom I’ve politely refused to RealID friend or to share my Facebook info with feel I must have something to hide? I hope not, since that’s pretty far from the reason why I don’t overlap, except in a tiny number of cases, my gaming life with the rest of my life.

You see, I like to log in to WoW and submerge myself as Anexxia the shadow priest, or Psychocandy the Boomkin. Someone calling me by my real name drags me out of the magical World of Warcraft, and puts back smack dab into every day me. Everyday me works as a digital marketer and manages content, and slogs around a cold and rainy city on transit each day to get to and from work.

Further, even my friends who game (and they are a minority) primarily play console games and have little or no interest in hearing about my WoW adventures, much like the people who unfollow me on twitter after I post about food or some sort of RL event didn’t have interest in hearing about things outside of Warcraft from me.

One-on-one, I will talk to guildies and my warcraft buddies about all sorts of RL stuff. But please don’t be offended that I don’t FB friend you. You’d just be annoyed by all the social gaming SPAM and baby animal pictures anyhow…

🙂

This is the point at which I must disclose that I have met a small handfull of guildies IRL over the years. They know my everyday name, have met our crazy cats, and I would friend them on Facebook in a heartbeat if only they used Facebook. But those folks have transcended being my gaming friends — they are, blessedly, just friends at this point, with whom I’d be just as likely to talk about something tasty I baked as some awesome WoW achievement.

How about you? Are your Warcraft worlds and your Facebook worlds combined?

Friday Five: Five Dreamy Additions to the Darkmoon Faire

We goblins have high hopes for this new Darkmoon Faire Isle

In Patch 4.3 the Darkmoon Fair stops being that traveling caravan of carnies and gets its own permanent year-round home. Now that they’re putting their roots down, I have some thoughts for a few Faire additions to give it that immersive good ‘ole Fair time feeling:

  1. A rodeo. Preferably one wherein your entire guild can take part in various vehicle-based challenges in an arena full of your favorite friends and frenemies.
  2. An Old Tyme Photo Studio. With dress-up outfits and the ability to include your BFF, with the resulting screenie mailed to you in game and to your battlenet email address.
  3. Crafter’s Corner. Any good fair has a hall of crafting, showing off the handicraft skills of the local citizens. Seeing as how the Darkmoon Faire is run by goblins, there needs to be some profit in it though. That’s why this crafting hall should have all manner of rare patterns, AND commemorative plaques with the names of your server’s crafters of truly rare items.
  4. Coin Toss. But instead of the traditional mugs and glassware, have vanity pets or vanity gear as what you’re shooting for.
  5. Vanity Pet Parade. What’s a fair without a 4-H show? Since we can’t raise our own cows and bunnies, we could instead have denizens sign up to have a pet show.

If you had your say, what would you add to the Darkmoon Faire?

A Sort of Homecoming in Brill

Anexxia at her new office desk, thinking...

Anexxia had been at loose ends for a few weeks now, ever since walking out on her raiding team. They continued on with their never-ending fight against evil monsters, leaving Anexxia puttering about in Orgrimmar, restless.

One hot Sunday afternoon, she packed a small bag with her herbalism scissors and her sewing kit, and hopped upon the zeppelin for Tirisfal Glades. It was an easy decision to leave the dust and bustle of the City– she’d never felt welcome there. It was merely the most convenient point from which to set out with the raiding party. With those days behind her, she was free to return to the only place that had ever felt like home — The Dark Lady’s kingdom.

Even from the zeppelin tower, it was clear that things had changed in the years since she left on her crusade for justice. Brill had grown up. No longer a hastily slapped together burg, it was now a respectable place to call one’s home.

Anexxia kept her eyes peeled for for rent signs. The office was the easier find. But it took poking about in a number of unsatisfactory rooming halls before she found the studio. She’d nearly decided not to head up the stairs to look at the place after her encounter with the landlady. She was quite possibly one of the most dim-witted shadow priests Anexxia had ever met. Standing about with her flapping outdated bat-wing staff, not having been in shadow form in aeons. But her feet were getting tired, so Anexxia trudged up the stairs, and found the absolutely perfect place.

