(Il)Logical Progression

Random Musings by the Truly Random

What to do, what to do… Looking for inspiration

There isn’t enough time in a day.

Really, there just isn’t.

Too many things I want to do – Star Wars, World of Warcraft (and yes, I think what I’ve seen of Mists of Pandaria is pretty nice), Magic: The Gathering and other Trading Card Games, miniature stuff (painting, gaming, etc.), music (violin and cello), other games (CoD, Dishonored, Borderlands 2, etc.), movie watching, writing, learning new things, and more.

Geez – and that doesn’t even get into the stuff that I need to do like eat, sleep, chores and work.

But hey, life’s about choices and sacrifice, isn’t it?  And with choices comes analysis…

I’m part of a world-class Star Wars guild now.  This means that I should be logging in every day and doing at least some of the activities that help me gear out for end-game raiding.  Maybe I should work on getting a utility set for my Mercenary (Taoren), and get a tank up.  It’s part of what being in a top-tier guild is about, even if I’m a casual player in the top-tier guild.  I need to learn the fights (I don’t know why Denova seems so complex to me – the stuff I was doing at the beginning of Cataclysm seemed like it was more complex and I have more problems now).  I need to keep it fun to keep me playing, while doing what I need to show that I deserve to be in Memories of Xendor.  So that should be my ‘MMO priority’.

World of Warcraft has unleashed its siren call yet again, in the form of Mists of Pandaria.  Ah, good ol’ WoW.  I didn’t think I’d go back to it – it feels weird now after being gone from it for over a year, with half of Cataclysm being completely foreign to me, and while I desire to talk to some of my old friends there, I’m wanting to avoid resuming any guild connections as of yet – my stint as a Guild Officer/Raid Leader still has me feeling burnt.  And I’m also trying to bring in some of my Star Wars friends to the game, so I’m trying not to look too hard at the endgame.  I want to play this game again, even though the Burning Crusade content really makes me go “ugh” for needing to go through it yet again…  But the new Specialization system, while not as thought provoking or choice filled as the previous systems were, actually makes me smile.  If I want to look at a tree, I can play Star Wars or Rift.  The interactions between abilities have always been something I’ve enjoyed (go Shammy healing), and it looks like there’s more of this in this release, so I’m pretty excited.  That, and having the ability to use external add-ons to manage things is such a breath of fresh air compared to Star Wars.  I know my new guildies are part of the reason Star Wars has a Combat parser at all, but I do wish MOXParser was more like Recount.

I have a feeling that these are going to be two priorities going forward.  Still, the desire to do some of those other things hasn’t passed, and is probably going to get worse shortly – Assassin’s Creed III and CoD: Black Ops II, and Rift:  Storm Legion all come out soon.  Guild Wars 2 is tempting, especially with its good reviews and that it’s lack of subscription fee, but really, Star Wars and WoW look like fantastic games too, right now.  It’s refreshing to have too many choices, in some ways.

I do miss WoW raiding, though.   I enjoy Star Wars raiding, but it feels different.  Could be because I’m DPS… but I dunno.  It’s just different.

/sigh

I’m looking forward to it all, though.  In one way, shape, or form it’ll be fun.  I just want another Arthas, though.  I don’t see anything out there that even comes close to the anticipation of downing Arthas.

I hope there comes something that will.

My 2 yen,

Akiosama

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October 19, 2012 Posted by | General Musings, Life, Star Wars - The Old Republic, World of Warcraft | 2 Comments

Does (or Does Not?) Play Well With Others

A while back, I wrote about my first real guild – Lords of the Underworld – the guild, in fact, which I’m still in.  I’ve seen a few guilds come and go around me (R.I.P. Origins of Death, Hello Faded Divinity), but I’m still here in Lords.  Recently, I left Fallout and brought Arhys back to Lords as there was some tension that was being generated over multi-guilded players and the consideration they would receive versus those players who showed 100% dedication to Fallout, and as I stated before, Lords is my guild first.

So, Arhys is back in Lords.

Again – what’s in a Guild Name?  Speaking from the place, now, of being in multiple guilds, and being actively sought out by other guilds and declining, even though I ran with them, at the time, more than my actual guilds…  I can see how that Guild Name can cause tension.

I think a lot of people see the guild as more than just a group of players who come together for a common purpose.  They’re family, friends, and comrades-in-arms, all trying to have fun and play this game, we call World of Warcraft. 

But as you add more and more people to a group, common purpose evolves and sometimes things don’t always go smoothly.

Take Arhys’ departure from Fallout, for example.  I left because the Guild Master there came right out and said he wanted 100% dedication to his guild and that he was going to give priority to those who are 100% dedicated to Fallout

Is he wrong for doing that?  I don’t necessarily think so, since his primary concern as Guild Master should be Fallout.  He owes that to the members of Fallout, so to speak.

Did he wrong me by saying that?  I think he did to some degree.  When I joined Fallout, they were having trouble getting 10 people together for raiding, I was scheduling my day’s activities, including work, to make early raid times, and I was diligent in trying to make every raid I could, and in improving my playing ability and gear, for the success of OUR (Fallout‘s) raids.  To get told “your contribution isn’t enough anymore, since you’re starting to do things with Lords and that’s getting in the way of Fallout‘s activities, so you’re getting prioritized lower” is not something I wanted to stay for.  I felt that Fallout‘s stance was being changed, now that Fallout has enough people to run 10-man content without those of us from Lords, and they could force those of us splitting our commitments to choose, because they had enough new people to take our place, if we chose to leave rather than be ‘downgraded’.  At least, that’s what I gathered from it.

Part of the issue that led up to the split, also, was what characters were being committed to Fallout and their raids.  I’d gotten into the habit of offering up my healer, Taoren, for their raids, because we were sometimes short raid healers for the group, but he’s Lords not Fallout.  It didn’t matter before, though, since Lords wasn’t running anything independent of Fallout, but when that changed, Fallout didn’t have all of my characters available to them and the GM there was somewhat upset about that.  (I think what made things worse was that they weren’t able to bring in particular rogue who was also splitting his characters between the guilds – a Warrior in Fallout, and his Rogue in Lords, because we started running Icecrown Citadel in Lords and he was bringing the Rogue to the Lords raids.)

But was that the real cause of the tension and split between Lords and Fallout?  Before, we had been told “Lords is Fallout and Fallout is Lords.”

