When The Burn Out Happens

One phenomenon that plays out every expansion thus far is the “burn out factor” if I can so use that particular terminology. Within the last few months, several longstanding guildies have mentioned within guild chat how they are “bored” of the game. From my perspective as the GM, when one types that much dreaded word in guild chat, I instinctively cringe. The reason being is that a single person can very much sway the mood or sentiment within guild chat, especially if that particular individual is a well established member of the guild. The old adage, one bruised apple can spoil the cart is well grounded indeed! To be fair, a healthy guild is one where it’s members can express whatever it is they are feeling, yet the possibility of one remarking within guild chat for all to see the general ennui setting in can be quite damaging to the guilds overall moral. It goes without saying that it can be a downer for someone who just joined the guild and is all wide eyed, bushy tailed and excited to be within the guild. The newly infamous “grumpy cat” is one of the best exemplifications of how much a real downer it can be when one types unceremoniously the dubious and much dreaded, “I’m bored…” statement. My knee jerk reaction is to quickly respond by saying to go read a book, or just take some time off and recharge.

I fully understand where the sentiment comes from, especially for playing WoW for so long, so it is not something that I myself have not dealt with per se. I think that is one of the primary aspects that Blizzard is continually contending with, which is just how to keep and retain the player bases and prevent the “burnout”. Players means money. It doesn’t take a goblin to figure out that simple and fundamental equation. I find it pretty amazing that Blizzard has created and maintained the game to the degree of popularity that is has in terms of its sheer longevity. It certainly is a fascinating topic of discussion (study) to examine how much the game has changed over the years. I can easily recall within the “Vanilla” days, there were no daily quests, PvP battlegrounds, Arenas, Pet Battles, Farming, or even Transmogging of gear.

One simple facet of how I have managed to keep the game fresh is by way of being an avid pet and mount collector. Many might not recall when there was no pet or mount storage per se, where by players had to physically carry their pets and mounts within their backpacks. Praise the Earthmother that such a feature was implemented into the game that reduced the need to carry around our beloved critters and beasts. If by some twist of fate a “Blue” is reading this post, I would ever so humbly ask that such a storage feature could be put in place for tabards as well. I have around eighteen tabards that I dare not destroy, since the tabard vendor does not offer them as a buyback option. I would faint if I were to gain eighteen bag slots! You ever seen a Tauren faint? it is not a pretty sight let me tell you! Oh, lest I forget, I would also like to put forward some sort of storage feature that would allow for armor sets and weapons to be stashed and organized. That would be the bom-diggity if ever such a feature were to be implemented!

Back on topic, if one finds themselves burned out or board with the game, my advice is to just simply take a break and unplug for a while. Recharge and come back fresh. One of the terrific aspects about WoW is that it will be there when you return. Sure, there may be some changes to adjust to, but overall the way in which the developers have retained the core characteristics of gameplay, so that it is quite easy to come back after a long break and pick up where one last left off.

For me, I very much enjoy and appreciate the fluidity of WoW. Some months back, I was quite heavily engaged within PvP. I happened to come across a superb add on called oQueue, which allows for much better organization and communication while engaging in PvP. (Just a side note, if you have not tried oQueue, I can not recommend it highly enough. It has not only brought back the fun of PvPing, but I would even venture to say that it has allowed me to get to know a whole host of new players that I would never had met and have interacted with otherwise, so there very much is a cool community of both Horde and Alliance players around it. Plus, as an aside, I have been able to get to know the project creator and can mention the fact that he is one of the good guys.) Pet Battles when fully implemented then held sway over me and I was all about the totality of pet collecting, while also engaging within the pet skirmishes that went along with it. Whoever thought to add the original Warcraft 2 music into the actual pet battling encounter rocks! Watch out for the Pandaren Earth Spirit Tamer, who we ever so affectionately call “Slappy Cow”. He totally cheats!

With the most recent changes to how Conquest gear can be obtained, I am right back within the PvP fray!  So in reflecting as to how I have pretty much continually been able to enjoy my game time within WoW, I reckon that is has to do with establishing my own personal goal that I want to accomplish within the game. Not that I would ever label myself as some sort of Type A personality, who is hyper ambition and has a full on driven personality. If anything, I am more akin to the Pandarians, whose “slow down, have a dumpling” life approach and philosophy best exemplifies my natural disposition. For me, slow and steady very much does win the “race”. Case in point, why just a couple of days ago, I finally managed to acquire the ever elusive Grand Black War Mammoth after an extensive time farming for him!