Nice rock hard bed, candles everywhere, cobwebs in every corner. Yes, this will do, she thought to herself. “I’ll take it!” she yelled down the stairs at the landlady, who chirped back something about being just thrilled to have another shadow priest in the house.

Taking off her dusty boots, and lying down upon the bed, Anexxia still didn’t know what she was going to do with herself. But at least she was finally home. And thus, she rested.

shadow priest at rest.

 

Three Things I Learned in WoW This Weekend

Here, foxy foxy! Little shadow priest wants to play with youuuuu...

  1. Rogues can use spirit/int leather gear.
  2. It is perfectly acceptable for your mom to do your dailies and character leveling because you are so busy with work and things.
  3. The vanity pet RNG hates me.

On newbie rogues

True story…I walked myself into Stratholme this weekend, on my shaman’s road from 45 to 50. It felt weird to be in there as such as a lowbie. But it felt even more weird to find myself arguing with a rogue about how it was inappropriate that he need rolled on a spellcaster chest. I especially enjoyed it when he told me I was dumb and should shut up. That’s the point at which the entire rest of the party lit into him.

Thankfully, I was eventually able to kick him from the group. Nd for the first time ever I used the following as my reason for kick: Bad.

Here’s the deal: I do not care what leather jerkin you had on previously. A spellcaster piece of leather is NOT an upgrade for you, mister rogue. No matter how much higher an ilvl. It’s just NOT. I hold you even more accountable for this nonsense than all those mages and warlocks who keep rolling against my clothies on spirit gear (b/c at least that stat USED to be helpful for them last expansion.)

On slacker kids who live at home with mom

Kid: “OK, guys I’m out, going to work. So it won’t be me on playing.”

Me: “So, you are account sharing?”

Kid: “Nah.”

Other kid: “His mom levels for him.”

Kid: “Yeah, my mom does my dailies and my leveling for me. I am real busy with work and stuff.”

Me: /facepalm

No offense buddy, but just wait until you move out into your own place and work a 40+ hour a week job. Get back to me THEN about being *so busy*. But then again you’ll probably just take all your laundry home for mom to wash…

;p

On my inability to hit the 125 pet mark

I chased after Baradin foxes. I conquered Ahune daily. I killed creatures in EPL for hours. And yet my two pet collectors are still short of their 125 pet goals. Candy needs 1 more pet, while Nexxi is still 5 or 6 away from the goal.

/cry

At this point I am haunting my AHs trying to find affordable pets I do not have yet. Ended up buying the druid 4 pets yesterday otherwise she would still have not made any progress.

VANITY PET GODS WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME???

I’m at At Loose Ends

sometimes, all you can do is dance with a friend.

Two months ago, I left  the guild I’d raided in through most of WotLK and been an officer in for over a year, and joined a friend’s raiding guild. Alas, our friend’s guild had a bad case of Main Tank Syndrome plus a RL revolving door and start time. Although offered the opportunity to run the B team raid and thus have complete control over the RL and start time, in a guild that is now 11/12, my SO and I both put raiding on the back burner for the first time in over 5 years (5.5 years for the SO.)

Truth be told, my RL schedule has been too hectic for the past month to take on progression raiding prep, let alone leading a raiding team. But this leaves me at loose ends. Yes, I have a whole army of neglected alts who would love some attention. But my World of Warcraft — from the time my druid hit 58 and stepped into MC to heal our META guild’s raid– has revolved around raiding. Not always cutting edge, top 5 on the server raiding (though there has been that too), but I’ve always been a part of a regularly scheduled raid team since that first night of raiding.

It feels weird to not need to make any flasks.

