Light & Leafy

Archive for the ‘/love’ Category

Hi! It’s been a long time since I’ve been around, but with the New Year approaching, and with new inspiration for Cataclysm,  I felt the desire to start blogging again. Bear with me while I readjust, and please feel free to send hugs and happy vibes my way =)

Preparing for the ‘Clysm!

So we’re officially 75 hours away from the release date! (Ok, more like 85 if you live in an area like I do that ISN’T having a midnight release. You’re responsible for my pouty face, Best Buy!) I hadn’t really been on my toons except for my teams’ weekly raids, but from right before the shattering until tonight, I’ve been on a little every day, preparing my characters as best I can for the leveling blitz! I’ve moved all my characters to new homes, fully taking advantages of all the Inns I’ve never seen before (Who knew there was more than one in Ironforge!?).  I’ve leveled my little gnome mage and given her some much deserved attention before she gets shelved for another x amount of months until I’ve finished leveling all my healers to 85 and gotten them to the point where I feel like I can let them sit for 5 minutes while I toy around with something that doesn’t involve the end game.

And I’ve mapped out Edainne’s leveling spec. Since I’m a masochist and stubborn, I don’t want to tarnish her record of Never. Being. Shadow. Although, I will say this now –  none of my other characters will level that way. They all have dps specs; I’m not that mean to myself….

Also, having 4 people to instance with makes me dance a little bit in my seat. When we were leveling in Wrath, there was a group of 8 of us or so that would join up and queue together. It made the learning curve SO much less stressful; there wasn’t ever a fear of being cursed out or ridiculed for wiping.

RIP Old Azeroth

I surprised myself a little when I actually felt sad to see the old world replaced by the new order. I thought I had come to terms with the changes, but part of me wished that I had appreciated the Old World a little more before it vanished. I spent my last weeks farming the vanishing reps (and helping my friends do the same), and I didn’t really look around too often. The night before the patch was released, I found myself gazing at the trelisses that used to  adorn the buildings in Stormwind’s (now destroyed) Park District, and realized I had never noticed how pretty they were before. I took some last screenshots, then headed over to the roomier, less densely populated inn in Old Town, and logged out to the Sindragosa load screen one last time.

I do have a little consolation though; even though I never got around to taking all the pictures of Pre-Cataclysmic, Angelya at Revive and Rejuvinate has an AWESOME gallery of screenshots.

Leveling – Oh god, is it fun!

In BC, right before Wrath came out, I remember spending all my time on my 70s just enjoying the new talent trees and having one last hooray at raids that were made much, MUCH easier by the changes. This time around, I’m spending all my time online on lowbie alts. I’m leveling new hordies to experience their side of the stories (plus, my troll druid looks like she had an accident at the Crayola factory; it’s AWESOME), and my mage just feels like the awesome little ball of fire she is.

Plus, the new quests keep everything interesting, and everything flows SO well together. I’m loving the quests being right in the front of the instance when you start; I like feeling like there’s a reason for me going into a decrepit, haunted mansion isolated on an island in the middle of hostile territory. Before it was all, Shadowfang Keep? Uh, I’ll let the werewolves eat the vampires undead so I don’t have to deal with them, thankyouverymuch.  I will admit, though, that I still feel a little weird every time I ding because I picked a flower (Oh look! Peacebloom! <You have reached level 29!>  /anticlimatic shrug).

AMG More Mini Pets!

Clearly, this was my first priority when I patched my game. I mean, really, what else do you when the world explodes around you? I picked up a little Sunflower on each of my healers the week of Pilgrim’s Progress (since 3 of them needed to head out to Undercity anyways for the feasting….mmmm undead turkey!). The PvZ mini game is a lot of fun, albeit a bit more frustrating and not nearly as cute as it’s inspiration, but it is totally worth the singing sunflower. You guys, she stops mid trot to hum to herself!

