Archive for May, 2012

Hail and Howdy All,

I want to give you an apology to everyone right from the start. I accidently hit the publish button instead of the “Save as Draft” button. It’s late, I’m tired, and I made a mistake. This post wasn’t even remotely close to being finished. I needed to add my pictures and links to it and re-read it, revise it, and then revise it some more. However, I have no idea how to take it down without deleting it. So until I give it a quick finish, it will appear a lacking a bit.

Since I’m still trying to keep up with the challenges set forth with the Newbie Blogger Initiative and because it’s a holiday weekend here in the United States, this post will be somewhat short :) The topic for week 4’s NBI challenge is, “Learn Something New” where new bloggers go out into the wilds of the world to learn something new, then come back and write a simple post about it. Sounds like fun, eh? Well, I’ve actually done two new things so I’ll give you a rundown on both.

“Learn Something New” #1

For my first challenge, I wanted to do something different, something completely new to me, and something that took some guts or bravery on my part.  I wanted a true test of how far I could go with taking on a challenge, and yet I wanted it related to topics on this blog. So I chose to do the farthest thing from my mind that I would ever consider…ever! You might have guess it…I decided to roll a mage.  When your done laughing, here is my personal goal: roll a mage and try get it to level 20 just to see how the other side can stand it lives. Yes, I chide and kid on our dopey mage friends, but it’s all in good fun. Besides, if it wasn’t for mages who would buy up all those bright, ugly and flowery pastel green level items I sell on the AH that I’m making such a great profit on? No one that’s who!

First, I had to decide on what side to create one. Would it be Alliance or Horde? I sat at the character screen clicking around on the Alliance side. I’m kinda goofy and picky when it comes to the toons I select. I’m sure many of you are the same way, tweaking and playing around until the character and its style appeals to you. For me, the animation along with the look of the character has to feel just “right”. Well, after having tried a human, gnome, dwarf and a worgen mage…nothing felt right. Now before I get tons of hate mail from my Alliance friends let me explain why.

Poor guy ate too much cheese and brewfest ale

The human male didn’t appear too passionate in what he was doing, I’m thinking it might have been because his robe looked like a skirt, or maybe being a human male and a mage was too embarrassing even for a cartoon? I don’t know why it felt odd and I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong. The human females weren’t bad, but since I have a human female warlock already, I didn’t feel right making another human female, even if it was a mage. It would have felt awkward to me like I was cheating on my spouse or something.

 The animations of the yard Gnomes weren’t bad. The tiny characters looked like they were really trying to cast spells with some feeling and passion, so I was hopeful. My only problem with trying to play the Gnome race was when I thought about what would happen if I decided to level this toon later on. Knowing I couldn’t just throw out all my sense of self-dignity I had to pass. Although, I must admit the idea of dressing one up like a North Pole Elf for Winter’s Veil Celebration made me giggle but that is what…two or three weeks only per year? So, I had to pass on the Gnomes. Once I hit the delete button the Oompa Loompa song from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory stopped playing in my head. Excuse me a sec…*shudders*…just writing about that made me re-live that feeling over again, sorry! If you like Gnomes though, you might want to check out a new friend of mine, Gnomegates.

Yep, I couldn’t level this one past 20! Sorry that’s IMHO

Dwarf males weren’t too bad IMHO either, but their facial features made them appear as if they suffered from irritable bowel syndrome. Maybe it’s their mainstay diet of Alterec Swiss Cheese, or all the Dwarven Ale and food during the beer festival makes them constipated? The female counterparts of the male dwarves didn’t appear to enjoy what they were doing much either when I’d let them launch off a spell. Worse yet, all I could think of when watching mine run around was that someone invented support bras for a reason. OMG I felt bad for her, it looked painful! Yes, I can get “jiggy” with it from time to time, but for daily life…I’m all about comfort. So I had to pass on the Dwarfs.

Worgens, even though they look very cool (I love dogs IRL), have one of the strangest casting animations in all of Azeroth. To me, it looks like they are throwing up. It’s odd, they wave their hands around their tummies then throw their face and hands forward in one quick heaving motion. Plus, like Draenei, they have tails. Tails and capes do not bode well with Transmog. Instead of a cape draping nicely around the backside looking regal, any tails on a toon make the fabric stick out at a weird angle. So after passing by the Worgen, my last hope with the Alliance fell on the Night Elf characters. 

Cute for a dwarf, but bad animation and painful to watch running!

The male Nelf characters I could live with, but let us be honest, their animations are less than desirable. In fact, their animations are quite boring to me. No wonder so many people roll Nelf Hunters. I’m sure having a bow and a pet would have made the character appear much more threatening in his appearance.  The female Nelf, on the other hand, had it all going for her. She looked like a Barbie Adventure doll. Her animations appeared as if she meant business when it came to inflicting some Rdps, and her running didn’t hurt to watch. Everything was going great until I reached level 8 (or was it 9?) and made my way into to Teldrassil, Right here, let me just stop and say that it has been a while since I’ve leveled a new toon and I’m surprised how fast I could ding in levels. I think it took roughly one hour and I was almost level 10. Not bad at all for such a short time sink.

