I’ve been working hard since my last post to set everything up for me to get a bit braver and be more serious about my streaming.

Like I mentioned in that post, I’m going to start streaming some non-WoW content. Because of this, I’ve made the decision to move away from having my pandaren shaman be my “face”. It was a tough decision, because my pandaren has really been the embodiment of my personality for almost as long as I’ve played WoW. But that right there was the problem. So much of what I do creatively at the moment has been so focussed on WoW that trying to do something outside of it has been extremely difficult. WoW has been my clutch, and despite it opening so many doors for me in terms of friendships and content creation, it has also been holding me back. So my pandaren had to go.

cinder_unicorn_at_laptop

I thought a while about what I wanted to be outside of my pandaren. I am not even a little bit attractive, so showing my real face and body is out of the question (I do not have the self esteem to deal with that at all). The answer was obvious in the end – a unicorn! Well, a chubby unicorn anyway hehe. While looking for inspiration for what she might look like, I came across the perfect depiction of me. She’s chubby, sassy, and she games. 😀 There’s actually a whole series that I’ve purchased that depict her in so many different ways. (I can’t wait for Christmas!!!)

I have been madly making graphics and updating everything to have my new unicorn persona. My name won’t change – I’m Cinder now until the day I stop gaming. Despite having only recently revamped by twitch stream, it really didn’t suit the new persona. Thankfully Streamlabs have some really great set ups built in and free to use. I’ve gone all out on this. It has sparkles!!! It might be girly and silly, but I truly don’t care. I’m really having fun with this. I even made new emotes and badges (though I will say this was the hardest part – I really love the totems Sirius made for me).

Here’s a little peek at my twitch page…

unicorn_stream

Cute, huh?!

I have a friend helping me get a capture card for my PC so that I can hook up our Nintendo Switch and stream some games from there. I also had a look at some games on Steam (and was promptly disgusted at some of the games suggested to me there.) I’m even considering getting Discord Nitro to try out some of the games they have on offer. In the meantime, I’m focusing on getting a proper schedule going, starting tomorrow night. I’ll probably stream some WoW first… might even brave LFR (oh my!). Onward and upward! In the meantime, if  you’re interested in coming to hang out with me while I stream, you can find me here – https://twitch.tv/cinder_streams

Anyways, I wanted to share the new Cinder with you all. Hope you like her!

xo

 

Advertisements

It’s been hard to start this post. Or any other blog post for that matter, if I’m being completely honest. But this one, I don’t really know how to start. I know the things I have to say, but putting them in order is proving difficult. So how about we make a deal and pretend this is the middle of the blog post and flow on from there. Let’s give it a go.

The past few weeks (or months, really), haven’t been the greatest for me.

The guild crash

WoWScrnShot_100618_145054

Unrelated to the below (but in a way still very connected) my guild fell apart for good. We tried to keep it together but it was too much to try and push through. The gap between strong players and weaker players was becoming bigger and bigger. The in-game workload for officers and the GM was far too much, and the payoff wasn’t there. It was a really tough call, but it was the right decision in the end. So as of last week we stopped raiding mythic, and the guild officially went casual, with a social heroic run planned for every Saturday night so we could all still spend time together.

This week was the first week without raid, and it felt weird. Tonight was the first casual Saturday raid… and we only had a handful of people come along. So I really don’t know how that’s going to go in the future. Suffice it to say that I’m pretty sad at the moment.

For me, I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to do. Raiding has always been a favourite thing for me in game, so to not do it feels weird. But trying to find another raid team… well I dunno how I’m going to go about it. I’ve never had much confidence in my skills as a raider. I do know that I’m not terrible. I do mechanics, I heal while I do them, and I try my damn hardest. It’s the same as when I try to apply for jobs – I know that I can contribute well, but I’m shit at selling myself. Especially with raiding. Logs are a thing, but my numbers always look shit because I hate overhealing, and I make sure I’m focusing on doing mechanics first and foremost.

And this shitty lack of confidence in myself doesn’t help when (now) ex-guildies are getting offers left and right from other teams wanting them to join. I haven’t had anything. Which is petty, I know, but it just reinforces that shitty feeling about myself not being good enough.

