Updated Thursdays... and sometimes more!

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?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday shopping... WoW style!

Well, Girly Pally's holiday shopping is all finished.... on WoW :P

This year I went to the AH and got everyone a companion animal. Prairie dogs and tree frogs seem to be very popular this year!

Then I picked up some wrapping paper (available in a bunch of random places, but I just happened to be passing through Elwynn Forest, so I got some off the innkeeper there) and turned those prairie dog whistles and tree frog boxes into beautifully wrapped presents.

This works out well, because I'll be offline for a couple weeks while I get out of town for Christmas and New Years. Since I worry obsessively about my friends if they are logged off for several days (yes, Girly Pally is that neurotic...) I like to tell people if I'm going AFK for a couple days - and what better way to hear your friend is going offline than to get a shiny package from her in the mail?

I'd love to hear about other WoW holiday traditions out there... Do you always visit Father Winter? Have a guild office party? Any other fun, cool celebrations out there?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Worst. Pug. Ever.

So a friend of mine who I hadn't seen in a few weeks logged on last night, and I was wicked excited to show him the new dungeon finder system. We grouped up and got into UK... no problems, right?

The tank - a gnome warrior whose name I have totally blocked from my memory - comes in and immediately says "u all suck u should delete your chars"

Ok... I nod, smile, and say "rdy when you are!"

He says: "shut up"
Me: "excuse me?"
Dude: "oh i'm sorry.... SHUT UP"

We run the first few rooms with no problems - no health bars even got below half - and then he starts up again: "ur heals suck"

Me: "I can stop healing you if you'd like :)"
Dude: "would be better than ur heals"

I got so mad... I let him die!

I've never done that before - but I don't think I've ever been that angry in WoW before. It was a total disaster, I felt like a jerk, and my friend didn't get any of the Trimph Emblems he really, really needs.

We got back in UK and he totally had his vengence... he pulled a few dragons, dumped the aggro, and ran out of the room. Wipe number two in UK - ouch!!!! >.<

The other two random dps left the group, and we did too - my friend was out of time, and we were both pissed off. Yuck! This is exactly the kind of obnoxious stuff that non-gamers picture when they think of ppl who play WoW....

Please people - don't reinforce the stereotypes! Please!!!! :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Your friend is a jerk....

Ah, my good friend left the guild yesterday!

I logged on ready to head to Icecrown and help Jania escape the Lich King in the Halls of Reflection - and noticed his name wasn't on my guild list. I wasn't able to get the full story (too bad, because Girly Pally kind of likes to hear about drama) because he's been very quiet lately and my new all-business-all-the-time guild wasn't telling, but an officer confirmed it was a /gquit, and promised that he didn't /gkick my friend.

Girly Pally has run with this guy since Westfall - yes, Westfall. We've borrowed gold from each other, farmed Blood Furnace a million times, he was there when I hit 80, and I followed him when I left both my previous guilds. In Azeroth, we're tight... and outside of Azeroth, I like to think we're friends too.

But as much as I like him - dude is drama. He's a yeller ("WHY DIDN'T YOU HEAL ME!!!!!!!"), he's emotional, he's moody - and he's funny, generous, and kicks serious butt as tank and dps on his three 80s.

So what's a girly pally to do?

In my previous guilds there was a fair amount of eye rolling, /whisper It's just him... and letting things be. The drama has always been worth it to Girly Pally, who likes to get to know people as individuals as well as tank, heal, or dps.

Still... it's a little embarassing to feel like you have to apologize for your friend, or walk on eggshells around him.

Does anyone else have someone like this they WoW with - or even hang with in RL? What do you recommend??

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Yay for VuhDo!

Patch 3.3 - perfect opportunity to update some addons!

Two of the top healers in our guild recently switched to VuhDo, so even though Girly Pally has used Healbot since around lvl 60 - and even though Girly Pally fears change and is severly technologically impaired - I figured I'd take the plunge and try VuhDo.

Besides, HealBot didn't load correctly after the patch, and Girly Pally got frustrated with it and uninstalled...

It took Girly Pally several swear-word-filled hours to get HealBot loaded properly, and more to figure out why HealBot would do fun and interesting things like: stop displaying debuffs, randomly buff people with Lesser Blessing of Might (priests really appreciated that one), or just stop working in the middle of a boss fight. And Girly Pally was never able to get HealBot to work for my little dwarf priest alt... just gave up entirely on that one.

VuhDo, however, rocks my world. It shows buffs, debuffs, curses, even mana levels, it auto-pops my trinkets in a fight - and when we went up against Gomak the Impaler it showed who had a snobold on their back! /love!!!

Best of all, much like the iPod, VuhDo is painfully easy to set up and use. The options interface has big, round, comforting buttons and clear labels, with the option to Refresh and see exactly what the heck removing that green checkmark did to your setup.

Ok, ok.... so Girly Pally still suffers from technological impairment disorder, and hasn't figured out how to make the aggro meter feature work - and I'm sure I've only touched on what VuhDo can do. But unlike HealBot, I think I'll actually have fun figuring VuhDo out :)


Absolutely Essential Holy Pally Macros

I don't use a lot of macros with my healing... but if you don't have these, I don't know how you survive ;)

1. /kiss - Because ouchies get kisses. And the macro saves you having to type a whole five letters.

2. /yell Low on mana!

(I know I'm going to get yelled at as a healer - at least this way I can yell back with "Didn't you see me shout I was low on mana?!?" And if that doesn't work - see the first macro)

3. /cast Lay on Hands /yell No! I won't let you die like this %t!