So there I was, a new female Nelf mage ready to take on the world entering the mighty capital city of my race. I went by the AH, bought a couple of cheap greens and then headed over to the bank of Teldrassil underneath the great tree. If the great tree’s carvings of the bear or eagle could have separated themselves from that tree bark and fled, I’m sure they would have done it. At the base of the great tree bank, I came upon a frightening sight.  At first, I was in shock because I didn’t think anyone would be in Teldrassil. I just remember Teldrassil being deserted the like the Blood Elf capital city of…Oh, what’s that name again? Shadow Moon Valley? No, that’s not it. Shadow Council? Nope that’s a faction.  Oh yeah, Silver Shadow City! (Er…you know what I mean, that one town that looks like a big birthday cake in a Dr. Seuss book)  

There, for any and everyone to see, were several female Nelf toons mailbox dancing with no clothes on while a level 18 worgen and a level 16 male gnome cheered them on. OMG! I stopped, watched in horror for a moment and then immediately logged off. This was a new server to me, and maybe there that sort of behavior you can get away with doing.  Maybe, I just had too much of a warlock in me because I’m too used to setting a standard, not lowering them? Geez louise, the toons they were dancing for weren’t even at the game’s cap level. Bah! So much for self degradation. I can only tolerate so much…

This one had such potential!

Moving along to the Horde side I had a few choices: Orc, Undead, Troll, Belf or Goblin. Orcs and Trolls are very nice choices but the thought of running around the Barrens again to level made me queasy. Yes, I know it’s been divided up but it’s still questing in Barrens. Ally players won’t get that joke but Horde side players will. So that left me with the choice of Belf, Undead or Goblins. I like the idea of creating either Belfs, the blondes or the brunettes. Both look good in robes and both have acceptable hairstyles which helps with Transmogging since I could wear both a helmet or not.  Once again I shuddered thinking about having to level up again in that one place…Um what’s the name again? Shadow Moon Valley? Er….Sorry…you know, the Belf starting area where no one goes or can find. I did that zone on my huntress so once was good for me.

Trolls are appealing to me and I don’t know why. I guess it’s because they are so ugly, they are cute to me. I tried a male troll for about 1/2 hour. Even though he looked great, like the male Nelf toon, his animations as a caster just didn’t work for me. It wasn’t as bad as the worgen casters, but it was like the male human caster where I just couldn’t put my finger on why I didn’t like it.  Male Trolls however, look much more foreboding doing the melee animations anyway IMHO. I could have created a female Troll, but I have one who’s a shaman already and the animations were the same. So that left me with choosing the Undead. Since my current undead warlock is female this left me with only one clear choice.

I rolled a male Undead mage and he’s now at level 8. I promise to stick with my plan and get him to level 20 and I’ll let all of you know what I think.

This is not someone you ask to get a port or table from!

“Learn Something New” #2

Due to my career, I travel quite frequently and podcasts help pass away the many hours behind the wheel. Needless to say, I listen to A LOT of podcasts. One of the things I have noticed is that many of the WoW podcasts have short segments at the end of them. The topics of these segments vary: some talk about addons, some talk about tanking, some discuss vanity pets, etc., The one thing I haven’t heard a short segment on is warlocks. This got me to pondering as to why not. Warlocks are a great class despite their problems and we have a lot to say and discuss.

So, to learn something new, I’ve decided I would attempt to make a few “short spots” or “segments” concerning warlocks and if they aren’t too bad, maybe I’ll send them off to a couple of the WoW podcasters and see if they would consider using them on their shows. Like this blog, I have never done something like that before so I’ll be a total and complete noob. I’m not sure how to do it yet, but I have been reading up on it.

The Audacity sound program…It’s going to be a lot of learning!

A suggestion from one of my guildmates, who runs a well-known WoW Podcast (I’m keeping them anonymous in case anything I submit is really bad), I’ve downloaded and installed the audio editing software called, Audacity. I’ve played around with it so far,  and if there is one thing I’ve learned, like viewing my own pictures, hearing my voice is PAINFUL. Utterly horrid! Since my voice sounds so terrible, I’m going to have to learn how to manipulate the sound files to make them more acceptable for others to hear. I’m not sure if it will be up to the sound quality of Revngeek or Johnny Feisty (two other guildies of mine), but I’m going to try :)

Now, I’m open to suggestions from my reading audience. What topics about warlocks would you like to hear on podcast? Addons? Transmogging? Making fun of mages? New Beta stuff? If there is anything in particular you would like to hear, please let me know.

Hail and Howdy my Pernicious Purveyors of Paroxysms,

Whew! All I can say is thank goodness for a big thesaurus otherwise, I might never have come up with that greeting. If you already knew what the word paroxysm means, then I’m proud of you. If you’re like me and didn’t, and have to look it up even better :P  because then we have both learned something today. I know being warlocks, we’re all a little standoff-ish and leery of sharing with others because we’re always vying to keep our edge and our Dark Art secrets. One of the goals of this webguide is to help our class talk about anything that’s warlock-y, and anything and everything that concerns warlockery.

Big expansion change is coming with no current ETA

Today, I’m going to ask you to join me. As a class we need to come together. No, I’m not talking about joining hands and singing, “Kumbaya” or getting all kiss-y and mush-y like mages do on vent when they discuss their vanity pets. What I’m talking about is helping each other through the Grief Cycle. Grief Cycle? Right now you’re probably thinking, “We’re warlocks, we don’t grieve! We cause grief to other players!” or simply “What in the name of Hellfire are you talking about Amijade?” As your self-proclaimed motivational speaker for the Dark Arts that’s when I would say, “My dearest dark angels, this has a lot to do with us! Now please take out a pen and blank grimoire and start taking notes. Trust me.”