I think what really caused the issue was a change in common purpose in Lords.  I’m not saying this was “Lords’ fault” that things ended up the way they are, but it was the catalyst for the events which led to the inter-guild tension and Fallout‘s policy change and my subsequent departure because of it.

We, in Lords, evolved.  We decided, as a majority, that we wanted to raid.  We brought in some new talent to fill some gaps we had in our role pools – and some of these new players are much more focused on raid, driving us as a group to focus more.  We started running things regularly, committing ourselves to more than 2 days a week (Fallout‘s raiding schedule at the time) raiding, and saw success for it.  We lost a couple of our veteran non-raiders, as they felt they didn’t fit in with “the new Lords“.

Is it a bad thing that this all happened?  I’ll go out on a limb and say “No.” 

(Though I do wish we hadn’t lost two of our friends as guildies, but they’re still on the same server and are still friends…)

Why?

It’s not that running raids with Fallout wasn’t a good part of my experiences in WoW.  But right now, I have more people I would call ‘friends’ running with me.  A great friend of mine transferred to my server, and now, partly due his first (on my server) guild’s problems, he’s now raiding with me, and that’s a blast.  One of my other close friends gets to raid with us again, too, having been generally excluded from the Fallout raids since she never chose to move her character to that guild.  It’s really awesome having three close friends in the raid, instead of just one.

But, close friendships even cause problems in raids.

Why? 

Because as is human nature, I’m going to stand up for my friends first.  I’m going to try to rationalize why my friends deserve a spot in the more serious raid group, now that we’re trying to run two groups in one week.  Fortunately, there haven’t been too many times where this has been an issue, but we’re getting more people who want to raid in our guild, so it’s bound to get rockier in the future.

Despite that, I’m loyal to my friends first.  Those three that I run with will always get more from me than the other six.  Does that mean I won’t do anything for the other six?  No.  What it means is that given a choice when doing something mutually exclusive (such as giving a recommendation for a raid spot), a member of my “Three Amigos” will get my consideration before the other six.

Just like how the two couples within the other six people will give their significant other support over the others in the group first.  I expect that. It’s human nature.

Does that make them bad people?  Does that mean they don’t play well with others?

I don’t think so.

I would hope, though, that the good of the entire group and the good of my own personal relationships won’t be at odds.  So far, I’ve been lucky enough to say that it hasn’t been an issue.  Will it always stay that way?  Only time will tell.

But, to tell the truth, my friends will always come first.

Does that mean I don’t play well with others?

My 2 yen,

Akiosama

March 8, 2010 Posted by | General Musings, Lords of the Underworld, World of Warcraft | , , , , | Leave a comment

Rumors of My Death are Greatly Exaggerated… Except on Arhys!

Hello all,

For those that continue to look around here, as I can see there are a few still, I must thank you for taking time to look at this dusty ol’ place. Life has been busy, and I’ve been working and raiding so much that I haven’t taken time to write (or comment, either – I need to kick my shoes off and give Larisa a piece of my mind soon – I’m out of practice.)

I am going to try to get back to putting stuff on this page – so much interesting news is out there regarding WoW and the other things that I try to cram into my packed life.

But for a quick update:

  • My mage finally hit 80.  Cherudim (Cairne – US) is now playing around with the big boys and girls, rockin’ Arcane and Frost specs and even sniffing around a little in ICC.  It’s nice to be able to just go out and blow stuff up without as much of the raid’s weight on your back, unlike healing and tanking.
  • Saying that – Taoren, my original Shaman, is back and main again.  Running Resto and Elemental, he fixes stuff and breaks stuff, depending on the color of the name in the plate.  If it’s green or blue, it gets fixed.  If it’s red, it gets broken.  It’s been a fantastic run in ICC – we’re working on Wing 2, and we’re farming Wing 1 – and feeling ok doing it.
  • Arhys, my Death Knight (the dead guy), is back from the dead and deader than ever, having tanked the first wing of ICC successfully.  Although he’s still undergeared, at least it’s been proven that he might have more than a snowball’s chance in Molten Core of tanking instances for the guild.
  • Guilds have come, changed and gone recently.  Arhys is no longer part of Fallout, having rejoined his roots in Lords of the Underworld.   Lords of the Underworld has evolved and is now running regular 10-man content, including ICC, and are still pairing up with Fallout, currently, for 25-man content (currently ToC). 
  • I also wish the best to the remnants of one of our orignal coalition guilds, Origins of Death, which, while the guild is no more, still remains the source of many of my friends on Cairne – US.  I have not gotten to run with many of my friends for a while, since we’re all doing guild-based activities, but it’s nice to say hi and chat from time to time when we’re not busy at the same time (which is rare).
  • As mentioned above, Lords of the Underworld is now primarily a 10-man raiding guild.  Many thanks for making that possible must go out to our new raiding and upcoming members who are bolstering our numbers, providing for roles we were short on, and motivating us to push on in progression.  Thank you all!
  • And last, many, many thanks must go out to those who have remained in Lords, working to better themselves in the quest for becoming strong enough to be a raiding guild.  My gratitude must go out to Thallya, Maupzor (aka Jonasventure), and Ebonaxe for their continued enthusiasm for the guild.  Further thanks must be given to our Guild Mistress, Bypolar (actually, our GM is Killerfrost, but that’s one of her characters, too), for trying to keep us all moving, and for having created a network on Cairne strong enough to help us evolve into a raiding guild.

I will continue to work on new material for this blog – I miss the expression dearly.  Expect to hear more about WoW, Lords of the Underworld, and other things new and interesting… (i.e. Final Fantasy XIII, Brandon Sanderson, and Brent Weeks, to name a scant few).

Hoping to be back and better than ever.

My 2 yen,

Akiosama

March 3, 2010 Posted by | General Musings, Lords of the Underworld, World of Warcraft | , , , , | Leave a comment

Resistance is Futile – You will be Assimilated

A fascinating topic was presented today on Larisa’s blog over at the Pink Pigtail Inn, regarding individualism, the norm, and standing out. It references a rather obscure idea presented in a piece of European literature from the 1930s, the Jante Law, that essentially states that one should not try to be different or stand out in any way shape or form, presumably for the good of the community.

The question of individuality and excellence in the human condition is a double-edged sword. Collectively, we, as a species, have proven that we get more done together than apart. We are a social animal and, for the most part, wither and die if we’re without other human beings to socialize with. Were it not for societies, we would probably not be the technologically advanced global species we aspire to be today – we’re not quite there yet, but we’re getting closer each day.

