Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Yes, I Can DE

I know there was a post about this on wowinsider a week or so back, but I think it's a valid point. Luthvian is an enchanter, and a miner. To get ore from mining, I go to a node and tap it, no fuss. I can do that anywhere.

To get mats as an enchanter (especially since I still need more levels to get capped) I need to disenchant some high end items (blues and greens). Such items are found in instances. Rarely from quest rewards, especially seeing as the only quests I haven't done are in Howling Fjord and some under-75 zones.

However, every time I go into an instance, it's "oh, we'll roll on these shards". Last night I was with a leather worker in Nexus, who skinned every dragon. Did we roll on his leather? No. What about when we mine in instances? Do we roll on the ore? No! Those mats stay with whoever gathered them, and yet I have to give up my shards every time.

Maybe I wouldn't mind so much if I was capped in the profession, but endgame has made leveling too hard, since I never have mats to use. Either they get rolled on and taken, or dumped in the guild bank (which I agree with, I'd rather see them gbanked than handed out anyways).

The only way I get shards of my own now is to DE my old gear. Which means that right now I have 7 Abyss Crystals and no Large Dream Shards.

Just something to think about.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Your Welcome!

One of my pet peeves, and one that I know is shared by many, is bad grammar. It seems that, nowadays, wherever you look, be it general chat, forums, what have you, people are mangling the English language.

Grammar is a subject usually taught at the early elementary school level. So it would be a safe assumption that a given WoW player (even the 12-year-olds) should have a grasp of basic grammatical structure. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the case, and so I endeavour to outline a few basic rules of English.

The Basics
The core unit of the English language is the sentence. The most basic sentence structure is the simple sentence. A simple sentence consists of a subject and a verb. There are more complex sentence types, but let's take it in baby steps.

A subject is the person, place or thing that the sentence is about. The subject is a noun or a pronoun. There are three types of pronouns:
1st person: I, me, we (plural)
2nd person: you
3rd person: she, he, they (plural)
Also, there are proper nouns, which are names (ex. Claire, Joseph, Toronto).

A verb is an action word. Verbs describe what the subject is doing. Verbs have tenses, which describe when the action is happening:
Present: walking (I am walking)
Past: walked (I walked)
If you want to express a verb in the future tense, it generally requires a modifier as such:
Future: will walk (I will walk).

A Few Simple Rules
Believe it or not, there is a big difference between "its" and "it's"; between "your" and "you're", and so on. "Its" and "your" are possessive. For example, if I were to say "your car", I am saying that the car belongs to you. However, "you're car" makes no sense. Likewise, "its car" means that the car belongs to "it" (where it is an ambiguous third person pronoun).

Apostrophes have three uses:
1. to form possesive of nouns
2. to show the omission of characters
3. to indicate certain plurals
Now, I know I just said that an apostrophe-s is not possessive, but the structure does indicate possessiveness in some cases. For example, it is "the boy's hat", meaning that the hat belongs to the boy.
If an apostrophe is used in a word such as "don't" or "you're", it is showing the omission of letters. If those words are expanded and the apostrophe is removed, you get "do not" and "you are".
Now, using apostrophes to indicate plurals only happens on words ending in "s", because you can't add another s to the end of the word to indicate plural.

When you have a sentence like "Mary and I went to the theatre", there are a few rules that must be followed. First, the third person pronoun (Mary, in this example) must always go first. If you have more than one third person pronoun (if your sentence was "Mary, Jason and I" or "Susan and James"), it doesn't matter who goes first (pick your favourite). Second, you must use the correct first person pronoun. I usually double-check my structure by removing the other subject as such:
"Mary and me went to the theare."
"Me went to the theatre." This sentence is incorrect; the wrong first person pronoun was used.
"Mary and I went to the theatre."
"I went to the theatre." This senctence makes sense on its own, therefore "I" is the correct pronoun.

Now, there is so much more grammar to be learned, but for now I leave you with these basics. If you keep these rules in mind, you will be able to communicate in an intelligent fashion in trade chat. I thank you for respecting the English language. Next week: French!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Guild

Being in a guild brings such an elevated purpose to playing WoW. If I wasn't in a guild, I honestly don't know what I would do. Not only as level 80 (wtf how would I raid?) but even my lowbies. The alts I play most are the ones in a guild. I play an alt on an entirely different server where I am the only person I know that actually plays regularily, and I have so much fun because I'm guilded on that character.

Imagine, for a moment, that guilds didn't exist (and PuGs didn't suck, so you could still raid). What would the game be like? Would trade chat still be the seething cesspool it is now? Perhaps. Would more people use their friends list (and for that matter max it out)? Certainly it would be harder to get groups, etc., but at the same time would it still be fun?