What is the Grief Cycle? Well, it’s not camping your enemy at their own graveyard.  Even though that sounds like scrump-dilly-umptious fun, we tend to call that “winning” instead. No, the Grief Cycle I’m talking about is actually called: The Kübler-Ross Grief Cycle. It’s a pretty easy concept to grasp once you’ve seen and understand it. A long time ago, and this is a paraphrased true story, doctors became psychologically embarrassed by having terminally ill patients. If a person couldn’t be cured or fixed, it was like a badge of shame to the doctor. The doctors dealing with grief for their patients, often ignored or shunned those poor people and basically, they would wash their hands of them emotionally.

Luckily, a doctor named Elizabeth Kübler-Ross pushed back on her fellow physicians so they would recognize this problem. Dr. Ross (I shortened her name because it’s a lot easier to type) had a lot of experience working with people who were dying, and so she wrote a famous book called ‘On Death and Dying’. In that book she talks about the emotional states we, as people, go through in a grieving process. It’s often referred to as simply The Grief Cycle.  There are several versions of this theory, but I’m referring to Dr. Ross’ version because she was the first to write about it, and I try to always quote the original author.

My guild getting ready to mourn the loss of a real life guildy with a ceremony in-game. I got there early and about 200 people showed up. It was amazing and inspiring!

What in the heck does this real life “Grief Cycle Thingy” have to do with us warlocks? I’m glad you asked. There has been a lot of talk about Cynwise and his great piece about The Decline and Fall of Warlocks in Cataclysm and with much pondering, I see ‘locks falling along the lines of this famous Grief Cycle as explained by Dr. Ross. Hopefully, you’ll see what I mean, but this time instead of calling it The Grief Cycle, we’re going to call it The Change Cycle .

Here’s a picture of what it looks like:

The Grief Cycle

The red line in the middle represents a person going through any kind of grief or any change in life. Following that line, you can see the ebbs and flow along the twisty emotional ride a typical person experiences. Ever lose a job? Have you ever lost a loved one or a pet? Maybe a good friend moved away? Maybe a good friend left the game? All of these kinds of events are emotional powerhouses that toss us spinning right into this grief cycle.  Think about it, anything and everything can push us into following this emotional course.  Take your pick of any grief or change you have been through; the stronger the emotional attachment, the longer your Grief Cycle will continue. Here is how it works: 

  1. Shock stage: Shock and paralysis hearing, learning of bad news

  2. Denial stage: Avoiding what happened

  3. Anger stage: Anger and frustration at what occurred

  4. Bargaining stage: Looking for ways to get out of the situation

  5. Depression stage: Realizing it is happening

  6. Testing stage: You look for ways to cope, adapt, or looking for ways to make it better

  7. Acceptance stage: You move on accepting what has occurred

 Use this chart to pinpoint behavior when adapting to any new grief or change. The emotional response line that resides vertically on the left side, points out how active we are at each of these cyclic stages. How long will a person suffer through each stage? Is it always the same? The answers to those two questions are: No idea and No. The length, time and severity of a person’s emotional state will vary from person to person. It will also depend on what kind of change we face. It could be something as painful as a death in the family, or it could be something as simple as it’s now raining outside when you were planning an outdoor event.

Have you ever been to a funeral where some people were crying, some were laughing and some where just numb? The reason for this behavior? They were all at different points in their own Grief Cycle. Some people can sail through their grief or change quickly, some don’t. We just need to make sure we don’t get stuck in any one of the emotional states for too long because that can become a problem. Some people can suffer from depression, some can have anger issues, and some can stay in complete denial. Like controlling our demons, we have to recognize this and accept it in order to work our way through it, until finally our attitude and life return to normal.  

Here’s a famous memorial…recognize it?

 Now, let’s apply this to our wonderful warlock class. First, we began at the stable stage. We worked our little rump’s off and got our warlock to max level; we’ve probably maxed out our primary & secondary professions, and we’ve worked towards some end-game PvE, PvP, or rep grinds. At this point, we’ve invested ourselves into a large time commitment, and by now we become emotionally attached to our toons. Then wham! Something dramatic happens. Either the nerf-n-buff developers at Blizzard smack us, or a new expansion comes out and things are no longer the same anymore. Now, we’re thrust into an emotional run of the Change/Grief Cycle.

At the Shock stage we are usually paralyzed in our emotions and we do little to act on it. Do you see the red line dipping down into the Emotional Response of passive here? Usually, after being shocked by a change or event our bodies and minds are processing how this will affect us. Then we enter the Denial stage. We’re not quite passive but then we’re not quite active with our emotional responses. I call this the “blah” stage. It’s when you’re not really sure how you feel yet, but are at the point of understanding how things have changed.

From Denial we move to the Anger stage. Not anger like the trade trolls, but anger as in pushing back on the stimulus or change itself such as arguing, yelling, refusing to play or whatever. Think about what happens after a massive patch or update to the game. People go absolutely crazy. Then, we begin to settle down a bit and we begin to bargain in the Bargaining Stage. Here we look to ourselves and to others trying to find ways to avoid what’s changing. This could be posting in the forums, cancelling subscriptions etc., Then comes what they call the Depression stage. I like the term “realization stage” better because it’s here that the we truly realize what has happened. Hitting the depression/realization stage is a good thing. Trust me!

