The Liebster Awards, Part 1

I’m currently living by the rule of “better late then never”. Ages ago I was nominated for the Liebster award by Erinys, JD Kenada and Amerence. By now it’s made it through most of the blogs I read, so I can’t really do step four sadly.

To keep this post from becoming much too big, I will put it into four posts. This one, plus one each for answering the eleven questions asked by my lovely nominators.

Liebster-award-rules I

 Eleven Random Facts About Me

1. 85% of the furniture in my apartment is bought at IKEA.

2. My cat is called Saga, just like my internet handle. Am I a cat? No.

3. I broke my leg a few years ago. Everyone asked me if I’d been skiing or doing something else fun. No, I’d just slipped on a patch of ice at the gas station. Very boring story about how you broke your leg. Check!

4. My first ever character in WoW was an Undead female Priest. She got stuck at level 16 in Silverpine Forest and I re-rolled a male Undead Rogue. His name was Saint, since he was anything but.

5. My boyfriend lives in another country. Long-distance relationships suck. Fortunately I will be moving next summer (if everything goes according to plan.)

6. When I visited the US many years ago a random guy in a bar proposed to me “because I had such an awesome accent”. Totally legit reason for marriage. (Of course I know he wasn’t serious.)

7. I have a Nobel Peace Prize certificate with my name on it. No, I didn’t win the Nobel Peace Prize. The UN organisation I worked for did however, and all employees got their own certificate.

8. This isn’t about me really, but almost everyone in the raid team has one – or several – pets named after our GM/Raid Leader. They are named things like AngryRob and RobTripleYelling. I think you get the idea.

9. I write historical romance set during the Regency period in England. If you’re into that kind of thing you can read the first chapter over here.

10. I loved Warlock tanking (think the Leotheras fight in TBC), and I miss it. More Warlock tanking, please!

11. My favourite colour is purple. Now the boyfriend buys me only purple jewelry.

Liebster-Award

Waiting for a new face..

I’d been reading and hearing a lot about the “same face”-issue that a lot of people are having with the new models. So when I got back home after my vacation, I logged onto the beta to have a look. And while I like the new models, I have to agree that they definitely suffer from being very much based on the same basic face. There are very few variations. The original faces have a lot more differences in noses, mouths, eyebrows etc.

Fortunately, Blizzard are saying that they’re going to look at this. And hopefully fix it.

/fingerscrossed

/fingerscrossed

It doesn’t necessarily require that much. But some of the faces look very little like their old one, and I see how people will be frustrated. Some people don’t care, and that’s fine. But they also need to realise that other people do. There are players out there who don’t care much about what their character’s face looks like. Maybe they play with a helmet on. Maybe they’re just not bothered. But there are other players that take great care in choosing a face, because they’re going for something specific. And if that is gone… Then their character is basically gone.

Still, I’m not despairing yet. Blizzard has said that they’re looking to make changes. I just hope that they can make the right ones.

To give you an idea, I’ve made copies of the new faces, next to the original faces (for some of the races). This way it’s easy to see the difference between the old face and the new. Some are somewhat similar already, others are not even close. Fortunately for us, Blizzard still has time to fix it!

Click for larger picture.

Click for larger picture.

In general, I like the changes made to the dwarves. They’re a little bit less square. I miss their dark mascara though, and I hope it’s added back at least to some of the faces. There’s definitely quite a bit missing still between the new faces and the old, but they’re not bad looking.

Click for larger picture.

Click for larger picture.

The gnomes are the race that feels the most complete out of the ones I’ve been running around with in the beta. Their animations are incredibly smooth, and I love watching them run and cast spells, melee looks neat too. That being said, their faces can still be improved. There are some changes between the different faces, but I’m annoyed by the fact that they’re all smiling. The original faces didn’t all smile. I want my somber-looking number 1 face back!

Click for larger picture.

Click for larger picture.

The human female suffer a lot from the “same face”-syndrome. Some of the new faces I can barely tell apart. And I promise they’re all different ones, I was looking at the numbers as I was copying. Since the characters I tend to play the most are humans, I really hope they get this one right.

Click for larger picture.

Click for larger picture.

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the night elf faces at the moment. At least they’re a little bit different from one another, even if it’s mainly the colour of their lips. There’s a slight change to the curve of their lips too, while the rest of the face is very much the same. I’m curious to see how they will deal with the difference in the eyes between the original faces in the new ones. A side note; I really dislike how the new braid looks. The old one is nice and thick, but the new one is very “skinny”.