I’ve been looking on the forums to see what guilds are after, and I’m not finding any at the level I want to be at who are looking for restoration shamans. (Well, Alliance guilds, anyway). There’s a high chance I’m going to have to go Horde if I want to keep raiding, and that on its own is not at all appealing. I’ll need to give it some more time and thought, and hope something comes along.

Then there’s…

The anxiety

WoWScrnShot_092318_140445

There are a handful of things that I am good at in life, but the thing that I am the very best at is pretending that my anxiety isn’t as bad as it is, and that it doesn’t affect me as strongly as it does. I’m very good at putting on the face that the world needs to see on me, and pretending that everything is fine. I can laugh and joke and make others feel great, and I do it in an attempt to hide the panic that grumbles inside me on a constant basis. I’ve become very good at it. So good at it that people don’t believe I have anxiety at all, and when I bring it up with doctors, they laugh it off thinking I’m just being melodramatic or joking around.

And yet.

I struggle to sleep, laying there as my body tingles with terror, restless and exhausted all at once. If I am lucky to sleep, I wake up in the middle of the night with panic attacks so intense they make me gag. At work, I go to the bathroom for a short moment of solace, squeezing my legs in an attempt to calm the roaring in my ears, to breathe, to focus. It’s exhausting. And over the past few months, it has gotten worse, to the point where it’s crippled me. I’ve not been functioning properly. It’s affecting my health, my relationship, my friendships, my streaming and gaming; everything that is important to me.

I bring this up, because firstly, I wanted to explain my absence (noted or not). I wanted others who may be feeling the same way to know they aren’t alone. And I wanted to be accountable for trying to get better. It has taken awhile to build the courage, but I went to the doctor again this week (a different one) and insisted they help me do something so I can stop feeling like this. I have referrals for a psychologist, and some anti-anxiety meds to help me get out of this funk. I’m not going to let anxiety get the best of me.

What’s next

So then what’s next. Well, I’m starting to feel better, which is why I’ve written this post. And I’m taking steps to keep getting better. I don’t know what the future is going to hold for me and WoW. I know I will continue playing, but I don’t know to what extent. I had a great chat with Neuro after our Battletagged show on Tuesday, and he was telling me about how much more he’s been enjoying WoW since he stepped down from raiding. So maybe there is hope for me outside of raiding.

One of the things I’m saddest about though, with everything that has been going on, is my streaming. It turns out that I really, really enjoy streaming. I’m terrible at it, and I don’t think I’m interesting at all, but I just enjoy playing games with other people. Thor (who I just don’t deserve- he’s so freaking amazing) has been incredibly patient and wise, and we’ve been talking about what I might do. And it became obvious – I just stream something other than WoW. We looked in to what I might stream, and there a whole bunch of games on the Nintendo Switch I’d enjoy playing, and of course Steam and even Discord has a bunch of games now. So I’m looking at getting a capture card and expanding my gaming options.

I’m still ironing out the finer details, but some changes are on their way. I want to get back in to a regular streaming schedule. I will (of course!) still play and stream WoW, especially if I manage to find a new team, but between that, I’m going to try some other games. This also means that I’m going to do a bit of a “re-branding” of myself. Whilst I love my pandaren Shaman, I need to move away from the strictly WoW focus. So keep an eye out for some fun new things in the very near future.

Look, if you’ve made it this far through my post, thank you. Thank you for sticking it out with me when I disappear for lengths at a time. Thank you for reading this post and helping me feel like I’m not alone. You’re amazing, and I’m grateful for you.

xo

 

Those of you who follow my twitter account will have seen that this past week was quite the rollercoaster. I’m personally still reeling a little bit from everything that happened (though I am overly dramatic, I know).

On Wednesday, Realm as a guild ended. And then on Thursday, it didn’t. Confused? Well, it will make sense. But to explain properly, I need to go backwards.

At the end of Legion

Realm as a guild technically formed at the end of the Tomb of Sargeras raid in Legion, though was made up of people who had been raiding together already for at least a year, some even longer. We went in to Antorus as a new team, determined to get Cutting Edge Argus. Which we achieved. We also managed to be the top ranking Alliance guild on our little server, which we were pretty proud of. We ended Legion as Titanslayers- strong and ready for Battle for Azeroth.

