I give you, my amused readers, my (short and sweet) first blog post!
Going to attempt this again…
Just a placeholder for now. I’ll start writing later today (god it’s almost 4a), if I’m not drawing or working on a story I’ve had on hold on my desktop since Friday morning ><
I wrote that on March 13, 2011!
So yes, it was incredibly short and random, but I’ve actually kept up with posting on a somewhat regular basis!
So today’s topic is a fun one! Ten things I managed to leave out of my “About Me” post. Which, honestly, doesn’t surprise me in the least that I forgot stuff. So, be prepared for some fun with the list below!
The header is a snapshot from my office back in my AOL days. I had a habit of alt-tabbing while working and browsing some forums, which you’ll learn more about shortly!
1. High School nerd points:
- I was Editor-in-Chief of my High School newspaper.
- I was one of 2 joint Presidents in our after-school AV club, handling the video production side of things.
- I did theatre–stage management, lighting, sound, set construction for two major school productions (Grease and Annie). Our shows were sold-out for the 3 nights we performed!
2. My degree is in Network Security and I minored in Business Management.
- I changed majors three times in 1 year!
- I started in Marketing before swapping to Computer Science and then changing (AGAIN) to Network Security.
I’m a reformed car freak–in the header screenshot, I’m on a car forum! Prior to getting heavily into WoW (and deciding I only needed to be supporting ONE expensive hobby), I was known to race cars on the weekends (and sometimes weeknights, but *cough*illegally*cough*). I had a Mustang in High School that I took with me to college, and I acquired a 2002 Trans Am WS6 in 2003. I sold the car in 2007 with 12K miles on the odometer. I’ve turned wrenches, installed headers and audio systems, and spent all day detailing cars! I now drive a Yukon, so it’s not incredibly sporty, but maybe one day we’ll pick up another sports car in the form of an M3 or something.
4. Computer Games
So when I wasn’t out until all hours running the roads with my car buddies in college, I was sitting up in all-night Diablo 2 sessions. I can sadly say that I almost flunked out of college due to my gaming habits. We were even so hardcore, that we did multi-way calling while we played so we could communicate without typing (hello derpy Ventrilo)! My roommates in college must have hated me fiercely for it. Though it helped me earn HUGE brownie points with my guy friends.
5. PC Repair
For spare cash, I did PC repair in college. In my dorm room. I asked to be paid in booze, food, or money, if they actually had it. It was not unusual to see computer parts strewn across our dining table when I was working on someone’s machine. I also used to get calls from my sorority sisters in the middle of the night when they’d hose their Windows file structure.
6. Sorority Life
With all my geekiness, I was in a sorority in college: Zeta Tau Alpha. I was carrying on the family tradition of being a member of a Greek society. Most people don’t expect this when they consider my degree and my outside interests!
When I was younger, I wanted to be an archaeologist focusing on Egyptology. I used to spend every waking moment reading about Egyptian history because I was so into all aspects of the culture. Once I realized that I didn’t like playing in dirt, and that I’d make no money, I changed up my profession plans! Instead, I married an Archaeologist who played in the dirt for a couple years before deciding there was no money in the field and switched to network engineering. At least Mal has as much interest in Egyptian history as I do, so we’ve got some neat things sprinkled throughout the house that came as gifts from family and friends abroad.
I love Disney animated movies! My favorites are Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King. On nights when Mal has to work late for a maintenance, I’ll stick one in the BluRay and veg out. I’ve even gone to New York to see The Lion King on Broadway (wonderful show!) and grab tickets to it since it has started to travel. I think that B&tB, Aladdin, and TLK were part of a Disney renaissance and am very glad that I was able to enjoy them when I was younger, and still be able to enjoy them as an adult! We had a shadow priest in BC that would sing Disney songs (he had young kids) randomly during our raids, and we’d all join in. Disney movies are usually something that transcend age, which makes them pretty cool in my book!