Click for larger picture.

Click for larger picture.

You know, I’m not going to say anything about the orcs. When I made these screenshots they were very new, and you can tell because they haven’t even had time to change their eye colours!

In the end, I’m hoping that everyone’s character will look the way they originally created them, or close to it – just with more polygons. Since there’s a risk that won’t happen though, I really wish that Blizzard would offer everyone one free character customization. I think it would go a long way in making people happy.

How are you feeling about the new models?

Summer Break

My guild is currently on it’s (usually) annual summer break, which is nice for someone like me who’s rather tired of raiding. They’re still running raids for those interested, but people are allowed to bring alts, and it’s all just for fun, no progression. I’ve even joined myself a few times on the Warlock, since I’ve been missing her. I love tanking, but my Warlock will always have a special place in my heart.

The raiding did help her finish up her legendary cloak as well, so she can finally say that she’s done this expansion.

Better late than never, as they say.

Better late than never, as they say.

In the downtime I’ve been trying to get back into PvP a bit. Something that can be incredibly frustrating as Alliance. Maybe I’m biased, but it feels like there are some BGs that the Alliance hardly ever win. Yes, I’m looking at you Silvershard Mines! In return, to be fair, we often seem to win Alterac Valley and Isle of Conquest. I just rarely get into those.

Also, I think my Hunter is haunted by bad luck in PvP. I did a few battlegrounds on her. Lost every single one. Frustrated, I logged onto my Priest… Won every single one. Be ashamed, Hunter! Be very ashamed!

Ha! As if your arrows do more than tickle anyway!

Ha! As if your arrows do more than tickle anyway!

An Update

I’m currently on vacation visiting the boyfriend, and our raiding is in its final week before we have our official raid break for the summer. There will still be some raids now and then, but completely optional for those who are interested. Personally, I’m definitely considering just taking it easy and not really raiding. If anything, I’d be more interested in going back to do some old raids/achievements. Just for fun.

While on vacation I’m stuck on my laptop. Which when I bought it I thought would be able to handle WoW fine. I don’t know what happened, but fine is not really what I would call it.

Here’s a comparison for you. First screenshot if taken on my PC at home. The second one from this laptop in an attempt to mimic the first one…

PC Screenshot

PC Screenshot

Laptop Screenshot

Laptop Screenshot

Not quite the same. Sure, the laptop has a lower resolution of course. But I have to play everything on the Low setting to be able to get above 10 fps. Worst part is, it didn’t used to be this bad. When I first got the laptop it was playing it on at least a decent setting. I could see more than ten yards ahead of me. Honestly, I have no idea what’s gone wrong, but I suspect I should just re-install the entire thing. An updated graphics driver got me from 2 fps to 20 if I’m standing still.. But if I raise it above the minimum settings… Back down to basically no fps.

Which is extra frustrating, because I got the WoD Beta invite the day I went on holiday! And let me tell you, with my laptop barely managing normal WoW… Playing the beta is impossible. So I have this new, shiny beta invite – and I can’t use it for another week until I go back home! So unfair!

How do you know?

I’ve played WoW now for over eight years, and I’ve never un-subbed. There may have been a day or two on occasion if my payment method ran out before I remembered to refill, but that’s it. No breaks for eight years. And I’m starting to feel it.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the game, I still think it’s a good one. But right now, I don’t feel like playing it. I log on, look around, and log out again. Twice a week I still show up for the guild’s raids, but I’m not enjoying them. The opposite may even be true. I sometimes feel disappointed when the raid isn’t cancelled due to low sign-ups. Which I realise is very selfish of me, since other people in the guild still want to raid.

Which is why I’m still there, I think. Being one of our two main tanks, it’s not an easy job to just quit. I’d feel too much like I was letting everyone down. At the same time I’m finding no joy in raiding.

We’re at a point where I don’t quite feel like we have a reason to raid in the first place. Being a casual guild we have no real plans of doing heroic modes other than the few easier ones (of which we’ve done a couple so far). On normal mode everyone pretty much has every piece of gear they need. We disenchant almost everything that drops. Some of our guild members want to do heroic modes, but to be absolutely honest… I have no interest in them. There was a time when I probably was, but my love for raiding is completely gone for the time being.

