Archive for March, 2009

The BRK effect

Posted in Discussion with tags , , , , , on March 31, 2009 by Natalie

Balancing Real Life and World of Warcraft: A Joint Blog by Slig and Sy

With all of the awesome bloggers calling it quits these days, we at 4theHorde decided that we needed to say something. We aren’t doing this to bash on anyone, or to put someone down for their choice of lifestyle, but rather to add our perspective into the mix. Two of the five bloggers at 4theHorde are happily married individuals, but not to each other mind you! Over the next few paragraphs we are going to give you an inside glimpse in the lives of two crazy bloggers, and see how we have come to terms with balancing our real lives with that of our virtual counterparts.

Sy

sy_and_mrs

Hello, my name is Sylus, aka Chris. I’m 28, and have been married for nine years to a wonderful, WONDERFUL woman, ladygil. I’ve been playing world of warcraft for over three years now, and find it to be one of my favorite hobbies. Now, when I say world of warcraft, I’m actually talking about all aspects of the game for me, from actual play time, to blogging, chatting in gmail with guildies, reading blogs, theory crafting (if you call what I do theory crafting,lol), and trolling forums.  A typical week’s worth of gaming would include several hours of play on Saturday (3-8) and two to three evenings a week of 2-3 hours of play time. Now, that is actual game time, not all of the other stuff I listed. I am currently in a unique situation in my life. I graduated a few years back from PSU (go gorilla’s) and began a career working in a management position. I HATED IT. Sure, I made decent money, but money truly doesn’t buy you happiness. My wife, whom I have previously stated was wonderful, I’ll also add AWESOME here, let me quit my job and go back to school to get a teaching degree. I am currently finishing up that degree, and working part time at a “mom and pop” shop bible book store. I love it there. I get to work with people, talk to people, and do my homework when it isn’t busy. It’s perfect for right now! So, you see, I have a busy schedule. I recently was able to take a wonderful vacation where I was unable to play world of warcraft for over a week, it ended up being 8 days of no play time. It was a great week. I spent all of it with my wonderful wife doing so much cool stuff. This really got me thinking that I have poured a ton of time into this game, and made a ton of friends as well. (Don’t worry, I know you are all reading this going, “OH CRAP, HE’S QUITING!”) I’m not quitting wow, don’t get all crazy people! This week did however make me sit back and realize how awesome my wife is for letting me play. Now, I have begun to make a conscious decision to back off somewhat on my playtime when the wife is home. With her job and her crafting I have many hours that I can fill with wow, but I will not sacrifice time with the little Mrs. Sy to hang out with a bunch of grimey old hillbillies and Slig! Does this mean that I won’t be around in wow? Nope. I’ve still got my Thursday evenings put aside for raiding with the guild, and I will still pop in almost everyday to say hi and see how things are going. Does this mean I can’t level alt #570923475? Probably, but hey, I have several alts that need work and I can give them some attention when the time arises!

You see, life is an amazing journey, and to be honest, if I wasn’t married, I would be pouring a lot more time into this game than I currently can. Such is life. I will still take part in this very enjoyable hobby, but even if wow had to go away, and I totally understand why it does go away for some people, I would still consider some of the people I met in game to be true, great friends! So, with that, I want to thank my wife for putting up with me during those times I played too much wow, for enduring long raid evenings when we wiped on bosses over and over again. Thanks for even playing Wow with me those wonderful six months, Rhonna the hunter and Blayne the priest will never die! Those were great times, but I know that the time we will spend together outside of wow are so much better than any time I spend in this game! Also, I want to take this opportunity to announce to the world that in roughly six months, my wife and I will be introducing our own little Thrall or Thrallina into the world. That’s right, we’re having a baby!!!! As you can guess, this will also drop my in game time, but hey, can you blame a guy?

