Updated Thursdays... and sometimes more!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

WoW = World Peace

I was AFK for almost two weeks over the holidays... which explains why this pally still hasn't beaten HoR! :(

The holidays were packed full of travel, visiting family members, and trying to hide the WoW withdrawal (symptoms include shakes, gazing longingly at anyone holding a laptop, and yelling "Handle it!")

One thing that did surprise me was how much I missed my WoW friends. It was only ten days... and still, I kept wondering how my guildies were doing and thinking about how much this warrior or that DK or that druid would love to hear my funny story about my family's super alcoholic holiday punch.

WoW friendships are a funny thing - I've never met these people in RL, but I spend hours with them just about every night. You get used to spending that time with those people, and when they aren't around, you miss them. One of my former guild masters left the game about six months ago, and I still miss him like crazy - much more than I miss, say, some of my best friends from college who I haven't seen in years.

One of the many, many things I love about WoW is the way it has expanded my world. I've got friends of all ages, all over the world, in all walks of life. I'm an almost-30 woman living in a small town in the Pacific Northwest - there is no other way I would have met a high school student in California, a landscaper in Florida, a semi truck driver who could be anywhere in the lower 48.

And, crazy as it sounds, these friendships from a virtual world make me more connected and engaged with the real world. When General Motors filed for bankrupcy last year, I worried about the mage in Michigan who makes parts for them. Florida had record lows this week, and I was hoping that DK in Tampa didn't have his pipes freeze. When South Korea experienced flooding this summer I sent a letter to the warrior serving in the Army in Dagu to make sure he was ok.

The world is a smaller place since I started playing WoW, and things that happen half a world away effect the people I care about - and effect me, too.

So hey - it could be that the key to world peace is just getting everyone to play World of Warcraft. Because who would start a war if your top tank was living in that country? ;)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hey baby - nice loot

I've been in my current guild for about six months, and although they are a little hardcore for me (saying "let's cut the chatter" on vent just raises my hackles) the loot rules, at least, seem pretty approachable and straightforward.

We roll for loot. Simple, no?

You can roll on whatever you like for the spec you are currently using in the raid... and if no main spec wants the gear, off spec can roll for it. So I can't roll on that sweet dps sword for my pathetic dps spec unless none of the actual dps-ing players want it.

And that's how we /roll.

But a few days ago someone caused a bunch of drama by insisting that he be allowed to roll on a piece for his off spec. This caused no end of drama - especially when he finally won the stupid bracers and then said "oh, this actually isn't an upgrade for me."

Now the officers (and that includes Girly Pally) are discussing changing the loot system. I'm not familiar with many other loot distribution systems, but we're discussing a points system. You are given points for things like raid attendance, and then you can spend these points on loot.

I've got a friend in one of the top guilds on our server, and not only do they use a point system - he had to be an active, raiding member of the guild for two weeks before he even started accumulating points. Two weeks! That's months in WoW time!!

I can see how a points system would have its perks - but I can also see some major drawbacks. First, I don't think it would resolve the initial problem. If people are going to be jerks, they'll just throw a fit about using their points for their off spec instead of throwing a fit about rolling for their off spec.

Second, and nearer and dearer to my heart, is that this system of rewarding attendance will guarantee that the people who get to play the most get the best stuff. This will hurt certain Girly Pallys who can only seriously raid a few nights a week if they want to stay married and employed.

And... it sounds like a huge hassle! Establishing a system means someone has to be in charge, checking attendance, recording points, and assigning a point value to the loot - in addition to dealing with the drama that's going to arise no matter what.

I suppose it all boils down to a guild's intentions. If the guild is focused on moving up the wowheroes ladder, then it makes sense to have all the gear go to the ten or twelve players who spend the most time online. But if a guild is attempting to be casual and raid (a combination that might actually be impossible) then a points system might not be worth the headache.

I'm very curious to hear about any and all other loot systems! Does your guild do a point system? Does it drive you nuts? Or is everyone happy to just /roll and let it go?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ugly, ugly armor

Hooray - finally got rid of my Conqueror's Aegis Tunic!

I mean, look at this thing:

Really, Blizzard? I mean, how is a girly pally supposed to be taken seriously wearing that? First of all - how can it be 2348 armor when it doesn't even cover my belly button?

And is that design supposed to be intimidating? Fear me, Horde and undead... fear my giant red bulls eye boobies!

Plus it makes a girl look, well... saggy. Never a good thing.

I was so embarrassed I took to wearing the Tabard of the Argent Crusade everywhere. Even after I was exalted with them.