In real life (yes, it exists) I am very socially inept. I'm not comfortable making friends, I'm very shy, and I won't talk to someone unless they talk first. I never initiate conversations, not even on MSN. In WoW, I am, quote Pallymar, "the most outgoing person on vent". I can have active, productive conversations, I can enjoy being with other people, even in a virtual setting. I make silly jokes, contribute to off-colour discussions, and generally make an ass of myself and have fun doing it.

This in itself is a revelation for me. And, to return to the point, none of this would be possible without a guild.

My first guild was None Shall Pass. NSP was (and still is, though membership has unfortunately much diminished) a guild composed mostly of RL friends and a few in-game friends. It was all levelling, PvP and social. No raiding whatsoever. I actually joined NSP by accident ^.^

One day, in my low 20's, I was running around through Ashenvale. Suddenly, I find myself dead, ganked by a horde. And as I'm about to release and run back to my corpse, I notice that he's camping me. Well, crap. So I sit at my corpse, planning to either wait it out or just log off when a group of Alliance come up the hill. Our guild leader Blackdog (70 at the time) was running a few of the lower level characters through some quests and happened to be in the area. He quickly dispatched the horde and the priest rezzed me. I waved, thanked them for their help, and was about to continue on my way when BD sent me a ginvite.

Now, I was honestly hesitant to accept it, since the last one I got was a "OMG I GOT THIS MANY RECRUITS PROMOTE ME NOW!" guild. But I figured, eh, they seem helpful, and joined up. And stayed with NSP for almost a year.

I loved NSP. It was a great environment, everyone was nice and talkative, and they became my little circle of friends on Stormreaver (especially after some drama with my old roommates). I levelled straight through to 70 with them, and was loathe to gquit, even for a raiding guild. I passed up on tons of endgame in TBC because I couldn't bear to leave NSP.

Eventually, I left for a raiding guild on Stormreaver that was pretty much a grown-up, raiding version of NSP. I still kept in touch with all of the NSPers and ran instances with them all the time. In fact, just before I transfered to Bonechewer to join Ascended, my friend Xyliaj and I ran one last heroic together, and I actually delayed my transfer by a few days to wait for her.

Now, in Ascended, it's like a family. A crazy family that you wouldn't necessarily want to introduce to your boyfriend, but a family nonetheless. And it's awesome. There is a coherency to the group that makes us work real well together. The guild has its jokes and its serious moments. We talk about boobies in mage chat one minute, then the next we strategize. Hunters talk about MDing Vic, but hunters are... weird. To summarize: Ascended makes playing fun. And unpredictable.

If I hadn't had such an awesome group of friends on WoW, I probably would have given up ages ago. In my opinion, you miss out on so much if you're not guilded. It is an absolutely necessary part of the game, and one which makes it all the more enjoyable.


Why I Rolled

Well I guess as good a place to start as any is from the very beginning.

I've always prefered magic-users and spellcasters in RPGs. In D&D I've always been a sorcerer or a wizard (for the record, scorcerers are more fun). I've been facinated with magic since I was a child, and I still consider "hit with stick" classes mundane and boring.

My main (and really my only character) is Luthvian, a level 80 Draenei Mage on Bonechewer (though originally of Stormreaver). But she was not my first character.

My account was originally my boyfriend's account, and was created in January 2007. Luthvian was created in October 2007. Whatever did I do for... *counts* 9 months and change? Experimented with a series of terrible characters.

I started on Chromaggus as an Undead (didn't have BC yet so was stuck with ugly Horde) warlock. I stubbornly played that character until she got to level 17 (took forever, I hated it that much). Deciding that maybe she wasn't my type, I went and made a bunch of low-level alts both on Chromaggus and as Alliance on Antonidas. My very first mage was Karla, a Gnome on Antonidas. She is level 11, and has been for almost 2 years now. The only character I ever stuck with for a measurable amount of time was Piratecake, my Tauren Shaman.

In October 2007, I moved into a house with some new roommates, both of which played Alliance on Stormreaver. One was a warrior, the other a... mage! So I picked up BC and started myself a Draenei mage, figuring I'd play for a bit and then toss in the towel again.

And yet, here I am, a year and a half later still playing little Luthvian. A lot has changed since we started. I can't explain why I had a particular affinity for Luthvian. Maybe because Draenei are really hot? For sure, at lot was because I had people to play with (well, run me through stuff, they were both level 70 before I hit level 20).

However, I think the primary driving force was that early on, I got into an awesome guild.

And as much as I'd love to wax eloquent about my guild, this post is long enough. That'll come later.


What am I doing here?

Oh yes. I am jumping on that bandwagon, following the lead of my fellow Ascended members Tal and Averna, and will attempt to create a coherent blog of all things mage-y and World of warcraft-y that crosses my mind.

No promises. I'm a lazy blogger and not a stellar player.

Prediction: this will be my only post for months. Yep.