It feels weird not to be watching tank spot videos and pestering people to read Jaded Alt’s strats.

It feels weird to be poking around on alts in the evening instead of slaying Internet dragons with friends.

I don’t think this hiatus from raiding will be permanent, but I do think it’ll be longer than a vacation break. It’s absolutely exhausting to think about trying to find a guild that raids horde-side, 6 PT start or a bit later, with fun and friendly and interesting guildies. I am positive it can be done, but I don’t feel like I have the energy or the time to do it right now. And my schedule with the classes I’m taking means I don’t have a more open schedule for raiding at the moment. But I know that once 4.2 hits the live servers, the urge to raid will likely tip the balance back to “must raid!” from the “not enough time to find the right fit in a guild.”

One thing I know for certain is raiding progression is not enough reason to stick it out in a guild where you don’t connect with the other people, or worse yet, they don’t even connect with anyone else. I’ve already spent too much time in guilds where folks were only all about the raid and were PUGging 5-mans alone in a sea of 25+ guildies online, in-between bouts of snarking at each other in the guild forums. I want more than that. And I’m positive I’ll eventually find it.

Friday Five: Twitter Edition

Just a typical day in the life of a Shadow Priest: a solitary path, down a long corridor, into a dark room.

Twitter, how do I love thee? Let me Friday Five the ways…

  1. I love twitter for getting to know guildies.
    I’m the first to admit this is a double-edged sword. Sometimes you learn that your guildie is a two-faced, passive-aggressive, card carrying member of the opposite political party with whom you’d really prefer to have nothing to do with ever again. But that’s usually the exception, not the rule. (of course, if you find that *is* the rule with your guild, maybe you can find a new, better guild.) Seriously though, creating a twitter list of your guildies and checking in on it throughout the day can be a great window into the daily lives of the folks with whom you like to slay Internet dragons.
  2. I love twitter for enticing new guildies.
    You know that list of awesome guildies on twitter? When other folks see the camaraderie and good conversation amongst your guildies, it sometimes has the effect of enticing them to roll yet another alt (or better yet to server transfer over a max level toon) to play with your peeps.
  3. I love twitter for helping me find new places to play.
    I recently rolled a goblin toon, and needed a new server on which to roll. How’d I choose? I asked around on twitter, of course, and found some tweeps I already enjoy chatting with who were willing to take in a slow leveling baby goblin. And when I wanted to start playing my Alliance toons again last year, it was twitter that connected me with my beloved AF peeps.
  4. I love twitter for the conversation.
    A casual aside or snarky comment can often turn into a lengthy, in-depth discussion about a WoW topic. Or it can crack you up so that you are laughing out loud in real life making everyone wonder what’s so much more awesome on your smart phone than theirs. And when I’m feeling bummed out about one thing or another, it’s amazing how quickly a twitter check-in can act as a pick-me-up.
  5. I love twitter for giving me more bright ideas than I could ever have time to pursue.
    Every time I have a crackpot idea or hair brained scheme, I tweet about it. I love to see how other folks build on the idea and improve it. Even if none of us actually do anything about it, the joy in that moment of having the back-and-forth and ideation is worth it by itself.

Are you on twitter?

If so, follow me on @Anexxia and check out my WoW Bloggers list and and Citizens of Azeroth lists to find more folks to follow. And to find out who the active WoW tweeps are on your server, check out Psynister’s big list of twitter folks.

Cataclysm FAQs

gnome shadow priest gains cooking tips from Robby Flay and Barrio Matalli in Stormwind

Ah, another expansion is upon us. Which means…Gchat full of people repeatedly asking the same questions over and over. Admittedly, when WotLK dropped, I made a few macros to quickly and accurately reply to some of the questions that kept popping up in guild chat. And thus, the inspiration for this list.

Some of these questions will be old hat for those players who have been online daily since the Shattering hit us. But rest assured most guilds will see an influx of  folks who will, undoubtedly, start asking these questions straight away…

🙂

OMG! Where did the portals in Dalaran go?