Slig

catalina2000_medYikes, Mr. & Mrs. Sy’s new Hordeling is a tough act to follow! I’m Slig, aka Natalie aka Game Dame, and no, I’m not pregnant, so let’s just get that out of the way. I’ve been married for 6-1/2 years to my husband, Mr. Slig, and I have been playing WoW for the last 2-1/2 of those years. Our family includes two Feline American children named Calvin and Hobbes. I also knit, ride my bike, look for jobs, lunch with the ladyfriends, write freelance, and often shower. Together, my husband and I like to swing dance, watch movies, go to the beach or park — oh, and we will also play some football sim games against each other from time to time. Mr. Slig doesn’t play WoW and has zero interest in playing it. It’s not that he doesn’t like games, but he prefers casual console games like Bejeweled, Peggle, and Halo 1/2/3. (Hee hee — see what I did there?) So being married to a fellow gamer does help, I think, even though we like vastly different types of games.

I think there are two key factors that help us balance our married life with gaming — and WoW in particular, since it’s more of a time-sink than other games usually are — flexibility and communication. I have to be flexible enough to cancel a raid appearance if necessary (and be in a guild that’s okay with that) and he’s flexible enough to be okay with the occasional, “Can dinner wait 30 more minutes until I finish Heroic Nexus, honey?” Hubby and I also try to talk about stuff as soon as it becomes a point of contention. Sometimes it’s surprising who brings up the topic. There has been more than one occasion where I worried aloud to Mr. Slig about whether my WoW was getting out of hand. It’s also important that each person has their own alone time. Mr. Slig likes to take a night to himself to go to the bookstore or music store and I usually take those nights for WoW time. (Obviously, I don’t choose WoW 100% of the time. Like Sy says above, sometimes a WoW vacation is the sweetest thing.)

Lastly, more to the point of the conversation that has started around BRK’s leaving, I think that this whole on-bit/off-bit discussion of whether WoW is an addiction misses some key ideas. I don’t think it’s a black-and-white topic. I believe there’s a continuum that runs between hobby to avocation to obsession. Nearly everyone has hobbies, whether it’s gardening, stamp collecting, celebrity gossip, or gaming. I think the definition of a “casual WoW player” is one who is a hobbyist. If you garden as a hobbyist, you probably have a nice yard with flowers and subscribe to a few magazines. Those who get into WoW a little deeper and start theorycrafting, blogging, or attempting high-level game achievements (not to be confused with Achievements) are moving into the realm of making WoW an avocation. To continue the gardening analogy (mostly because I have such a black thumb), this description would fit a person who studies plants more in-depth, perhaps blogs or writes an article or two, and maybe even teaches a little gardening class at Home Depot. Going further than that, when you start sacrificing other parts of your life or your health (mental or physical) for your “hobby,” then you can welcome yourself to the world of unhealthy obsession no matter WHAT you are doing. I think gaming in general and WoW specifically is unfairly labeled as obsessive — take, for example, employers who flatly refuse to hire any WoW players — when I don’t think WoW is more likely to disrupt your life than any other hobby. If you have an addictive or obsessive personality, you can become unhealthily attached to ANYTHING. (Octomom, anyone??) The thin blue line between avocation and obsession is the extent to which your hobby negatively impacts the other areas of your life. Mrs. BRK indicated that she was not happy with BRK’s WoW schedule and that’s his thin blue line. We should respect both of them for their decision. However, let’s not be too hasty to judge ourselves or others by a false choice like “Either I’m addicted or I don’t play WoW.” BRK did not take the high road by quitting WoW. He took the high road by choosing balance over obsession.

BTW, I resent NOT being called a hillbilly!

Wall of text crit you for 4000,

~Slig

~Uncle Sy

The lowbie update March 30th

Posted in Leveling, Lowbies, Pie with tags , on March 30, 2009 by forthepie

So I thought I might update the progression my little lowbies have had over the past week or so.

I consider all my characters not at 80 as my lowbies.

Cowbell- Now level 68 and Dwos and I have made it to Nagrand. Fun fact of the day: Cowbell consistently dives into water instead of riding on top of it with path of frost on. It’s probably my camera angle, but I can’t change that for something silly like this.

