Light & Leafy

Archive for the ‘funnery’ Category

One of the most fantastic parts about blogging, especially about WoW, is the community that arises from the common interest; it ends up being so much more than just some random babbling. We email, we tweet, we comment every chance we get. And in it, we build relationships. It becomes more than just sharing boss strategies and class tricks and turns into supporting and caring for each other, in and out of game.

So, in honor of the spirit of community that blogging instills in both readers and authors, a new blogging guild has been formed! Tamarind of Righteous Orbs is the mastermind behind all of this, so I suggest you read this post to hear what he has to say about it all. He’ll be heading up the EU charter of <Single Abstract Noun> on Argent Dawn (Horde-EU).

But what fun would it be to limit the experience to the EU players? Tam’s partner in crime, Miss Medicina, has started the US/Oceanic Charter on Argent Dawn (Alli-US) as well! It’s a safe place for anyone interested in the blogging scene to come and have some fun. Role an alt, transfer a toon that doesn’t see much sunlight! Just stop by and share in the verbosity that is sure to ensue!

As this is most definitely Tam’s lovechild, I’ve decided to copy/paste his rules so not to mince his language:

The guild rules of Single Abstract Noun are as follows:

1. Anybody with even the vaguest passing interest in the blogging community is welcome – which is why it’s a blogging communities guild, not a bloggers’ guild.

2. Single Abstract Noun is a pantocracy – which means, not only that pants are encouraged, but it’s rule by all. The guild belongs to all who belong to it.

3. Use the guild however you like, as a meeting place, for conversation, for running the occasional dungeon, have a million alts, have a single character, whatever you like.

4. There are no rules about respecting other people because GODDAMN IT I’M TAKING THAT AS READ.

5. Leave your wowcock in the stand by the door.

A few things about the servers: both are RP, so if you’ve ever wanted to give it a try, now’s your chance! Also, they’re both quite established. I didn’t notice the US server being laggy or anything as I made my way from Exodar to Ironforge, though it did take me awhile to find a name that wasn’t already taken.

Last night, a group of us had a great time running around Dun Morogh and laughing it up on a lent vent server.

So come all ye healers, tanks, dps! Come have fun and socialize with the bloggers you read and love!

Anyone in the guild can send an invite, and all you READERS out there should come play with us too 🙂 It’s about the community, not whether you write a blog or not.

Etaini (Eh-ta-ee-ni) is my priest over there!

*Side note about the tabard that caused us to laugh quite a bit: Tam’s influence was Larisa of the PPI. Apparently he didn’t really think about what 2 clanking beer mugs would look like on the more voluptuous torso of his female comrades. As Miss Medicina wrote, be prepared for comments about the “nice jugs”.

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Deathwing is coming. You can feel in the air. People are reporting minor tremors across Azeroth. In the blog-o-sphere, curiosity was piqued when the blues released some information regarding stat changes to gear in Cataclysm. Greg Street and Cory Starkton hinted at previews of the female Worgen model in the near future during their developer chat on Twitter last Friday. Most bloggers are reveling in this quickening release of data; they’re giggling as they postulate about what changes could mean for their particular niche and eagerly lap up any tidbits the devs  see fit to publicize.

And who could blame us? It’s an exciting premise: the world (of Warcraft) as we know it will be completely destroyed. Barren lands will become lush oasis.  Elemental planes long forgotten will reemerge, bringing with them new threats to civilization. Flying mounts will soar over the old world!

Sometimes my internal monologue turns into that of an excitable puppy: “Oh-gosh-look-it’s-the-new-neighbors-can-I-go-sniff-them-now?-I-bet-they’ll-let-me-sniff-them-and-then-maybe-rub-my-tummy-ohboyohboyohboy! Can-we-go-now-pleaseeeeeee?!” *scratches at door*

Then the “adult” portion of my brain kicks in and reminds me that I haven’t yet seen or done everything I’ve wanted to do yet in Wrath of the Lich King. And my puppy begins to panic.

So, I thought I’d come up with a little list, and cross them off as I’ve completed them. It’s all well and good to be excited about Cataclysm, but I feel the need to take that abundant energy and reroute it towards things I can accomplish now. Some of these things might not be possible after the Cataclysm rocks Azeroth. And I don’t want to leave Northrend with any regrets.

