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I’m at the 50% mark now with Kordelia the druid hitting 85 earlier today.  I have two of my Wrath toons just hanging out at 80 (that’s the paladin & the warrior), a hunter at 78, a rogue at 74, which leaves only the mage in the category of “not even close”.

But I have a mage! And she’s adorable! And I love her name! And she’ll be leveling with the dynamic duo on Bronzebeard, so it should go quickly.

Meet Merlynne, my latest effort at the last class I have no bloody clue how to play:

I feel like this is getting close to something I can finish*. When I first decided I wanted to do this, it was kind of a lark – something to do when I didn’t know what else to do. Now it’s sort of a matter of principle. I’m playing WoW less than ever, so it is actually a push to make it happen.


*Provided of course, that my new baby dwarf hunter in SiB doesn’t make me throw in the towel on my boytroll. I don’t want to. I love my boytroll. But he’s been neglected like whoa for way too long now.

Honestly, I’m not sure how this one is going to turn out, guys.


In April of 2008, I went through one of what is – to me – the defining moments of my life. Exactly what happened is not relevant to this post – all that you really need to know is that I was in a funk I didn’t think there’d be any end to. My friends, who are amazing people all, rallied around me, helped to hold me together, and tried anything and everything they could to pull me out of a really dark and ugly place, psychologically speaking.

Somewhere in all of this, Apple pushed her World of Warcraft disks into my hands. “Install it. It’s pretty. It’ll make you feel better.” I’ll confess here – I sort of laughed at her on the inside. No pretty video game was going to make me feel better! My life was in shambles!

But I did install it. It was pretty. And although it didn’t happen right away? It did make me feel better. Through WoW, I met the one person who I most credit for helping me screw my head back on straight, and although we’re no longer in touch, I’ll forever be grateful to him.  I’ve blogged before how I came to WoW for the distraction of the game, I’ve stayed for the people I’ve come to love and adore.  Apple is a huge part of that.

Except for a brief period where I selfishly decided that I needed faster progression (and oh, god, I was wrong), Apple & I have almost always been in a guild together. We’d meet for coffee, talk about our mutual friends, theorycraft and gossip. Our schedules don’t always mesh, and raid rotations have meant that we don’t get to play together as much as we’d like, but I was ok with that. Chances were good that if we didn’t kill bosses together this week, we’d surely be doing it next week.

There is no longer next week. Our time of playing WoW together is over for the forseeable future. A lot about what’s happened in the past few days has made me very sad, but this, I think, is probably the saddest.


When things in BoO became untenable for a group of friends that had merged into the guild, they made the decision to stay on server, but faction transfer, and create a new guild. That’s what led to Lunaris in it’s current form.

I can admit now that I was scared. I had trust issues. These were people who’d known each other forever – although they seemed eager for us to join them in their new endeavor, I thought “We’re always going to be outsiders! We don’t have the history! I’m always going to feel like the new kid! I don’t know.”

But – and this is important – these were my boyfriend’s kind of people. They spoke their minds. They accepted each other, flaws and all. No one felt like they had to censor themselves, or be someone they weren’t to keep the peace. It was a guild made up of like-minded individuals who just wanted to have fun, in whatever form that took. He was smitten, and honestly? I can’t blame him. I stuffed all my concerns deep into my Worry Box and jumped in with both feet.

Despite my complete and utter inability to faction change Krikket, I tried to dedicate myself to this guild, this group of folks, these FRIENDS the best way I knew how. I know I wasn’t always successful. I know I was still shy and awkward and sometimes felt unwelcome – through no fault of anyone by myself. I know that I wasn’t always the best guildmate – or the best friend – that I could be, but dear god, I tried.

And I am the first to admit, sometimes? I just did it wrong. Every time I was hurt or angry, I chastised myself for being too sensitive. I bottled things up that I shouldn’t have. I pulled away and hid sometimes, when a conversation would have fixed the problem. Once in awhile? I logged off and cried when someone said something I found particularly hurtful.

I’m bad at confrontation, you guys. I know it doesn’t look like it because there are things that I will fight tooth and nail for. I just tend not to be one of those things.

Every guild I have ever been in has had good things and bad things about it. By far, the best thing about Lunaris was the people, the friendship, the camaraderie that they all shared, even if I never let myself fully be a part of it. I was still – and if I’m completely honest, still am – stinging from the realization that not everyone I trust and care for will feel the same way, and I was scared to trust again in the same way.