Deathwing ate them.

Are the ones in Shatt still there?

No.

How the hell am I supposed to get back to Azeroth now?

The same way you did before you got to Dalaran: take the boat/zeppelin.

Boat? What boat? / Zeppelin? Which Zeppelin?

Alliance: Valiance Keep, Borean Tundra –to– Stormwind Harbor

Horde: Warsong Hold, Borean Tundra –to– Orgrimmar

How am I supposed to get around from continent to continent now?

Boats go many wonderful places.

  • Ratchet, The Barrens –to– Booty Bay
  • Menethil Harbor, Wetlands –to– Theramore Isle
  • Menethil Harbor, Wetlands –to– Valgarde, Howling Fjord 
  •  Stormwind Harbor, Elwynn Forest –to– Rut’theran Village, Teldrassil 
  •  Rut’theran Village, Teldrassil –to– Valaar’s Berth, Azuremyst Isle

Zeppelins also go many wonderful places.

  •  Orgrimmar, Durotar –to– Grom’Gol, Stranglethorn Vale  
  •  Orgrimmar, Durotar –to– Undercity, Tirisfal Glades  
  •  Orgrimmar, Durotar –to– Thunder Bluff, Mulgore  
  •  Undercity, Tirisfal Glades –to– Grom’Gol, Stranglethorn Vale  
  •  Undercity, Tirisfal Glades –to– Vengeance Landing, Howling Fjord

And druids may teleport to Moonglade, which is your fastest route to Kalimdor.

But there isn’t a boat to Darkshore from Darnassus now. Help!

The flightmaster will happily fly you there.

 Why can’t I fly now? I thought we could fly in Cataclysm?

Did you buy your Flight Master’s License yet? It will allow you to ride your flying mount in Kalimdor, Esastern Kingdoms and Deepholm. It will cost you $250G.

I don’t have my flying license. Where can I buy it?

Visit your favorite flight trainer. I suggest the new trainers located next to the flight paths in Stormwind and Orgrimmar.

I can’t buy the flying license. Why?

Did you install Cataclysm yet? You can’t fly in Azeroth without it. Cataclysm is also needed to visit the new areas and roll goblins or worgen, level your characters to 85, and to level your professions past 450.

Where do I learn Archaeology?

Talk to a guard in any major city.

OK, I learned Archaeology. What do I do with it now?

Check out the Wowpedia archaeology guide for details on where to go and how it all works.

Where do I train up my professions?

Talk to a guard in any major city; they’ll put an icon on your map where your trainer can be found. Progressing past 500 on some professions may require that you level your character and then visit a specialty vendor in a higher level area, such as Twilight Highlands.

Twilight Highlands…? Where’s that?

MMO Champion has a map of that area and tons of details.

What are all the new areas?

I went to Gilneas. Why isn’t anything there?

It’s a phased area for new players of that race only. If you want to see it, go roll a worgen.

Do I have to fly all the way back to the new areas?

Not after your first time visiting them. World of Raids has maps showing where the portals are located in Sotrmwind and Orgrimmar that can return you to those areas after your initial visit..

Can anyone in the guild link me their <profession name>?

We sure can! But did you know that you can see all the recipes everyone knows on all their characters for yourself? Go to the guild menu. In the view pulldown menu, select professions. That shows you a list of everyone who is on now, and their professions.

Why can’t I see anyone for <profession name>?

Try checking the “show offline members” box in the lower left part of the window. That way you can see recipes for alts of players who are on now, and items for everyone else in the guild.

Where are the new cooking/fishing dailies?

They are given out in Stormwind and Orgrimmar now. Here’s a guide to the new fishing and cooking quests and achievements for more details:

Hey! Can you bump up my guild reputation. It says I am just neutral. But I’ve been in this guild for years.

No can do. Everyone — including the guild leader– starts at neutral.