The problem comes that there will always be ‘individuals’ within the collective – those people who aren’t content in one way, shape, or form to live the status quo. That includes both those that wish to excel, and those that wish to slack. As people become individualized, the thought that ‘compensation should differ by [insert your INDIVIDUAL criterion here]’ leads to discussion within the group, which upsets that status quo as decisions regarding the ‘individuals’ are made.

Should someone who ‘excels’ get more than the average person? Should someone who ‘slacks’ get less? It’s hard to say practically, easy to say logically, but any decision regarding that will upset the balance within the society in question, I believe.

Take, for example, Azryu’s story over at The Arcanery, dated September 8, 2009. In that story he runs a 10 man VoA, putting up 6100+ DPS and top damage, but loses the drop-roll to another mage in the group that barely did 28oo DPS. And, a similar scenario happens again, almost right away in the next run that the group does. And what happens? Azryu’s a bit upset about that, due to the difference between his perceived ‘contribution’ vs. ‘reward’.

And yet, I see this all the time in raid groups – those that are multi-guild or PuG that can’t have a really established lootpoint system for distributing the spoils other than by random. Someone who does a significantly higher contribution loses out on a piece of gear simply because the /roll doesn’t go their way.

This goes back to Larisa’s point, though, about the Jante Law and the perception that individuality can be destructive. Azryu felt that his contribution was indeed ‘excellent’ in comparison to the other mage from the story, and therefore, when he lost the roll, he was upset because the other mage received a reward, twice even, for less contribution. The roll system set-up, however, was in line with a communal based thought, where everyone is deemed equally qualified to receive a piece of loot (equally qualified once spec and class are taken into account, anyhow), and therefore has an equal chance to receive the piece based on random chance.

Which is right? Which is the better system?

I don’t know for sure. Each can skew the performance of the ‘individual’ away from what’s good for the ‘group’. For example, you’re Azryu, and you’re looking for gear. You know how the system works, and you know that how you perform doesn’t affect how much chance you’ve got to get a piece of gear off a drop. Assuming you did not get any satisfaction out of your numbers (‘cause that would be an individualistic thought process), would you continue to try to work for the success of the group giving, in this case by comparison, roughly 219% results, something that probably had some work and research put into it, for a similar chance at the rewards, or would you just sit back and cruise and to heck with individual numbers, as long as the group itself succeeds? On the flip side, if individual performance, as dictated quantitatively by something like Recount, was taken into account for your eligibility for loot, would you continue doing what’s best for the group (switching off-target to hunt down a loose mob, for example, or some other activity which could potentially affect one’s final output), even if doing so could affect the success of the entire group?

I think, fortunately for the communal system of random loot rolling, that people aren’t wired so bipolarly regarding performance/reward. Since people do have concerns regarding their own performance, and the desire to be individual for the sake of being individual, they’re not likely to lower their performance to match that of the status quo if they’re performing beyond that – I doubt anyone says “That other mage is only putting out 3K DPS, so I’m only going to put out 3K DPS, too, since our chances for loot are the same, regardless.”

In the quest for individualism, though, there are those who forget that this is a group-based game, as well. 6K DPS is great and all, but despite such stellar individual performances, that one individual cannot, generally, win the game by himself, if the average performance for the rest of the group is too low. Further, such stats may not take into account (and I’m not saying it is for the real Azryu, but just saying hypothetically) such raiding concerns as aggro control (did the mage get that 6K by going all out, not watching his aggro, and taxing the tank?), survivability (did the mage get that 6K in 30 seconds and then die?), non-DPS expectations (did the mage not spellsteal the boss’ buff in time in order to maintain higher DPS?), and other encounter-based issues (did the mage kill others in his raid due to ‘AoE fire’ or some other encounter-based threat in order to maintain the DPS?).

In WoW, people want to succeed. The belief is that if one succeeds individually, that the group should follow, as long as everyone is trying to succeed individually. However, this is not always the case – there are times when individual performance, at least from a quantitative standpoint, must be sacrificed for the good of the raid. Individual performance at the sacrifice of the group should not be rewarded – though as far as I can see, with the exception of a keen eye during an encounter, “Friendly Fire” is about the only means of seeing who’s not paying attention on Recount, and that does NOT tell the whole story. There are times when a group can fail based on the desire to excel of its individuals.

Again, which is better? I’m not sure, myself. Groups need ‘excelling’ players to help raise the bar, but groups need players to be ‘communal’ as well, as only by the group succeeding are rewards available for the giving. It’s a real Catch-22.

Though, if real world examples are to be examined, it’s hard to beat the group ideal, as insects that have a ‘hive mentality’ tend to do very well at survival and success over more individual types of creatures out there. (But that could also be due to the insane numbers that those insect types have, too, so…)

My suggestion – be individual, but don’t forget the group. You only get rewarded (tangibly) if the group succeeds. But do recognize the individuals who are ‘excelling’, since they SHOULD give people something to shoot for.

And keep in mind, this doesn’t even take into account the green-eyed monster that lurks when people start to be individuals. Competition, jealousy, and envy all start to rear their ugly heads as well, when people stop looking at those people ‘excelling’ as inspiration, and more like targets.

My 2 yen,

Akiosama

September 28, 2009 Posted by | General Musings, World of Warcraft | , , , | 3 Comments

Out with the Old and In with the New?

Over at the Pink Pigtail Inn, Larisa brought up the idea that there is a diminishing returns idea to MMO gaming that prevents new games from coming in and wow-ing players the way that WoW did when it was first released.  Maybe it’s desensitivity to new MMO games due to the sheer amount of exposure to WoW many players have, especially for those whose only experience has been WoW.  I think she’s right – but there’s another aspect to consider for the reason why there are so few true successes in the MMO game industry – the community of players behind the game itself.

 Let’s just look at WoW and the WoW community.  WoW turned the MMO industry on its head when it was released, despite having some pretty major issues on Day One.  (I remember having 2 minutes lag each time that I looted something off a corpse that I didn’t already have a running stack of in my inventory, simply because the ‘item database’ was being overloaded by the sheer number of people trying to play at that time, or so I heard.)  However, in a much more real sense, WoW is merely a refinement of its previously successful predecessor, EverQuest.

 What did WoW refine that EQ was missing, in order to make it overcome the Diminishing Returns issue?  I think it had five things going for it:

 1)  It built off an already popular and establish lore – namely the Warcraft FTS series, which had a pretty loyal and proven fanbase.  Even players who were not MMORPG players decided to take a chance on WoW, simply due to the use of the existing Warcraft Lore as the base of the game.