Screaming to myself since the developers won’t listen!

The depression/realization stage is when we hit rock bottom. We hit the lowest of lows, and it’s when we begin to turn it all around. Hrm, when you’re at the bottom there’s no place to go but up, right? It’s true. This stage is our wake-up call phase (btw, I’m listening to Maroon 5’s Call and Response: The Remix Album, and the Wake up Call remix version rocks!) So be glad you hit rock bottom, it’s a good thing and it should make you happy to know you’re there. Does that sound crazy or are you asking, “Why in the hell should we be happy that we hit rock bottom?” That’s a great question to ask! Once we hit rock bottom we’ve now reached the Testing stage. The Testing stage is when we work out the kinks, we begin to cope, and we take control. That is exactly what a good warlock should always do. We should size up the situation and take control of it to our advantage. Otherwise, it might just be the demons who are controlling you.

Finally, we reach the Acceptance stage, and no this doesn’t mean we should start being nice to those annoying mages or tolerate dirty-rotten-backstabbing-rogues. When we reach the Acceptance stage it’s when we can say, “Veni, Vidi, Vici!” If you haven’t heard of that line it’s Julius Ceasar’s smack talk for, “I came, I saw, I conquered”. I love the sound of that famous line, but in truth I’m more of a follower of the of the Veni, Vidi, Vino version. Trust me when I tell you the Acceptance stage rocks! It’s when we take control of the situation and move on. Sing it with me everyone, “Weeeeee are the champ-ions, Weeeee are the champ-ions, Nooooo time for looosers ’cause weeee are the champ-ions…of the world!” I’m sorry for all the song references, but I’m listening to music as I type and yes, Queen rocks. Just like we, as warlocks do. 

Now we come to the place where I try to wrap it up and explain what all this means. As a class, we’ve been all over the emotional map. Understand that fact. Some ‘locks are still in shock, some are still angry and some are already at the acceptance stage. We’re like a confused mage who is halfway to a FP point only to realize he can port to where he is going, and not sure if he should logout or hang on for the ride. As a class, we’ve been up, down, nerf’d, buffed, most fun, least fun, OP, and sometimes fail; you name it and we’ve been there. We should all expect that the MoP Beta and the MoP expansion will be a huge change for us and will push us right back into the cycle.

Putting Things to Rest

In order to help each other, I’m asking for you to submit anything you will miss about the “old” warlocks, things you are not sure if you would like, and anything you are looking forward to with the upcoming expansion. I’ve already put three of my own examples in each section, but I would love to hear from all of you!

THINGS I WILL MISS…

  • Haunt’s self-heal and boomerang special effects; they will always be my favorite – Amijade
  • Old school drain tanking – Amijade
  • Shadow Bolt not being in Affliction (Yes, I know I’m in the minority) – Amijade
  • My weapon as a buff slot. At least in the Beta I played, you could only cary a weapon OR a wand – Elkagarosa
  • Immolate on Demo – Elkagarosa
  • Being able to tell Healers: “Nah, don’t worry about me. I’ll heal myself.” – Fulguralis
  • Things you will miss – your name here

 

I’M NOT SURE IF I WILL LIKE…

  • Dual Resource juggling – Amijade
  • Shards above my head – Amijade
  • Long cast times – Amijade
  • Going back to Affliction because of shard rainbow – Elkagarosa
  • All the warlocks that are going to start playing again because we FINALLY got 5 new demons – Elkagarosa
  • New pets. Particularly that my felpup would have to get replaced with a floating eye – Fulguralis
  • I have mixed feelings on the floating crystals, not sure I want people’s souls orbiting my head, they might decide to seek revenge by biting my ears or something equally pathetic, yet annoying – Erinys
  • Things you’re not sure on – your name here

 

I LOOK FORWARD TO…

  • Getting new demons to hang around with – Amijade
  • Playing around with all three warlock specs – Amijade
  • New animations that will make mages drool – Amijade
  • Playing demo and having imps pop off me like I am a wet Mogwai – Elkagarosa
  • Having a telent tree that the only use is for situations, not regular game play – Elkagarosa
  • Single instance looting – Elkagarosa
  • More quick hitting spells. The good part about not relying on a cast nuke (and having a channel spell instead) is that we get some ticks right away. Might help. – Fulguralis
  • I am looking forward to Glyph of Nightmares – Erinys
  • I’m also looking forward to stopping abandoning warlocks all over the place. At the last count I have one at 62 (first ever character), one at 80, one at 21 (work in progress), one at 70 (bloodelf), one at 46 and one at 38 (gnome) – Erinys

  • Things you look forward to – your name here

 

Ascension into Acceptance

Newbie Blogger Initiative

Howdy and Hail my Cohorts of Corruption,

Today, I’m hitting upon another challenge with the Newbie Blogger Initiative (NBI) and this week’s challenge is: “What’s My Main Again?” It’s another jump-start for cranking out the creative juices where noobie bloggers, like myself, write about the subject of their “main” or the main character they tend to play the most in the World of Warcraft.