Zeddak- No updates, he’s still resting.

Forpaj- She is going to be my part of the Lowbie Leveling Group on Saturdays, when we can get everyone on. I am pushing her to 35 so she is caught up with them. Moved from shadow to Discipline to allow for a bit better healing for the group.

Naral- No updates, only logging on to do inscription discoveries.

Tombreaver- No updates, sad sad former ghoul here.

Ozarka- Fikkle and I got sidetracked with trying to get some gear on our 80s so we set aside the mage group for a bit. I’d like to think we’ll pick them back up a bit more once Dwos and Cowbell get to 70.

Xorak- No love this week for the shaman, last week though he started leveling on his own and gathering stuff for the switch to dual wield and mail wearing at 40.

Naciasto- Okay started leveling him again, switched to Boomkin. Learning how to play a boomkin is a big change. Give mana plz! After some slight gear upgrades and some enchanting from Forpaj, woot, mana is good. Still I have to remember to switch to cat/bear form before I am out of mana.

I’ve noticed it takes a few quick fights to get me into the swing of the character I am playing. One of my biggest adjustments is how do I handle going OOM. Sure on some characters that doesn’t matter, but both Pie and Halk have ways to combat the OOM situation. For that matter, so does Tom. Obviously pet classes have even more ways to adjust.

One last thing. Corpse Explosion is so full of win. Especially when the glyph procs. Two explosions is always better than one.

Not Another 3.1 Patch Note Post…

Posted in Discussion, Humor, Random with tags , , , , on March 30, 2009 by sylus

Yes, that’s right. This is not another, “hey guys, here’s the patch notes and my 2gold’s worth of thought on each item.” Instead, I wanted to take a minute to hear from you, the 4theHorde Readers. What is it you are most looking forward to in the coming 3.1 patch? Is it the sought after duel spec? The changes in some random class mechanic? Swimming mounts? Ulduar? Noblegarden? A PVP change? There are so many things coming in 3.1 that will be game changers. This is awesome, it keeps the game fresh, and fresh is what we are all about here at 4theHorde! In fact, take a look at a candid shot of the crew just a few weeks ago…

mmmmmm, smexy…..Okay, so maybe that’s not us from 4theHorde, but still you gotta admit, those guys are fresh!

So, let us know what you are looking forward too, and who knows maybe it will go live tomorrow, and that would be all right with me!

~Uncle Sy

For The Horde Turns 1!!!1!

Posted in Achievements, Random on March 28, 2009 by Kor

Ding! For The Horde is now officially one year old!

And what a crazy strange year its been.  I’ve been looking over the blog stats for the last year.  This is where we sit:

Total Posts: 274 Posts

Total Comments: 889 Comments

Total Views: 44, 858

Top 3 Posts:

1. Grim News at 2,022 views

2. Mage Leveling… What to do? at 1,905 views

3. Aspect of the Dragonhawk: A Twofer at 1,682 views

Busiest Day: Monday, April 21, 2008 (which is the day BRK linked to the Grim News post)

Over the course of that year, Sy after only a few days, and Nim, Pie and Slig not too long ago have all joined the blog and are excellent contributors.  We’ve seen many patches and an expansion get released.  We’ve picked up a few new guildies.  And it’s been an awesome ride.   On behalf of all five of us here, thank you all for coming to read the ramblings we put out there.  Thank you for the comments and the criticisms, and please, keep on coming back.

 

– Fikkle

Lok’tar Ogar!  For the Horde!

Sweet Sweet Redemption

Posted in Achievements, Discussion, News, Random on March 27, 2009 by Nimrock

“The achievement Brew of the Year has been removed from the Brewmaster meta-achievement. The achievement Brew of the Month has been added in its place.”

Newest Patch Notes

Cue happy Nim dance.

Sweet.