9. Identify “Theft”
I impersonated the Assistant Dean of my school to get an A+ in my Information Warfare class. Yep, I totally took a class about Information Warfare and it was taught by the Assistant Dean of the Information Technology & Engineering School at my college. Our final project was to participate in an Information War, utilizing all the things we had learned in the class about social engineering, data manipulation, etc. We were able to align ourselves to one of eight “groups” that were in the war, and we had to figure out who our allies and enemies and capture it in our final presentation. The small team that I was on was the “hacking” team, and we decided to go all out with our end project. It didn’t dawn on us that we might get expelled for what we did until we went to present! We went through historical email traffic from our professor, gathered information about the other teams, and basically spoofed communications from our professor in her writing style to the rest of the teams, providing bonus tidbits of information on how the war was “evolving.” We honestly didn’t expect anyone to bite on our emails, and we were completely shocked when the presentations were done and people were including our additions into their presentations and talking about HOW IT SWAYED their decisions with who to ally with! The realization that people actually bought what we fed them (all 7 of the other teams!) and the look on our professor’s face which basically could be described as “WTF is going on here?” made our presentation quite stressful. We basically opened up with the picture on the right and asked the members of our class if they had learned anything in the semester. We got a bunch of crazy looks before we asked them to point to the person who sent them ongoing communications about the war. Everyone pointed at our professor, who was growing more and more confused. We then asked our fellow students how they knew the emails came from our professor. Slowly, all the arms lowered and a look of realization settled across all the other members of the class. We proceeded to continue through our presentation and explain how we had no allies, but how we used everything we had learned in the class to lead all the other members of the war astray. When we were done, we were all sweating bullets, wondering if we were even going to graduate after what we had done. Our professor, the Assistant Dean, sat back in her chair and smiled before asking the class “so, who won the war?” Slowly, everyone looked at us and nodded. We closed down our presentation with the simple understanding that you can never believe everything you read and to never be afraid to question the facts, no matter how reliable they seem to be. Two weeks after that presentation, I walked across the stage and accepted my Bachelor of Science from the same Assistant Dean I had impersonated!
I used to not like WoW. For reals! Mal started playing right after release (when he could finally get his hands on a copy of the game–remember when they stopped selling copies of WoW because the realms were overloaded?), and I basically made fun of the game. Mal tried tirelessly to get me into the game while we were dating, and I would have nothing to do with it! What caught my eye in WoW was the Mini Diablo pet you got with the Collector’s Edition. As a die-hard Diablo fan, it was a must have in my book. What finally sealed the deal for me was the South Park WoW episode. I’m not sure why, but it got me interested in the game. Amusingly enough, I still have that episode on my ancient and decrepit Tivo that I just turned off and relegated to the storage space. That episode made me think that this game just MIGHT be fun–and probably MORE FUN if Mal would give me the Collector’s Edition account so I could have that REALLY cute Mini Diablo. So I guess I should give South Park credit for getting me into WoW and blessing (or is it cursing) you all with my presence!
So today’s post is probably going to be pretty brief seeing how it’s after 1a, I haven’t slept well lately, and I totally have our CEO coming into my office in less than 6 hours. Yes, this will be short, and I will be living by java to get through the rest of the day.
So, without any more rambling on my part, WHY is my blog named Guarded by the Light? Originally, I had no name for my blog–it was just a dumping ground of my random thoughts with some hope that I could corral whatever I had to say into one spot and make it not be too crazy so that people might want to read it. Or something. Trust me, you’ll discover I post very random things and that I have a very casual writing style, so you’ll either love what I write, or flee from my apparent lack of skills for writing.
So, back to the blog name. Guarded by the Light is a talent in the Protection Paladin tree, in the 5th tier. The spell is as follows: Increases your Word of Glory by 5/10% when used to heal yourself. In addition, any overhealing will create a protective shield equal to the amount of overhealing that lasts for 6 seconds.