But now I've got my Turalyon's Tunic of Triumph:

Ahhhh... classy pally! Nice lion's head design, full belly coverage - now I'm ready to kick some butt!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Yum - cake!

If you haven't checked out Blizzard's Holiday Dessert Contest Winners - you totally owe it to yourself to have a look! It is downright amazing what some people can do with fondant.

I think the Horde Night Before Winter Veil cake did deserve to win - if only for that blood elf snuggling a teddy bear (of course blood elves sleep with teddy bears! why didn't I realize that before!) but the Icecrown Citadel cake is also fantastic.

And it's inspiring! Girly Pally has a birthday coming up next month, and now that I think of it, nothing says "Happy 30th!" quite like a sugary Frostmourne sticking out of delicious cake... ;)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Gender Rolls

Girly Pally - surprise, surprise - is a girl in RL too.

And one of the great things about downloading vent and buying a headset ("umm... for my friend," I told the clerk at Best Buy - Girly Pally being squarely in the WoW closet) was the realization that I'm not the only woman in WoW.

As my husband says, I'm one of 13, maybe even 14 girls who play WoW. ;)

Actually it's been awesome meeting some serious, fabulous women who WoW. And so far I've noticed some similarities among my virtual female friends.

First, they tend to be pretty drama-free. This may be because there are so few of them, and yes there is one girly mage I know who kicks up some controversy from time to time, but the major drama I've witnessed tends to be between guys.

They also tend to know their stuff. Again, this could be the group I run with, or just that I've known a lot more men than women in WoW - and I've known one major exception who couldn't seem to understand that you must move out of the fire or you're going to get burned (made me wonder how she cooks...) but I've noticed no major difference in skills between the boys and the girls. Actually, for a while the top geared player on our server (Grizzly Hills) was a holy girl pally.... sadly, not this holy girl pally!

And - they aren't tanks. Far and away, most of the women I've met in Azeroth are healers. There are a few dps, both ranged and melee (mages, rouges, and hunters mostly) - but resto druids and holy pallys seem to dominate with the XX chromosome set.

I've never met a female tank.

Sure, I've met guys who rolled girl tanks - but the voice on vent for that cute little warrior chick has always been male.

What's up with that?

Is it society? Is it the way we were raised? Are we women caving to cultural demands that we fill the role of nurture/healer, or is it just more fun to dps the heck out of a monster than worry about aggro? In a world where you can experiment with becoming something other than what you are - where you could even roll a different gender - it's interesting that so many women choose not to experiment with the traditional masculine roll of warrior/protector.

Girly Pally has decided to try bucking the system... I rolled a dranii warrior who has already tanked Stockades and Scarlet Monastery. ;)

What about you? Any girly tanks out there? What do you think about gender and its impact on our rolls (and roles) in the game?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry (WoW) Christmas!

May your alts lvl quickly... may everything you put on the AH sell for buyout... may the epic mounts drop... may you roll high... may you find many saronites, frost lotus, and whatever it is you skinners look for ;)... may your tank hold aggro and your healer not be easily distracted (not that that's EVER happened to Girly Pally)... may your repair bills stay low... may you meet Arthas soon and smack him around!!!!

Happy holidays to everyone! :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My secret life...

Well, the holidays are almost upon us - time for Girly Pally to head back the the Pally family, raise a glass of single malt (we're Scottish), bake cookies, open presents.... and say NOTHING AT ALL about the way I spend four or five hours every single night.

That's right - Girly Pally is squarely in the WoW closet with my family. Ok, ok... I did tell my sister when I got my epic mount, and when I hit 80. She called me a loser :P

There are a few RL friends - who also WoW - who know about my secret life. But no co-workers... no one I went to college with... no neighbors or relations.

Actually, I was even embarrassed when the plumber fixing our clogged kitchen sink saw me with my headset on!

As a pally with a tendency to over-think everything, I wonder about my efforts to keep WoW a secret. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, and it's not like my friends or co-workers have no embarrassing nerdy habits.

My 40ish year old female boss is a Twilight fanatic... and has cut and pasted her own head on top of a picture of that moody emo girl hugging Edward the vampire. She has this hanging in her office.

She was thrilled when the movie came out - and really, would it have been that embarrassing if I'd said: "hey, speaking of vampires, I had a bitch of a time taking down Prince Taldaram in Old Kingdom last night - man, if you don't have dps that know the fight and a tank that can hold his freaking aggro, it's wipe city."

Yes. Yes it would have been that embarassing.

So what do you think? Am I the only pally out there who hides her WoW addiction like the freaking plauge? Am I living in bad faith here, or just maintaing some boundaries between the professional and the, um, heroic?

Who knows that you WoW - and how did you tell them?