 2)  It enhanced what was a pretty clunky GUI system that EQ was stuck in, making it easier for newer players to enter the game, without such a steep learning curve.  Further, this was enhanced by making a simpler, easier to learn quest system, where things were tracked within the game itself, rather than notes, and that the quests were more integral to the game than in EQ.  (Honestly, from what I remember and what I heard from long-time players, quests were mostly a waste of time in EQ.  It was like an Easter egg hunt to find the right question/keywords to ask the NPCs to advance the quests, the rewards often weren’t worth it, and notes on the quests for progress and whatnot had to be kept by the player, not within the system.  Most players didn’t bother except when the reward was a necessary item, such as the Epic weapon quests.)  Also, the travel system was enhanced over having to run everywhere all the time.

 3)  It was graphically more enhanced than EQ, which, while it had updated its graphics engine since the start, still did not get away from a static, ‘polygonal’ look to its models.  As is widely known within the gaming community, graphics can initially sell a game (though the diminishing returns on that are substantial. – all looks and no fluff is a recipe for failure in the long run.)

 4)  It had elements for the causal gamer while maintaining those for the more serious gamer.  For the casual gamer, it gave quests, with a relatively smooth learning curve, and generally gave ideas on ‘where to go next’ as you advanced through a zone, and it also gave you the ‘rest XP’ concept for those that couldn’t play as much as some.  For the more serious gamer, at the start of the game, there were World PvP titles and gear, epic raid dungeons, and a vast world to explore (with an improved transit system for easier traveling).  EQ really did not have anything to support the casual player – your success in the game was almost entirely based upon the sheer amount of effort expended in the game.

 5)  WoW came at a very fortuitous time – it came when many experienced players were burning out on EQ and gave them a new experience to play – and it came when many new players were starting to look to MMO games to try, but were intimidated by the level of commitment necessary for many of those that existed at the time.

 What this lead to was a pretty successful start, and as people got more into the game, and the idea of blogging and forums for Internet discussion really took off, a robust community was born.  Strategies, game information, theory, and discussion became a norm for the game, as did blogs such as this with more information and opinion pieces, both entertaining and informative.  All became part of a collective community online for WoW.

 It must be noted that EQ had the makings of such a community as well, and that the EQ community also expanded as online information dissemination became more prevalent. (This community, and the lack of it for the newer game, seemed to be one major reason why even EQ2 did not do well compared to EQ, when it was released.)

 What this community has provided for both WoW and EQ, is a foundation that people can refer to for game information, for both old and new players.  This has led to both games having remarkable stability and longevity, as in order to attempt to challenge either game in its position within the MMO hierarchy of game, the new game must also compete against the sheer amount of information available regarding these games.

 I read on a blog once before, and I wish I could remember who had written it, but the thought was that WoW and EQ both exist as they do today in a symbiotic relationship with the off-game communities they have created.  They are relatively unassailable in their positions due to the fact that to take on WoW or EQ, one would have to take on the community as well, which as it stands now, doesn’t look ready to budge.

 EQ is still surviving, albeit not nearly as strong as it used to be.  There is still content being created for it, but due to the demographics of the player base and the time/effort barrier to entry into the heart of the game, which like WoW is much more towards the endgame, much of this content is geared towards challenging the high-end players still remaining. 

 EQ has done some things to try to make some of this content more accessible, such as removing some attunements and providing ‘backflags’ – substitute easier ways to gain keys for older areas – but has not done too much to make it easier to advance one’s character to the endgame in an efficient manner with the gear that would allow them to participate in activities with the more established players.  One thing that this does lead to with EQ is the idea that changing your character is not really efficient – i.e. starting an alt – as the amount of work to get that alt up to endgame status is enormous, and therefore players will be locked to a particular class (or a very small number of classes, if that person is extremely diligent with their EQ playing) and therefore, risk of burnout due to lack of change of one’s position within the game is high.

 WoW has taken a different approach to the idea of ‘new players’ or ‘new characters’, and in realizing that the bulk of activity in the game is focused on the higher-end material, has gone back and made advancement in the game to the endgame level much easier for players.  Recruit-a-Friend, removal of instance attunements, removal of Elites in many non-instance questing zones, the shifting of Emblems and the gear they allow to be purchased,  the level shift of mount purchases and even the sheer amount of XP available in the BGs today are all ideas made to get players to Lv 80 relatively quickly and get the gear necessary to tackle the high-end dungeons such as Naxxramas and Ulduar.  This also encourages people to try many different aspects of the game as well, as leveling and gearing alts is not very difficult at all, as demonstrated through the heirloom item system.

 EQ seems to be taking a stance of trying to maintain what player base it has, rather than trying to give incentive to bring new players to their game – the sheer amount of material between the start of the game and the endgame is vast – and I also believe EQ’s designers know the types of players that still remain on their game and are gearing the new content towards that.  EQ is in its twilight period, but with infusions of content that keep the remaining, albeit dwindling, player base returning to the game, the game will survive for a time longer.

 Given the shift in the handling of newer players for WoW, it is clear that Blizzard is still trying to entice new players to the game, and give older players a chance to try many facets of their game, by encouraging players to make multiple characters and attain endgame status in order to challenge the high-end content.  While this has annoyed some of the more serious players out there, the majority of players seem to welcome this.  New players can come to the game and actually progress on their own, if necessary, while avoiding many of the inefficiencies and difficulties players previously faced in older content (much of which is necessary since the bulk of the player base tends to be in Northrend).  Older players are often playing multiple characters, trying out different aspects of the game, allowing for different experiences within the same content, as the advancement of those characters is fairly rapid.

 What does this all mean for the new games coming in?

 It seems to mean that in order to overcome EQ or WoW, the players must get involved rather quickly to start creating a community of information and players that others can get immersed in.  While perhaps not as much a giant competitor as WoW is, EQ is the base from which much of this MMO universe came from, and is still an indicator of how serious players can be with these MMO games, and a source for many design ideas for future games, and served as a model for the information community when WoW came to be.  WoW, on the other hand, is the current juggernaut of the MMO universe, and given this, the sheer amount of information available out there for playing WoW will make competition difficult.  What will be necessary is patience on the part of the player base, not to get frustrated and give up when the roadmaps to the endgame aren’t laid out the way they are currently for WoW.  There has to be consideration for the developmental period of a game’s community, and so far, the player community seems to not be patient enough to overcome this developmental period.