Sometimes email might as well be guild chat

Posted in Humor with tags , on March 25, 2009 by Natalie

SUBJECT: Nexus Tonight

Fikkle: Okay, so me Nim and sy are going to be doing arenas on the tournament realm later tonight around 9ish, so I just wanted to see who was going to be around for the standard nexus run.  Since Slig hasn’t been able to get in over the last couple of days, I’m willing to tank with Juris to get her through fairly quickly and then if we want to get a second run going with Nim tanking, I’ll be there to heal. Just wondering what a good time for Slig is.  Let me know. By the way, great posts guys, glad to see some new stuff up over the last couple of days

Slig: I can be on by 6 server time.

Fikkle: Sounds good, I’ll be ready and Pie will also likely be available (I am the boss of him).  If we need to pick up a few PUGs for dps we can.

Nim: i’ll be around but i’m not really itching to run anything unless i’m needed, artoo and renfield need some levelling love.

Pie: Fikkle you are not the boss of me!  But I do need some upgrades for Pie and some emblems for the Halk. I also has characters that need leveling love too.

Just give up this arena thing, you don’t no stupid murloc!

Fikkle: “You don’t no stupid murloc!”  — Did you hire OM(*) Sy as your secretary?

Slig: “You don’t no stupid murloc!” Is this like “You don’t know Jack”? I’m lost…

Pie: English sometimes phails me….or I phail it.  One way or the other. Truthfully I was going to take a shot at one of you three goofs about your lack of PvP skills but realized you all could probably kick my butt in PvP…. 

So I picked on the murloc.

And got roflstomped.

Fikkle: Lol… for sure. Btw, You don’t know Jack was a great game when it first came out.  As for our pvp skills… Well lets just say the only time I’ve ever had an arena rating at 1500 is when we’ve started a new team… so ya…

Nim: SHUT UP NOOB!!! I PVP SO HARD U DON”T EVEN NO!!!

oh, sorry, been on the forums too much lately…

Fikkle: We all need to be in game together more often… guild chat is going to be epic tonight!  Although, I think its pretty hilarious that Sy is going to have about 30 emails to read through when he gets outta class.

Pie: We still have not called for the vote on calling him OM.

(Gavel-Swinger) Nim: I vote we table the motion to a later meeting.

Fikkle: We could go with Particularly Old Sy… as the double entendre acronym is much more suiting

(Old Man) Sylus: I just caught up…18. You guys are failing me! Sent from my iPhone

Nim: I move we ammend the motion on the table to POS posthaste and with prejudice!

Fikkle: Seconded!

Nim: any discussion?

Sylus: I move YOU CAN ALL SUCK IT! Sent from my iPhone

Fikkle: nay from I

Nim: I rise to a point of order. Current discussion must be dealt with before new motions.

Fikkle: Here, here.

Pie: No discussion for me, and once this is voted on or tabled, I move we censure POS.

Slig: Rofl in Target!!! Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Pie: Anyone else see Sy right now as Achmed the Dead Terrorist?  Silence! I Keel You!!

Fikkle: Point of order, Mr. Gavel-Swinger.  Now that all parties have been heard from, we should move to a vote.

Nim: I call for a vote on the resolution to change Sylus P. Deadrogue’s name to Particularly Old Sylus.

Fikkle: Aye

Pie: Aye, But seriously his name was Sylus P. Deadrogue?

(POS) Sylus: I  Vote shinanigans! Now get off my lawn you snot-nosed brats! Sent from my iPhone

Nim: *gavel* Motion carries.

Slig: Just to prove I’m an Ornery cuss, I vote with Sy. Whippersnappers! Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Slig: Shoot. Too slow on email machine. Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Nim: that’s ok slug, the vote is still

3 aye’s

2…shenanigans…

————————

(*) OM = Old Man

Yes, Slig is a chick

Posted in Alts, Humor, Shaman with tags , , , , , on March 25, 2009 by Natalie

Or rather, a Dame, if you want to be nit-picky about it. Yes, I’m the fifth blogger. Not to be confused with The 6th Day (a truly awful, awful film) or The Seventh Sign (I’m sure it’s just as awful but I haven’t seen it). And CERTAINLY not to be confused with 8 Mile… or even The Green Mile (actually, a fine film). It’s like I’m Northwestern in the Big 10. (It goes to 11!)