I run with three main classes and I love to play them all. They are: A warlock (of course!), a hunter, and a restoration shaman. Due to my raid team’s composition, my healing shaman is seeing all the action when it comes down to actual progression. However, I hope to eventually get through Dragon Soul with both my ‘lock and hunter as well. It might sound strange, but when it comes to my online characters in WoW, I feel like I’m a gloating parent.  I adore each of my characters like they are my children, and I love and enjoy them differently in their own individual and unique ways.

Since this blog is about warlocks, and because I don’t want to get comments like TL;DR, I’ve decided to focus on my undead warlock, Amijade, because her personality is what helped motivate me in starting to write this blog. If you want to understand more about “Why I Do What I Do”  you might want to checkout my last post for the NBI. Keep in mind I’m not that creative, but I’ve tried to come up with a quick synopsis or back story for Amijade’s character you might enjoy. It’s a story and a journey I plan to finish writing some day.

As a teenager, Amijade loved reading in front of the Stormwind Cathedral.

 The Duchess of Death

Amijade was born the oldest of twins in the Alliance capital city of Stormwind. Amijade and her younger sister, Morganella, never knew their mother because she died shortly after their childbirth. Amijade’s father, Johnathan Ayrole, was a captain in the Stormwind Guard and was often sent away on various assignments. When their father was away his sister, Jalane, helped to raise the girls. Aunt Jalane was a grand master tailor and a warlock who became more of a mother to them than just their Aunt.  The family resided in the Northern section of the Mage Quarter, in a modest apartment above the Slaughtered Lamb tavern. With the help of their Aunt Jalane and a close family friend, Spackle Thornberry, (a powerful gnome warlock), the girls soon became aware of their special powers for harnessing and controlling Fel-energy.

Morganella

While growing up, Amijade and Morganella were able to experience living in both the city and in the countryside. During the winter months, their teaching and training took place in Stormwind; during the summer they experienced the more rural way of life traveling with their father. On several family trips they visited remote areas as far west as the province of Westfall, to even some of the more remote peaks found throughout the Red Ridge Mountains.

When the girls reached their early twenties their father, Johnathan, was assigned to Tirisfal Glades to help protect the grain farms and mills of the region. It was there in the quiet farming community that Amijade met and fell in love with, Devlin Argamand. The young couple kept their affection for each other hidden, and decided to marry against the wishes of Devlin’s Father who was one of the richest, and most powerful farmers in the area. Planning to secretly marry the morning of the province’s annual Fall Festival, a horrible twist of fate changed everything and what should have been the happiest day of her life, turned out as her worst.

Azerothian history would document it as a day of horrors. It was the day when the plague of the Scourge fell upon the helpless population and devestated the Kingdom of Lordaeron and the surrounding countryside to ruin. It was the day Amijade, lost her husband, her father and her mortal life. Her father was one of the first victims in the surprise attack that started at the Agamand farms. With all the chaos and confusion that unfolded, Devlin, was falsely blamed for the disaster and soon succomed to the grip of the plague himself. The twins made a desperate attempt to flee the gruesome scene, and in an act of self-sacrifice, Amijade died in order to save her sister.  

The Plague of the Scourge

Soon after the fall of the Lich King, a Forsaken patrol discovered her body and carried it to the Death Knell. Under the command of Lady Sylvannas with the power of Val’kyrs she became a new resurrected member of the undead. Amijade still suffers from resurrection sickness and most of her memory concerning her “old” life is but a shadow to her, appearing in flashes and through a veil of fog. Now, as she slowly begins to remember who she was, and realizing what she has now become; she has to come to grips with her new reality in order to find a place in the world with her new life as a Forsaken.

Spackle…friend, mentor, and very short. Even for a gnome!

Here is a brief scene from Amijade’s life that is one of the few, fully entact memories of her past life when she was still alive and human. She often repeats it when contemplating things:

 “Spackle,” Amijade questioned as tears streamed down from her eyes, “Is it true? Are warlocks evil?” Her chest heaved as if it was about to cave in as the drops flowed from the corners of her eyes to the edges of her mouth. Her bottom lip quivered uncontrollably as she stood there, waiting for an answer. It took all of the power that Spackle could muster to keep from running to the child to reach out, and to hold her, and not let go. As a warlock, he could conjure minions and imps that could wipe out a small platoon of guards, yet his heart had no protection from the human child before him. For himself and for her, Spackle kept his best brave face and beckoned for her to sit.

Amijade still sobbed and shook as she sat waiting for him to speak. When he could tell she had calmed down, Spackle gave her a quick, understanding nod and smile. He spun on his heals with a sigh, placed his hands behind his back, and turned from her towards the window. “I’ve always wondered,” he said staring out the window and his voice wavered, “when the day would come when you or your sister might ask that question.” The old gnome pulled himself together trying to regain his countenance and strength searching for words to comfort her. As he cleared his throat and he looked down on the shops below, Spackle’s eyes rested on some workmen repairing a wall near the open archway closest to the Mage Quarter gate. He pointed out the window for her to see. “Come my child…let me show you something” the wizened warlock said softly.