So my own “Kernhoofian” advice when the burnout happens is don’t stress and don’t go announcing it all over guild chat. Let your close in game friends know, as well as your GM. Then just simply step back and take a break. Go enjoy a book. In fact, might I recommend one of my all time favorites, A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs! Even if you are not burned out and need a break, go read that book anyways! You won’t be disappointed at all! I will even go so far as to say how much you will fall in love with the story and characters within!

Ok, time to log in and War Stomp some Alliance!

For the Horde!!!!

(Just an little accompaniment…I posted on the General WoW forum this write up and it has spurred some very cool discussion!)

Fabled Tamer

Jugger Not 1

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When Drama Hits

Preface:

It has been too long since I last posted, for that I apologize! I have been focused on three other projects which have taken my priority. The first is a podcast that I do with my buddy Matt, called incredibly enough The Matt and Pat Show! Our motto is “Don’t Listen!”, which makes sense if you actually were to listen to us! It is just two buddies rambling on about nothing in particular for an hour each week.

The second is an internet news aggregate page, called Bold Boars Ledger. With the major news outlets becoming more controlling and dictating what actual news the public has access to, I like many others have turned to the internet which has a whole host of independent news sites, which provides a lot of the “other” news stories which are not being told. So with that in mind, I created a simple news blog site where I link ten articles that I think are most pertinent and interesting.

Lastly, is my personal blog site called pmpax. Basically, it is in response to how much I have grown to despise Facebook. So long rant short, I created my own blog site where I don’t have to worry about anyone “owning” my content, or selling my personal information, or having numerous “changes” to ones page without any sense of awareness that it was going to be changed to being with. Worst of all, like has happened with other such “social media” sites, if they decide to pull the plug, all of your content which was posted goes poof!

So there you go! Trying to be a busy little bee! In the midst of all of that I have been playing WoW…though there were some storm clouds forming within the guild….

Body:

One reason why I enjoy having my own guild is that I have a certain amount of control as to the course and direction it goes. I can have the final say in the players within the guild, as well as create the type of atmosphere that I want it to have. That is not to say that I am into the whole “I Have da POWA!!!!” trip that often is the case with certain individuals who are under the mistaken grandiose notion that being a guild leader is the be-all and end-all of total and utter dominance. It just does not work that way. It is about setting an example of how I wish my guildies to act and treat one another with respect, kindness and dare I say endearment for all, regardless of level, gear and playing experience.

The best and most appropriate analogy of being a guild leader is akin to herding cats. Now, don’t get me wrong for I love cats and of course kittens! Realistically, unless the guild is run in true militaristic fashion, getting every single guildie on board is a pretty daunting task. When you have a whole host of players that all have their own focus and desires for what they want to accomplish in the game, let alone what makes Warcraft fun for them, it’s all over the board.

There are various approaches to how best to arrive at the same goals and aspirations, so as to have a unified guild modus operandi. There are raid specific guilds and PvP specific, RP guilds and everything in between. A guild works best when the guildies are behind what the specific focus of the guild is based upon. It is the role of the guild leader to try to instill that vision of the guild to his guildies.

Having played WoW now for all eight years, I have been in quite a number of guilds before I eventually decided to give it a go with being having my own. At this point in my WoW span, I very much feel like Quint in the film Jaws. A grizzled, seen it all, done it all veteran. Nothing really phasing me in terms of transpiring with in the game, for the old adage very much is true, “there is nothing new under the sun”. Just because I may be seasoned per se, does not imply that I have lost the joy and pluck when I play. My approach as a guild leader is one that tries to establish a warm, friendly cozy home for players, where they can go about and do whatever it is one wants to do. There are obvious pros and cons to such an approach. While it can be very liberating having a sense of freedom, dare I use the analogy of Captain Jack Sparrow and his relationship to his much cherished ship the Black Pear, it can also feel very shambolic and scattered to some. Brigands is very much my Black Pearl in a very real sense.