So, why are we still raiding?

I guess some are still chasing the dream of heroic modes. One or two might still need an illusive piece of gear. And some might be doing it just for the sake of doing something together. Some time ago, I may have agreed with some of these reasons, but I just can’t find the will in me anymore. I feel miserable the entire duration of every raid, and I feel guilty about feeling so miserable. I don’t want to ruin anyone else’s fun.

There’s talk about having a raid summer break, and I’m considering not coming back after. If nothing else, it’d give the guild time to find another tank during those weeks of no raids.

I wonder if not raiding will bring my joy for the game back. Or if I just need a longer break from all of it, maybe until the expansion hits. I have no idea. How do you know if you should stop or continue? I’ve been feeling like this for a very long time, but I’ve battled through it. Kept showing up for raids, kept doing my best during them. All the while wishing I was somewhere else, doing anything else.

How do you know?

I’m Still Here

You know… More or less. The blogging isn’t happening much though, mainly because I’ve lost some of my interest in WoW. Don’t get me wrong, I still think it’s a good game – and I still log on to raid twice a week. But I’ve lost some of my interest in doing other things for the time being. Anyway, so what have I been up to lately, since apparently I’ve not blogged for… well, longer than I care to admit. (I apparently also missed my 4 year anniversary, which was on April 11. Oops?)

World of Warcraft

As mentioned above I’m doing little in WoW other than raiding at the moment. For a while I was leveling with the boyfriend, using RaF, which was quite fun. Because it’s so quick, you don’t have time to get tired of any of the dungeons and you get new skills at a fairly quick pace. However, now that they’re all 85, we’re feeling a bit worn out. In comparison, leveling through Pandaria is like moving through neck-high mud pools. Not to mention that I’m rather sick of Pandaria after leveling a large amount of alts already.

It will always annoy me that questing is quicker leveling than any other alternative (like dungeons and PvP). If you could switch it around more without feeling like you’re just slowing down your leveling speed, maybe it wouldn’t get quite so tedious to level your umpteenth alt.

The Dynamic Duo

The Dynamic Duo

Diablo 3

The boyfriend and I got the expansion for D3, and it’s been quite fun. I leveled up my old Monk from 60, and we also leveled up a Crusader each. While I really did enjoy the Crusader, I think the Monk may still be my favourite. Sadly, for me, Diablo rather quickly looses its appeal. I do enjoy it, and I play a bit every now and then. Never for long though, and it has two reasons.

Reason 1: It hurts my hands. I don’t know what it is about Diablo, but it makes my hands/wrists hurt like hell. Even with me not clicking, just holding the keys down. I’ve tried rebinding the keys to make it better, but not managed to find a good way to do it yet.

Reason 2: It’s a little bit too grindy. While I enjoy the new system with bounties and rifts, in the end I’m not quite sure what I’m gearing for. You get better gear so that you can do it at a higher difficulty. But… It’s exactly the same… The same bosses, the same mobs… They just hit harder. And if you can do it, you do it to get more gear so that again you can do it at a higher difficulty.

It’s a system that just doesn’t appeal to me. While, in essence, WoW is exactly the same – I am able to fool myself into thinking it is not. Because unlike D3, when I gear up I do it to kill the next boss, see and defeat the next bit of content. I realise that it’s really the same thing, but with a different dress – but it’s enough to keep me interested. In Diablo it feels too much like I’m gearing up to do the same thing all over again, for no other reason than to… Well, that’s where the game doesn’t quite hit the mark with me I guess.

My Monk and Crusader.

My Monk and Crusader.

WildStar

I haven’t bought WildStar, but I played a little on the beta. The game didn’t instantly grab me, but as I stopped playing when the beta ended – I find myself missing it a little and wishing to go back. It doesn’t help of course that my blog feed is getting overrun by people talking about their WildStar experiences.

And so I’m thinking about maybe giving it a try, at least for a month or so during the summer. With me not really enjoying WoW much at the moment, it might be a nice distraction.

First set of chars in the WildStar beta.

First set of chars in the WildStar beta.

Other Stuff

Outside of games, I’ve been catching up with friends who no longer play. I’ve been working, and sleeping. A lot of sleeping! And writing on my personal blog when I have the time/energy. I’m currently looking forward to going to visit the boyfriend in the UK, three weeks from tomorrow. On the whole, I can’t complain. Except for not loving WoW as much as I normally do at the moment, my life is pretty good.

