Monday, July 26, 2010

How about a little tank and spank?

As I've referenced before, I play World of Warcraft. Not having my regular computer for the last few months has made me want to read a lot more about the game, about my class, and about other game related issues. One thing I have found: the lack of Warrior blogs. So one thing I might do from time to time is discuss the Warrior class. Unfortunately, I do not feel I can devote an entire blog to the class, but I feel it'll be a nice addition to KY Geek Girl.

My beloved Aleksondra is a Forsaken Fury Warrior on Shadow Council-Horde-RP-US. She belongs to the guild , of whom the lovely Tarinae is guild master. To be perfectly honest, Sondra was an alliance before she was a horde. Highly misguided, I played for 2 years as an alli. But, on Septemer 3, 2009, I made one of the best World of Warcraft Decisions ever: Faction change.

I've really enjoyed playing Fury, though when I decided to go dual-specialization, the secondary spec was Protection. Once I realized I liked Paladin tanking better than Warrior tanking, I unlearned the Protection talents in favor of Arms. I primarily use the Arms spec for Player-Vs-Player. It's all a learning process. I don't play to theorycraft or to raid hardcore. I play for myself and to have fun.

Now that we have introductions out of the way, I'll say that I am incredibly excited for Cataclysm. I came into WoW during Burning Crusade and Vanilla content was barely talked about.  With Cataclysm, we will see Azeroth changed forever. I'm shooting for Loremaster before the expansion comes. I was nearly done on Aleksondra before I switched factions. Sadly, your quest count gets wiped. I'm going to have to do all of the faction specific quests over. Can I do it? I'll update on my progress.

For now, I'll leave you with a few of my favorite World of Warcraft related sites:

  • A Healadin's Tear -- Tarinae has been playing World of Warcraft as long as I have. She's a master at the art of the Holy Paladin and offers up a great deal of information and insight into the class. She has two other 80s, an Arcane Mage and a BeastMastery Hunter.

  • Cynwise's Battlefield Manual -- Cynwise, a Warlock on Durotan-US, loves long fishing trips in Wintergrasp. (As do I.) Need some Warlock info, have a question about battlegrounds? The Battlefield Manual answers those and more.

  • Warcraftpets -- I don't know about you, but I'm a vanity pet whore. I love them. I'm even going to get the Authenticator (which I recommend everyone do anyway!) so I can get the Corehound pup. I'm curious to see how vanity pets will change come Cataclysm and I'm sure Breanni over at Warcraft Pets will have all of the information you need. Ever notice Breanni in Dalaran, the vanity pet dealer? That's her! She was added to the game as an homage to the Warcraft Pet database!

  • El's Extreme Anglin' -- Want to get started with fishing in World of Warcraft? You've come to the right place. El wrote her own Extreme Anglin' guide... Nat Pagle just can't compare. She outlines equipment, locations, the Salty title, etc. Find all of the information you want about Fishing.

  • Wow Insider -- One of my favorite columns is The Overachiever which details our favorite Achievements in World of Warcraft. After Loremaster, I want to go for Insane in the Membrane.

Do you have a favorite site? I'll create a comprehensive list, just let me know your favorite!

I hope you've liked this addition to the blog. If you're a WoW player, give me a shoutout. I love rolling lowbies on new servers!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Initial response to Blizzard's Real-ID function

This is my < 1000 character response to Blizzard's new policy of publishing user's real names on their forums. I will have a longer response and blue posts up here soon, but that's a tad hard to do on the POS computer. For now, here is what I wrote on the World of Warcraft page.

I am on Facebook and I've become a fan of Warcraft because I enjoy the updates. Other Facebook users can see what I've written here, but my privacy settings are such than no one can add me as a friend or find me in search. However, you have taken away all privacy when it comes to World of Warcraft. People play to escape, to become someone else, not put their names out for all the world to see. If I wanted to play myself, I would roll a character named Natasha, but I don't want to do that. We also take comfort in the fact that we can post as those characters on the forums. That encourages role play even on the forums. Have you not taken that into account? No one is going to role play on the forums if they have to have their name out there. I believe that this has gone way beyond the privacy for your users and straight to your bottom line. Like Facebook, like so many other companies, Blizzard is starting to care more about profit and sales than the end-user.

For shame, Blizzard.

*** 7/9 Update ***
Less than 24 hours after I wrote my response to Blizzard regarding my feelings about Real ID on the forums, it is decided that no one's full name will be displayed. I, along with so many, breathed a sigh of relief. The news broke on 7/6 that there would be the new Real ID implementation on the forums which angered a great deal of players. Some immediately deleted their characters, some threatened to never post on the forums again.

Here is Wow Insider's coverage of Blizzard's response to the Real ID issue which contains blue posts. Everyone's had an opinion on the subject since Real ID was announced several months ago. I'm not participating in it and neither is my guild master and best friend Tarinae. We both agreed that we know how to contact each other if neither of us are on characters we play together. Bottom line on why I am anti-Real ID in game: there are people who are playing currently who wish to do nothing more than fuck with me. I ended up changing my character name.

That being said, I would prefer people not know my full name. I have very high privacy settings on my Facebook account and I am pretty sure that my Linked In account is invite-only. So, I wish to hold that same privacy to what I do in game. Going on the forums is a fun way to immerse yourself in the WoW experience while not playing. On my realm, Shadow Council, I really enjoy the big PVP-ers of Alliance and Horde talking smack and planning large PVP events. It's entertaining and it's anonymous.

Because our realm is RP, there is a lot of text based RP on the forums. You can't very well RP as your in-game character if your name is up there for the world to see. It just doesn't make any sense.

But, for now, we have a reprieve. And I, for one, appreciate that Blizzard has changed its mind.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Website Review: Fuel the Geek

Before I deleted my old blog, I had started to drift the way of a diet blogger. I'd created a page for my weight loss tracking, but since stopped doing Weight Watchers. $40 a month can be a pretty big expense so I got off course. My boss, Ann, started Weight Watchers several weeks ago and she's doing great, achieving 2 awesome milestones. She's definitely inspired me to get back into it.

But then I checked my twitter followers and saw that I was being followed by Table of Geeks. I love getting new followers, especially when they aren't spam, so I checked out their feed. Haven't been able to listen to their podcasts yet due to my POS computer, but I saw another project that they're working on: Fuel the Geek.

It's a new website, but they have already uploaded a good bit of content. In short, Fuel the Geek is the ultimate gamer diet. And no, it's not composed of Red Bull and Doritos. This is a balanced dieting plan so that even geeks can eat in a healthy way. The system is based on the Weight Watchers point system.

The site outlines the way you calculate your points, they call them hit points, and discusses the point values for different foods, damage points. By rolling your character, you find out how many hit points you have for each day. Then, you can level up and claim you rewards.

With categories for various point values, including those yummy 0 point veggies, you can find the perfect food for those long Dungeons and Dragons sessions. I mean, we all know you have to have something delicious to nom on and it doesn't have to be Cheez Whiz.

So, the Fuel the Geek plan helps you think of weight loss like a quest. No different than any mission in World of Warcraft or Dungeons and Dragons. You can still get loot and you see your experience pay off by dropping the pounds.

Since I've just decided to rate stuff and haven't come up with a scoring system, I'll be totally unoriginal and it Fuel the Geek 5 stars for originality, content and general geekiness. Major props to Robb, Abby, and Clay over at Table of Geeks for coming up with this site. I'm totally jealous that I wasn't the one who thought of it. :-)