A key example is of how I spent the last several months fully engaged and emerged within pet collecting and pet battles. I simply love my non-combat pets, I have since the first day I entered the game with my little collectors edition panda pal. I did not do any PvP, nor engage in any guild runs whatsoever. I have always made it a point to not take on the added responsibility (dare I say burden) of raid leading, which is all about organizing the players, as well as coordinating the whole kit and kaboodle, along with being the “coach” of sorts. Leading a guild takes enough energy. Realistically and practically, running a weekly raid is just not something that I really want to put my time into.

With it being at the “mid expansion” point of Mist of Pandaria, there have been quite a few guildies that have taken a leave of absence, due to burn out or whatever particular personal reason. One of the top Horde raid guilds on the server just went “KaBoom!”, where the guild leader kicked out every member and left the game. Talk about meltdown! My sense of things is that there seems to be a general sense of unease within most guilds, so I don’t believe that what has transpired in a more minor fashion is limited to just us. Without going into details, I could read the signs of drama brewing within the guild from a few who were unhappy for this or that particular reason. They have since left, to greener pastures they hope. What I have learned over the years is that oftentimes there are no greener pastures per se, it is all about your attitude, how you treat those around you, as well as your approach to the game.

It certainly seems the case that when there is drama emanating from a particular individual from the guild, more often that not, it stems from the issues within that persons “real life”. The stresses, conflicts, heartbreaks and general life smack-down that happens to all of us has a way of making it sting even more within WoW. Why is that? Well, my theory is quite simple. Many play to escape from the trails and tribulations of their life, so when their perfect WoW world goes array, it becomes a time of bitterness and anger directed at the one or ones who are merely scapegoats.

My advice, if I were to impart any is to deal with the issues going on within your life and step away from the game if your finding yourself within this particular mindset. Take a break from the game and cope with and take charge of what needs to be done, and to really approach life with a sense of  inner serenity. One Catholic mystic that I think best exemplify this notion is Padre Pio who said, “Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry!”. Go watch Kung Fu Panda 2, a great movie about inner serenity and peace. You can either be the panda or you can be the peacock. The choice is yours. Drama never accomplished anything good or beneficial for anyone, let alone the individual who is stirring up the pot. Unfortunately, the only type of guild to not have drama is a guild of one. So the trick is how to deal with it when it raises its ugly head.

My approach is to let it flow, as water does upon the rocks. That is not to say to not care do, just that drama is oftentimes a result of something that one has no actual influence or change as to the real reason why a particular person is all wound up. Listen and be a shoulder to lean on, but also realize that there are times when it is best if a person just moves on and let it go.

I never thought how much experience and interpersonal insights would be gained by playing Warcraft. Trippy indeed! The best thing a friend of mine said once about the game were the people and the worst thing about the game were the people. True dat!

When drama hits, as it inevitably will, just hang on and let it wash over you. These things will pass as all life does. They key is to not let it suck you in and leech you of your spirit. Ultimately, it is jsut a game, one that is meant to be wondrous and adventurous and fun. If it is no longer fun, then don’t play. It is that simple really. For me, Warcraft is still very much a fun and truly enjoyable game, one that I hope continues for years to come!

 

For the Horde and for my beloved guild the Bloodhoof Brigands!

 

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Needed Arms Warrior Changes

The one class in the game that I have always played and have always loved is that of the Arms Warrior. Wielding a massive two handed sword charging into battle is all I ever wanted to do, especially after seeing and playing the Blademaster from Warcraft 3! There have been numerous times where playing my Warrior has felt epically awesome, where as other times, it has been the morose of utter sadness!

The reason can be found in the various class changes that has altered and changed the class over the years. So while after all of these many Azerothian moons and many revisions to the Warrior class, I still proudly stand as an Arms Warrior after many have rerolled to other classes. Simply put, being an Arms Warrior makes me happy when I play WoW.