Get my hunter to 80. This should be fairly easy seeing as she’s now sitting at 15% of the way to 73. I only have 7.85 levels to go, and the way Osy’s pushing us to level I’d be surprised if it took more than a couple of weeks. I want to have a pure dps at the level cap as well; normally if I have the choice on a character to dps or heal, I’ll gladly heal. This is putting me out of my comfort zone and giving me something fresh and exciting to play with. And I love my pets.

Get Edainne her dragonhawk mount. Ever since the 100 mount achievement went live, I’ve wanted to get my priest her blue alliance dragonhawk (like the one the flight trainer rides on Krasus’s landing). I think it’s an absolutely gorgeous mount, and really the only thing preventing me from obtaining it is a lack of trying. I need about 5000g and some mind-numbing hours in Stratholme and Magister’s Terrace.  I don’t know if they’ll still offer a dragonhawk come Cataclysm, and I don’t want to regret never getting the one mount I really wanted.

Max out my character’s professions. I know this sounds silly, but I want everyone at 80 to be as close to maxed out in their given professions. I know I won’t want to spend the time once Cataclysm comes out to get my professions up to date before I go off to level my characters to 85, and I really don’t want to have to go back and do them all once my toons are settled at the new level cap.

Create a photo album of all my favorite locations in the Old World. We all know that some zones are going to be drastically…redecorated. I don’t want to forget the WoW I fell in love with.  Some of my happiest memories from leveling my priest were the adventures I had when leveling actually took a lot of work and questing in a lot of areas. My goal is to try to get at least one picture of my favorite area in each zone before they’re gone for good.

Explore all the Zones I’ve Never Been to Before. While I’ve travelled a LOT on Edainne, I’d still love to take the time to really see all that Azeroth has to offer.  I’ve never been to Stone Talon Peaks, or Burning Steppes. I still mix up Felwood and Feralas.

Do a few more of Horde Starting zones. I’ve never really leveled a hordie. I’ve always been curious to see their storylines, but all my friends have always played Alliance, and as I’m a sucker for pretty races, I’ve never even goofed around on anything more than a blood elf or a really cute tauren. Even if I never put too much time into them, I think it would be really awesome to see the Undead and Orc/Troll starting zones.  Heck, I could probably stand to do the human and dwarven starting areas as well!

Earn the title Starcaller and get my Rusted Protodrake. Starcaller Edainne just has a pretty ring to it. I know I vastly outgear Ulduar now, but it’s never lost its beauty for me. I’d rather wipe in there week after week than constantly stare at the same one room as Tirion Fordring parades “challenge” after “challenge.”  I have a pretty stellar (bad pun, sorry) group to finish the last 4 achievements, but coordinating a schedule might prove harder than first assumed.

Defeat the final encounter of ICC and watch the cinematic for myself. I’ve been avoiding lore posts and youtube videos for the last 3 weeks whenever the word “spoiler” shows up in their titles. I don’t even go near the fountain in the center of Dalaran. I have no desire to watch someone else beat the Champion of the Scourge.  I leveled my priest during the Burning Crusade; I never felt connected to Illidan’s story and I never thought I’d come close to killing him. But now? I’m literally 3 bosses away.  Arthas’ story has consumed my characters’ lives for the last year and a half or so. More if you include all the time they were frolicking in Outland while the scourge infestation grew at home.I feel so involved and I want to be the one who sees how all of this ends.

That’s my wish-list for Wrath of the Lich King. I’ve loved this expansion. I’ve loved the accessibility of all the raid instances. I’ve loved the way the lore was woven into every zone and experience my characters have had in Northrend. I’ve loved the difficulty of the hardmode encounters. And the perfect way to send myself into Cataclysm would be to complete at least some of these goals before the world is broken asunder.

My little not-so-little hunter and her bestest friend Desja, managed to make it out to Howling Fjord other night. But alas, it was time to cook dinner, so the little mage had to entertain herself while the hunter went off to the kitchen to make them some delicious baked potato soup. But a soup of that tastitude takes quite some time to make, even though the hunter came back every now and again to make sure her new puppy was still happy.  She found the puppy and the mage were in cahoots, determined to wreak havoc in the dwarven inn they were resting their tired heals!