But my boyfriend? Was completely and utterly at home. It was his little piece of Paradise in Azeroth. This is not to say that there weren’t conflicts and issues, but we worked through it. This guild was all about people and friendships.

Suddenly, that’s all gone. And I know that he’s blaming himself, and in a lot of ways, I’m blaming myself too – even though I was only tangentially involved with the incident that led to us no longer being welcome there. But maybe if I had been less afraid to truly immerse myself, it wouldn’t have happened the way it did.

Or maybe it would have, and I’d be feeling even worse than I do right now. It’s hard to say.


Sarcasm doesn’t always translate well to text. In the hands of a very skilled writer, with time and distance and revision? Sure. When one is upset or angry? The words don’t always get read the way the writer intended.

One of the best things I have learned due to my interactions with others in WoW is that sometimes, you need to say exactly what you mean to have any hope of the other person understanding where you’re coming from. After a particularly nasty disagreement – one that I can no longer even remember the content of – the conclusion was reached by all parties involved that it all could have been a lot less ugly & hurtful if any of us had said “I cannot have this conversation right now. I want to hear what you have to say, and I want to resolve this, but this is a bad time. Can we take a break and come back to this later?”

Because – as involved as we all get in this game, and in the friendships we make here – sometimes? There’s just too much other stuff trampling all over our brain-space. We are all human, and therefore susceptible to a million little distractions that make us not the best friends, or even the best people, we are capable of being. And when we all start throwing up walls, we make it that much harder for anyone else to ever really reach us. Not just today. Ever.

I am immensely guilty of this. I am a builder. I need a space just for me where I can hide when I’m sad, or hopeless, or hurting. It wasn’t always that way – something broke in me when someone I loved and respected told me that I was just far too depressing to be around. I had exposed myself fully – something I don’t know that I’ve done since, outside of my current relationship – and was rejected in an exceptionally painful way. So I often keep myself to myself. It’s less scary.

And sometimes? You need space, or time, or distance, or a few minutes to hide in the bathroom and sob like your heart is broken. I beg of everyone that reads this – if you care about the person who is trying to convey to you that you’ve upset them, and you need to take a step back, tell him or her as clearly as you possibly can that you just need a break. You value that person, and you want to hear what they have to say, but something is keeping you from being a good listener and a good friend, and you know that that’s unfair. Value your friends, value their feelings and opinions, and commit yourself to being present whenever you can. If you can’t right now? Commit yourself to communicating that as clearly as possible. It might be hard at first, but it’ll be better in the long run.

I don’t know much, but that? That’s something I’m sure of.


I am 32 years old. In that time, I’ve left schools and jobs and social clubs. I’ve ended relationships and friendships irrevocably, and I’ve had people end things with me in much the same way. More often than not, friendships have just petered out due to my completely and utter failure at keeping in touch. I know myself well enough to understand that’s a big flaw that I’m forever and always working on in myself.

Honestly? I cried a little bit yesterday when I said goodbye to Barbi, Sammy, Jim, Juan, and Joe. We all said happy things and promised to keep in touch, but I know it’s not likely. I know I’m bad at it. I know all the best intentions and good feelings in the world don’t always matter when circumstances are such that you just don’t share the same virtual space anymore.

I miss my friends, you guys. And I know how emo and childish it sounds. And I am angry and bitter and resentful that my ability to share green chat with these people who have become so important to me was taken away from me due to bad communication. Knowing that some people really believe that the best thing for this group, this little family-of-choice, was for me to no longer be a part of it is devastating.


This is the last part. Thank you to everyone who has stayed with me so far.

I didn’t intend for this to be initially part of this post. It kind of doesn’t fit here because it’s not about Lunaris and the friends I’ve made there. It’s really about SiB. But the more I talk about Lunaris, the more I’m reminded of this, and I feel like it needs to be here too.

When I was removed from Brotherhood of Oblivion, it was done in much the same way that my removal from Lunaris was. There was no warning. There was no note explaining the reasons the decision was made. It was just done, and I got quite a shock when I logged in.

Now, Brotherhood of Oblivion was a bad fit for me personally. I was not afraid to speak up there when I saw something that I felt was blatantly wrong happening. I was the proverbial squeaky wheel. If I am completely honest with myself, I was not happy in that guild in any way, but I had become close with a handful of people (and dragged poor Apple into that clusterfuck), so I felt like I needed to stay and try to effect change.

Needless to say – I was not successful.