That is not to say that I don’t think there should be certain aspects of the class or particular talents and abilities that need to be addressed and modified. Just the opposite! Currently, there are quite a few adjustments that I believe would certainly improve the feel and playability of our class, let alone instill some more “fun” mojo into it. So having said that, here is a simple list of alterations I would really like to see for the Arms Warrior that are within the current test build:

 

1. Bladestorm-increase weapon damage to 150%, immune to disarm (Give it some teeth!)

2. Heroic Throw-increase damage, needs a fun factor to it at least

3. Intimidating Shout-remove having to have a targeted enemy

4. Mortal Strike-increase damage, lower the cool down to 5 seconds, (it just still feels weak and ineffective)

5. Overpower-remove the rage cost

6. Shattering Throw-reduce the casting time and cooldown

7. Slam-reduce the rage cost

8. Spell Reflect-remove shield requirement

9. Sunder Armor-allow Colossus Smash to provide Weakened Armor inherently/remove Sunder Armor

10. War Banner-Allow for the Skull and Demoralizing Banners to be placed upon the back of the Warrior, similar to the Blastmaster stylization

11. Second Wind-restore it to allow for health region while stunned

12. Enraged Regenration-baseline for all Warriors

13. Change the Slam/Revenge for Taruen Warrior animation, it just does not visually look visually appealing. Simply put it looks lame. Sorry to have to say that, for whoever worked really hard to make that animation, but it just does not work. Needs to be changed.

14. Allow Arms Warriors to duel wield for RP/Fun…we should be able to equip our Twin Blades of Azzinoth, and or other weapons that we have in our collection.

Lastly, Taruen radical-enable plains running!

(I won’t even mention how beyond awesome it would be if Warriors had the the Wind Walk and Mirror Image abilities! HA!)

 

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Suna, Evie, Sheepie, Tak-Tak and The Crawling Claw

I find it intriguing how the actual storyline and events of the game get lost in the “arms” race of getting better gear,weapons and achievements. It certainly seems that the continual endless debate and “discussion” is solely focused upon gear. I wonder how many players actually quest, let alone how many truly read what the quest description/write up is. I certainly hope many do, for you can tell that a lot of thought and care goes into crafting the overall narrative, as well as the particular, individual story threads.

Three separate quests lines really highlighted for me how good the storytelling is of this expansion. The first dealt with Suna, who is out on the front lines with her husband sacrificing everything to allow others the enjoyment of hearth and home. With her husband missing and more than likely captured, she pleads for your toon to go find out what happened to him and if possible to bring him back safely. You find out a bitter truth that sometimes bad things happen to good Pandarian. Then, if you think that is sad (which it is) eventually you will come across Chen Stormstout who is out and about looking for his long lost family relations. Get the tissue out for this one, for you probably already guessed correctly, one of them is felled. Poor Evie! Don’t even get my started on Sheepie!

So while most players are running around like crazed ooken cookers, there is a vast, exhaustive stories taking place all throughout Panderia. With reports being released relating how we have become such an impatient culture, I sure hope that those who are responsible for the storyline, quests and lore of WoW know that there are those of us out and about who very much enjoy this particular aspect of the game. I know I can’t be the only one who reads every quest, so as to be immersed within the story.

As far as story lines goes, the Dominance Offensive is good stuff! I hate the Alliance as much as any member of the Horde should, so it goes without saying that I am quite disposed to taking the fight to them. In terms of the narrative of the Dominance Offensive, the proverbial poop is going to hit the zep! I certainly don’t want to give away any spoilers here, but let me just say that I bet a certain troll leader is going to have some payback for a certain Warchief! One subtle nuance that I really enjoy is that of the npc Tak-Tak, who acts as a taxi service when called upon to deliver your toon to certain locations. What is fun about Tak-Tak is how he provides an overview as to what is currently transpiring in terms of the current events in a very down-to-Azeroth Hozen manner. Is it too soon to promote Tak-Tak for Warchief?

Lastly, after years of digging in the dirt, I finally was able to obtain the Crawling Claw! What a wickedly cool non combat pet! One of the little Easter eggs for this pet is that if there is another one that is close by, the two will have a “rock, paper, scissors” game. How rad is that!

If by some happy chance one of the storyline/quest team happens to be reading this post, let me finish by saying how much I have thoroughly enjoyed the many quests throughout the game and raise a hefty Panderian mug of Stormstout!

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Ricola and The Lost Cub Riddle

Can it truly be 2013???!!! It seems only last week that it was still 2012! Sorry, could not resists, one of my senior officers of the guild and longtime buddy Leegh tossed that out this morning when we were in Vent. It was too good to not pass along and share!