Look at how Desja convinced Penelope to stand on the table so she could get on top of the inn’s lantern! The tricksy frost mage knew Hyacinthe couldn’t follow her on top of the candle!

When Hiacynthe came back from the sweltering kitchen, Desja was no where to be found! She searched at gnome level for nearly a quarter hour before Penelope barked cheerfully at the doorway. Hiacynthe slowly lifted her gaze much, much higher, and found the cheeky mage giggling from a top the doorway.

While Hiacynthe made her way back in to the kitchen to add the wild shoveltusk bacon to the bubbly stew, Desja craftily cast Invisibilty and snuck her way onto a shelf above the cutting block.

Desja got hit over the head multiple times with a frying pan when she scared the panties off of Hiacynthe. Luckily, Edainne was just a hop, skip, and jump away to bandage up Desja’s wounds.

And that, my dear friends, is what happens when you get an antsy gnome who asks her hunter to make dinner rather than just conjuring up some delicious strudel.

I may or may not have been sucked into twitter over this past weekend.

>.>

Alright, that was kind of an obvious fib. It’s not my fault that there were so many new people to meet and coo over!

If you’re on twitter, and I didn’t know it yet, say hi to me @LightandLeafy.

And because I’m a blogger, and therefore slightly (very?) egocentric, I signed up for a formspring.me account so people could get to know me better. Answering random questions is just a fun idea!

So, if you’re as bored at work as I am and have some burning question you’re dying to ask me, click here =)

Ok, enough with the self-promotion. Time to get back to the REAL post I was writing.

*waves shyly*

*shuffles back to work*

Way back when I started playing WoW, before I was serious about it, Lisa Poisso and Amanda Dean wrote a FABULOUS column at WoW-Insider called “Well Fed Buff” giving players a chance to experiment with their out-of-game playing skills. The column has been inactive for about 2 years now, but I loved it so much I’m trying to recreate it here. While the style of the post is their idea (because I loved it so much), the writing and the recipe are my own (I honestly don’t know if they ever made a post about Banana Bread).

I  made a loaf this morning to console myself over the lack of Toxic Wasteling (80 tries and I didn’t even see it drop…). Rather than write a post QQ’ing about drop rates, I felt it would be better to make a delicious treat and share it with you! I promise I’ll load a picture as soon as my digital camera stops hating my p.c. =(

Pre-Raid Info
Soft Banana Bread is something you’ve probably looted off zombie trolls in Zul’Farrak and grimy Dark Iron Dwarves in Uldaman. Trust me when I say it’s way better coming out of a piping hot oven than a dirty pocket.

The Raid Team

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups sliced bananas (about 3 large, ripe bananas will do, though you can add one more for extra ‘nana goodness)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cinnamon to taste

The Strat

1. Buff The Raid Group Heat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9″x5″ loaf pan
2. Melee Start to DPS Mix the flour, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
3. Ranged Start to DPS Cream together the brown sugar and butter (i.e. mix until it creates a creamy spread). In a separate large bowl, mash banana slices until smooth with a fork or potato masher if you have one. Add the brown sugar mixture, eggs and vanilla extract to the bananas.
4. Everyone Stack Up! Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture. Stir until everything is moist.
5. Preparing for Phase 2 Pour the dough into the loaf pan, making sure to clean up any spills on the side. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with cinnamon
6. Full Out DPS Bake for an hour or so, or until a knife/toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
7. Distributing Loot Allow the bread to cool on a rack for about 5 minutes or so, then slice. Best served still warm. Heats up well in a toaster oven, or in the microwave with a piece of damp paper towel covering it.

Hardmode Achievement: “Oh How Sweet It Is!”
If activated, chocolate chip adds will spawn as everyone is stacking up before phase 2. Fold the chips into the dough and then pour into the loaf pan.
This hardmode comes with extra loot: Lots of SmilesHugs from Small ChildrenHugs from Adults That Enjoy The Same Food As Small Children

Hardmode Achievement: “A Little Bit Nutty”
If activated, chopped nut adds will spawn as everyone is stack up before phase 2. Fold the nuts into the dough and then pour into the loaf pan.
This hardmode has the same extra loot as above.