As Amijade approached the window and followed his line of sight she could see the repair crew and watched. It was a bright sunny day in Stormwind and the soft breeze that passed by made the few remaining tears on her face feel cold. She reached up trying to wipe a few of the puddles away from her eyes.  “Do you see the taller man of the group down there?” he asked turning to her as he reached up and took her hand. Spackle looked down at her larger hand in his own and squeezed lightly trying to break her from her sorrow. She squeezed back on his stout fingers and nodded. “He holds a hammer doesn’t he?” Spackled asked.  She nodded as two more tears streaked down from the corner of her eyes, rolling along her cheek and stopped hanging near her chin. Wiping them away, she squeezed his hand again.

“My dear child,” Spackle continued, “your gifts…are like that of the stone mason’s hammer.” Amijade’s brow furrowed as she looked at his face and then back to the workman below. “A warlock’s power, ” Spackle said just above a whispered tone, “is merely a tool. In the right hands, it can protect. In the wrong hands, it can destroy.” His tone turned more direct and firm, “A tool is only as good, or as evil as the person who wields it.” From his angle looking up at her, he thought it was uncanny how much she looked like her mother at this moment, and just like her mom, he could see when the lessons he taught were reaching her. Her breathing slowly eased, and the intense sorrow across her face began to fade away.

Amijade turned and looked down to Spackle. Quickly, she pulled him close and gave him one of his, “big, squeezy hugs”. She only stopped for a moment to lean down, and kiss the bald spot on his head sweetly, and then resumed with her hug, squeezing him so hard that she began to lift him off of his feet. “I promise…” she whispered in his ear, “I promise I’ll never forget.”

  

Her life, her future, and her fate are her true demons…

Howdy and Hail my Proselytes of Punishment,

Ambermist, over at the blog Tastes Like Battle Chicken, has called new bloggers out with the Newbie Blogger Initiative to write posts about the topic, “Why Do I Do What I Do?” So never being one to back down from a challenge, I’ll do my best at trying to keep your attention since I hadn’t planned on writing anything about myself other than what’s listed on my About Me page.

I sure hope this is NOT an account wide mount!

I’ve always wanted to write, and now that I’m actually making a blog I’m finding it’s a great way to overcome my shyness, to express my inner “me”, and it’s a great way to meet and talk with other people who share the same interests. Putting my own words down on a computer screen lets me be creative and in control as compared to the things I have to do for work in real life. I’m a very passionate person, especially when it comes to something I’m interested in like my love for warlocks in WoW.

Writing a blog is nothing like writing a work email or business letter, and it’s not like putting together a presentation or a marketing report where I’m forced to present a set of information with little say in the matter. Like many other bloggers, I could write a small book about why I enjoy playing World of Warcraft (WoW). There are thousands of blogs and websites about WoW out there already, and the last thing I don’t want to do is to reinvent the wheel. 

So what is there I can write about this game that hasn’t already been written about or discussed? Nothing really. What I’m striving to do, as Ambermist suggests, is to write about my experiences and thoughts concerning WoW and the warlock class. I’m far from being an expert, but I’m not going to let that stop me from writing about what I enjoy most which is discussing anything about the wonderful warlocks class, or anything that has to do with poking fun of mages. Where I come from that’s what we like to call a “two-fer” or a win / win scenario with no downside.

I love collecting rare pets, even though this common skin is one of my favorites.

I love playing WoW because it gives me freedom. It helps me wind down from a long day of work where I can just tune out all of life’s little problems and focus on something fun. Instead of being an “average joe” scraping my way through the rat race of life, in-game I’m the smart-alec hunter who can Jump/Disengage Shot to kite a boss all day long if needed; or be an experienced resource when it comes to collecting all of the rare hunter pets. On my shaman, I’m the jack-of-all-trades healer who not only brings the buffs, but loves to interrupt and CC while still offering up extra Dps when there is healing downtime. With my warlock, I’m the “Duchess of Death” who has taught a lot of newer warlock players how to chain pull a large group of mobs only to walk away from the fight with full health and mana bars while the small army of NPC mobs fall before me. Yes, WoW gives me the freedom of being someone else other than just me, and I love it.

Why did I choose to start a warlock blog in particular? Well you might think I’m nutty, but I have a pair of all three of my favorite classes (warlock, shaman, hunter) currently at level cap. One group is Horde and the other group is Alliance. No, I’m not confused as to my loyalties, I just have friends in both factions. Sadly, I don’t get a chance to play my Alliance toons very much anymore due to time constraints, and so I have mainly focused on playing my Horde toons. Don’t get me wrong, I really do enjoy all of my avatars because each one has lots of memories and backstories behind them.  If I had to choose just one, I couldn’t live without my Horde warlock. When I stop to think about why that is, I can only guess that it’s because she’s outgoing, head-strong, and the complete opposite of me in real life. Where I’m shy and reserved, she’s brazen and bold. Where I would hesitate to stop and contemplate consequences, she’s would act impulsively led by her instinct and passion.

My healer returning home from a DW kill

Sadly, there aren’t very many resources on the internet concerning warlocks anymore and as it stands now, warlocks are the least represented class in WoW. Everyone in the ‘lock community is hoping that trend changes direction with the launch of the Mists of Pandaria expansion, so I decided to start writing a blog about them myself.  I found that when I followed other warlock writers my interest would always peak when they were discussing what they loved most about the class. These writers talked about the same rush and excitement my warlocks gave me, and that’s what I hope to accomplish with my blog. Believe me, there is nothing worse than reading something bland from a general WoW website when they discuss warlocks like, “If you’re glyphed for FEAR your target stays in place instead of fleeing to possibly draw aggro.” *Yawns* Doesn’t that sound totally boring?

