When Shit Hits the Fan

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At the beginning of this year, Life threw me a curve-ball…no, a meteor. I received news that my father unexpectedly passed away. No warning, no good reason (he was in good health), just you know… that’s it. I flew home in a daze on an 18 hour flight, and within hours of landing was attending his funeral and performing the last rites.

When I finally returned home after being with my mother and family for a while, well it’s been a struggle. I came home feeling like I was walking into someone else’s life. Life has been turned upside down for me and the new “normal” doesn’t feel very normal as yet. Things are different – I still wake up at nights with images and memories and that’s probably going to take a while before it goes away. And it’s having its effect on my piano playing too.

Interestingly, I can’t play any of my old repertoire anymore. My brain just says NOPE. I can’t memorise new pieces either – yet another NO from my brain. So it’s a craptastic issue really for me. I hope my ability to play comes back soon because frankly, if I’m a pianist and can’t play I’m going to need to consider another profession. But I’m sure it’ll come back sooner or later. Preferably sooner.

Despite the choas that I’m having to deal with, certain parts of my life are coming back to make me feel more myself. I picked up an old piece from three years ago that I began but never finished …. so atleast I’m being able to play something. I took apart my old computer and rebuilt a new one, and finally logged into a game. I ran around on my gnome and lalafell a bit. I opened up twitter and sent my first tweet and who knows how long now. And here I am, blogging for the first in the last few months.

I’m currently spending more in Final Fantasy XIV than WoW at the moment, but I haven’t forgotten about my gnomish allegiance. I’m still looking forward to gnome hunters even though nothing in WoW is really making me want to play at the moment. And meanwhile in Final Fantasy XIV, I’m catching up with story time and everything else that I’ve missed doing this whole time.

For a while when I got back, I wasn’t sure if I would be playing or blogging again. A part of me  looked at everything before it all went to hell and felt like just walking away from everything I used to do. But, it’s nice for me to know that ultimately I returned to doing something I love and enjoy… even if it takes time.

Gaming and blogging are a part of who I am and I’m glad. I am the eccentric pianist, the reluctant cook, the overly-analytical-and-often-feisty blogger, the eternal tinkering magic-loving gnome, the shiny-loving lalafell who enjoys blowing things up. It’s a wonderful life.

(Cross-posted on my FFXIV blog: http://lenalilei.wordpress.com)

Five Years and Going…

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Amidst all the excitement and craziness real life had to offer me lately, I somehow missed my blog’s birthday! And until recently, I had this sinking feeling that I was one foot out the door with WoW and it was time to retire the blog. That’s not the case anymore. Yay!

My first post simply happened because I felt so strongly about something (in this case tree form being removed in Cataclysm) that I couldn’t keep it to myself anymore. And I have refused to shut up since.

I’ve met some great people in the blogging and Warcraft world, and I feel fortunate to be a part of such a wonderful community. *Gnome salute* You guys rock. I look forward to writing and sharing my sometimes wordy, sarcastic, and often random opinions as we go forth.

gnomepenance

So here’s to the fifth Blog-anniversary! (And yes, they grow up so fast…. five already!)

Priest Class Preview: First Impressions

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It’s worth noting on the outset that there’s a marked difference in Blizzard’s approach to classes in general. The Legion Class Preview Series return to the fantasy of the class and then proceed to mark out their changes and design philosophies with lore as their guide map.

It is a wonderful change from the last few years and I for one, am glad that they are returning to the core of what makes us want to play our classes. It isn’t just numbers, rotations and flavour of the month – it’s the story, character and fantasy that draws us to it.

With that in mind, I dove in to look at what they had in store for us healing priests….and so far, I like what I see!

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Legion: In the name of FASHUNZ!

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There are many things I am excited about in Legion (even if it is cautious excitement), but the announcement that made me jump for joy was undoubtedly the large, sweeping and ridiculously awesome changes to transmogrification. That’s right, it’s all about the FASHUNZ!

Legion has plans to revamp transmog in a way that will make it easier to use, more accessible to alts, do away with bag space issues….and the real icing on the cake, access items you may have deleted or completed quests for in the past.

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Patch 6.2.3: Thoughts

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So this is new. I wasn’t expecting anything – so seeing news of Patch 6.2.3 had my heart leap a little. I didn’t expect any more content so what could this possibly offer?

Patch 6.2.3 tells me one thing clearly: They know players have left in droves. They know they screwed up. They know this is the shortest, and possibly worst expansion yet.

The developer’s insights section of the review says a mountain of things to me. So here’s my translated version of it all:

Cross-realm Mythic Raiding:

My biggest criticism of how Mythic raiding ultimately panned out is that it has screwed over anything less than a high population server. Difficulty? Fine. Skill? Absolutely. Time commitment? Totally fair. But the breaking point of Mythic is usually recruiting and maintaining a 20-man roster which is nigh impossible on a low population server. So guilds are either faced with the choice of real money transfers or simply staying on their server and not doing Mythic at all. Thus we are left with servers who actually see zero Mythic kills. ZERO.

In patch 6.2.3 we get:

Mythic-DI

Translation: Crap, this isn’t working out. Fixed sizes are great but in view of the dwindling population, maintaining 20-man highly skilled roster is logistically ridiculous. Quick! We need to address the population issue!

My 2 cents: Well, it may be too little too late. And it is what it is – a band-aid. It also is largely irrelevant the majority of the population who don’t do Mythic.

Return of Valor:

Valor-DI

Translation: Hey, we put in Mythic dungeons but no one is doing them. Actually….no one is doing anything at all, outside of raiding. Atleast raiders would use the rest of the week to valor cap – yes that’s it! Bring back valor and lengthen dat tradmill! Let’s expand valor to be a gearing resource to entice players to run dungeons and LFR. 

My 2 cents: I am mildly interested in this for the sole reason that I can no longer seriously raid as a healer. Yeah – I meant to write a post about that, oops. Anyways, I wondered if I would like to try out being a different class and trying raiding again without breaking my hands thanks to the role change. This would be useful if I wanted to gear up an alt and start afresh. But half of me is going meh, and the other half goes maaaaaaybe. So really, a 1% chance.

But honestly, if I’m not seriously raiding, why do I need better gear? 

Item Upgrades in Dungeons:

Items-DI

Translation: We need to give people more incentives to do the precious little content we have poured in. Give them better gear for doing dungeons – it makes it more exciting. I say, lengthen dat treadmill!

My 2 cents: Maybe they didn’t hear me the first time. IF I’M NOT RAIDING, WHY DO I NEED BETTER GEAR??

Mount:

Mount

Translation: Add mounts guys – people love mounts. And then they’ll run it more!

My 2 cents: See this is interesting because my game time coincidentally expires soon. Mounts are cool….but are they cool enough to resub for? Nope not really – especially considering that there is no new content added. Just pathways to gear and raiding, and a mount. Huh. Meh.

Final Thoughts:

They’re listening, and they know something is wrong. I’m not sure they’re on the right path to fixing it though – but these small steps may lead to bigger ones. They really need to focus on the world and story and let go of details that pertain mostly to raiding and little else. As a former raider, I get that raiding is exciting but I also now view content entirely differently. If I don’t raid anymore, what’s in it for me?