A few weeks before BfA came out we held a guild meeting to start making plans for raiding in the new expansion. We were having troubles trying to figure out our roster as it had suddenly grown to almost 40 players – waaaay too many. We needed to make some decisions about what type of team we wanted to be so that we could build the right team. So we asked everyone what they wanted from BfA; did we want to work on mythics, but bring through lower performing players (effectively being a “friends and family” mythic raiding guild) or did we want to push harder, be tougher about who came to raid and try for faster progression. The agreement from everyone was that we wanted to push harder. We were in a good spot- we had loads of players to choose from, and we all wanted to be better.

Going in to BfA

Going in to BfA everyone (including officers and GM) were dropped to trial rank. Our GM was re-chosen to lead us all, and new Officers were voted in (myself included). We had requirements about what level people needed to be at for raid, and agreed for the first few weeks of Uldir, we’d add in an extra night of raiding to help get us ahead.

WoWScrnShot_090518_202329

Our first week of Uldir was great with us getting Heroic G’huun down, giving us Ahead of the Curve in the first week. We were pretty stoked. The following week mythic opened, and we managed to get TWO mythic bosses down in addition to a heroic re-clear, giving us a bit of time to work on mythic Zek’voz.

And then last week happened. We cleared through heroic relatively quickly, as well as re-killing the first two mythic bosses, giving us days of attempts on Zek’voz. But we struggled. We didn’t get the kill. And worse than that, we felt like we were going backwards. On Monday, we had a really bad night, with many people under-performing and even more people getting extremely frustrated at both performance and lack of progression.

Here’s the thing about mythic raiding. It’s really stressful. There’s a lot of pressure to be performing to a super high standard. If you don’t meet that standard, you make mistakes, and mistakes mean wipes. For some people (like me) I like the pressure. I like the stress of it, I like wiping and failing, because we we do win, when we nail that delicate balance and we all figure out the dance together, the victory is so worth it. I love that feeling of accomplishment when it all just falls in to place and we win as a team. I love the nerd screams. I love our failed kill screenshots. I love it all. But it is really stressful. And you have to feel like you’re getting the payoff for it to be worth it.

Monday

After our rubbish night on Monday, the Officer team had a meeting, and our GM confessed he was done. He’d had enough. For him, as GM and raid lead, the stress and pressure is multitudes higher than for anyone else, and after that night it just got too much. The payoff wasn’t worth it, and he needed to step down. At that time he wasn’t 100% decided on what to do, and our meeting was to try and figure out what we could do. Could someone else take on lead? What would be the consequences of him stepping down? Who would step up? What could we do? I went to bed that night in tears – I could see the writing on the wall, and I was devastated. I could only imagine how our GM was feeling, too 😦

Tuesday

At the end of our meeting, one of our officers (and top dps) decided it was time for him to move on to a higher progressing guild (which he has found, and I’m super happy for him). We had suggested our GM think on his decision a little more and get back to us, but on the Tuesday, we also lost a tank. Then the Wednesday morning, another dps.

I spent a lot of Tuesday talking with the GM and other officers about the whole situation. It’s always a hard decision. I won’t go in to any specifics of our conversations, but a lot of what was making the decision so difficult came down to just how much the GM loved the guild and the people in it, but also just how stressed and worn out he was with it all. Being GM and raid lead has got to be one of the most thankless tasks out there. It’s so much work and effort to keep things running. And even with officers helping with bits and pieces here and there, and with talking to the team and asking them to take issues and concerns out of raid, it doesn’t stop those things from happening. It drives me up the wall, and I only experience it a little. It’s nothing compared to what a GM has to put up with.

Wednesday – the break-up

A team meeting was held on the Wednesday night (instead of raid) and our GM announced he was stepping down as raid lead, and that the future of the raid team depended on what everyone else wanted to do. People were asked to think on it for a bit, and let us all know what their plans were – did they want to stay and try and fill in the gaps, or did they want to move on to another team. No grudges would be held, we just needed to know so a decision could be made. In the end, too many people said they would be moving on without our GM in the leadership role.

