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Mostly cut-n-pasted from our recruitment officer:

Stands in Bad is looking for more raiders of all flavors!

Azgalor is a CST PvP server, and our primary raid is a 10-man from 7-10 CST on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

We’re currently 4/7 in Firelands, and we finished up normal-mode tier 11 before the nerf. We’re a level 25 guild that’s been around for over a year (and we have a tabard and bank tabs, zomg!) We have no intentions of ever going to 25 mans, but we’ve been known to run a second concurrent raid group when membership has allowed for it.

We don’t have a set roster and we don’t have an attendance requirement, but we do have a very fair rotation for sign-ups, so if you want to raid and put forth the effort on your part, you’ll get a chance to (usually 2 out of 3 weeks that you sign up).

We are a casual guild in the sense of not wanting to spend all of our time raiding, and we understand that real life comes first, but we roll up our sleeves and get stuff done when we raid. We’re a relatively adult guild and we don’t like drama, although we do have our moments of less-than-mature commentary in guild chat and vent (sometimes we’re just a bunch of pervs, but we have fun!). ^^

We are more concerned about personalities fitting in than we are about how long you’ve been raiding or what you’ve cleared, and we welcome interested potential recruits to roll an alt on Azgalor and hang out with us in guild chat. That being said, we do expect our raiders to put for the effort on their part to make sure we aren’t wasting time in raids (gems, enchants, reps, etc.). We aren’t looking to carry anyone, but we are looking for anyone looking for a fun guild home with an interest in raiding.

We are:
Alt-friendly. Many of us have multiple max level toons, and some of us even play on multiple servers. We won’t be butthurt if you don’t bring your main over!
Couples-friendly. Our RL is amazing at slotting couples together whenever he can.
Estrogen-heavy. Many times, our raid group is more girls than guys!
Blogger-friendly. Our GM is the main writer over at I Like Bubbles, and we have about half a dozen of us who WoW-blog when we feel like it. 🙂
Achievement-oriented. If you hate seeing “So and So just earned the achievement “BLAHBLAHBLAH”” in your green chat, we might not be the guild for you.

Please be aware that SiB does not consider itself a “safe space”. I know that this is important to a lot of people, but while we do our best to take the feelings of others into account, sometimes we say appalling things. I like to think it’s part of our charm.

At the moment, we would especially love another tank, and we don’t believe that raiding mages, boomkin, or priests exist. (Any interested shammies can respec to enhance. <3) The only thing I think I’d say we’re full up on is Holy Paladins, but the right person might persuade us otherwise!

Even if you’re not a raider now, but think you might wanna be someday, or if raiding just isn’t your thing, feel free to come spend some time with us. We love new peoples.

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.

On a personal level, the last few weeks have been challenging. We’ve run up against some pretty serious financial issues,  navigated our way through a few difficult inter-personal issues in game, and spent a Friday night at the emergency room due to yet another down-swing in my health.

… That was my first ever “/afk – going to the ER!” …

Unfortunately, my recent health issues have negatively impacted my ability to play WoW, so I’ve been spending a lot less time in game. This is a double-edged sword, because I could also really use the distraction it provides right now. I have the time, what I frequently am lacking is the ability.

We’ve still been raiding Alliance-side fairly regularly – due in part to what seems to be a constant shortage of caster DPS in Stands in Bad – and we’ve been spending what seems like – to me at least – to be a lot of time on PvP.  We’ve been taking groups into battlegrounds on Monday nights, learning the strats and gathering honor for more and more PvP gear in hopes of starting Rated Battlegrounds in the near future.

Maybe I have lower standards, but I don’t feel like elemental PvP is as broken as I’ve been hearing people complain. Maybe that’s because I always have a pocket healer (or two), but I feel pretty effective, both in 2v2 arenas and in battlegrounds.

On our off-nights, we’ve been playing around with low level twinks on Shadow Council (although, the 19s bracket is brutal – or so I hear, I’ve been slacking on my goblin priest), and poking at our abandoned characters on Bronzebeard.  I’ve stalled out on gearing my death knight, and I still haven’t been able to bring myself to level my paladin on Azgalor.

It just doesn’t feel like there’s a lot going on right now, and maybe that’s not a terrible thing.

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

PART I:

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.

PART II

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.

PART III

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.

PART IV

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.

PART V

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.