My priest then headed across the Maelstrom to collect Withers from the new questline in Darkshore. It didn’t take nearly long as I remember it on the Beta (with a level 14 worgen. With no heirlooms. Or Mount…..). As alliance, you basically do all the quests in the new village until you reach the Troll Battle. Once you head back to town, there will be a final quest that gives you Withers as a reminder of the tragedy that struck Auberdine. The quest lines are poignant, especially for anyone who ever quested in Darkshore while leveling, and take about 30 minutes start to finish with a level 80 (not including the travel time to Darkshore).
I think my new favorite pet though is the Moonkin Hatchling. I knew I wanted one when I saw the previews on Blizzard’s new site, but after I was given one as an early Christmas present, I’ve been taking him out every chance I get and just giggling at his preposterously huge brown eyes and his baby drood dance (HIS WINGS DON’T REACH ALL THE WAY BACK!) and his spontaneous flower spawning. It’s amazing I get anything done with him around. Seriously.

So, what have you been doing since the patch that changed the world? Have you been leveling that gnome priest you’ve always wanted? ( I’m making one, even though I have 2 priests already) Are you exploring the shattering and wondering (like I did as I was completing Pilgrim achievement on my druid) where the HELL is the patch of land that connects Northern Barrens to Southern Barrens (Hint: go alllllllll the way to the top of the chasm. Don’t try to jump in the lava and then scale the wall….) ?

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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”.

Khi over at Tree Burglar suggested a wonderful topic for this Lunar Festival season: as an Elder of the game, what do you recommend for newbies coming into Azeroth for the first time?

I don’t see myself as an Elder. I’m not eternally calm, nor do I strut around with a moonbeam following my every movement (oh but to dream…). Heck, my main has NO influence over the natural world whatsoever; she’s a priest who was given holy powers by a band of interdimensional geometric shapes. When I entered Azeroth, I was guided by a knowledgeable warrior whose friends lavished me with kittens, moths, and prairie dogs; I leveled my priest as holy at a time healing was a stat on items because I had someone there to beat down the monsters for me.

I’m not really making myself look good here. Moving right along…

As Elder’s Assistant’s Sister’s Baker’s Apprentice Edainne, people usually only flock to me for advice when their cookies come out as flat little discs (hint: use a heaping tablespoon of baking powder!). But today, with Khi’s encouragement, I’m here to give novice players some advice to survive their first few adventures in Azeroth!

1. Never, ever buy white-level gear from a vendor. You don’t need the armor that badly. And while it may look cool, chances are you’re going to replace it the next time you hand in a quest. So save your hard earned silver and copper for things you really need, like training! The only thing that breaks this rule is ammunition, but that’s more of a consumable rather than equipment.

2. Set your hearth early and frequently until you make it to a major city. You might be able to get by if you’re a mage, because then you’ll be able to port yourself anywhere you’d like. But for all of us non-Twisting Nether travelers, setting your hearth is CRUCIAL. Otherwise, you might find yourself teleporting to the little beginning area every time you’re forced to use it. It helps to check for an inn keeper every time you make it to a new friendly outpost.

3. Know your tracking options! On your minimap, there should be a little bubble with some sort of icon in the middle of it. If you click on that bubble, you’ll be able to track everything from herbs and mining nodes to trainers and vendors. If you’re having a hard time finding someone who sells candles, or you don’t know where your bank is in a foreign city, this is the place to start.

4.Choose one talent tree and stick with it in the beginning. I know that the first tier of each tree seems to have so many exciting talents.  But honestly, the talents just get better as you get deeper in each tree! Pick a tree you want to start exploring, and as you’re leveling fill out that tree until there are no longer talents you find interesting or useful. If you spread yourself too much at the beginning, you won’t be able to get the really awesome talents quickly (like the loveable Boomkin form or the ability to tame exotic pets).

5. Be polite in the wilds. Occasionally you’ll come across another adventurer questing in the same area as you. Be considerate of their experience. If they’re of the same faction, send a tell to the player (/w <player’s name>) to see if they would like to quest together so you don’t accidentally kill their targets. If they’re of the opposite faction, acknowledge them, and try not to hit the mobs they’re targeting.

6. Team up with other people from your realm! The looking for dungeon feature is a GREAT way to get groups together, especially in early content. But I recommend asking in your server’s looking for group or trade chat first. Even if you only get one or two responses, you may be able to find a new friend on the server to group with more regularly. Then the two (or three!) of you can comb the dungeon finders together, while also being available to help each other on group quests.

7.  Explore! The World (of Warcraft) is an immense universe filled to the brim with countless experiences to be had. It’s up to you find them yourself. Take some time to run around places you were never sent to quest. You might just find your favorite fishing spot, or contemplation nook.