I could also say that all the other good talents I like and use regularly were already in use by other bloggers as their blog names! Since I love my Paladin(s) so much, I wanted to stick with a skill that belonged to them, and thus, Guarded by the Light was born.
My apologies for this being short and sweet, but I’ve been absolutely ADD with 4.2 hitting today, relocating Raz off of Area 52, and trying to tie up some loose ends with work.
For real? Was having great fun with discussions this morning and I apparently hit a Twitter cap? I didn’t even REALIZE something like this existed. So I dug around and found this little gem of info:
WTH? I would have loved for them to have told me that earlier O.o Who knew that discussing impending patch changes and misc. tomfoolery would have gotten me locked out of Twitter for an unknown span of time.
So here I sit, favoriting all the things I want to retweet or respond to. And can’t -.-
I can’t even Tweet about this blog post! So hopefully those who have put me into a Blogroll or a Reader will see it =\ Anyhoo, I guess I’ll just /facepalm on this one, and get started on the other blog posts I need to get written up today!
After I find something to eat…and oh yea, a meeting /sadpanda
Today’s post is an interesting tour of the space I play WoW in! Now, go ahead and laugh because I fit the typical WoW stereotype; I play WoW in my basement (my old office was upstairs and it got too warm in the summer), and since it’s so disconnected from the rest of my living quarters, I told Mal we could make it a WoW haven for all I cared. And so the basement has become the home of WoW figures, BlizzCon posters (5 years worth!), sharp objects, and my home office. Oh yes, the nerd is strong here.
The header are the three cinematics posters I’ve been able to acquire and haul back on plane trips from previous BlizzCons. They are actually hung on the wall straight–it’s been a running joke all my life that I can’t take level pictures or hang level art. My roommates in college loved me for that…every poster leaned in our apartment… At this time, Blizzard has not released a Cataclysm cinematic poster, so that’s why only Vanilla, BC, and Wrath are represented.
Above my bar hangs what my friends have referred to as the “big ass bottle opener.” Mal likes to collect pointy objects (if we ever had a burglar, the guy wouldn’t last long!), so it seemed only fitting that he got Frostmourne to add to his collection. The sword is huge and it requires me to wield it as a 2-hander *sits and thinks about what she just typed and /facepalms because someone is gonna make it sexual in nature!*!
It was a very cool piece to pick up, and I’m glad we got it (I said yes, Mal sorta bugged out on it slightly before agreeing to it).
The bookshelf is sorta dumping ground for WoW figurines, my stuffed murloc collection, a My Little Pony that my mom gave me when I was at AOL (don’t ask, I’m not quite sure either), and our WoW Collector’s Editions (at LEAST one from every expansion).
There’s also some (but not all) of the WoW TCG cards that I mentioned in the previous post. And if anyone wants any of those cards…let me know…
Let me tell you, that bookcase is a PITA to keep dusted…I usually do it right before my mom comes to visit. The last time she came over, she wrote her name in the dust as a reminder to me to dust -.-
Off to the side of the picture is an inflatable Frostmourne from a past BlizzCon. The bubble-hearthing Dwarf Paladin is sitting on top of a lamp that I don’t use over there as well.
The final pic is where I actually play WoW from! *gasp* I promised shitty pictures, and I delivered! BlizzCon posters for 2008-2010 hang above our PCs (2006 and 2007 hang as you come down the stairs), and then you get a glimpse of my home office (IP Phone and MBP are my home office). My area is on the left (Mal’s PC is on the right), and while it’s hard to tell, I play on a 30″ monitor (great for Photoshop and video editing too), so most of my screenshots within WoW are HUGE. My PC sits on the floor, an Alienware Aurora that’s a little over a year old and is still performing beautifully. Though I may want one of those video cards that Antigen linked yesterday (it was teh sex). I’m totally rocking a BlizzCon mouse pad, and a Darkmoon Faire 2009 TCG play mat rests under my MBP (It’s got Illidan on it!). Illi sort of acts as a protective barrier between the cherry desk and my drinks when I play.
In all, not that exciting of a space, but it’s where I’m found usually 12+ hours a day, so it works!
Tomorrow’s topic is on the name of my Blog, so hopefully that will be a little more intelligent than this entertaining post!
Today’s much delayed blog topic is on my favorite items in WoW. In all honesty, the list could be fairly long, so I pondered long and hard (that’s my lame excuse for taking so long to write and publish this) while I tried to narrow it down to a couple of things.
So without further adieu, I present SOME of my favorite items in WoW!
WoW Trading Card Items
I have to admit that I am a HUGE junkie of the Trading Card Game loot. It started back in the Burning Crusade when the Reins of the Swift Spectral Tiger appeared as a loot card for the TCG. I have always loved the cat mounts that the Night Elves got for their ground mounts, and was saddened by the lack of cats on the Horde side. When the Fires of Outland Booster packs were released and pictures of the mount were published, I decided that I didn’t care how much the mount cost, I wanted it. I watched eBay for a period of time and grabbed two cards when they got “fairly” cheap (fairly being the operative word here); one for Mal, and one for me. Hands down, this is my favorite mount from the WoW TCG, but I am very sad that it’s still only available for 1 character :(
Other trading card loot that I have acquired includes the Big Battle Bear, (which Mal got really lucky and got in the first booster pack he opened), the Hippogryph Hatchling, the Picnic Basket, the Fishing Chair, along with multiples of the Path of Illidan, Path of Cenarius, Party G.R.E.N.A.D.E, and Sandbox Tiger. I’ve given the Epic Purple Shirt to Mal, along with the Foam Sword Rack. A friend went to a convention and came back with the Instant Statue Pedestal for me too!
Sometimes we get lucky and acquire the cards through the boosters we buy, other times I go to some specific card dealers to pick up ones I want.
The header picture was actually a combination of people and loot cards–I needed to do the Crucible on my hunter and once our little 5-man group got done, we had a TCG party in the middle of the arena. Mal pulled out the sword rack and someone else popped a D.I.S.C.O. and and their Picnic Basket. We probably goofed off for about 30 minutes! That’s one of the great things about the TCG stuff–it’s a fun way to relax or get to know other players. The sword rack was always great at the Horde bank in Dalaran–we’d have battles that would go on with half the realm until the rack finally despawned!
So, if anyone wants any TCG game cards, let me know. I have about 3K cards and I have no f’n clue how to play the damn game.
Vial of the Sands
Another one of my favorite items is a mount, the Vial of the Sands. My luck was going well with Archaeology–I had gotten to the point where I could start digging in the Cataclysm zones (and hope that I don’t die because I had been leveling via Archaeology ONLY), and Uldum popped up. After my first dig, I had gotten a Canopic Jar as the first thing to assemble! I ended up not having time to work on it again until my birthday (which I decided to sit and do nothing but play WoW on), but when I had gathered all the pieces and assembled it, Mal looked at me expectantly while he wanted for me to open the jar. I joked and said “wouldn’t it be great if the pattern were in this first jar?” as I opened it. And low and behold, there was the pattern to the Vial of the Sands! Mal bugged out over the chance of that happening, especially after reading the comments on WoWHead! We proceeded to start burning transmutes to get the Truegold made, and I funneled money over to Mal’s Goblin Mage for the discount (which is no longer available in game) on the remaining mats. About 5 days after getting the pattern, I had a Sandstone Drake of my very own!
My last two favorite items in game have been featured on this blog before, the Reins of the Drake of the North Wind, and the Reins of the Raven Lord. I was able to pick up the Drake of the North Wind in an LFD PuG at level 84 in the Vortex Pinnacle. With a 0.8% drop rate, you can say that I was VERY surprised when it dropped, and then even MORE surprised when I won the roll. This would be the second time I’ve won a mount drop in LFD. In Wrath, the Reins of the Blue Proto-Drake dropped for my original Paladin, Valkyrii, during an LFD random that dumped me into UP. Since then, it’s only dropped one other time, for my priest, Gabby, but I gave the mount to Mal’s DK.
Aside from Mal yelling at me for slacking on getting this post up, he was surprised that my favorite items in WoW tied back to my mount collection. In his words, I’m not a mount collector, so why would those be my favorite items. I guess it boils down to the fact that I’m a woman and I love pretty things. The mounts in WoW are usually quite pretty, and I’m dorky enough to want them based on looks. I could have gone into outfits, but I don’t need to show you all that my favorite get-ups are usually WoW hooker material, so we’ll just ignore my little clothing collections and stick with mounts.
Tomorrow’s blog post will be about my WoW workplace, so be prepared for high levels of nerditry when you realize that my entire basement is a WoW haven (I’ll even include a picture of Frostmourne hanging over one of my bars).
I’ll also be blogging later today per a recommendation from Snack about my past week of WoW frustrations and the resolution of the issues, along with capturing what I consider the essence of a perfect WoW guild.
Today’s topic, “Your Best WoW Memory,” was honestly an easy topic for me to write about. To this day, there is still a small collection of memories that I define as the “best.”
These memories date back to the Burning Crusade expansion, and one group in particular. When I started playing WoW, I knew nothing about this “raiding” thing, or even much about guilds. I never expected that I would be raiding 6 nights a week and leading a fairly successful raiding guild!
Malevolence was, without question, the best experience I’ve had in a guild in my WoW career. The guild was the best representation of my blood, sweat, and tears in a virtual world. When I wasn’t working, I was recruiting, managing the guild website, approving raid rosters, updating and posting DKP, mentoring and being mentored. I was hosting weekly officer meetings, dealing with conflicting personalities, the whole 9 yards. I lived and breathed for my guild, and I’d like to think that I learned from my experiences as a Guild Master that I have been able to apply to both real life and new WoW situations.
The header screenshot is probably one of the best representations of WoW for me. Malevolence had been plowing through Serpentshrine Cavern at a fairly decent rate (we did progression raiding 4 nights a week for 3 hours a night), and we had been running SSC and Tempest Keep regularly for a month or so. We got to Lady Vashj after a long night of raiding and stopped in to say hi. We could continue to stop in on a nightly basis while we determined the best strat for taking her on with our guild make-up. We tested new theories, new positions, and new add kiters nightly until Phase 2 was going smoothly and we were regularly seeing Phase 3.
Well, for a while, regularly seeing Phase 3 looked like this…a LOT of Sporebats. And at some point, we pushed through the Sporebats and Vashj became our loot pinata. Sorta. As much as an RNG fight can become a loot pinata. To this day, Vashj is probably still a challenge for any group trying to get the SSC achievement. I still have nightmares about the “YOU HAVE THE CORE!” macros and the wrong person looting a core or someone tossing it to a healer and freezing them in place right in front of the strider being kited. Oh man, in some ways, I don’t miss that fight in the least!
The downing of Lady Vashj was a highlight of my WoW career simply because of the energy that the entire guild put towards successfully completing that fight. Everyone was supportive of each other. No one played for themselves–they played for the team.
While I’d love to state that Kael’thas Sunstrider was the continuation of the teamwork our guild put forth, it was not to be. Malevolence was affected by one of the two Guild Killers, Kael (the other being Vashj), and we were never able to down him as a guild group. The frustrations of Phase 3 became to much and the guild imploded soon thereafter.
It was saddening to watch a guild that had climbed it’s way to 16th in server progression in a steady period of time fade into obscurity. We were once a place that people wanted to progress with, we were known as a force on the realm, and then just as quickly as we rose, we fell.
The atmosphere that Malevolence had is what I still cling to finding in WoW again. A family of practical jokers, sometimes vulgar, but always there for each other. A guild that wanted to succeed, to find the best players, and promote teamwork for progression and drunken antics on the weekends.
Conc Blow! *hic*
Trust me, there was no fun like Drunk Karazhan fun. Drunk Kara was how the officers and I let off steam on Friday nights. Everyone would order in, load up on alcohol, and we would park ourselves in Vent until we passed out or beat Kara. We were at the point where no one needed the loot (minus me needing Legacy and our Warlock and I needing the glove token from Curator), so we plowed through the instance with relative ease. Well, as much relative ease as you could with two totally plastered Holy Paladins, a completely drunk MT Prot Warrior, and a Hunter (or 2) who probably couldn’t handle Eyes of the Beast on our way to Opera. We changed up the kill order for bosses based on the sobriety of our MT. There were points where we couldn’t handle beams on Netherspite, and Nightbane was instant death.
I suspect that the guild members online found more amusement in the raid than we did. It was not unusual to have 20 people sitting in Vent with us listening to slurred words and sexual innuendo. Heck, guildies who weren’t in the raid would start doing shots with us as the night progressed. The healers did shots every time someone died, and our tank would wander off at various points to smoke a cigarette or find more beer. Amazingly enough, even in our inebriated states, we could clear Kara in about 3 hours. Even more amazing was we never got reported to Blizzard about how inappropriate we were as a guild 99.9% of the time. Guild chat on Friday nights was definitely NC-17, and Vent chat was beyond that. The bonus of having people with thick skin and sick senses of humor was great.
The Need to PvP in Order to PvE
My final memory is tied back to the fact that all our fun took place on a PvP realm. This meant that summoning stones were the bane of everyone’s existence (this was during the time when people couldn’t get summoned into TK). We would have to “pre-raid” the summoning stones in order to control it to bring people in for the raid.
Early on in our WoW PvE careers, and long before Dual Spec, our MT had to do dailies as Prot, which was about as exciting as watching paint dry, in order to pay for his repairs each raid night. He was out in Ogri’la plowing through his dailies (as fast as Prot could kill something back then, which wasn’t fast), when he happened upon one of the best Alliance PvP guilds on the realm. And doing what was expected of them, the Alliance guild treated red as dead, and promptly killed him. Over and over and over again. To the point that he couldn’t finish his dailies, and then couldn’t afford to pay his repair bills for the night.
By this point, he was frothing at the mouth in Vent and demanded that our raiding warlocks, who also had a massive affinity for PvP, come out and save him. The guild decided to show up as a whole and defend our tank against the gankers, and in the process, started one of the most epic battles for Ogri’la that I have ever seen. We had at least two full raid groups of 40 players and people in the zone were whispering to get invites. The grounds around Ogri’la became the battlefield, which each faction summoning in more players with portals on the back lines. The battle raged on for a good hour, the end result being a slaughter of all the NPCs within Ogri’la and our eventual success in controlling Ogri’la for the evening. Our MT was able to finish his dailies and at some point we all stumbled to our raid for the night, joking and laughing about how we decimated one of the best PvP guilds on the realm in World PvP.
Our success would later haunt us, as the guild we defeated took great pleasure in camping us at TK and later at the Caverns of Time as we were working our way through Hyjal. But the fact that we had faced them and stood our ground in our raid gear made for a tale of the ages.
The Burning Crusade truly introduced me to WoW at all it’s levels. I raided, I played a GM IRL, I checked out Arenas (very poorly), and I got to make some great friends in the process.
Through two expansions, I’ve been unable to create memories that can stand the test of time the way my memories of Malevolence have. I do hope that one day, I’ll be able to either find people with the same level of dedication and fun to flesh out my current guild, or a home in another guild with that level of fun interaction. I’ve been trying to find that sweet spot since the guild collapsed in BC, but I’ve lacked success. Here’s hoping!