So we came back together for one last team meeting with everyone… and our GM announced there were too many people looking to move on, so this was it…. and I bawled my eyes out (as did he, the poor thing). It was a horrible, emotional moment. I was genuinely heartbroken. I’ve been in guild break-ups before (far too many, actually) and they have always been hard. But this one felt different. This one really cut deep. It really felt like a relationship breaking up. I couldn’t imagine not spending each week with these people, laughing and yelling and struggling with these people. We all had good and bad times together… I didn’t want that to end. And yet here we were.

The fallout was… interesting. Once the meeting was done, people kinda just took a breath, and then decided to go run heroic Uldir together. I was a mess and sat out, but stayed in game because I just didn’t really know what else to do. But no-one gquit or raged or ranted. Everyone was just… sad. Overnight a couple of people faction swapped to join other friends in other guilds, but it wasn’t in anger. It was quiet and kind.

I posted about it on twitter, and had so many beautiful and amazing responses of support back from people. I was genuinely overwhelmed. But still heartbroken. I went to bed that night wondering what on earth I was going to do. How was I going to find a new team? Who on earth would take a shaman to a raid right now? Did I still even want to raid? And even worse… did I still even want to play WoW anymore?

Thursday

I went to work on Thursday exhausted and mentally drained. No-one at work really understood it (one person even kind of scoffed at the situation) which didn’t really help. I felt sad, and tired, but added to that, I was also sick to my stomach. Our GM was feeling almost instant regret about the decision, and it made me feel awful. I felt I had given him bad advice about everything. (My focus was on making sure he was going to be ok with the decision he made, and to not feel guilted in to sticking around if he didn’t want to. You know my mantra – WoW is a game, and games are supposed to be fun. If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.) Thursday morning SUCKED plain and simple. I had lost my guild, and felt like I had been a bad friend to someone who has been exceptionally kind to me. I was not having a good time.

But then Thursday afternoon happened.

Thursday afternoon, our GM logged in to game, expecting the guild to have emptied, and instead still found it full of people. They didn’t want to go. This was their home, and they wanted to stay. That coupled with our GM’s regret… and well, the guild un-broke-up. Our GM posted in our Discord a really heartwarming message saying the guild would be staying together… and then I cried again as people cheered and left sweet messages and were just everything we didn’t want to leave behind. The thing that makes this guild so special is the people in it. Sure, we all fight and bicker and give each other shit, but that’s what families do.

We went back in to finish off the heroic clear on Thursday night with a renewed sense of togetherness. We also managed to one-shot the last 3 bosses on heroic and the first mythic boss, which just goes to show how much better peoples’ performance is when they’re in a good mood! 😀

WoWScrnShot_092718_200321

The aftermath

Things seem to be calm, now. The people who had faction changed managed to have them reverted (thanks Blizzard!!!) and came back to the guild as soon as they could. We ran our usual normal run on Saturday night, which went surprisingly well. And tonight’s mythic run, though thwarted by the attendance boss (thanks NRL grand final!), was smooth and successful.

Most people understand why things got they way they did – we pushed too hard. Raiding 4 nights a week was taking it out of people. The constant feeling of pressure was overwhelming for a lot of people, and it was wearing everyone down – not just the GM, but everyone. So we’re taking a step back. We will continue to raid mythic level, with the goal of getting Cutting Edge each tier. But not at the expense of the team.

The whole thing feels like a really sappy daytime romantic comedy in a way. But whatever it was, we’ve come out the other side of it, and I feel like in a way, we’re almost a bit better for it. Those who wanted more have moved to a place they can get that progression, and everyone else back here is on the same page. I’m grateful for this crazy bunch of beautiful people. Here’s to many more raids together as a the silly, dysfunctional WoW-family we are. realm_logo_on_dark_grey

xo

~*~*~ Warning: this post contains spoilers about early Legion storyline, and end of expansion story line. If you have not defeated Argus yet and don’t want to be spoiled, please do not read any further.~*~*~ 

I have to preface this post by saying that prior to Legion, I hadn’t really given Malfurion and Tyrande much thought other than Tyrande’s dress is super pretty, and Malfurion sleeps an awful lot. I always found their relationship a little odd (possessive? super co-dependant?), but that was about it. Come Legion though… well, I think they’re just some of the most selfish characters in Warcraft and really don’t want to be helping them with anything else in future.