%t inserts the name of your target - and who doesn't want to add a little more drama to their healing? This also works very well with Divine Sacrifice.

And yes... Girly Pally really uses that one. It's mildly embarassing when you target yourself - and REALLY embarassing if you still have the boss targeted from your Judgement of Light. Not that that's ever happened to Girly Pally...

4. /cast Holy Light /cast Holy Light /cast Holy Light /yell STOP STANDING IN THE FIRE YOU IDIOTS!

Because we can only do so much....

5. /cast Hand of Protection /say Saved your butt again %t

Never hurts to to force a little appreciation...

And of course - no discussion of pally macros would be complete without:

6. /use Hearthstone /cast Sacred Shield /laugh

So useful in so many situation! Getting jumped while fishing in Wintergrasp - Hopelessly outnumbered defending that stupid Forge - The raid leader yells "Wipe it!" - Running into your old GM in Stormwind - That 15 year old DK says "Let's dual you n00b"...

The End of Guilds?

Patch 3.3 dropped Tuesday, and this pally squealed like a little girl when I heard the news. I was straight up giddy with excitement all day and couldn’t wait to bring the Light to Arthas!

Along with pretty much every other level 80 WoW-addict out there, I ran the new stuff as soon as I got home. Most of my fellow guildies were already there, so I ran the Forge of Souls with two guildies and some pugs, and then the Pit of Saron with just one other guildy. I did bash my head against the Halls of Reflection for an hour or so, but it was getting late, and Girly Pally has to get her beauty sleep – or at least enough sleep to keep from losing her job ;)

First impressions – I freaking loved it! Running with my girl Lady Jaina Proudmoor (we’ve been tight since all that grinding I did in Dustwallow Marsh), the floating skulls in the Forge of Soul, the snow in the Pit of Saron, freeing the Alliance slaves (love those “do some good” quests), getting over 20g for turning in a quest – thank you Jaina! - and the loot…. oh, the loot! I got a shiny new necklace with a super cool name: Love’s Prisoner. (Girly pally is big on loot names – I’m still holding on to Twig of the World Tree and War Mace of Unrequited Love, mostly for the names)

And I got what has to be the most wicked-looking healing sword in the game: Seethe. Girly Pally has been lifting a lot of weights to heft that puppy around one-handed! /love to the gear, and /congratulate to Blizzard for the beautiful new content.

I also used the new Dungeon Group finder feature, which was smooth smooth smooth. When one of our guildies pulled some spouse aggro and had to leave group (I told him to use Feign Death, but apparently he’d already Tauted one too many times) we were able to replace him with a polite and totally kick butt mage from another realm. We pulled another trans-realm DPS for the Pit and our few repair-bill-inducing attempts at Halls of Reflection.

So easy! So easy that I think it’s going to change the entire game.

I’ve been in three guilds so far, and leaving each of my previous guilds was a difficult and, like a lot of things in WoW, surprisingly emotional decision. I left friends behind, I felt that I had disappointed the people who counted on me – and I did it all for one main reason: new content. I was a founding member of my first guild, but when the GM decided to leave the game most of the 80s left for greener pastures. I wanted to run heroics; I followed them (and yes, Girly Pally cried as she typed /gquit).

My second guild was pretty much the same story. I joined as a fresh 80, loved the people, made some good friends and fantastic memories, and ran with them for about six months. The GM, again, decided to leave the game (Girly Pally suspects that GM burnout rates are pretty high) and the guild, which like all human organizations had its weaknesses, fell apart in his absence. And Girly Pally wanted to see new end-game content – so I /gquit (no tears this time, at least!) and joined a hard core raiding guild. Not as much laughter, and no more in-depth beer discussions, but I cleared ToC that first week.

People join guilds, in part, because it is so difficult to get a good group together as a PUG. Guilds offer a set calendar, and a group of people (dare I say friends?) who you can count on, and whose abilities you can trust. I know my tank isn’t going to let me get one-shotted, because I’ve run with him for months… or, I know that if my tank does let me get one-shotted, we’ll at least be able to laugh about it later.

3.3 changes all that. Now it’s a piece of cake to get a group together – we joked last night that we might never leave Dalaran, since the Dungeon Finder teleports you as soon as your group is together. And I noticed that guild chat – usually full of “who wants to run a heroic?” – was pretty damn quiet. My guild friends were all in Icecrown or various heroics. Different heroics – part of what must have been trans-realm PUGs.

So what will happen to guilds now that it’s easy to get a group together?

Girly Pally is admittedly a little more focused on the social aspect than other players – I love running with the same group every night, and I want to hear how your job/spouse/kids/dogs are doing. My guildies are my friends – the bonds were forged in the pits of Azjol-Nerub and the heights of the Occulus, but they are still real interpersonal connections, no less valuable than the bonds forged over beer and coffee with my RL friends. Considering the amount of time I spend with my guildies, I actually feel closer to some of my friends living in Florida and Michigan than some of my friends living a few miles away.

Now that it’s easy to find a group without a guild – now that you could run all the heroics every night without seeing the same people, or even without seeing anyone from your realm – what’s going to happen to those friendships? Why be a part of a guild at all?

Maybe I’m being a little ridiculous here. Humans tend to interpret all change, even good change, as a negative… am I just living in the past here? Wishing 3.3 hadn’t dropped to rock my world?

Nah, no way I would take back 3.3, no matter what it does to guilds…. I’ve got Seethe. ;)