Please note, an experienced raid team can complete both hardmodes at the same time, but that is at the discretion of the raid leaders.

Tags:

Rush

Posted on: January 25, 2010

Who’s ready for a science lesson?!?

*pauses*

I said, who’s ready for a science lesson?!

*crickets*

Well, since it’s my blog, you’re going to get one anyways! HA! See how I tricked you there?

When humans are under stressful, threatening, or incredibly exciting conditions, we tend to respond with a basic “fight or flight” instinct. We either run away from our situation and regroup ourselves accordingly, or we take the bull by the horns (metaphorically, I don’t actually suggest trying this at home) and face our situation head on. No matter what we choose, our bodies are already beginning to prepare themselves in case of an emergency. The adrenal and pituitary gland are secreting epinephrine and endorphins into our blood stream, while our brain is sending signals by way of norepinephrine.

Wait. Back up. This is a WoW blog. Why are we using big words pertaining to our REAL bodies when normally we’d be healing the animated bodies around us. Well, it’s all connected.

Epinephrine (also known as adrenaline), norepinephrine, and endorphins are all different types of hormones released in our bodies  during times of stress (stress, in this case, meaning any thing physically or mentally dangerous or exciting; this can include pain, being scared, the sensation of falling, high tension situations, etc.).  Epinephrine is released through our adrenal glands right above our kidneys, and is responsible for increasing oxygen supply to our brains and muscles. Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter, or a messenger, for our brains, and in addition to telling our hearts to beat faster, it is believed to increase attention/focus and our ability to make decisions quickly. Endorphins are controlled by our pituitary glands, and are released during times of stress and physical pain; they promote a sense of well being in the body and control the amount of pain our brain picks up.

So, now that we know a little bit about them…

The three hormones we’ve briefly touched upon usually combine to form what’s commonly known as an adrenaline rush.You know the feeling. The sense of euphoria you get when you’re screaming your lungs out on that new 90mph roller coaster. Or the jittery insomnia you experience the night before a major exam.  Maybe the exhilaration of an encounter you just can’t seem to beat…

That’s right. You don’t need to (thankfully) pull someone out of a burning building to feel the rush.  You can experience it in a controlled environment with nothing but a few hours of your time at stake.

I think that makes certain boss fights enjoyable:  the thrill of not knowing whether or not you’re going to succeed. If you were to go into Naxx and wipe repeatedly on Anub’Rekhan, well maybe you’d just get angry or put it aside. And once you finally DID succeed to kill him, chances are you’d be excited, but not euphoric.

Now picture yourself in Ice Crown Citadel, facing Professor Putricide with only 3 more attempts before Tirion comes in and tells you its time to throw in the towel. You can’t spend hours more wiping, you can’t even come back the next night to finish.  The pressure is tangible. And that’s when the rush starts setting in.

Now maybe some raiders come to the table with the cool, collected attitude that I’ve never had. But I’m pretty damn sure every single one of us last night was hopped up on the experience. I don’t rightly remember the last time we all raided in nearly complete silence, so intensely focused on our jobs. I don’t remember the last time me and my tree friend couldn’t find the words to describe the intensity of healing the last phase of the encounter.  The B.F. and I were up until ungodly hours of the night going over and over the fight, gleefully picking through every detail, too excited to even contemplate going to sleep. Just thinking about it, nearly 15 hours later, I can feel my heart start to race and the energy start to well up inside me.

And I can’t help but think that it’s a great mechanic of the game. Theoretically, we should perform a bit better while under the effects of the rush: all our attention is focused on the game. I know I did. I poured every bit of mana I could into the green bars on my screen. I pre-hotted, pre-casted. I stopped being overly concerned about my mana pool, relying on Sneaky the shadowfiend, and innervates, and *gasp* even mana pots! I felt completely in tune with Edainne at that moment, even though after years of healing on her I know her like the back of my hand.

And, in a way, it’s cathartic. We get to experience and release the emotions we don’t normally deal with in our day-to-day lives.

So, my dear readers, when was the last time WoW gave you such a rush? I’d love to hear others’ stories, maybe commiserate over fights that got my blood going, so to speak.