But two important things came out of that, for me. First and foremost, through a couple of days of very painful, very honest conversation, two people who very firmly believed that they were right put a lot of time and effort into seeing the other person’s side of the story. In the end, we were both able to admit what we had done, said, and thought that was just plain wrong and hurtful, and we learned important things about ourselves and each other, and how we all relate in this crazy world. To this day, Math and I use each other to sound out our sometimes crazy, sometimes selfish, sometimes REALLY DAMN GOOD ideas, because we get it. We know how to talk. We know – to an extent – how to read the things that aren’t expressed well because we understand the author. We help each other to know our audience.

We’ve never met in person. We’ve never had a telephone conversation. We text, and email, and chat. This is a solid basis for a friendship, and I value having Math in my guild, and in my life. He’s good people.

Now, please don’t take this praise of one person as me overlooking everyone else. There were a lot of interpersonal difficulties for many of us in the transition from BoO to SiB. A lot of difficult conversations needed to take place to make it a comfortable place for everyone, and I appreciate everyone who took part in that, who gave second chances, who bit back hurtful words, or sacrificed a measure of comfort for someone else.

The second thing that happened, is that I learned that no matter how much you like someone, how much you want to trust them, some people will always disappoint you for reasons you may or may not be able to understand. There was someone who I considered a true friend in BoO, who later turned around and lied – or at least lied by omission – about me to please someone else, or to not rock the boat, or for reasons I cannot even begin to wrap my brain around. It was someone I truly expected better from, and I’ve never really gotten over my disappointment or my hurt from feeling as if I was betrayed.  This was something that could have been addressed and dealt with in the immediate aftermath, but now, several months down the road, I cannot play nice and pretend it never happened. Another flaw in me, I suppose.

I guess the third thing that happened is SiB itself – it is an amazing community, full of amazing people who I am proud to call friends. It does not – at least for me – have the same feel as Lunaris did. It’s not a home, it’s not full of family. It’s more of a social club where I am honored to feel welcome and wanted and I think maybe, I’m a little more careful there because of it.  I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but it works. I am grateful for both the friendships that survived the rocky times in the past, and the new friends I’ve made since then.

To catch you all up:

Lunaris did a major shuffle-around recently because some people realized that the mains they had chosen in anticipation of Cataclysm weren’t always as fun as they had hoped. Our holy paladin (formerly a resto druid, formerly a DK tank, formerly a mage – can you see a pattern?) decided he’d prefer to play his hunter.  Our resto druid wanted to be a boomkin instead. Our bear-butt tank thought maybe he’d like to try out healing, but on a priest instead of a druid. I also wanted to play my priest, so our holy priest? Switched to her holy paladin. My boyfriend kind of rolled his eyes at all of us, but he also switched mains, from his hunter to his frost DK with a lovely tank offspec, just in case, since we’ve just got two full-time tanks now.

All in all, it was a crazy couple of weeks, filled with heroic gear-grinding and farming like whoa for a Darkmoon Card: Tsunami (which, incidentally? Is a sexy sexy healer trinket).

Well one of the results of all this is that I’ve realized how two holy priests, with similar talents and gear, can heal TOTALLY differently, and be equally effective.  I am an instant-cast junkie. I run around with Inner Will on, sprinkling Renews, abusing glyphed Prayer of Mending, loving the hell out of Holy Word: Serenity, and popping Circle of Healing every time it’s up and there’s been raid damage (which, in my experience with Cata raids so far? Is almost always). I even use my Power Word: Shield because speedy bubbles are made of win.  Our other priest tends to have either Flash Heal or Prayer of Healing at the top of his heal meters, with nary a Renew or Prayer of Mending in sight.

Well, patch 4.06 brought a few new changes to holy, most notably the buff to Desperate Prayer. Prior to the patch, this wasn’t even considered an “optional” talent because the heal was so pathetic with Cataclysm’s new inflated health pools, even for the squishies. Now it’s pretty significant for  a mana-free self heal, even with the hefty cooldown. Of course, now I want it. I also want Improved Power Word: Shield and Veiled Shadows. I want all the talents, goddamn it. Give to me more talent points!


My current spec is 6/32/3.

I’m seriously considering changing it up to be 7/31/3, giving up Spirit of Redemption for Desperate Prayer, and losing Rapid Renewal and a point in Mental Agility for two points in Improved Power Word: Shield. I’m not sure yet if I’m willing to sacrifice 2% haste for a reduced cooldown on both Fade and my Shadowfiend, but it’s something I’m also considering since I’m currently above the haste soft-cap of 12.5% raid buffed, and with some light reforging, could get back there even with 2% less from talents.