8.  Experiment! Maybe you first started out with a squishy priest and hated every moment of it. Or the Undead starting zone just didn’t resonate with you. Try again! Play both factions. Try your hand at a melee dps or a caster. Maybe a tank is more your speed. Give roleplaying a whirl. Sign up for a heart-racing player versus player battle. There are so many options to your race and class and realm experience, it would be silly to have one bad experience and completely write off the entire game. Maybe in the end, WoW just isn’t the game for you, but can you honestly know until you’ve tried all it has to offer?

9.  Pick up cooking and first aid. It might seem like a hassle to level it, but it’s always great to have band-aids and roasted meat around. The food has been (mostly) updated so whatever you eat will give you some sort of buff to make your experience a little bit easier, and even classes with heals can benefit from having a bandage in their backpack when their mana is low.

10.  Be patient. Relax. It’s only a game. The first few levels might seem difficult, or even boring. But it gets better with time. The spells become more interesting, the game play mechanics begin to make sense. If you’re having trouble with something you can take a break and come back to it when you’re bigger or when your mind is clearer or when you’ve found someone to help. It will be there waiting for you.

And as a bonus, my final piece of advice:

11.  Remember, you’re never alone. Sometimes when you’re playing in a world as massive as Azeroth, it can get a bit lonely. You might feel like you have no one to turn to or that it’s too intimidating to talk to people.  It’s ok. I think we’ve all been there. But that’s what’s important to remember: we’ve all experienced it ourselves. Some of us forget this, and may treat you as disposable, but a great many of us haven’t. 9/10 times if you ask a question in your server’s general or trade chat, someone will answer you. Someone will try to help you. And if you’re reading this blog, or any other blog for that matter, you’re already one step ahead of the game. Blogs are a form of conversation, and most bloggers I know are happy (if not estatic) to help new players who have legitimate questions and concerns. Talk to us. We’re here.

And that’s all advice this apprentice can muster for today. How about you all? What tips would you give a budding WoW Enthusiast taking their first steps into a brand new world?

As a note: if you ever have a question for me, whether its about my preferences, my gaming style, healers in specific, healers in general, or raiding/leading, please feel free to ask away in the comments or to send me an email at lightandleafy@gmail.com

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.

Last week, I decided a break from WoW (and especially raiding) was in order. The lag had gotten so bad that even playing around on my hunter (who has now made it out to Hellfire Peninsula with Osy’s adorable gnome) was impossible. Thankfully, those issues have been resolved on Terenas, but I still felt a bit worn out raiding most nights. So I found this website (it’s safe, I promise), and after downloading and tinkering with DosBox (well, after Osy tinkered with DosBox – it’s pretty user friendly –like you-drag-the-game-onto-the-program-and-you-play friendly -unless you have an LCD monitor like I do. Then,  I hope you know more about DosBox than I do or can, you know, read a wiki and follow instructions), I played some really, really old games. Like SimCity old.

I think my main grievances are lack of commitment and the feeling like my 25 man team has hit a wall. It wouldn’t be so bad if that wall was not Festergut. But what it boils down to is that we simply don’t have enough DPS to meet the enrage timer (according to some math I did, we’d have to average about 7k dps per dps player, and we’re not close to that yet).

I get frustrated when I can’t fix something for my team. I really don’t know much about dps, having really only played healers, and consequently, I don’t know how to get my team to crank out bigger numbers when they’re all seemingly following their ideal rotations. Maybe the ranged isn’t spread out enough? Maybe we were range-heavy the last time we tried?

10 mans are going well though, and usually cheer me up enough to go back into 25 man with an optimistic outlook. My druid’s team is getting progressively more cohesive (which I’m continually impressed with because before 2 weeks ago we were essentially just a group of strangers), and my priest’s team finally got Valithria down (I’m going to get around to posting suggestions for that fight, even though I kind of feel like we cheated because we brought a 4th healer in and single-tanked the waves of trash).  The priest’s team always feels like a challenge though. It seems like we can’t always get the same 10 people, though we always are playing with close friends and usually 8/10 are consistent.  We’re super close, and we play exceedingly well together, but actually finding a time to meet is like pulling teeth. From a lion. Who may or may not be cranky. And who definitely hasn’t been given any nitrous oxide.