Hopefully, everyone had a wonderful, peace filled and safe holiday. While I had a very lovely Christmas holiday, this past week I have been hit with a horrid flu! it goes without saying that being sick is not fun and having a wickedly painful sore throat certainly is not one of the most enjoyable ways to ring in the new year. Fortunately, I had a full supply of Ricola’s and have been able to get plenty or rest.

I figure next week to get back on track with a new blog post, but until then why not have some fun searching for a lost cub and gain the chance to win a Spectral Kitten Loot Card!

Click on the link here which will take you to Drrum’s WoW Blog that has all of the 411 on it! She has a great blog page with wonderful pics of her pets and armor sets to match!

Enjoy and stay away from this nasty flu going around!

derum

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What A Wonderful World of Warcraft

Had a fun week in WoW, but that pretty much always goes without saying. If it isn’t fun, then why play right? This is a season when there should be an abundance of joy, peace and most importantly love. Sadly, that is not the case. Following the news can feel more like reading the novel Heart of Darkness. Take courage thought friend, there are real life good guys out there, like Nicholas, who always put others ahead of himself. If only we strove to emulate one such as him, the world would be a much brighter place indeed.

Attitude goes a long way, both in real life and within WoW. I find it quite intriguing how some individuals act in a particular manner within the game, where by when not logged in, their actions would be more inline with social norms and dictates. Obviously, a lot of it has to do with the condition anonymity. What is the first rule of being on an internet forum, especially the WoW forums, is to never, ever feed the trolls!

Strangely enough, when I am in game, oftentimes I am asked if how I “play” my toon is how I am in “real life”. Of course, is my answer always! While I enjoy enacting out my beloved characters, my toon and I in a sense are one. Not to get too metaphysical here, I simple mean that how I act in game is how I act in the “real world”. It’s pretty straightforward and uncomplicated actually, treat others as you wish to be treated.

So this Winter Veil season, try to be more kindhearted and altruistic to those you come across. In the guild, we have a saying that goes, “nice guys don’t finish last, they get disqualified.” While my guild mates laugh at the humor if it, in actuality I have found that showing kindness to others is returned tenfold. A little thoughtfulness goes a long way indeed!

So my holiday wish for players everywhere and upon all realms is one where truly you experience a wonderful world of warcraft!

(My buddy Grizz and I get our groove on before battle!)

Kern and Grizz Dancing1

 

Kernandfriends12

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Likes/Dislikes and The Minfernal Pet

Mop has been out now for quite a while, so I thought it would be a good time to reflect upon the various aspects that I have really enjoyed, as well as those few areas that I am none too pleased about. Going back to the Cata expansion, I was really thrilled to see that we would be going up against Deathwing himself! Having been introduced to the wonderful universe of Warcraft by way of the RTF Warcraft I, II and III, it was totally awesome to see this particular nefarious villain break forth to wreck destruction upon the world (of warcraft), only to be routed by a band of heroes! Unfortunately, after coming off the high of the Lich King expansion, Cata felt flat and disappointing. Preying Deathwings claws one by one off the rocks, so as to ensure that he would be disposed of into the vortex seemed too much like “this little piggy when to market” toe wiggling. Both he and the players deserved better in terms of this final encounter. I reckon that the time needed to revamp all of the old world content became such a massive, involved and time consuming endeavor that many of the end content aspects just never quite measured up.

Having said that, I can defiantly appreciate all of the long hours and work that went into Cata, as well every expansion thus far. MoP is the one that delivers for me! As a “hardcore” casual, I love the vibe and playing experience that the devs have created for us. The stylized and stylistic blend of the WoW universe with the asian motif is both engaging and charming. The landscapes are simply beautiful. So visually, the world certainly works it magic upon me, drawing me in and beckoning me to explore. As one who enjoys questing, there  is a good mix of humor, purpose and lore. There is a lot going on within the world, as their should be. While there seems to be a sense of “fatigue” in terms of completing all of the daily quests available, to my way of thinking just take a break from doing them and partake of what else MoP has to offer.