Last post, I started postulating about the idiosyncrasies we imbue in our characters.   I barely scratched the surface of the physical when I started realizing that maybe, just maybe, I should separate the physical habits from the mental ones. Not that I believe they’re separate entities; they are very much connected. I just thought it would be easier to explain my thought process this way.

The way I look at it, the social and tactical ticks we gain while playing are interwoven.  Sure, I may not as bounce as much when I’m grumpy, but my play style will drastically change if depending on how I’m feeling. The interesting thing about these little nuances of human behavior is that most of the time, we don’t notice we have them; at least, not until they’re well ingrained into our brains.

For a real-life example: every time I have to answer a question that requires a lot of explanation, I tend to pause, and lift one of my shoulders as high as my ears. My death knight companion always knows when I’m fielding a heavy guild question, or trying to formulate a logical argument simply by seeing the change in my body’s position. I never noticed this about myself until he brought it up.

Getting back to how this relates to the social/playstyle interwoven meta-thought of doom (it’s not really doom-ful per say, I just wanted it to sound dramatic), let’s use the oh-so-common example of the new dungeon finder. Each day, you have the opportunity of playing with hundreds of people you would otherwise not even know existed (except, maybe, in the form of a statistic). You have the opportunity to be exactly the same to each and every one of them, but if you’re anything like me, you’re not. Some of the people you run into will elicit camaraderie, some annoyance, some apathy (EEK!).

How do you react? In terms of play style? In terms of social interaction?

For me, my social response typically dictates my play style response. I’d love to say I give my 100% to each and every single instance/raid I run, but that would be a lie. If I’m not feeling the situation socially, my performance goes straight into the metaphorical toilet.

When I’m in a group of strangers, and everyone is using l337 speek and generally acting as if their gigantic e-peen is the only thing important in the whole wide world, I become reserved. I won’t bother answering questions or giving strategy suggestions. And my play style reflects that.  That lock that just life-tapped will get a single renew, rather than a greater heal. The hunter’s pet won’t get buffs after it dies from negligence. And forget about me using cool downs. I don’t even think about them.  Consciously, I’m not acting out of spite. I don’t want to wipe just to teach these bozos a lesson; I want to get my badges and get the hell out of there as soon as possible. So I will heal, but I will not be the super duper healer that everyone loves.

Now let’s take the opposite scenario: I’ve had quite a few legitimately pleasant groups. They may not be pulling 80bajillion dps every fight, but they’ve shown that they can type more than “sup” and they have a degree of friendliness. These people I will do anything for. Want me to rez your pet? You got it! Here, have some extra buff food that I happen to have lying around. If you want to stick around a little longer, I can help you try to figure out the next instance you’ll want to hit up for a chance to replace some of the blues you still have.  You’re leveling a healer? Well, here’s my guild’s vent info! Stop by so I can chat your ears off!  I will use divine hymn on cool down, I will guardian spirit the mage who pulled the extra pack of mobs, I will even run myself out of mana trying to heal a tank through preventable boss enrage-esque buffs, all because I like you. And again, not thinking about this consciously. I just go straight into Mega-Leet Healer mode. /hug.  For instance, the first time Sairyn got Halls of Reflection as her daily heroic, I almost bolted on the group. I didn’t want to waste their time wiping. The  group reassured me that they were ok with wiping if it helped me learn to be a better shaman healer. I stayed, and it was the best Halls of Reflection run I had up until that point (even the ones with guildies). I played my heart out for the people who cared enough about me as a person to give me a chance, knowing I may fail.

All in all, I think our moods seriously impact our performance, even if we don’t recognize it. Sure, some people may be driven to succeed when everyone else around them is facerolling huge numbers and are being general asshats about it. I can understand the desire to be better than one’s peers. But for me, the biggest motivator is love.  If I love you, even if it’s only for a brief 5 man pug, I will play my best for you.  Everyone may deserve the best from me, but you will elicit it.

So what about you all? How does your play style change on your mood? Do you heal people less? Do you go to further extremes to prove people wrong?

*This post brought to you by the warm fuzzy kittens that romp around with other cute creatures that live in the quintessentially feminine/childish part of my brain*.