I wonder if I’m the only one who’s not excited for Cataclysm yet. I mean, I’ll be plenty excited when I get to create a Worgen rogue and level through all the new content. And I’ll be plenty excited to revisit my healers and re-figure out how everything pieces together. But I’m not excited YET.  I know it’s a ways away, but I secretly fear I’m never going to see the end of this expansion. That for some reason or another I’ll never get the closure I’m longing for in Arthas’ storyline. Lore is part of the reason this game is so fulfilling for me; to be so involved, and so close to true end-game progression (and lore progression) , it would be really disappointing for me to have to find video of the conclusion of Wrath of the Lich King rather than experience it first hand.

I don’t want to jump ahead to Deathwing and speculating about the new world order before I finish what I’ve started.

I can’t get too pessimistic though. I know deep down that my teams will conquer the Lich King (even if it’s not zomg-rite-nao!). And our 25 man’s have just been getting stronger and stronger. We’ll be able to smush Festergut someday, even if we need to conquer other encounters first.  We’ve had these roadblocks before (Razorscale wipes for 3 weeks? Why, yes I remember that!)

Oh, and the trash after Valithria? That made me happier than a peanut-butter and banana and nutella sandwich.  And that’s a pretty happy sammich.  I would know. I made them for lunch during our Saturday alt raid.

*Addendum: OHMAIGAWD I WANT AN OOZLING FROM THE HOLIDAY BOSSES NAO!!!!! That is all.*

PS. Both my 10 mans got the weekly quest to kill Festergut and Rotface. Both my 10 mans one shotted Rotface (who we attempted first because we figured we’d be more likely to wipe on him) and wiped on Festergut.  The first group had vomit on the melee group because we only had 3 ranged situated around the room and one died because he didn’t get all the spore debuffs he needed (I had offered to stand out so we’d have a backup range, but people said that was unnecessary and dangerous….) . The second group, and this was shitty, wiped around 25% because the second tank’s taunt wasn’t working and Osy blew up the entire raid. I felt horrible for the second tank because it was pretty clear that he was beating himself up over it.  All in all though, I had to laugh, because we never wipe on Festergut.  Talk about performance anxiety.

PSS. I do this sometimes on my guild forums, but I might MIGHT start publishing recipes for foods you find in game. I was motivated by this because my office friend and I have decided the 18th of every month is National Cupcake Day (we found like 5 different sites all claiming a different month, but interestingly the same numerical day, as National cupcake day). So the first recipe will probably be for Tasty Cupcakes. If what I make for Thursday is tasty. Which it might not be. Who knows?

/hugs for listening to my rants

A few days ago, Professor Beej posted a guest post at World of Matticus asking readers which of the healing classes they chose, and why they felt it was the right match for them. The answers were insightful, and got me thinking.

Do I feel like any of my healers suite me better than others?

I couldn’t really answer this question. There are some I feel more comfortable with, sure. But if I were to go with familiarity, well then Edainne in her discipline spec would probably be on par with Nesme. My reaction time feels about the same for both, and I’m still forgetting some spells that I really should try to use more consistently.

“Why I love healing” is a topic for another post another day. Simply stated though, I do. And though I’m not sure if I can ever suffer from “healing burnout,” I think one of the things keeping healing fresh for me is the ability to switch from one healer to another and have a completely different experience. In the end, I’m just using a different spell to keep the green bars verdant, but haven’t we always been told it’s not about the destination but about the journey?

My healers can reflect my mood, my inspirations for playing at any particular point in time. They each bring something unique to the table, and have lessons to teach me.

Edainne

She is indisputably my main, and as far characters go, I’m most comfortable with her. I like keeping her holy spec versatile so that I can fill whatever role is most needed at the time. She has all my really exciting achievements, all my nostalgic mementos. When I created her, I put a lot of my heart into the process. Before I even got the game, I researched names that would be appropriate (hers is a re-spelling of a Celtic goddess of healing), created her back story and a central idea for the character, and decided that if she was going to be a healer, I was going to pick the class that had the most options (this was before Wrath when most of the healing classes had only a few spells while the priest had, like, a bajillion).

When I’m on Edainne, I love that I have the versatility to do, well, anything! I can blow bubbles, I can punch people to heal them, I can even jump around casting holy nova! Sure, she’s hella squishy in PvP, but I like to think that it was just encouragement to react more quickly than they could kill me.