Okay, where was I? Oh, right. Fifth blogger. Yes. I begged and finagled my way into Fikkle’s blog. He’s a kind soul, so he agreed to let me babble here. Not like I don’t have enough babbling going on, what with Teh Twitter and other interweb whatnots.

Wait. Can I just say something? Other than my freelance writing gigs, I’ve never written for anyone else’s blog but my own. It feels weird. Like I’m trying on someone else’s swimsuit. Or using my husband’s toothbrush. Or, ((gasp)), like I’m playing Alliance. I’ll probably have to shower afterwards.

These guys are awesome and hilarious, but let’s be honest, it’s nice to be able to add a little estrogen to this blog. Just a little. (I really shouldn’t spare much anyway.) Which begs the question: how did I get into this mess in the first place? Well, I blame the confluence of two mighty forces: the Twisted Nether Blogcast and Outland Bound’s anti-pug Pox Arcanum experiment. I appeared on the former, which Fikkle heard, and joined the latter as Abuto, the intellect-not-as-sharp-as-her-daggers rogue, which Fikkle had also been a part of.  On the podcast I mentioned that Slig needed a guild where a “flakey shaman” would be accepted and Fikkle, recognizing my goofiness and having his own love for shamans invited me to join his guild. The rest is Canadian and Kansas…ian history — with a bit of California “dude” thrown in for spice and time zone conflicts. The truth is, I couldn’t be happier. This is the first guild I’ve actually felt I belonged in, who would accept me with all my flaws, and at the same time appreciate my humor and alt-itis.

So, above you can see a picture of Slig and check out his armory stats here. My other two main alts (is that an oxymoron?) are Solareclipse, a 77 Tauren Death Knight, and Xarissa, a 34 Undead Rogue.

solareclipse   

Moo! With requisite Death Knight voice echoey reverb, I guess it’s more like MOOooooOOOoooo!

Xarissa

Don’t ask me  how to pronounce “Xarissa.” You make up your own pronunciation and, heck, you just run with it, ‘kay?

Of course I have about a jillion other alts sprinkled around on 5-6 servers, but I haven’t played them much lately. Dawnbringer and Ashes of Tirisfal have been good to me. I’m happy to be here, guys!

What’s in your wal…err reader?

Posted in Druid, Guild, Leveling, Paladin, Shaman, Tard Jar with tags , , on March 25, 2009 by forthepie

As many of you fine readers know, we here at 4tH(now with more Slig) are card carrying members of the Players of Lots of Toons (PoLoT~pronounced poolot). As you can see over there —–> We have a blogroll. That blogroll is for Fikkle’s amusement, and linkage until his worked blocked the blog (cue nelson laugh).

I used to have a list of blogs and websites in my history that I went to multiple times a day to check out. Then I discovered the Feed Reader. I personally use Google, because the guildmates communicate through either Google email/chat or Google groups. Much bashing of Old Man Sy or OM is done there and in guild chat, when he’s on. Oh who am I kidding, we bash him when he’s not on too.

I interrupt this post to inform you that the poking fun at folks occurs pretty much to everyone. We aren’t mean, we just give each other a hard time. Last night we took another guildy through Heroic UK for the first time and over vent Nim says, “Hey watch this corner, this is where Pie likes to walk into the group and die.” Yes, I did, in fact, walk into one of the groups at the top of the stairs while looking through Atlas Loot and got roflstomped to start the pull. Not last night, but not long ago either. Hrm, I think I owe 5 gold to the TardJar still….

So back to the point of this post. I’d like to cover some of the blogs I read through my reader. Some of which are blocked at work, so I hate when they don’t send the entire post through the reader (looking at you WOWInsider).

