Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Twig Heals Has Just Turned 1 (and I've got the tree rings to prove it)

**Waits for the applause to die down**

Twig Heals is a year old, and I'm going to take the lazy route here and post a "look back" blog to celebrate!  (Sorry, there's no time to write a shiney new post, I have to leave for work in 15 minutes.)

Without much adieu, here are some of my favorite posts from this past year.  I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I did writing.

5. Grrr! 'Nerf' should be a four letter word...

There have been a lot of tirades on this blog, but my rant about the ICC buff is probably my favorite.  I still secretly wish our GM will "accidentally" disable the buff one night to see how we fare, but that's mostly because I'm a bit of a wow massochist.  Maybe after we down LK? =D

4. On the hunt: Time-Lost Proto Drake

I obsessed over this rare spawn for months and months, scouring the interwebs for any and all information I could find on it, all in an effort to score me a super sexy flying mount.  I never did get to kill it though (not yet anyway), but I did compile all the info I found and posted it on the blog for all to see.  My hope is that somebody, somewhere out there, is flying around on a TLPD saying "Thank you, Twig Heals!" 

3. To be... Or not.  RP

Ok, so RP never really was my thing.  There are so many unwritten rules, so much lore to keep straight, and it's so hard to RP duel while an Alliance rogue is chewing your face off.  Still, I had a lot of fun coming up with a back story for Beck, and I'm glad I shared it with you all (I learned a ton about RP from your feedback emails.)

2. Exiled: The Gauntlet

One of my favorite nights of WoW came while I was playing my alt Pally, and I wrote about it here.  I like to think of it as a story of determination, courage and adventure... though it may have just been about two drunk idiots and a rogue.  Either way, I hope you enjoyed it.

1. For Blood and Honor: Razorscale

Every time I read this story I get the same sense of excitement I got when we first downed Razorscale soooo long ago.  And every time I read it I remember all the "faces" that were there, and all the personalities, and all the fun we had.  This is without a doubt my favorite post on my blog.

Thank you all who've shared in my experiences over this past year (and especially those in game who've been sharing experiences for so much longer).  Here's to hoping the next year is atleast as good as the first.  =D


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Shared Topic: When should a healer let someone die?

Okay, okay, so I'm a little late to the party (it's been a hellaciously long couple of weeks for me) but Ecclesiasticaldisc posed this question on Twisted Nether recently and I feel the urge to put in my two cents.

The question is: 

When should a healer let someone die? Where do you draw the line on shifting the priority of someone’s heals down (or refusing to heal them all together)? Is it if they upset you personally? If they are consistently standing in the fire? If they have lame dps? If they aren’t managing their aggro? If they go afk for fifteen minutes in the middle of a boss fight? Is it only when it’s jeopardizing the entire group’s success? I believe there is a point for every healer, but where does the gray area fall?

The short answer:  Never.

Here's a quick story for you.  Several months back our guildies scraped together a group for the weekly, which happened to be Razorscale.  Of the 10 toons in the raid, nine were being operated by warm bodied human beings, while the 10th was a toon belonging to the husband of one of our guildies and was being towed through Ulduar on follow.  Just so the husband's toon did not miss out on 5 emblems while he was away at work, his wife logged on to both PCs and both accounts, put her hubby in her seige engine for FL then parked his toon next to the turrets for Razorscale. 

Not surprisingly, during the fight the MIA toon took fireball after fireball to the face and even spent some time roasting in flame breath.  Completely out of range of heals and offering nothing by way of DPS, I imagine most people would've let the toon die and collect his emblems as a ghost.  But not me.  I hauled bark halfway across that room every time he took a hit and stood there healing him until he was out of danger.

Having to justify my actions to the raid leader, I made up some BS about how the toon's presence was saving someone else from taking fireballs and "at least he wasn't dropping flame breath in the middle of the room."  But to be honest, I made the choice I made because I believe a healer's job is to keep everyone alive no matter what. 

If a toon was a jerk to me (and it has happened quite a bit over the years), I would still heal them (and would consider myself an even bigger jerk if I didn't). 

If some under geared, under skilled dpser was doing less damage than the tanks, I would still heal them (and be proud that I was able to see them through to the end of the fight). 

If a noob was standing in fire or dropping some AoE nastiness on the raid, I would still heal them... or try to at least.  (Would I be making my job easier by letting him/her bite the dust?  Yes.  But easy doesn't make it right.)

My job as a healer is not to decide who lives or dies, or what's best for the raid.  My job is to find a way to heal whatever group of toons through whatever raid encounter with as few casualties as possible.  If that means paying extra attention to the jerk in the fire doing white damage along with everybody else who has the misfortune of standing next to him/her, then that's my job. 

And if you'd rather pass on that kind of challenge to go farm some loot that you're just going to replace in a month... then we don't see eye to eye on what makes this game so much fun to play.

Just my two cents...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Back that thang up

I ended my last blog with "The masses are speaking. Let's find out if anybody at Blizzard is listening." It turns out that they were.

Nethaera announced this morning that Blizzard has decided NOT to require real names on the official forums.


I tip my cap to all who campaigned against Blizzard Entertainment's announcement. Your voices were heard and you won one for the little guys.

And a nod of respect also goes out to Blizzard for making the tough/correct choice to reverse their original decision.

Here's to hoping awareness has been raised to just how much of your personal information can be found on the web. And let's keep our fingers crossed that the changes Blizzard is moving forward with will bring about a decrease in trolling/flaming on the offical forums.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Real ID goes to the forums

"I'm just an average man
With an average life
I work from nine to five,
Hey hell I pay the price
All I want is to be left alone
In my average home
But why do I always feel like
I'm in the twilight zone?

I always feel like
somebody's watching meeee
and I have no privacy..."

Ah yes, Blizzard's newest announcement has their forum community singing a new tune these days.  Soon, you will be required to disclose your Real ID (first and last name) in order to post on the offical forums. 

My first reaction... "-_-"

To be honest, I am not an active poster on the offical forums (or any forums for that matter) so the change has little effect on me personally.  Thinking ahead, should I ever feel the need to post on the forums (e.g. Blizz decides to rock my world with another "ToL on cooldown" type announcement) this Real ID news would do very little to deter me.

Do I have a common name?  No.  I've only been able to find one other person in the US who shares my first and last name, so it would not be too difficult to locate me (or him for that matter). 

Am I an exhibitionist?  No more so than most I suppose.  I have a facebook profile.  I have a blog that links to it.  Clearly I must crave some attention / enjoy exhibiting my RL.

Do I fear the repercussions of connecting my character to my real life self?  No.  There's nothing I would say in "character" that I would not in person.  There is nothing I do game related that would jeopardize my job/life/reputation.  The golden rule doesn't stop at login screens.  There's little doubt that anybody who had desired to find me/my info would have already done so even before this change takes effect.

So, do I agree with Blizzards announcement?  Absolutely not.

I'm not "upset" about this news, because I'm detached from its effects, but it's blatantly obvious to me how terrible a decision this is for those who will be very much affected by it.  The logic behind it is shaky at best... 

"Removing the veil of anonymity typical to online dialogue will contribute to a more positive forum environment" 

Perhaps.  But, if that's all Blizzard has in the "Pros" column, they've obviously neglected to weigh the negatives. 

A very one sided debate rages (see here, here, and elsewhere) across the online community, and if there's any justice left on the net, WoWaholics will not be forced to choose between their hobby and their privacy.

The masses are speaking.  Let's find out if anybody at Blizzard is listening.