I learned to heal on Eda. She was my springboard, and as a character she still has loads for me to learn and improve on. Right now, learning to play as a discipline priest has got me thinking about healing in a completely different way: prevention is as important, if not more so, than response. I’m learning to expect damage instead of just fixing it after the fact. I feel like it’s a nice correlation to outside the game experiences. And because of being that priest who always takes lightwell and that priest in Burning Crusade who took Circle of Healing rather than spec into Divine Spirit, I’ve learned to be ok with being different, that I can be just as effective and knowledgeable without being the same as everyone else. Funny how a video game could teach a life lesson…

Sairyn

What I love about Sairyn is that I feel like I could heal through any kind of AoE damage if I casted chain heal fast enough. I love that I can make pulls easier just by knowing which totem is the best for the job. Also, chain heal just LOOKS fun. And the idea of healing everyone by linking them together just fits my mentality nicely.

I tried for a long time to force Sairyn into being my damage-dealer. Everyone else was going to be a healer, but Sairyn just HAD to be elemental; I think I truly felt that people would think I was crazy if all I did was heal on each character. Through lack of practice, no doubt, whenever I dps’d on her I felt like she was underperforming. So, I wouldn’t play her as often, which would lead to her gear falling behind, which would lead to even more performance issues. A pretty nasty cycle I had gotten myself into, no?

Just before 3.3 came, I decided it was time to stop pretending that I was some well-rounded, can play anything well sort of player (like Osy is). I’m happiest when I’m tossing chain heals, and that’s ok.  Sairyn encouraged me to be honest with myself, and I appreciate her so much more for it. I no longer toss her to the side to play with other characters first, which also helps me deal with guilt I felt after abandoning her at 70 until Wrath came out.

Fluffikins

Fluffi never fails to make me smile. She was the first character I leveled completely by myself, and I’m really proud of that. When I started playing her, I thought moonkins were the most adorable thing in the game, and I couldn’t help but want one. Around 70, though, I had watched Osy’s druid heal for long enough to know that I wanted a tree too!

After playing a priest for so long, having multiple hot’s and instant casts was something I really had to get used to. Fluffi taught me the value of having patience, and I learned a lot about timing. She gave me a lot of experience in preparing for in-coming damage since I could hot everyone up before a pull even began.

I think I enjoy party healing the most on her. I feel almost as versatile as I do on Edainne; Fluffi has tremendous capacity for healing output, even if her gear isn’t as tricked out as others’. And having tree form lets me focus on healing 100% time; the cost of shifting in and out of tree form is too great to want to dps while bored.

Then, of course, there’s the bouncing. And the fact that everything I heal with looks like a flower. But, oh god, the bouncing!!!!! I feel like I’m a little kid again skipping down the cold, Scourge infested hallways of Ice Crown!

Nesme

Nesme is kind of like the final piece of an abstract jig-saw puzzle: with her, I can finally see the entire picture, though I still might not understand exactly what I’m looking at. She has helped me understand that paladining requires so much more than binding holy light to every key then unceremoniously rolling my head against the keyboard. Which of my spells will save the person with aggro? Which will save the person entombed? How fast does my holy light actually get after I’ve casted it the first time, and how long until my haste buff wears off and I need to judge again?

She makes the game feel new to me again. I know nothing about paladins, really, except that I can spam holy light on a tank like nobody’s business. And that Patchwerk becomes the most funnest fight evar when you’re a holy pally. Hellooooo beacon!

I’m not comfortable playing with her yet (zomgwings!), but that’s what makes her such a breath of fresh air every time I do. I have to work to save people from their own stupidity! And it made me give much more credit to other pallies who I thought had the easiest job in the world.

Maybe I’ll play Eda when I need to have the fast reaction time, or Fluffi when I’m exuberant and just want to bounce. Maybe Sairyn will come out when I’m feeling kind of enchanted by nature, and Nesme when I want a challenge and learning experience. Each of my healer’s has a special place in my heart. And I’m lucky enough to feel that, in some way or another, they’re appropriate for me.

I’m luckier still to have enough friends to let me heal on as many characters as I want. ❤

So, what about you? Does a particular character, healer or not, resonate more with you than others?

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*.