 So, to put up a fight, one needs to involve the player community.  It seems that with each new major release coming out, that there are a few MMOs that seem to have the potential to give WoW a run for its money.  They have up-and-coming communities during the developmental and preview portions of the game’s life cycle, but tend to fall off once the game is released.  This sort of community is absolutely necessary to entice new people, encourage the more experienced players to share and expand the community constructively, and to give all players something new to experience.

 It will be curious to see what game is able to maintain the momentum that WoW has currently – it is still the biggest game despite a there being a lot of voicing about dissatisfaction with elements within the game (too easy, too much significant patching, favoring PvP or PvE when making balance decisions, etc.).  It does not seem like a large part of the gaming population out there is completely satisfied with their WoW experience – and it gets worse as the game gets larger, especially when it comes to exploitation (hacks, spam, etc.) – but people stick with it.  Even some players who have burnt out on the game return, and probably keep a watch on the community at least, to see what’s going on in the WoW universe.  This does not mean that Blizzard can fall asleep at the wheel – expectations remain high from the players.  Too many disappointments and even the more serious players will leave.  However, we as players have shown that Blizzard need not be perfect for us to stick with WoW… We’re still here despite all the QQ present in the community.

 In the end, MMOs are about some sort of social experience mixed within a game setting.  Because of this, a developer cannot just fight within the game setting and expect to win, no matter how ‘revolutionary’ their game is – they need to encourage and nurture the out of game social experience as well in order to have a fighting chance at true competition.  The community is an important factor in the success of MMOs – and why shouldn’t it be?  If we weren’t concerned with anything social in an MMO, we’d go back to playing solo games like Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest.

 My 2 yen,

 Akiosama

September 22, 2009 Posted by | General Musings, World of Warcraft | , , , | Leave a comment

What’s in a (Guild) Name?

For those of you who might have read this blog before, you know that I went from being a Soloist to an Ensemble player (groups), and onto joining an Orchestra (guild).  My team has been, since the switch from that failed attempt at trying to motivate a starter guild, Lords of the Underworld.  Many of my in-game friends are there, and I enjoy doing things together with them.

However, as also indicated previously, Arhys became a level 80 Death Knight, and has since started raiding.  Naxx25 and Uld25, mostly, with some attempts at 10-man Trial of Crusaders thrown in for fun (? – I think that’s what it’s supposed to be called – I call it repair bills.).  My guild has tried to help those that wish to raid get to raid gear level, and tried to assist with development of both player and spec, and for the most part, we’ve been successful.  We have 5 raid-quality players, over 6 characters, and we’re getting pretty good, I think.  At least, we, as a guild, are holding our own in raids now.

We’d been doing raids with a coalition of three other guilds on a regular basis, in order to get regular 25-man groups put together.  This was my introduction to Naxxramas (I hadn’t even done it 10-man before I started the 25-man raids), and I was learning as I went along.  My Guild Master had promised the Raid Leader on my first night (I was the first one after her to get brought in) 2K DPS, and I didn’t fail her, though with not much safety margin.  I’m grateful she didn’t tell me until AFTER the raid that she’d promised that.

So, fast-forward about two months or so of consistent weekly 25-man raids.  For the most part, things seemed to have been working out, and everyone should be happy, right?

Not quite.  See, we, as a coalition (and I use that term much more lightly than I did before), are having to change up our plans on how to handle the raid.  Why?  Because two of the guilds aren’t talking to each other now.

Yes, folks – we have inter-guild drama at its finest.  Accusations of recruiting from the other guilds.  Disagreements on progression vs. reward for how to handle lock extensions and the likes, now that Patch 3.2 allows raid groups to lengthen the reset timers on raids.  Confusion, overlap, and irritation at cross-guild pickup groups.  And people plain out just not getting along.

Personally, I wonder why people take this stuff so seriously.   I guess there’s an emotional attachment to success and progression, and some people take it more seriously than others.  I hear a lot of talk about guild rankings, gear rankings, achievements and other stuff that will improve with the success of everyone in the group, but many people involved don’t want to wait.  In fact, there’s guild competitiveness within the coalition, and not all of it friendly, or at least that’s what I see.

And to me, the whole thing sucks.  There are people I like in all the guilds we run with, but with two of them not speaking to each other, it feels like I have to choose sides, or at least tread carefully.  My guild has tried to stay out of the whole thing, but it doesn’t feel like something that can be completely avoided.  It’s definitely been trying for the Raid Leader, who I’ve talked to on numerous occasions regarding this stuff.  It’s also been a bit trying on me, not to try to slap people around and say “Pull your heads out of your asses and let’s just raid!”, since I know people in the guilds involved, and I’ve been explicitly instructed to “Stay out of it,” since we really don’t want our guild to be in the middle of the whole thing.

So, that brings me to the underlying question for the day – What’s in a (Guild) Name?

Why is it that the guilds involved in our coalition had to start comparing themselves to each other outside our raids in a fashion that made them compete and foster animosity, rather than looking at each other as a good group of people to run with?

Why do people have to have an us vs. them mentality when it comes to these guild tags? 

It’s frustrating to see.  People who worked cooperatively the week before, can’t seem to do so, because of a few people ‘changing sides’.  People who can’t seem to be adult about it – and the majority of the people in our raids are adults – who can’t just let grown people make their own decisions over which group they want to be a part of, laying down “It’s us or them” style warnings to the Raid Leader, in regards to which guilds are to be part of the raid force. 

It’s just sad.  It’s a game.  We all used to play together rather peacefully and friendly. 

I guess, when your guild is being called out as ‘not the place for me, I fit in there better’ there are those who only hear ‘there… better’ and fill in the rest.

I want to say “Stop all this crap, and let’s just raid and have fun.”  But that isn’t going to happen.  We’re already dividing up our raid times between the two guilds – one for Uld25, as they’re more progression based and one for Naxx25, since they’re fine with running it and gearing up more of their newer people.  I just want to raid, since it’s all fun – I have a blast in both areas.

And luckily, I get to play in both – I’m still pretty close to the center, as my guild is trying, and as the Raid Leader’s guild is trying.  But I can’t say it hasn’t affected us either.

Because, while, as a player, I’m still Lords of the Underworld, Arhys is not.  He is now part of Fallout, the guild that was running our raids.

Why?  To ensure that we’re able to be called upon for raids as much as possible. 