It’s kind of exciting to be playing a spec where your talent choices really are dependent on your style and personal preference, rather than just taking most of your points for max DPS  and then having a handful of points to spend by preference (yes, I’m looking at you Elemental Shaman talents).  I don’t know that there is a “right” cookie-cutter holy priest spec right now. Yes, you have to put at least 31 points in the holy tree, but there aren’t too many talents that don’t feel tied to playstyle, and therefore, all optional.  The opinion of your raid leader, of course, may differ if you decide to give up things like Lightwell, Circle of Healing, or Guardian Spirit, but overall, it feels very fluid to me, and probably one of the best examples I’ve found that actually feels like Blizzard made choosing talents dynamic and impactful.

Dear tanks and DPS,

I realize that first aid is a royal pain to level, but making gold in this game is not that hard. Please, for the love of all things holy, buy some food. Vendor food isn’t that expensive, but if even that’s too much for you, Sharptooth are cheap and abundant, and can be made into Fish Fry, which is equivalent to all the level 85 vendor foods.

If you die in a heroic and I rez you? Plop your ass down and eat something. Chances are, unless you’re painfully stupid, if you died, I was having to triage or risk running out of mana entirely and causing a wipe. Resurrections are not low-mana cost spells. Once everyone is alive, I am going to sit down and drink.  You standing around looking at me while I do so (and while you’re at the paltry amount of health you rez with) does not endear me to you, because I am then left with the choice of healing you to full, and then drinking AGAIN, or running into the next pull with you at half-life because you failed to realize that you are responsible for your own health levels out of combat.

If there is a generous mage in the party who had dropped a table for us, and you still don’t eat? I have to wonder what exactly it is you have against food.

Finally, if the lightwell is still down from the fight – CLICK IT. I can’t pack it up and take it with me, so feel free to use up any remaining charges.

While I understand that as a holy priest, I have rather good mana regeneration, my mana is not infinite. I must sit and drink to replenish it. If monsters are not eating our faces, and especially if I am sipping on a tasty coffee, your health bar becomes your responsibility. Do something about it.

Disclaimer: I love my guildmates, both in Stands in Bad, and in Lunaris. The rest of Azgalor? Not so much lately.

And most of the time, that’s enough. I got through the second half of Wrath with only a couple moments of questioning the wisdom of transferring to a PvP server.

However, in the month since Cataclysm has been out? I have found myself not only questioning my decision but seriously considering rerolling on a PvE server, leaving all my hard work & dear friends behind, because if there’s one thing that can suck the fun out of playing this game faster than anything else? It’s people.

I say that thinking about every single person who thought it was hilarious to kill & camp someone 10 or more levels lower than them who was doing archeology. I say that, thinking about the mage* that followed my shaman on her herbing route, waited until I landed, then polymorphed me, picked the flower, made “some strange gestures”, mounted up, and waited for me to mount again, and just kept following me, no matter where I went or what flowers I was trying to pick. I say that, thinking of all the people who deliberately dip into the AoE of an opposite faction person to watch them get owned by guards.

A lot of the time, I don’t want to log on anymore. I don’t want to farm, or fish, or do dailies. I’d say I don’t even want to leave Stormwind or Orgrimmar, but then I remember the day that a raid of Hordies sat and camped the portal island in Stormwind, killing everyone who ported in before they knew what hit them or had time to react.

I get that part of it is that right now, resources are more dear. Everyone wants the same quest mobs. Just killing the person who is near what you want seems like a completely viable option. But that doesn’t explain the mass slaughter of lowbies leveling archeology, and it certainly doesn’t explain things like this, where a group of people decide that it’s TOTALLY fun to gang up on a bunch of people who are just trying to quest or farm.

I just don’t get it.

If you want to get in a big group and earn some honor, hit up a battleground. Fight people who are prepared and willing to fight back. Don’t gang up on people out in the world by themselves. Don’t kill characters so much lower than you that they have no hope of defending themselves. Otherwise, you’re not just an asshole – you’re a cowardly asshole.

A lot of people end up on PvP servers exactly the way I did – we hunted for a guild with raid times that fit our schedule, with a level of progression and an attitude we enjoyed.  We understood that that opens us up to world PvP. What I didn’t understand is the extent to which some people have to do things to make other people feel bad in order to feel good themselves.