Dare I suggest trying out Pet Battles? All I have to say is, “Hello, my name is Kernhoof and I am an addict.” My own guildies are calling me a “Pet Pusher!” The guild has pretty much for all intent and purpose has transformed itself into primarily a pet collecting/battling guild. Not that that is a bad thing, just really interesting to see how over the years it has altered and redefined itself in what the members like to do. It is all about the pets!!!

Now, in terms of one particular feature that I have come to loathe is that of cross server merging of players. I can understand the devs “liking” how it makes for a more populous world, whereby a player sees many other individuals out and about, thus giving the illusion of an active and lively world. Nevertheless, I truly detest how this has in fact had a negative impact upon the particular server community. Back in “Vanilla” WoW, I was able to get to know many of the players of both the Horde and Alliance who played upon my server. When battling within Av for example, there was a certain paladin who I would always go after, likewise he would go after me too. That was not only fun, but it also built up the community. You knew both your allies, as well as your foes! Unfortunately, the way it is currently, there are players who I see that are not even from an RP server. Not very immersive to see one named “BurritoKing” as much as I love burritos!

Now, as a simple example to better illustrate how this change has negatively impacted me, I flew into Felwood to look for a Miniferal, only to see it being camped by eight players, none of whom are from my server. What is worse, I finally saw one and went to go click upon him, so as to capture him, only to be out-clicked by another player from a different server. I am not one to be bitter or cry over split milk (spilt rum is a different story), but I can’t begin to express how frustrating an experience that is, of which my fellow guildies and friends have also had similar occurrences taking place.

Call it getting into the Christmas spirit, but unlike the one player that nicked my Miniferal from me, I actually helped a player get one. Over the course of several days, I saw Nab patiently waiting in order to obtain one as well. I struck up a conversation with her since she was one of the constant players camping the area for the pet and offered up some advice on how potentially get one. Basically, just go around the area and take out any critter that are there, which in turn would better trigger the rare Miniferal to spawn. So while I really don’t care for the whole cross server aspect, it has at least afforded me to meet a few nice players as in this distinct case.

Well, I logged in, and to my utter surprise, there was in fact before me one of them happy stomping around! I swiftly flew over, only to see another player approach as well. Heart literally pounding (funny but true), I went to quickly click him, of course thinking how cutthroat I had become since losing out on the previous spawn. I noticed that it was Nab, so I stopped and let her take it. Call me a sucker or one of those “nice guys” that doesn’t even enter the race to finish, but I just could not bring myself to steal it away, even if I might have been the one who spotted it first.

As can be expected, Nab was overjoyed! Somewhere out there is a merry player and an indentured Miniferal! I will get one eventually. I won’t even bring up how long it too me to get a Magical Crawdad! Ok, time to log in, since the weekly maintenance is over. See you in Felwood hunting for you-know-who!!!!

Red Sunglasses Kern

Nab and Nancia!

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Pets Made Me Do It!!!!!

Disclaimer: You better sit down as you read this post.

It happened and I make no apology for it. I blame it on the pets! I went Alliance. I know, I know it shocks me too! I did it for my love of all things pets, that is a valid and worth reason right? Right? For those who have known me a long time and my dedication and diligence in collecting pets, it seems like a natural extension of my passion (addiction) for all things cute and adorable in WoW. Some might recall back in the day when we had to keep out pets within our backpacks and bank slots, along with our mounts. It wasn’t until the dev’s added the much appreciated mount and pet storage tab, which not only freed up much needed back space, but it also allowed us to go forth and collect even more pets!

With the current circumstances as they are for pet collecting, it was only a matter of time before this was to happen to where I rolled an Alliance toon in order to collect the Alliance only pets, in addition to gaining all of the new Pet Battle achievements. Blizzard very slyly made quite a few of these achievements only possible by way of having a toon of each faction, which of course plays right in to those who not only want to collect pets but also obtain achievements. Well played Blizzard, well played indeed!

So taking the plunge to the “other” side, I created a Pandarian monk. If you have not tried the Panda race, I certainly would cajole you into rolling one. They literally roll too! I think that is one of my favorite abilities they have! The particular spec I chose was that of a healer, known as a Mistweaver. I have to say that I am having a blast playing a healing monk. Very fun indeed!