Why?  Because to more people than I’d like, that tag means ‘you’re eligible’. 

Has this affected Lords of the Underworld yet?  Yes.  Questions are already being asked.  Time is already being split differently.  It’s much, much harder to communicate and keep us doing things together.

I just hope it’s worth it.  All I know is, if I see this killing MY guild (Lords not Fallout) I’ll do what I can for it, first.

Because those people are the primary reason I’m still playing and trying to have fun.  Because without them, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

And where’s that?  A relatively decently geared level 80 Blood (DPS)/Frost (Tank) Death Knight who was able to put out 4K DPS in Heroic ToC 5man, with little trouble.

Though, I long for the days, sometimes, where we’d just get the guild together to go off and own Zul’Farrak or some other lower dungeon, to get someone’s alt a piece or two.

We’re no longer there, though.  We farm Heroics, now.  We are constantly trying to upgrade our main characters.

We’re constantly looking at the next boss fight for our raids. 

Not everyone is able to participate.  (That’s the hardest part of all.)

Can we ever go back?

I don’t have an answer for that, but sometimes I wish I could.

My 2 yen,

Akiosama

September 9, 2009 Posted by | Lords of the Underworld, World of Warcraft | , , , , , | 1 Comment

A return to blogging?

I sure hope so. I’ve been really busy recently considering all that’s changed since I last looked at my stuff. It’s a bit amazing that anyone’s looked at this place at all since my last post, but for that I thank you all who have come to look.

A bit about what’s up on my end – I’ve finally gotten past the long dark void that is the rough cycle of my job, though it’s not that much easier at the moment. I hit 80 a long time ago… and I’ve gotten heavy into raiding. I’ve left the mindset that was Unholy, and I’m running Blood (DPS) and Frost (Tank), and I’m pretty happy. My gear is getting there, and my skills are definitely coming up. My guild is starting to raid, and while it’s a little different than it was before (not as casual a feel), it still seems to be holding together. We’re closer as a guild, but less social, take that for what you will.

Still, it’s fun, and I hold to my previous posts. I hate soloing now, and I’m glad to have people to share my WoW experience with. That group is growing, too, as I meet people from the other guilds we’re raiding with. Groups are quicker to come together for the higher level content.

I do wish for some lower stuff some days, though. I’ll work on it.

As for the rest of my happenings – I managed to win my Fantasy Basketball league at my workplace, which netted me some nice cash for spending on something completely extraneous… (I think I picked up a DVD set or two with it, but I don’t exactly remember), Tales of Vesperia will be making a debut on PS3 in September… and a few other things here and there keeping me on my toes (Beatles RockBand, anyone?)

In any case, I hope to have more regular updates here – certainly better than a multi-month unannounced hiatus.

Again, thank you to anyone who is still reading this.  I WILL be back soon.

My 2 yen,

Akiosama

August 31, 2009 Posted by | General Musings, World of Warcraft | , , , | 1 Comment

The Value of Being Social

A little while ago, I wrote a rather lengthy response to Larisa on The Pink Pigtail Inn regarding a post she had on how being social has affected her experiences on WoW, both positively and negatively.  Big Bear Butt always talks about “all the asshats” he has had to deal with in Pick-up Groups (PuGs), and Gevlon is constantly talking about how to be an individual, and how the majority of players of this game are Morons & Slackers (M&S) especially in the ‘social’ guilds.

It’s interesting, I think, about the sheer gamut of ideas that people have about what is fun and what is not, and how being social interacts with those ideas is even more interesting.  I do think that it’s a rather individual choice, but the fact of the matter is that in this game, one is always being social, even if one is not talking to another person directly.  Even Gevlon, in his own individual manner, relies on the social nature of WoW in order to make his money and get his gear, and I’m glad to see that he’s at least come up with one value that a guild might have, even to him (not that it’s enough for him to consider being a regular guild member of any guild at this point, as he feels extensive social contact leads to drama…  He’s right, but the value of the social contact is worth potential drama for some people, perhaps?).  

Previously, while not to the same extreme, I was like Gevlon.  I felt that anything I wanted to do in WoW, I should try to do myself – anything less than that was like saying “I’ m weak – I can’t do this alone.”   I’d done a few groups in the past, with mixed results.  My first instance ever, The Deadmines, was, in retrospect, a boost, as a 40 Warrior ran a group of us through it.  I remember the run pretty well, but I still really don’t know how hard the Deadmines were at that time (this was just a few weeks after WoW went live), nor did I learn anything about group dynamics except “Enchanters would roll Need on everything, since they ‘need’ the mats from disenchanting.”  (My mage lost a nice blue staff to a rogue who ended up just Disenchanting the damn thing, to my dismay, that run.)

Further, I can be a bit of a lazy person, when it comes to social commitments.  I always felt that I wanted to do “what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it, and how I wanted to do it”, and that becoming overly social, guild or not, would lead to time/activity commitments.  I was one of those who would say, “What do I feel like doing now?”, and go do that, and flit from activity to activity, never really completing anything, but happy to just be doing what I wanted to at that moment.  I’d never thought of myself as the guild type…  How wrong was I?

[/Anecdote below for those who wish to read the full story]

The guild provides more than just a bunch of bodies to play this game with, for groups and instances.   There is, to me, a certain value to the pleasantness of the gaming experience, and until joining my guild, I’d never pursued being social, for fear of everyone in the game being like those on the General channels – all rude, boorish, antagonistic, and perhaps not all that intelligent.  The couple of PuGs I’d played in confirmed that, and so I wrote it off.

Now, being part of a good guild, even if we’re not yet at raiding status, I’m finding that I’m learning how to be a better player.  I listen and try to learn from my guildies, and I try to provide information in return.  They have practical information.  I have theoretical information.  (I try to keep up with theory on WoW more than they do – they tend to get better by experience, and many of them are quite good.)  We build upon each others’ strengths and try to support the weaknesses.  I have goals now – individual goals, but directed towards making myself better for the guild.  There’s value in that – the guild has provided me focus in this game.

I’ve been able to talk to and meet great people – people who I enjoy spending my time with.  Time is an investment, and while investing that time into this game, I’m much happier being social with the others in my guild, rather than just questing forward.  (While Gevlon might say that people who think of other players in WoW as ‘friends’ might need to get out more, I don’t necessarily agree.  It truly depends on the experience and who you meet.)  There’s value to me in the guild, for making my time spent online more enjoyable.