The pair-of-alts project is going well.  Our Horde toons are likely to hit 85 before the end of the night, and our Alliance ones aren’t far behind – we finished Deepholm & started on Uldum the other night before I succumbed to sleepiness. There’s actually been a couple of surprises along the way (shadowpriest is for aggros! Holy is actually not as complicated as it sounds), but none more surprising to me than this: I am more than a little bit in love with DK tanking.

If you’re considering tanking on your DK, or even leveling a brand new-tank-y DK, I cannot recommend Satorri’s guide on TankSpot enough. Yes, I was tanking ok by basically smushing buttons, but after reading this, I felt like I better understood what the buttons did. It’s less math-y and end-game-raid oriented than EJ, and didn’t leave me shaking my head in despair because DEAR GOD, I cannot possibly do that. Seriously. Go. Go read. I’ll wait.

Normally, if we’re leveling together, I do an instance here or there to pacify him. I don’t do 6 instances in one day. I have been away from tanking for a long long time, and I remember it being sort of exhausting. This is kind of amazing. I’m not a tank-for-lyfe, and I probably won’t take her any further than the occasional heroic, but it’s kind of nice to dabble, especially since I’ve thought “DK IS NOT FOR GROUP” pretty much since I rolled her.

Added bonus? Running around picking flowers in my blood spec means I get my ass kicked in world PvP a lot less. Not that people aren’t silly and don’t still try to pick fights with me over plants, but that I usually come out with at least a sliver of health left while they have none. I cannot imagine how mortifying it must be to get your ass kicked by a pigtailed gnome.

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.

But…

Read the rest of this entry »

I know, this achievement is SO six months ago – if not longer.

Thanks to Fuzzbutt, Vainglory, Tzukiko, and my ever-indulgent warlock boyfriend Darktyme for helping me knock out those last two achievements after raid last night.

Proto-dragon #2 obtained – total mount count: 81.

I have not done very much raid leading since we came over to Azgalor, and mostly? I like it that way. It’s not that I’m incapable of raid leading, it’s that I feel damn silly doing it. Apple likened my strat explanations to those safety announcements you hear before the plane takes off, and if I’m really honest with myself, it’s not that far off.

However, since a handful of us got our rusted proto-drakes last week, I made a personal commitment to help everyone who had helped me get theirs if that’s what they wanted – and really, who doesn’t want a shiny riding dragon?!? With official SiB raids canceled for the week, I took the opportunity to make a project raid in which we’d clean up some of the easier achievements* while primarily focus on getting Algalon down.

One of our healers got unavoidably delayed by the homework monster, and with less than no notice, Myssidia agreed to take a break from leveling his not-so-little paladin to come frolic in Ulduar with us. We quickly knocked out Flame Leviathan with four towers, not-so-quickly knocked out a handful of Iron Dwarves while killing Razorscale, took down XT after breaking his poor little robot heart, and cleared up to Algalon’s door, promising that we’d got back and do a few more achievements once our hour was up or we downed him.

In case you were wondering? Algalon is still not a kidding around fight. Yes, our current level of gear and the OP-ness we’re all feeling from 4.0.1 trivializes one of the mechanics – the tight enrage timer.  It’s not a hardship anymore to have a ranged DPS complete committed to the management of Collapsing Stars.

We wiped a few times – once to me dropping a star right on both tanks and porting them into the Black Hole, once to a healer falling through the floor because he didn’t get into the combat arena in time, and a few other times to random oopses. But with a full 30 minutes left on the timer, on only our second night of attemps, we conquered Algalon!

Krikket finally has a title I feel is worthy of replacing Loremaster – at least for a little while. I’ll likely alternate between them.

We then went on to a speed kill of Ignis, a one-shot of Iron Council hard, killing Auriaya without killing her kitties (or our bear tank), and a very sloppy Firefighter. For at least two of our team, the only things standing between them and their Rusted Proto-Drakes is the Saronite Animus and Razorscale’s bad breath.

I even got Kotakh to admit that hard modes in Ulduar? Are still pretty fun. This might have been the most surprising thing that happened all night.

*Clearly by easier achievements, I meant Orbituary & Firefighter. Who knew?

 

Who I Am:

CURRENTLY PLAYING

Kimorah
Holy/Shadow Priest

Alliance Raiding Main

ACTIVE ALTS

Krikket - Level 88
Elemental Shaman [A]

Kayci - Level 85
Holy Paladin [A]

Koralyne - Level 85
Unholy/Blood Deathknight [A]

All Classes to 90 Progress
June 2017
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