One of the first things I did when I was able to do so was join a guild. I certainly didn’t want to play within a vacuum and have no social interactions with other players, hence I started to browse through the guild recruitment tab and found what seemed to be the type I was looking for. Three days later, I was promoted with access to the bank, as well as invite privileges! Two thoughts ran through my head when that happened. First, I was completely taken back, for anyone who has run a guild for a long enough period of time knows well to be cautious and somewhat guarded in terms of any new recruit. That is not to say that the new member is treated in an unwelcoming fashion, it just comes through the years of experiences where unfortunate things can happen when you allow for a lot of “entitlements” right off the bat. Secondly, I must have made a good enough impression with the gm, for she was really pleased with my cheery demeanor and disposition within guild chat to have warranted a promotion so fast. Just me being myself and roleplaying how the Pandarian are to my way of thinking!

Suffice to say, that it was refreshing to be in a position on non power and just happily roll along…literally! The other facet is that I have been in character in guild chat, being that it is a role playing realm. Within my Horde guild we tend not to role play and keep guild chat pretty lose and happy-go-lucky, for that is the type of environment I want to surround myself with. So it is certainly a different mode of playing to keep within character all the time, which has been fun thus far!

Am I going to be a “switcher”? Certainly not! Though having said that, I will continue to play my Alliance monk and check out the different nuances and quests that they have to offer. One thing for sure, I will defiantly make a Horde version of my monk! So there you have it, Kern went “Alliance”, blame it on the pets!

(Oh! One last thing to add…on the collectors edition MoP soundtrack, my favorite track is entitled “The Traveler’s Path”. Listen to it here. It is a wonderful song that I find myself listening to often. Well, I finally found out where the song is placed within the game as I was adventuring through the starting zone of the Pandarians, so I made sure to take a screen shot of me next to Loremaster who was singing it. Talk about awesome!)

Posted in Achievements, Alliance, Guild, Horde, Mounts & Pets, Toons | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

oQueue Add-on A Must!

Some months back, I wrote a post entitled PvP Horde Heaven, where I shared my pvp experiences playing with other like minded Horde by way of an add on called PreformAV. Let me tell you, it was pure, unadulterated Horde PvP bliss! As I mentioned in the previous article, it put the fun back into pvp for the simple reason that it allowed for like minded players to gather together and so work as a unified, coherent band of Horde players seeking to not only thrash the Alliance, but to actually win a battleground!

While I fully support the features that Blizzard has in place to allow a broad range of players to easily assemble and get down to actually pvping, the downside unfortunately is that players who are more serious minded about their pvp experience are by the nature of the game mechanics, more often than not thrown in with those who are less than desirable to play with. This is not to come across as one who is a pvp elitist, for those who know me would be the first to declare that I am not in the least an elitist. Regrettably, I have had my share of experiences with running with those particular “toolish” individuals who sadly are just that, where as they customarily end up on my ignore list. So with those reasons in mind, that is why I am so elated to have stumbled upon this article.

Speaking of pvp add ons, another one that I have since come across that has opened up even further pvp avenues of gameplay is called oQueue. I can not stress enough how welcomed this add on is, nor how truly awesome, dare I say enjoyable it makes pvping! It is exactly the type of add on that I have dreamed of for my many years of playing, where as it allows one to easily find other dedicated Horde (and Alliance) pvpers to group up with and spend time actually reveling in battle! Imagine that! Earth Mother be blessed!

The creator and adept programer of this particular add on is Tinystomper. I have had the pleasure to not only get to know him but quite a few other really amiable and cool players, who I since added on my friends list. If you get a chance to speak with Tiny, you will find him to be quite thoughtful, unassuming and supportive. As one who is “new” to this particular community of players, I was made to feel very at home and at ease. They had no clue who I was, they don’t know Kern. Tiny, along with several others noted players really have made this whole pvp experience fun again by way of their kindness and openness to others.

I have to share this little anecdotal moment that happened last night. While I was in the midst of a pvp fight, I happened to send Tiny a tell mentioning that I wanted to write about oQueue. Of course my toon was standing there idle, when I hear over vent, “the warrior Kernhoof seems to be afk, are you there Kernhoof?” Busted! Tiny sent a tell saying that I need to focus upon the bg at hand, rather than message him including a 😛 symbol at the end.  Responding immediately that I was in fact there, just that I had a private message to deal with, I promptly charged the nearest Alliance and proceeded to lay the smack down. Bad Kern, no waffles!