Being in a guild, I also know that there are logistical benefits, as well.  I don’t need to stalk the AH as much, anymore, to buy the things I need to play well.  I can do the Group quests closer to my level, not needing to level past the quests and then go back to them, if I want to finish them.  I’ve got people to share my accomplishments with, which is a good motivator for me, and I enjoy hearing what accomplishments my guildies have done as well.  Yet another benefit.

And, like Gevlon mentioned in his article, the guild master, our officers, and our existing members work to keep the environment clean and pleasant, ridding the surroundings of weeds and refuse (M&S), ensuring our guild activity time is better spent.  Value there, too.

And is there drama?  Sure.  There’s always going to be some drama when people get together on the Internet.  This drama, however, is a very small price to pay for the value outlined above.  If one can keep it that way, then the guild can be a valuable and pleasant place to be, and a good means for self and collective advancement in WoW. 

One can be an island in WoW, but there isn’t much in the surroundings.  I’m much happier now, being part of a group, or maybe an archipelago, and I don’t think I’ll ever try to go back.

My 2 yen,

Akiosama

March 30, 2009 Posted by | Lords of the Underworld, World of Warcraft | , , , , | 1 Comment

How I Learned to Stop Being Solo and Love the Guild

[/anecdote]

I began playing WoW about 5 years ago, and until recently, I’d not really changed my individualistic personality much.  I had friends playing WoW, and I’d run with them a few times, but it always felt like I was obligated to be there, since inevitably if I missed a day, I’d get “Where were you last night, I didn’t see you log in?”  Further, I felt like I always had to lead, possibly because I was more used to the MMO experience (I’d played some EverQuest in the past), which seemed frustrating at times, especially with those friends who wouldn’t play unless grouped.  (In retrospect, though, I probably had done some of that to my more experienced EQ friends, and so, in that regards, I might be a hypocrite, but I don’t think I was actually paralyzed to do anything if my friends weren’t there, I just tended to die a lot more, but I digress.)

About a month ago, I was fortunate to run into a certain warlock in Feralas.  She was lower level than the zone, and thus she was having some trouble with a particular quest, and it just happened to be the one I was working on, myself.  I was of roughly the level of the quest itself, and was having less trouble with it, so I had been buzzing around the area, eliminating the appropriate mobs, and staying alive fairly easily, and I think I had zipped by her at one point, and killed one of the quest mobs right near to where she was – not one she was targetting at the time, but one that she may have had her eye on, while dealing with other nearby mobs.

I had noticed her, but didn’t think much at the time, just focusing on the quest at hand.  Then, I got the first whisper of many that would change my life on Cairne going forward…

“Could you please let me have one of those?  I only have 7 minutes left.”

Hmm…  Is this someone who was just trying to get one of those mobs out from under me?  What’s “7 minutes” – the amount of time the player had left before needing to log out? 

I thought, “Ah well, I’ve got more time than that, so…”  and I let her know, “Ok, sure,” and began to help clear out towards the mob in question. I even provided her the coordinates of one of those mobs, to which she told me, “I don’t have coords.”

(Funnily enough, said warlock then Feared a mob in the area where we both were, which was ripe with adds, and I mentioned that “Fearing is probably not a good idea, with all these adds.”  The fact that I was advising her on how to run in this area is still a joke to this day, the reason for which will become more apparent in just a moment.)

So, having cleared out to the mob, I led her to and let her get the quest mob she needed, and all was good.  Right?

15 minutes later, I’m looking around, and she’s still on…  What the heck?  What happened to 7 minutes?  So I ask… and she says “It was the quest timer, didn’t you know?” 

Quest timer?  What quest timer?  I didn’t see one, and told her such.  We talked for a little bit about that point, and went our separate ways…

Until the next day, when I got a whisper from a different character, asking how things were going, and informing me that she was the warlock from the night before.  Looking at her character profile, I read “79 Mage” and laughed about the fact I had tried to tell her a bit about how to play her class.  Fortunately, she didn’t hold it against me, and much talk ensued, some WoW and some non-WoW, leading to… “Want to join my guild?”

I waffled on that, for sure, as is my nature.  I was in a guild already, but it was a startup guild that wasn’t really doing anything much.  We only had 5 regular members, and not much else going on.  I said that I’d think about it, and came up with a few reasons for not leaving right away.  “I want to see what happens with this guild.”  “I want to help them get better, if I can.” And so on…

A week or two later, I was still waffling, but she and I had started grouping together on some of her other characters, doing instances and just in-general chatting away.  Finally, when I hit level  53 or so, she came up with an idea… “When you hit 55, make your Death Knight, and he can be in the guild.”

“Good idea,” I thought. But as I met a few other people in her guild, and got used to playing with others, I found myself rushing towards 55. I felt excited about playing, and energized to make progress. I found myself thinking about how to be a better group player, and not just worrying about how to be a good soloist. “What will I offer to the guild?” flitted through my mind more times than “What quest do I need to do next?”

In other words, I wasn’t even in the guild yet, and I was hooked on the concept. This mage, her guild members (and yes, it is HER guild – I found out after the fact), and just being part of a group regularly had changed my perceptions of what a guild could be, and how much fun it was to not be just by myself, in WoW.

The day I started my Death Knight, I joined The Lords of the Underworld. My shaman has since joined as well. I’ve not looked back since.

It’s been a great experience. I’m not having to think as much about “what I want to do”, as much anymore. I like being a regular, with people saying “Hey, how’s it going?” and actually conversing about how things are going, and wanting to know what’s up. We have Ventrilo, and getting to talk to these people in the game and out, has completely changed the experience, for the better, as I feel like I’m really getting to know everyone. If we ever had a guild meet, for example, I’d try like heck to make it. These people are fun.

And it all culminated, last night after 5 years of off-and-on WoW, in the most fun experience I’ve had in a group. My guildies ran The Ring of Blood for me. Just for me. And I’m supremely grateful.

So, my thanks to my guild master, Bypolar, and her warlock, Çÿñ, for helping open up a myriad of new possibilities for enjoyment in WoW. It’s been a blast, and I look forward to the instance groups being planned. And to think, I’d never have had the chance if I hadn’t been in Feralas at just the right time.

And, thanks to my guildies, Jahk, Syrhen, and Cryonic, for running The Ring of Blood for me. I’ll make it up to y’all down the road.

My 2 yen to Bypolar,

Akiosama

March 30, 2009 Posted by | Lords of the Underworld, World of Warcraft | , , , | 1 Comment

About the Bloglist

I’ve been reading around the WoW Blogsphere for about two months now, not really all that long, but enough that I’ve gotten a feel for a some of the blogs I read regularly.  Most of the blogs on my “World of Warcraft” bloglist I’ve been following for at least a month, and I’ve decided it’s time to give a few highlights on them, and why I read them, in the hopes of directing a few more readers their way, though I know that some of them are already huge on their own, but I consider it a good shoutout to those that continue to entertain me on a daily basis.  These will be in alphabetical order, since I don’t think I could actually rank them accurately.

 

Artisan Level – The thoughts of a female guild leader, this blog explores many of the facets about raiding guild life, what it’s like being a guild master, a little about gender issues in WoW, and a little bit of Roleplaying every now and then.  Oriniwen is articulate, direct, and informative, and her how-to posts about being a raider in a serious raiding guild are great resources to be perused.

The Big Bear Butt – Druish goodness in all its Feral nature, this blog is one of the most entertaining on the Net.  BBB, with guest appearances from his wife Cassie, enlightens his readers with excellent opinions and information on Druids, primarily Feral specced, various elements of the game, including other players, and entertaining stories of his past life as a U.S. Marine.  He’s prolific, well spoken, glib, and puts a lot of himself in his posts, to the reward of his readers, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’ve thought about starting up on his server to try to apply to the Sidhe Devils, his guild.  A must read!

Big Hit Box – Lives up to its tagline of being the definitive melee blog.  With an excellent stable of melee class writers, the site gives great information about melee classes, builds, and game issues that pertain to those classes.  I’ve used the site to great effect building Taoren (currently an Enancement Shaman), and props have to be given to Stoneybaby for his posts on the Enhancement Shaman build.

Big Red Kitty – The cream of the crop of WoW blogs, this Beast Master Hunter site is extremely entertaining, well-thought out and very informative.  BRK’s blog contains Hunter news, recaps of his WoW activities, hilarious stories of his experiences in the U.S. Air Force, presented in a unique and fun manner, through anecdotes, his “BRK and the Brain” stories, podcasts, and lots of movies and screenshots to further reader experiences.  His knowledge of the Hunter class is as such that he is currently producing the Hunter guide for Project Lore, a comprehensive multimedia WoW-guide currently in the works.

Greedy Goblin – This blog is one that deals with WoW in a manner unique to all the blogs I’ve read to date.  It is the thoughts and ideas of one Gevlon, a self-proclaimed goblin, as his focus within the game is business.  His approach to the game is very profit-oriented, and he believes in individual progression and gratification.  He tends to feel that the average players in WoW are there to buy his things and little else, and he often shuns the social aspects of the game that many others seem to value highly.  His business information is quite good, often taking aspects of the game, such as the Auction House, and showing how application of real world business practices can be done within the game.  He can be a bit direct, but if one can get through his attitude, there is good information to be found.

Holy Discipline – A very pleasant blog to read, Anea, a Dranei Holy/Discipline specced Priest, shares her views and opinions of the WoW experience.  She is very artistic in her blog endeavors, valuing the Roleplaying experience, and breathing life into her characters.  She is very eloquent, and her blog is a ray of sunshine in the WoW blog world.

The Pink Pigtail Inn – A more recent addition to my bloglist, Larisa, the Gnomish Mage, breaks the mold regarding my dislike of Gnomish characters.  She also brings to light an emotional side to the game, much like Anea, and tries to maintain that WoW is part of her life, as she intermixes her life posts with her WoW posts.  While she does not write about the more nuts-and-bolts aspects of WoW as often, her grasp of the human side of the game is excellent, and her writing conveys her message well.  She is Swedish, as well, which adds a European view to her writing, and allows for those readers not on EU servers to hear a little about life on those servers.  (She also does not mind long comments to her posts, which suits me just fine!)

The Scourge – Since I finally unlocked the Death Knight class earlier this month, I have been an avid reader of this blog.  Omenscourge is well versed in playing his tanking Death Knight, and his primers on specs, rotations, and tanking basics are a boon for all who wish to try creating a tanking Death Knight.  His information is very good, well presented, graphically enhanced, clear and concise.  I stand by this site as my main resource for playing Arhys, my Unholy Tank Death Knight.

Too Many Annas – A good site for Restoration Shamans, Anna provides good guides to building and playing the healing class.  Her guides include some real gems, such as articles on being a Healer, leveling a Shaman, and even how to communicate in a Raid.  She is also an avid Roleplayer, and she has frequent posts and guides on Roleplaying, and even a story archive for her Roleplaying posts.  A very good site for those who wish to pursue the vocation of Shaman Healer.

Welcome to Spinksville – The newest addition to my Bloglist (added today, in fact), this blog, written by Spink, a Protection Warrior from the UK, presents her opinions regarding WoW and other MMO games.  While my experience with her blog is less than that of the others I regularly read, what I have seen is very well done.  Spink has impressed me with her analyses of various issues within WoW and other games, and is not afraid to add some meat to the bones of her posts.  While slightly lengthier than the posts of other bloggers, the information presented is of no less in quality, and often with greater depth.  I look forward to exploring Spink’s writings in more detail, but I also felt that what I have read of her writing has already added me to her list of regular readers.

World of Warcraft, Eh? – The only webcomic on my list, this blog/comic is fast becoming a new favorite of mine.  A well illustrated comic, author and artist Kelly Aarons presents the life and times of Cadistra (a Tauren Druid) and Kissless (her Blood Elf Paladin companion).  The humor is good, the art is excellent, and all of it with a slightly Canadian twist to it.  I look forward to its increasing success, and a shoutout has to go to Anea of Holy Discipline for showing us the path.

 

I hope, for those who have not yet visited these blogs, that this small list helps guide you to those blogs that I frequent.  While not a comprehensive list of the blogs I read, these are among my favorites, and the ones that I check most frequently, and enjoy on practically a daily basis.

My 2 yen,

Akiosama

P.S.  The last blog on my list is that of my pal, Joe Salama, over at You Really Shouldn’t Waste Your Time Reading This!!!  While new to the blog world, he is a veteran Lakers’ fan, and has decided to put some of his basketball wisdom into words.  Give his blog a look-see, if you like basketball – he’s always up for a debate, discussion, or general Laker lovin’.

March 26, 2009 Posted by | World of Warcraft | , , | 4 Comments