What is everyone else up to? Still playing WoW fully, or are you branching off into other games while we wait for the expansion?

Instant 90?

I’ve not bought the expansion yet, but I’m planning to. One of the decisions I have to make once I do is what to do with my “free” instant level 90. My main server is full, and all characters are level 85+, so using it for any of them seems like a terrible waste. So I’m going to have to start somewhere new…

Most of my friends in WoW have either stopped playing, or are in my guild on my main server. So I’ll have to find somewhere new, or put it on the server where my last friend is playing. (I already have a character there, but I guess another isn’t a bad thing.) This is probably what I’ll end up doing, unless someone has a nice guild somewhere on an EU server that wants social members?!

The second decision will have to be… Which class do I pick??

I already have one of every class in the game at level 85+. So it’s going to be a duplicate in any case. Unless someone is looking for something specific, I’m leaning towards a female Pandaren Warrior. I enjoy Warrior tanking, something I did a lot of in WotLK, and I think the female Pandaren has awesome melee animations.

"I already look awesome, and I'm only level 15!"

“I already look awesome, and I’m only level 15!”

The Definition of Free

At Blizzcon I was quite excited about the expansion, and I still am about a lot of the aspects – even if it looks as if we will still be waiting a sweet while for it to go live. (Beta soon, please?) The announcement about the free boost of one character to level 90 didn’t bother me, since I figured it’s something that can be nice for friends coming back to catch up, and not something I particularly need myself. And hey, it was free… So who cares, right?

Then this week the pre-sale of the expansion became available. And they’ve tagged €10 onto the price compared to previous expansions. All other expansions have, to my recollection, cost about the same when first released. Which makes sense considering that we already pay a monthly subscription fee. So it seems a bit odd to me that they say that we’ll get a free boost of one character to level 90, and then increase the price of the expansion. In what world is that free?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m fully aware that €10 isn’t a huge amount for the average gamer. It’s the principle of saying that they’re giving us something free, then increasing the base price so that they can say it’s free – but in a way still charge us for it.

Since I don’t need the character boost, and I am actually quite strapped for cash as someone chronically ill – can I have a version without the boost for the original price? Since it’s obviously not as free as first advertised.

Sorry about the ranting, but it does bother me when companies do things like this. It’s like when stores raise the prices for a couple of months so that they can have “super saver discounts” during their sale – but are basically just selling the stuff at the original price.

If you don’t believe me about the increased cost, I checked my transaction history from when I bought MoP.

The WoD prices on the EU site.

The WoD prices on the EU site.

Regular MoP

Regular MoP

Digital Deluxe of MoP

Digital Deluxe of MoP

Happy Valentine’s Day


A little Warlock Valentine’s for you all…

valentine

 

I wish everyone luck trying to get their hands on the Love Rocket in game as well. I’m trying every day since it started, and still no luck. Anyone else out there being lucky?

“Chill. It’s LFR.”

Something that really bothers me when I do LFR is the cavalier approach by some people who join. While, yes, LFR is a lot easier than normal, and even flex – but it still requires some amount of attention and a basic level of people filling the role they queued for.

Today I went into LFR, and another member called out a healer who was dps specced. The “healer” of course went with the typical approach of “Chill. It’s LFR”, and then went on to boast about probably doing more dps than everyone else anyway.

Now, while his dps may have been good (it was average, not nearly in the top.. but decent enough for a LFR), the point is not how much dps you’re managing to pull. The point is that you queued as a healer (most likely for the quicker queue time), and then decided not to fill that role. While it may very well be possible to complete a LFR with a healer less, it means that said person is making the assumption that no one else has his or her attitude.

What if all of the queued healers felt that they wanted to dps? We’d be left with a raid with 1-2 healers or possibly none. Because no one wants to take the longer queue that a dps need. And I mean, it’s only LFR. So, chill.

Except of course you can’t really complete LFR with too few healers. Most people who do LFR are most likely there because they need gear, so they may not be awesomely geared and aren’t hitting 100k hps. So having too few healers will cause issues. But chill. It’s just LFR.

I’m not arguing that it’s not possible. But it makes things a lot more difficult. And I’ll be honest, when I do LFR I want things to be as quick and smooth as possible. So… If you want the quicker queue that a healer gets… Heal.