So, how do I raise my reputation in the guild?

There are many ways you can do this, just by playing the game as you would normally. Reputation is awarded for attaining guild achievements, completing instances with guildies, and many other things. There’s a helpful guide to guild achievements on Wowpedia.

If I /gquit will I start at my current guild reputation level in my new guild?

Nope. You’ll start back at neutral, so you will want to stop and consider the consequences before jumping to a new guild. And those with /gkick powers will want to stop doing joke kicks as those will also wipe guild reputation.

Why can’t I see my friends list?

Hit your “o” key, or click on the little person icon in the top left of your chat window.

What else happened during the Shattering, other than Deathwing eating all our portals?

I was asleep when it happened so I really can’t say. But Anne Stickley over at WoW Insider wrote a great piece on everything that happened in the Shattering. Note that if you plan to read The Shattering book, you may not want to read the post. Oh yeah — there are new racial videos that also tell part of the story too, so don’t hit the ESC key next time you roll an alt.

Where are the new Justice/Valor point vendors?

Horde has Jamus’Vaz <Valorous Quartermaster> and Gunra <Justice Quartermaster> in Orgrimmar’s Valley of Strength. Alliance has Faldren Tillsdale <Valorous Quartermaster> and Magatha Silverton <Justice Quartermaster> in Stormwind in the Old Town area.

I thought there were supposed to be new heirlooms?

There sure are. But your guild needs to attain guild level 10 before you can purchase them. See the WoWhead Guild Advancement guide for more information.

Are there any FAQs I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments!

Friday 5: Five Ways to Prepare for the Shattering

Night elf druid Psychcoandy under the SW moon awaiting the shattering

With patch 4.0.3a, a.k.a. “the shattering”, on the PTR, with many speculating we’ll see it on live servers as early as Tuesday, It’s time to start thinking about what you need to do to get ready. And before you say “Blizz would never release a major patch like this before a holiday…” I must remind you that we’d never have thought they’d release a huge patch like 4.0.1 the week of Blizzcon either. And thus I bring you 5 steps for preparing for the patch:

  1. Pick your new home city, portal there from Dalaran on Monday night, and wait. Why? 4.0.3a removes the Dalaran portals, replacing them with professions trainers. If you get stuck in Dal, it’s the slow boat back to Azeroth for you. And don’t forget to set your hearthstone. This doesn’t apply, however, to your toons in the 71-80 range.
  2. Get prepared to give your alts stuck in Northrend one last push before the expansion. With the 20% reduction in XP required to get through those levels going live with this patch, you’ll be ready for Cataclysm in no time.
  3. Park your 80 mage in front of where those portals used to be. For the first week or so you will get tips galore from helping unprepared and navigationally challenged folks get around.
  4. Design your new gnome priest or undead hunter’s look, and get ready for the reroll or the race change.
  5. If you play a Druid, paladin, priest, or shaman, look at the new talent calculators now — your talents are going to be reset and you’ll need to redetermine how you wish to allocate your talent points.

BONUS: Get a chopper made now — nothing says post-Apocalypse road trip through Azeroth like a motorcycle.

New WoW Armory Character Sheets

Anexxia

Once I saw all the tweets about it at lunchtime, I couldn’t wait to get home so I could peep at the new WoW armory design and community website accessible via Battlenet. After I ditched Firefox and opened it in Safari, I was able to enjoy the beauty that is the new character sheet.

What’s especially nice is they have the pretty version above, plus one with a lot more detail about the equipped gear and its enchants and gems. I haven’t been playing my shadow priest much in the past month, thanks to taking a trip to Scotland and pre-expansion raiding burn out, so I hadn’t even noticed that the patch ate several of my enchants (including the one on my chest piece. Thanks a lot!) until I saw that view. Now I have a to do for each of my characters…

Now that the official armory has your average gear level, and shows all your enchants/gems and does a character audit, there won’t be much reason to visit WoW Heroes or other gear rating sites, except to see at-a-glance what raid content a character has completed, or for an easy way to see how that item level prepares them for which instance.