Flying to Shatt for All Hallow’s Eve Celebration!

However, if you play a warlock like me, I’m sure you would prefer a little more style and flavor when talking about ‘locks such as, “If you’re glyphed for FEAR, then the true power of dominating your opponent is at your command. Rather than fleeing like a stuck pig, you force your target to stand-still, unable to move like a fly in a spider’s web stricken with the impeding doom of what will be coming at them next. FEAR is good. FEAR is great. FEAR is a spell that makes your opponent completely lose control of his own character and they will hate you for it. FEAR, for a warlock, is like water to a fish; so make sure to bind your FEAR spell to an easy to reach key and then jump in-game and soak up every thirst quenching drop!” It’s not theory-crafting by the numbers, but when I read something with this kind of spunk and attitude, it sure makes me want to login to my warlock.

Newbie Blogger Initiative

Howdy and Hail All,

Well, it’s been almost a week and a half since my MoP Beta failed. After suffering through 8 different error messages, the forums suggested to remove the program from my computer and to reinstall the game.  Fine, I could live with that idea. Utilizing the Remove Programs option in my Control Panel and after some buzzing from the hard-drive of my computer the Beta disappeared. Next, I logged into Battle.net and within a few mouse clicks the download screen was up and running. I rubbed my hands in evil glee and walked away from my screen for a few minutes only to come back and find that after 20 mins of downloading I was now having the fatal BLZPTS00003 Error. (/sadface) Trying to ease my breathing and to relax my composure, I decided to head back to the forums for help.

OMG make it stop, make it stop!

Suggestions from players at the forums said the problem could be my firewall or virus protection software. Okay. I click on McCaffe’s symbol and click off its protection icons. I go back to Battle.net and begin the down load again. Within 2 mins of the download, Bam!  Error BLZPTS00003 pops up on my screen. Immediately, I gave up and put a support ticket into Blizzard having wasted about 2 hours altogether. All of that happened three days ago and I still haven’t heard anything from Blizzard Support other than what I’ve read on the forums. I know they have been quite busy with the launch of Diablo III, so I wasn’t expecting an answer or any help for another day or two. Things like this happen and it’s understandable, and I can live another few days of not testing in Beta.

Yes, I’ve come to stark reality that as it stands now, I’m in a “MoP Beta Error” hell and I can’t get out. At least not until I hear back from customer support.

However, rather than getting negative about the problem, I decided to focus my energy and attention elsewhere and I’m happy to announce that a lot of good things have occurred. First, I decided to host The Great Warlock “Epitome” Tmog Contest.  I still have no entrants as of yet, but I am a new blogger and I don’t exactly have a following. However, the contest and the prize are up for grabs, even if there is only one warlock who participates. Feel free to pass that link along to your fellow warlocks because as it stands now, your chances to win are very good.  Don’t forget, the deadline is less than 1 month away!

Another good thing that happened to me due to my MoP Beta woes was that I made some great memories concerning Diablo III.  Like many others, I wound up getting caught up in the hype and excitement over Blizzard’s launch of Diablo III. From all the chatter about it from my guildmates, to all the tweets on Twitter and from the many conversations with my gaming friends, I quickly found that I too wanted to play against the demons plaguing the town of Tristram.  Even on the night of the big event, I still hadn’t downloaded the game. Fortunately, with 40 mins to spare from the 12:00 am PST “Live” deadline I was up and ready to go. A few friends from my raid team and I hopped on vent together and suffered through our excited anticipation in waiting for the launch of D3 to begin. The game went live and then…Error 37 reared its ugly head!  Error 37 stayed around for about the first 45 mins for my group and after that, we finally got in and began to happily kill mobs. I didn’t get to sleep until about 4:30 am and unlike many who stayed home with the “Diablo III flu bug” I still managed to leave for work at 6:45 am. Yes, a good cup of coffee and cussing out your friends when they aren’t around can do wonders for your outlook in life if you ever find yourself a walking zombie from no sleep. Which toon did I pick? A Witch Doctor of course! So far, she plays like a warlock so I’m loving it! Good times and great memories.

Finally, another positive aspect of not being able to get my MoP Beta working is that with my free time I was able to do more research on blogging and I stumbled upon the Newbie Blogger Initiative (NBI). It looks like the NBI is a great way to meet people and to create connections with other bloggers who can offer advice and guidance for morons newbies like me. From the advice and tips that they offer on their forums over at NBI, it looks like they really have a great site with the new blogger in mind. What’s appears more amazing about the NBI is through their fun, imaginative and a creative challenges they help any new writer to think outside their comfort zone.

It’s true that I’m saddened because my MoP Beta is failing me. Yes, it’s upsetting that I can’t test the new version of the game I love to play, nor can I report or stay up to date about my thoughts and feelings towards our wonderful warlock class and the changes that have occurred while my Error BLZPTS00003 keeps me at bay.  For now, I’ll remain patient because I’m sure my downloading problems eventually will get corrected. Believe me, the minute my Error BLZPTS00003 gets fixed, I’ll be right back in Beta hitting the test dummies and trying to see how our new warlock spells and talents play out in real questing scenarios. Until then, I’ll be anxiously awaiting for my email box to fill up with contestants for the Tmog contest, trying to sharpen my skills as a blogger and I can promise you that I’ll be getting lost in the depths of Diablo III with my friends.