So if you are looking for an environment where you can pvp to your hearts content with other likeminded players, then definitely give oQueue and PreformAV a try. One last note that needs to be mentioned is the massive public vent server which allows for all of the players to communicate with ease. Check out WoW Public Vent. What is really nifty about this vent server is that it is totally free!

It goes without saying that it is always good karma to kick a few bucks to help show your support for these great add ons and vent service.

Hope to see you in the battlegrounds!

Posted in Add On, PvP | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

One Horde, One Alliance

What I find so interesting about this expansion is the fact that even though it has been out for quite a while now, it still feels very “fresh” to me. I still have yet to complete all of the zone quests, something that I very much enjoy to do and am quite focused on doing. Take last week for example, I mainly just engaged in Pet Battles! I didn’t really quest, or do dailies, I didn’t even PvP for Horde sake! Something about this expansion just feels very relaxed and mellowing. Ironically enough, the Pandaren love to say, “slow down” which really encapsulates the game designers approach to MoP. I realize there are some really good debates and discussions going on that have to do with different aspects of the game play, such as daily quests, cross server zoning and the ever longstanding raid/loot contentions. While I have my own thoughts and opinions regarding these different features, I have to say that I feel somewhat removed from these issues. I am just doing my own thing and playing at the pace I enjoy, without really being concerned as to peripheral game play aspects.

Now that is not to say that I am being unsocial or reclusive, just the opposite in fact! As I was visiting the Undercity, in order to collect some of the new critters that one can gain by way of pet battles, I notices a lower level Foresaken who it seemed was also dashing around in order to engage as many fights as possible so as to acquire a better quality (blue) critter for ones pet collection. I did some friendly emotes and was emoted back, which is always fun. So I sent a tell to the player and just struck up a conversation about pet battles and whatnot, which lead to probably around a fifteen minute conversation. Long story short, after having a very enjoyable chit chat, she decided to join the guild!

As a long time pet collector, I would literally spend hours, if not in fact days trying to one particular pet. Now with the addition to Pet Battles, there are a whole new percentage of players that have been bitten by the pet collecting bug, which is really cool to see! Within my guild, there are some hard core collectors that have even surpassed the number of non combat pets! We joke in guild chat about “having to collect them all!” One pet that not only looks wickedly awesome, but who also holds a sentimental value is the Tiny Bog Beast. Without going into too much crass details, lets just say that I would often make use the phrase “Bog Lord” when nature called in guild chat. So naturally, when i learned that there was an adorable tiny bog beast as a non combat pet, well I absolutely must have him!

It was as I was flying around the Wetlands, scouring the area for one of the tiny bog beasts, that an Alliance paladin requested a duel with me. As much as I relish PvP, I rather not duel. For one, the warrior class is not really the best one on one combatant. Besides, it is often the case when an Alliance seeks to duel, he will then flag up during the fight, so as to then allow one of his buddies (often a stealthy class) to come in and utterly batter the unsuspecting Horde to death. With that in mind, I just declined the duel and proceeded to emote a bow.

Interesting enough though, the Alliance player also emoted a bow. I mounted up and started to fly off, when I thought why not, worst happens is I get beat down or classically rick rolled by a stealthy. Turning around, I landed and hit the duel button. Throughout my WoW experience, a warrior who went up against a paladin was as good as dead. The paladin was made for survivability and outlasting an opponent, where as the warrior needed a pocket healer to be effective in a PvP situation. With the current class design incorporated in MoP, I was actually holding my own against my opponent! Not only was this a long duel in terms of actual time passed, but it really was fun! I would never say that I am some preeminent, peerless and ultimate warrior par excellence. Yet, I would assert that the current design of the warrior class, as well as having a good handle and grasp of how to play a warrior having played one for so long, along with my long hours of pvp experience helped in determining the outcome of the duel.

A fun week of playing WoW to be sure. Met a very congenial Horde, who became a guildie, as well as a very reputable and honorable Alliance. Still looking for my blue quality tiny bog beast though!

Posted in Gamers, Old Skool | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment