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Archive for November, 2011

I’m Still Here…

November 23, 2011 2 comments

Let's Hear it for Our Shaman - First Heroic Alys Kill (Pic by Rhidach)

Another one of those short and pointless blog posts that I seem to have an overwhelming tendency to make now.

I’m still alive, and still killing stuff in WoW (when it’s not killing me as the header pic shows)! I’ve added Heroic Domo and Heroic Alys to my collection of kills, basically relearned how to heal as Holy (it’s a completely different play style in 25s) and have discovered that I basically can’t heal 10s or 5s in my current gearing style. You’ll get some great shields, but with basically no haste? You’re screwed >.> So I guess I’ll continue tanking 5s when I get bored and need to cap VP.

Real life has sorta crit me hard–work has been absolutely hellacious and I’ve been prone to frustrated outbursts and panic attacks (as Twitter has been witness to) depending on what’s tossed at me. I’m in desperate need of this Thanksgiving break so I can unwind, get some WoW time in, and just do no work.

Things to come (this should look familiar):

  • Discussion about Paladins and Mastery healing in 25s
  • Heroic Alysrazor  strat
  • Heroic Domo strat
  • Heroic Shannox strat
  • Gear review for 4.3 (Prot and Holy)

And I’m sure I’ll think of more stuff. But anyways, I do still exist and I’m still really active on Twitter, so if you need something, or have a topic idea, hit me up there!

–Miri

Honesty and Integrity in an Electronic Age: Source Citing

November 13, 2011 6 comments

Honesty and integrity–two things that go hand in hand in almost any industry. From Wikipedia’s analysis of Honesty:

Honesty refers to a facet of moral character and denotes positive, virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, and straightforwardness along with the absence of lying, cheating, or theft.

It is no misunderstanding that the WoW Twitter community is a tight knit group of creative energy; the home of bloggers, artists, fanatics, casuals, veterans, and new players. Like any community, they band together in times of crisis, working together to overcome challenges presented to them. They are strong, stubborn, passionate, and driven in their endeavors–they aren’t afraid to stand for what they believe in and make their voices heard.

Recently, one of our own has come under fire–not by her own doing, but by acts perpetrated against her. Liala, the creative force behind Disciplinary Action, has always been a face in the WoW community; her comics and art have been featured across the web and she is known for her humor and passion for the game we all know and love. The discovery that her art was being passed off by someone else, as their own, as they pandered for commissions, was a complete insult to the generosity that Liala has bestowed upon the WoW community. She has created an entire Stained Class art series, in addition to capturing the WoW classes as Twitter icons, only requesting at the bottom of their respective pages to feel free to use these pieces for any non-profit, credited use. A simple request in anyone’s eyes when you consider the time and effort she exerted on their development.

But her simple request could not be abided by. MissPandora (@PandoraTGN) posted several videos on YouTube, each featuring artwork from individuals in the WoW community, and not crediting the creators for their efforts. Instead, she attempts to explain her “vision” from the pieces, in an attempt to pass the artwork off as her own. Five videos were posted and can be found at the following links:

Editor’s Note: As I wrote this, every video was made private in quick succession. The only copy still available was the annotated copy appearing in the header, created by Rades pointing out the fallacies in Pandora’s enterprising adventure.

True to my nature, I jumped in head first to this interesting debacle that was unfolding across the WoW community, getting awareness raised by the WoW Twitter community, and even garnering support from WoW bloggers such as WoW Insider staff. As I watched my feed fly by on Friday (and again heat up today), I wondered if there was an educational avenue that could be pursued as the dust settled.

As a student, source citing was always a fine line that you walked between your own thoughts and creations, and the copying of another’s. There were rules in place  and guides to follow (for a period of time I had MLA memorized) should you ever need to address that gray area of source citing.

As a writer, I always was very careful to make sure my ideas were conveyed as my own, and if I was unsure, I was always quick to cite a source to cover my backside.

As an editor, I told my writers they had better have the best source book of quotes on the planet. To protect themselves, the publication they were writing for, and for me. I can protect myself by following the standards of the industry; is was my responsibility as an editor to make sure those rules were followed.