As currently implemented, the community site lets you pick which of your characters to display in the pulldown and to thus use for posting. I would put in a screenshot of the new overall pageview and how it shows a nice big adorable picture of your avatar, but it shows your real name right above it and I am too lazy to Photoshop it out this evening.

I have to admit I was a little surprised that Blizz didn’t set up a system similar to the Starcraft forums, whereby we have to pick our main character to post on. At least for now, it appears you can change your main character as often as you’d like, and post as any of your characters, as per the existing forums. It will be interesting to see if that remains true after the trial period is over.

 

Updated: Blizz Con @Home: Livestream

Despite my best refresh and clicking efforts, we did not get lucky enough to purchase tickets to Blizzcon. As a condolence prize, we ordered the livestream of the event, and are watching it (well, the pre-show right now) on the 27” iMac in glorious HD.

I am bummed to not be in Anaheim, getting to meet the many tweeps and bloggers I enjoy chatting with online. But I am happy to be sitting at home with the kitties, wearing comfy clothes, and still getting to participate virtually.

There have been some hiccups with the stream, right now probably due in large part to the opening ceremonies and pre show being viewable for free to everyone.  I’m not going to be liveblogging everything word-for-word, but I do plan to make some regular updates here with highlights of what I see/hear.

cheers!

Opening Ceremony Update

Not at all comprehensive, but these were the highlights from my POV:

  • Mike Morhaime announced the Moonkin Hatchling will be this year's charity pet! Available for sale from the Blizzard store in November.
  • Last year's Pandaren Monk pet raised $1.1 million in proceeds for Make-A-Wish.
  • Arthas has been slain ~489,000 times.

Chris Metzen

Getting all the fan love. Which makes sense. How often do CEOs get fan love? Other than Steve Jobs I can’t think of any others off the top of my head. Today's word? GEEK. The power of the word.

And MAN he does a great Arnold Conan the Barbarian impersonation.

The Geek is segment got a little long but Metzen did a nice job of getting the crowd engaged and excited. Cute how he got a little choked up over the idea of his kids watching and absorbing Star Wars for the first time.

Big announcement? The 5th and final Diablo 3 class — demon hunter. Nice bonus that she was a fully-clothed, bad ass chick.

Also, Cataclysm will be available for download digitally as of midnight on release day, December 7. (Personally, I am OK with my release day delivery from Amazon.) Will be interesting to see if folks will be able to pre-order and download it all in advance and thus actually start playing on December 7, or if that's when downloads can start. UPDATED: later in the event they said one could start playing at midnight.

Between Sessions

Cryptozoic is going to be releasing the World Breaker WoW TCG expansion close to Cataclysm's launch. Nice to see the card game finally synching up more closely to what's happening in WoW.

Dungeons and Raids Panel

When doing the Cataclysm dungeons preview, I liked their inspired tagline for Abyssal Maw: "It's nothing like Occulus." Heh. So, not a ton of news in this panel but still a number of nice little chinks of good to hear information:

  • As previously announced, you now get your dungeon quests inside the dungeons. No more zoning in and realizing that awesome blue quest reward item requires you to have done a 7-stage quest chain on the opposite continent.
  • Long dungeons are being trimmed down (removing excess trash or extraneous wings that are not necessary to clear to complete the instance
  • Complex dungeons such as BRD that can't be cut in half (like Mauradon will be) will have teleporters to help get from section to section
  • Graveyards will be within a 30sec run back from the dungeons so no more extra long death march through Serpent Lake!
  • Improved 2D maps for all dungeons (existing and new) in Cataclysm
    • These dungeon maps — basically incorporating what Atlas Loot used to do (great maps with boss loot details) plus details on the boss's background and abilities