Before I end this post I have one quick question I would like to ask you, my dear reader of this blog. Due to Diablo III’s Error 37 issue, I now have a total of 9 (Nine) Witch Doctor’s named Amijade on my character screen. Does anyone know how to delete the duplicate ones?  As always, I send my best and the hope that  the BLZPTS00003 error code never find its way to your screen. If it does, just know that there may be some good to come from it…

Hail and Howdy my Fellow Followers of the Dark Arts,

As an avid follower of many of the popular WoW Blogs, and having started my own here at Warlockery.com, I recently came across the Newbie Blogger Initiative (NBI) and decided to take part in the fun.  I’ve been reading through their forums and already I’ve found out I’m somewhat behind for a few of their writing challenges. The month of May is a special event time with NBI where creative ideas become challenges for newbie bloggers to write more and connect with other bloggers. I think it’s a great idea and want to thank Sypster for putting this together. Who doesn’t need a good whack on the side of the head to get more motivated into action from time to time? It’s true, even I, your Dark Arts Motivational Speaker often needs to get my passion “recharged” from time to time. I have no idea where any of these challenges will lead me, but the NBI has pushed me to set some personal goals and to crank out some more writing. So, to all the folks at the Newbie Blogger Initiative, I humbly /salute.

Hail and Howdy All,

Four days of failure in trying to get my copy of the MoP Beta running was starting to get me down. I’m not sure if I’m tired of reading the forums for a fix, or if I’m utterly exhausted of the repeated attempts to login. Here is a small list of problems I’ve had so far since last Thursday evening:

  • Error code #132
  • Error code #0
  • Demonology causing game freezes, and it’s still causing it whenever I can actually login
  • Having to rename my “Updates” folder
  • Having to download and reload my startup files
  • Having to completely download my entire Beta Client

    Remember: Action shots sell!

Where do I stand now for getting back into the Beta? No idea! I’m still trying to find out myself, but I’ll keep trying and I’ll keep you posted. Bah! Sometimes in life, it’s the small setbacks that can either motivate you or break your spirit down. So rather than mope around and have a pity-party about my problems, I’ve decided to turn my sad, unfortunate tale into something fun and positive. Who in the hell doesn’t love a good contest anyway? Am I right? You may have read a few of my other posts and segments called, “What Not to Wear for Warlocks” and I hope you enjoyed them. Don’t worry, I plan to do more in the future just to keep reminding everyone how important it is to look good while your being bad. You may have also participated or followed Saga over at Spellbound when they hosted, “The Worst Warlock” Tmog contest, and I’m sure we’ve all seen some pretty pathetic looking ‘locks making us shake our heads, and wishing those players would re-roll a mage or a spriest. After reading about Saga’s contest, I soon found found myself wondering why we don’t see more good warlock Tmogs? Hell, why don’t we see any great warlock Tmogs?

So the name of the warlock contest is called: The Epitome. For those of you like me, who have to dust off their Webster’s Dictionary, here is the definition of an Epitome just as a quick refresher course.

Epitome (e-pit-o-me) [ih-pit-uh-mee] -noun. 1.) a person or a thing that is typical of or possesses to a high degree the features of a whole class: She is the epitome of darkness 2.) a condensed account, especially of literary work; abstract.

Pretty simple, eh? Email me a picture of your Tmog outfits that you feel are the epitome of warlock greatness and how you believe our class should best be represented to the public. Like all contests though, there are some rules and of course, a great big prize for the winner.

Contest Rules:

  • Only one entry per person (1 picture only, so make it count!)
  • Contestants must email an in-game screenshot wearing the items on their warlock; MogIt and other addons don’t count
  • Only one item can be used from a full Tier set
  • Only one item can be used from a full PvP set
  • One one item can be used from a Tier recolored set
  • Only one item can be used from a green item set
  • Includes only characters level 50+ or higher
  • Entries must include a written list of the items being presented, correct spelling of avatar name and the server where the toon is located
  • Participants agree that I have permission to post a copy of the picture they send in for the contest
  • All entries must be emailed to amijadethewarlock @ gmail Dot Com
  • Deadline for the contest is Midnight, Saturday, June 16, 2012
  • The winner will be announced at Midnight, Sunday, June 17th, 2012

The winner, after the announcement, will be emailed their prize of a digital code for 1 (one) out of any of these three fabulous mounts of their choosing: Hearth of the Aspects Mount, Winged Guardian Mount, or the Celestial Steed Mount. As you can see by the contest rules, I don’t want to see several thousand Malefic or Rainment sets. Get creative with your Tmog and if you do plan to use any single piece from either a Tier, Tier recolored, or PvP set, I would suggest making sure it doesn’t override the rest of your “theme” or look. The contest is about showcasing ‘locks and not about highlighting a single piece of gear. Mix and match and go crazy with your creativity! The judges of the contest will be yours truly, along with two other anonymous warlock friends of mine who will remain unknown until the contest is over to help remain impartial in their judgements.

If you have any questions about the contest or its rules, feel free to contact me via email or Twitter and I will post your question here on this post in a FAQ section for others to view as well. Until then, have fun and good luck and don’t forget to make our class proud!

My Best…