DRUID Blogs:

Restokin: Yes, she got some serious love from the WI yesterday and her site blew up. But I don’t read it for just the resto drood info. She has the awesome leveling guides for all the specs. I don’t hold it against her that she’s a Nelf Druid.

Gray Matter: Also an ally drood. WTF? where are you Horde Druids! Again leveling guides and what talents not to take, plus some theorycraft.

4 Haelz: Trees! Resto healing for the win. Plus a gnome warrior? I will say the DK story she posted was awesome with awesome sauce on the side. Creepy!

Hunter Blogs:

BRK, nuff said

Lienna’s Log: Survival hunter in a smexy Belf package and a great accent to boot! She is where I go when I want to learn what’s happening in survival land. Which is the only other spec in hunterdom that I will spec to.

Mage Blogs:

Critical QQ: One stop shop for all things mage. Between Euripedes and Fikkle, I can get all my mage questions answered pretty quickly. Love, love the talent builds for all specs and the Don’t touch that talent parts.

Paladins:

Okay I admit I don’t have any pally blogs in my reader. I still look at Blessing of Kings and use his Raider101 wiki all the time (blocked at work though). I have retpaladin.com saved as one of my favorites for the forums and the guides they have, also blocked at work.

I usually talk to Nim about warrior things and several people in the guild are shamans. I used to raid with a guild and the guild leader is an enhance shaman. Check out his blog.

This is by no means the best blogroll and I am sure I’ve missed some great ones. In fact I am always looking for great blogs to follow for more knowledge. When I was hunter class lead I told the other leads that while I could understand the theorycraft of the EJ, I tended to be better at explaining the principles that theorycraft lead to. I tend to read blogs that give you some theory but then give you the principles that theory supports.

Feel free to point me to other blogs in the comments. Knowledge is power and as some have said, Knowing is half the Battle!

Go Joe!

Holy Crap! A Holy Pally Likes Us!

Posted in Discussion, Humor, Paladin on March 24, 2009 by sylus

HP over at I am a Paladin likes us! I loved what he had to say about us so much, I have to re-say it here!

“Very light, fun blog detailing shenanigans in WoW, I really do enjoy their posts =) Pretty innovative as it is the first guild blog I’ve seen.”

Holy Crap! We’re innovative! Thanks for the kind words, and as you stated about you being a procrastinator, so are we! One of us will get around to the award thing! Thanks dude, we’ll keep in touch!

~Old Man Uncle Sy

5, 4theHorde, 4theWin!

Posted in Humor, Off Topic, Shaman on March 24, 2009 by Kor

Lame Pun courtesy of Old Man Sy.

But its true, For The Horde now has a fifth blogger!  Who is it?  Well Slig of course, also known quite well ’round these here intertubez as the Game Dame.  After Nim and then Pie’s recent invitations to blog, Slig expressed an interest to post some stuff over here every now and again.  And we said welcome aboard.  Unfortunately, this means I’m officically closing all recruiting for bloggers for the site.  Even though I never opened it and wasn’t aware that it was going on.  It was.  I think five of us is exactly the right number to keep things fresh and interesting.  Plus that gives me three additional people to help with the Sylus-bashing, as if there wasn’t already enough of that on vent each and every night.  Seriously, you should hear the ‘lames’ and ‘geasers’ that erupt when he announces he’s logging off.  You’d think we actually wanted him to stay around or something… err… So ya, this is a welcome post.

Welcome Slig!

 /wave

 brak-wave

In related news, my Shaman, Brak, who is captured above has returned to the ranks of Restoration and so now me and Sliggy are rockin the heals, Horde style.  And our guild has four active Shaman players, Nim being a fifth if he ever gets around to levelling (*hint*hint*).  That there, my friends, is what is known as the forest of totems.  And I’m talking about the real wooden totems… not those crazy space totems.  And seriously, Euri totally called it.  From now on its BLOODLUST!  There shall be no mention of Heroism ever again.  Except when referring to Emblems.  Err… Wait, so ya, welcome Slig.

 Glad to have ya on board!

 

Fikkle

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