I honestly don’t know what I would do if I could go back to the days before we made the move to Azgalor, and make the decision all over again, knowing what I know now.  We could have searched for months and not found people we fit so well with as the ones we’ve found here. But there are so many days lately where I feel the distinct disadvantage of being on a PvP server, in two guilds that are strictly PvE-oriented, and on those days, it really doesn’t feel worth it.

ETA: Some people clearly can’t handle it when someone tells it like it is**. A few hours after this post went I’m, I’m just hanging out in Stormwind when:

Stay classy, Brotherhood of Oblivion. With leadership that mature, I totally can see why forming a raid to kill people who are just minding their own business questing is a worthwhile use of your time.

*The first time? He engaged me in some good old-fashioned, fair 1v1. I lost, but it was a near thing. I don’t fault him for that. But I guess he was so upset at ALMOST dying, griefing me for the next half hour was his best hope of revenge? Fucker.

**This is, of course, the same GM who kicked me from his guild for advocating for fair policies. Anyone surprised? Anyone?

About half an hour ago, my boyfriend bundled up, and headed out to pick up his brother, and the two of them were planning on standing in line for about four hours at the midnight release of Cataclysm at our local Gamestop.  Apple will be meeting up with them later.  I’ve spend the last couple of week gloating about my digital download, and how I could spend those hours sitting at home, all warm and comfortable.

Of course, when I was doing all that bragging, I though I would be desperately trying to finishing SOMETHING before the level cap went up, and there were a million things I felt like I HAD to do, instead of just half a million I felt like I wanted to.

That’s a little harsh, I know, but I think it’s put a damper on my excitement. In fact, the prevalent emotion I’ve been feeling is a pretty serious case of DO NOT WANT.

Am I exaggerating? Yeah, I am exaggerating a little bit. Despite the fact that there’s no way in HELL I’m staying up to log on right at 3 a.m. my time, I’m sure once I get over my initial trepidation and just dive into it, I’m going to have a great time.


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I got all excited today, thinking that some of the guild reputation stuff came with 4.0.3.

Why did I think that, you ask?


Shortly after taking this screenshot, my guild text reset itself to just <Lunaris>, but for a few moments? My poor, neglected, terribad priest was a champion of her guild!

Due to the fall semester starting up again in about a week, and the need to devote more time to “growed-up” pursuits, my boyfriend & I have been trying to cut back on our raiding obligations. We’ve already had to drop our daytime hardmode ICC group entirely, and we’re making a concerted effort going forward to alternate our “weeks off” on both factions so that – at most, we’re doing five nights of raiding one week out of three.

Recently, we got crit hard by the RL-boss, and we’re scrambling to figure out how to make the best of it without alienating anyone, or giving up the things in game that either of us really enjoy.

Sadly, this means I’m not spending the kind of time on alts, or doing maintenance stuff, or even doing achievement stuff that I might like to. Time with our friends trumps just about everything else in game, and when something needs to be cut? It’s that kind of solo-playtime.

So Krikket is still 146 quests away from Loremaster, and 3 achievements short of her red protodrake.  Alix, while not an achievement chaser, has been poking at Glory of the Ulduar raider with Lunaris, learning how2enhance (OMG, 4K on a target dummy, wut?), and playing the glyph market hardcore.

And me? I’m doing a lot of daydreaming about Cataclysm. Even though it feels like time is running out for some things, I can’t help but look forward to others. I’m excited at the prospect of seeing the changed face of Azeroth from both factions – both through leveling Krikket & Alix through the new zones to resume raiding with my guilds, but also through leveling my troll druid, and … something else Alliance side through all of Azeroth-revamped.

In some ways, I’m sad to put my grindy-goals by the wayside, but more that that, I’m thrilled that I have two groups of people whose company I enjoy, and who make me want to solo less so that the time I am spending in game, I am spending with them.

I never thought I’d see the day when I had a hunter at level 42, with his trusty gorilla by his side.

Seriously though, I’m going to try to carve out some time for a real post between raids tomorrow. Screenshots are lovely, but I started this blog to actually WRITE every now and then, not just to share pretty pictures.

Not bad for my little RaF baby, right?

Who I Am:


Holy/Shadow Priest

Alliance Raiding Main


Krikket - Level 88
Elemental Shaman [A]

Kayci - Level 85
Holy Paladin [A]

Koralyne - Level 85
Unholy/Blood Deathknight [A]

All Classes to 90 Progress
August 2022