So how do you make sure to not fall into this questionable gray area of source citing? Let’s take a moment and address the common blog!

  • Do you have art sprinkled through your posts? Is it your own? If it’s not, have you checked with the artist for permission to use their work? This can be addressed on a Deviant Art page (artists are known to explain their stance on the use of their artwork on their landing page or on specific pieces), a DM to the artist on Twitter (if you are mutual follower), or even an IM or email if you have that communication ability. Have you identified the artist in the caption or in the text of your post?

Much of the art used in my posts has been generated by me, or by friends. Before I share anything on Twitter, or even use it in a blog post, I explicitly ask the creator for their approval for me to share their art. Much of the art that I have used were gifts to me–some of the art may be featured by the artist on their own personal blogs, and in some cases, they will never share it beyond gifting it to me. Asking for permission is a sign of respect to the creator, and it’s just the polite thing to do!

  • Have you perpetuated an idea that was developed by another blogger?

To me this is just my standard writing style–if I was to begin writing letters in the mindset of an NPC, I would credit Rades with this creative endeavor, as he is the well-known creator of Letters of a Shattered World. Are you participating in a “____ Circle” answering questions about your playstyle? Are you participating in a blogging challenge such as Spellbound’s 20 Days of WoW Blogging? All of these were created by someone who wasn’t yourself. Take a moment to link back to their blog and highlight their efforts for driving engagement within the community.

Understand that it’s better to over-cite than under-cite your sources in the current age. While I was composing this post, I discovered this little post from Daily Blog Tips called Put Honesty and Integrity Above Everything Else. Don’t sell your reputation short. As Pandora has learned, the community is quick to question one’s reputation who are passing others work off as their own.

Don’t make the same mistake Pandora has. This is an opportunity for the community to check themselves and educate others so the same mistake (or gross negligence) doesn’t occur again.

Editor’s Note: Since Pandora has remained silent on the matter, I offer up this blog as a chance to let her speak her piece and to give herself a voice to the criticism that has been laid in front of her. I moderate my comments, but if you would like to defend yourself on a public platform, I will provide the vehicle. As an editor and a professional, it is always fair to hear both sides of the story. –Miri

AU Your WoW Character – Raz

November 8, 2011 1 comment

This will make sense shortly...

So, I guess I should take a swing at my own meme, yes?

Let me start this off with a preface: there is actually a good amount of character development that has been done on Raz–it’s known to a small subset of people who I talk to outside of WoW (AIM/email/etc.). That being said, they will understand a lot of the information I’m posting below and the logic behind why the answers are what they are. For those who aren’t “in the know,” I’m going to try to add in some additional explanation so stuff won’t seem totally out of left field. I’ve kept the RP stuff off my blog so far, but I may include some of my character notes and whatnot on a separate page here on the blog–not sure yet. The people who “need to know” well…know! And if they don’t know, they inquire and I do the requisite development and send it over. Not sure if I want to bare that much of myself to the greater world yet though :)

So here we go!

General Character Factoids
  • Character Name: Raziel, usually shortened to Raz in some company.
  • Age: In current world, Raz is in his early 30s–it’s difficult to translate his WoW age (which I’ve set at around 75–he’s not a child according to Blood Elf life span, but he is fairly young as an adult) into a human age without him coming out to be like…18.
  • Sexuality: Yes!
  • Hobbies: International travel, car racing (think F1/GT/etc.), technology (the running joke is that he’d be playing Angry Birds on his iPhone when he’s not drumming on his desk with a pencil or ignoring someone)
  • Financials: This is going to take some back story…in WoW, Raz’s family background left him fairly well off–they were financially sound, if not very wealthy residents of Silvermoon. With the destruction of the Sunwell, the money obviously moved into his possession. He lives well, but doesn’t flaunt his financial status. He was pushed into the Blood Knights by his parents, who wanted him to do something with his life instead of living a fairly indulgent lifestyle. If he could “avoid” working, he would, but I suspect he does it more to stay on the go than for anything else. In the AU setup, he’s most likely a successful self-made millionaire–a combination of old and new money.
Employment
  • Work Background: Originally I tried to tie Raz back into his WoW professions (jewelcrafting & enchanting), but it just didn’t work. I couldn’t see him being a jeweler–he likes sparkly things, but probably not making them himself. I pondered what Raz would do then–I figured he would be fairly technically proficient but probably wouldn’t have the patience for something like programming–he can’t really stay still, so sitting for an extended period of time would probably make him incredibly antsy. I figure he’s in sales in a start-up, most likely his own. A start-up works well with his personality, something he can expend a lot of energy on for a short time frame, and then move on to something else without having to settle. He can work as much and as long as he wants, and then pack up and go on vacation for a month or whatever he likes to do.
Home Life
  • Living Location: I ended up figuring that Raz lived some place like New York City. A city that never sleeps, has an incredible selection of bars, restaurants, and nightlife.
  • Living Arrangement: Raz definitely lives alone–home is simply a place where he can watch tv, check his email, and catch up on sleep.
  • Talk about their house:  Raz has probably a very streamlined penthouse apartment. I see it being relatively simplistic and minimal. There probably won’t be much to reveal his personality–it will be presentable (I’m sure he has a maid) but almost, cold. Home would not be a place he’d stay often. Something I found while surfing the web that I think captures his tastes.
  • Decorating Style: Minimalist and modern. There will be a distinct lack of clutter!
Fun Stuff
  • Fashion: According to my husband, Raz is very focused about how he appears to others–he’ll be concerned with fashion to make sure he looks good. I suspect he’d probably be a big shopper of Calvin Klein, Armani, and Kenneth Cole. He’ll be big on the accessorizing, probably wearing a very expensive watch, shoes that most people would only fantasize about purchasing, etc. Cool metals, probably a lot of grays,  blacks, and dark blues. I suspect he’ll be most comfortable in a pair of fitted dark wash jeans (to show off his butt), an untucked button down shirt (probably striped or patterned), and a jacket of some form. His hair will still be a mess and he’s definitely a boxer boy.
  • Music: I suspect that Raz’s music tastes will align to mine. Probably a lot of techno/trance/dance with some current hits mixed in. He’s probably always got music on (yay for earbuds while walking in the city) and definitely likes fast paced beats to drive to.
  • Favorite Food: I gotta go with sushi. Simple and basic, but a lot of unusual flavors and textures. As always, there is more than what meets the eye :)
  • Favorite Drink: I suspect Raz is an “on the rocks” sort of guy. Probably whisky, gin, and scotch.
  • Transportation: BMW M6 coupe in Space Gray Metallic with black interior. It’s probably an automatic with manual shift capability should he get antsy and want to get out of the city.
  • What’s one thing that your character would take with them from Azeroth: Quel’Delar, just for it’s meaning to his people. It’s probably hanging on the wall in his Living Room.


The Ultimate Nerdery – AU Your WoW Character

November 7, 2011 6 comments

I was trying to amuse myself on a slow work day, so Dee and I got into some weird discussion about Alternate Universe (AU) and our WoW characters. Who would they be in current society? What would their habits and interests be? It was sorta fun to flesh out Raz from a modern day fantasy perspective. I polled Mal about it over dinner (we were drinking, sometimes discussions get weird) and jotted down the questions that were asked/answered.

I thought in some strange corner of my mind that this would be fun to do across the blogosphere and am curious to learn more about other people’s thoughts on their WoW characters in today’s times!

General Character Factoids
  • Character Name
  • Age (you can stay true to RP age or convert it into a more “human” number)
  • Sexuality (optional)
  • Hobbies
  • Financials
Employment
  • Work Background
    • Does your character work?
      • If so, what do they do?
      • Does it tie back to their in-game professions?
    • Do they own their company, are they in management, or are they a peon (zug zug)?
    • Do they work 9-5 or is their schedule flexible based on what they do (maybe a mercenary?)
Home Life
  • Where does your character reside?
  • Do they live with others or alone?
    • If they live with others, are they roommates, spouses/significant others?
  • Talk about their house
    • If they are single, is it the ultimate bachelor pad?
    • Is it cluttered with all the things that fill your bags and bank (lucky rocks, archaeology finds, etc)?
  • What’s their decorating style?
    • Modern/Traditional/etc.
Fun Stuff
  • Fashion – what’s their style?
    • For the guys: Boxers or Briefs (or commando!)?
    • For the girls: Well, the girl side of this question. (Typing th— on my blog actually weirds me out for some reason)
  • Music
    • What sort of music defines them? This could be the music you listen to when you PvP or raid. It could be a song that you think highlights your character.
  • What’s their favorite food?
  • What’s their favorite drink?
  • Transportation – would your character drive or use public transport (or have a driver)?
  • What’s one thing that your character would take with them from Azeroth to the current times?

I’ll be posting my info shortly–I just wanted to get this out there (it was too funny to ignore) and see what other people came up with!

Enjoy my Monday derp post!

–M

Recipe – Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole

November 3, 2011 1 comment

This is a recipe that my mom got at some point down the line and something that she made when I was growing up. It’s best served with a cut of beef–we always had it with flank steak or (last night’s pairing) filet mignon with a glass of red wine.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Shortening (you can use butter or olive oil, I stick to tradition though!)
  • 1 cup Minute Rice, uncooked (this may need tweaking, I thought it could have used more rice last night, but probably no more than 1 1/4 cups)
  • 10 ounces Chopped Broccoli, frozen
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1 jar (8 ounces) Cheese Whiz

Process

  1. Saute the onion and celery in the shortening.
  2. Cook rice per box directions (it should be a 1:1 of water to rice).
  3. Steam broccoli.
  4. Mix everything together (I just folded all the ingredients together in the skillet I sauteed in and tossed it in the oven–make sure your skillet is oven safe!).
  5. Bake at 375 20-30 minutes or until bubbly around the edges.

From the Kitchen of Linda Blake

Categories: Recipe

A Change of Scenery…

November 3, 2011 1 comment

I never thought this SS would be spot on in the future..

As some of you know, I’ve been an East Coast resident keeping up with the a West Coast raiding team. I’ve been raiding 10p-1a my time for the past 4 months, which was working out at the very beginning…and then one of my coworkers retired and I was “gifted” his accounts. While not the most awful thing, my engagement level with my clients stepped up, and I was going from a raid night to a very restless (and short, usually about 4 hours) sleep to a caffeine fueled work day. It was a running amusement on Twitter watching me struggle to make it through Thursdays; 2 cups of coffee as I left the house, a venti from Starbucks to get into my office, and then 1-2 Red Bulls and then a Coke on my way home. I was meeting clients looking (and feeling) like a zombie, and I just couldn’t keep it up any longer. I already work long days, but taxing my much needed sleep was becoming too much–days filled with headaches, me getting snappy in vent as exhaustion kicked in and I still had 2 hours left of tanking to go.

I spent a good chunk of BlizzCon catching up on sleep. 12-14 hours of sleep and I began to feel rested, with the dawning realization that I’m unable to handle random sleep patterns while remaining employed and never knowing what each day will bring me. It was a difficult decision, because I liked the people I was guilded with, but Mal and I were the early players because of the time difference. Things got  started late, and finished even later for us. We agreed that even though our work schedules are going to remain long and demanding, we still wanted to continue raiding, but on a better schedule for us.

And so here we are. A new realm, a new guild, a new raid team, a new raid size. A new role.

My focus on tanking will be shifting in the VERY near future, as I am picking up my off-spec for full time play. My focus on tanking, and a primary generator of traffic to this blog will be diminished, but I’ll still be doing it in 5-mans and as needed for raids. I will instead be resuming a role I performed in Wrath, stepping back from the action and into the healing mindset. This may change what I post, as healing posts aren’t incredibly exciting–so I will probably stick with more generalized strat discussion for Firelands Heroics and Dragon Soul as we progress through the content.

So thanks for sticking with me through the changes, and I hope you continue to find lots of amusement (and possibly education) here in the future!

–Miri

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