I know, unpopular opinion much?

Here’s the thing- I find both of them immensely hypocritical, self-involved twits. The pair are so far up themselves that they don’t see there’s a whole world of existence outside of their tree and the Emerald Dream. I pretty much blame Malfurion for what happened to Ysera in Val’Sharah, Tyrande spends most of her time pining for, or trying to find, Malfurion, and both of them have done catastrophic things that have changed the fate of hundreds of thousands of beings.

Which is what it is (which is in the past), but you’re probably asking me what tipped me over the edge. Well, I’ll tell you- it was their complete and utter disinterest in Illidan’s departure that really got to me. Oh and boy did it get to me.

~*~*~*~

We spend a fair bit of time with these two in early Legion. Malfurion continues to marvel at how amazing the world around him is (oh and did you know Cenarius is a demigod and his mentor? I mean he’s just so freakin’ humble about it /sarcasm). Well it turns out Cenarius has gross corruption coming out of him, and Malfurion doesn’t know what to do (how does he not recognise this, btw?!), so let’s get Ysera here to sort stuff out. And that’s ok,  things aren’t looking good, we should probably get some help.

So we do a bunch of stuff to then summon Ysera who tells us we need to get the Tears of Elune (which is what we were here for anyway). Anyway we go get the Tears but surprise surprise, Xavius beat us to it.

And then Cenarius disappears. And this is the point where Malfurion is an epic hypocrite, and I get mad. Instead of turning to the grove that is literally full of some of the most powerful people available to him in the moment, including the being responsible for the Emerald Dream itself, he runs off. He literally gets up, and runs in a random direction where he thinks he can find Xavius. Good one, mate. Don’t bother to consult with anyone about what might need to be done. No, off he goes, testosterone flailing all over the place. It is this action, right here, that sealed Ysera’s fate. I mean, Malfurion and Tyrande have been in this exact situation before and they did the same damn thing. And this time, Ysera paid the price.

leeroymalf

Perfect summary of how stupid Malfurion is

This is but one (more recent) example of their self-important behaviour. But what does that have to do with Illidan?

Everything.

Illidan spent his entire life finding a way to defeat the Burning Legion. Every. damn. second. And some (many) of his actions were questionable (at best). But his motivation and goal never, ever wavered. Defeat the Burning Legion.

Malfurion was a terrible brother to Illidan. His high and mighty attitude belittled Illidan to no end. And instead of telling Malfurion to shove it, Illidan just wanted to impress him (and Tyrande, of course) even more. It’s for this reason that I hold Malfurion and Tyrande a little responsible for everything Illidan did. You don’t have to be blind to see that all Illidan wanted was to be accepted and loved by them. Well, maybe not blind… maybe just too far up themselves to see.

WoWScrnShot_030815_122126

Don’t get me wrong, Illidan really made it difficult for those around him. In many ways he was just as stubborn and pig-headed as Malfurion in his bid to rid the world of the Burning Legion. It required absolute blind faith and trust in Illidan to see his actions being for the greater good. And I don’t blame people for questioning Illidan’s actions- they were not always what one would consider “good”. But for Malrfurion and Tyrande to say they are not as culpable is outrageous.

Apparently it’s ok for Malfurion to take it upon himself to render night elves mortal by destroying the Well of Eternity. Guys, it’s like, totally ok for him to literally rip the world to shreds in the great sundering because he, like, did it for the good of all Azerothian kind, ok? Sometimes we have to think outside of the box.
Oh but wait, no Illidan- well Illidan he apparently went about things the wrong way. He said he was gaining power to defeat the Legion, but you know, we don’t like how he’s going about it. See, Malfurion screwed the world over the “right” way. Illidan is a danger to us all and should be locked away forever.

COME ON.

Even Tyrande, for one shining moment, takes a tiny peek outside of her own little bubble to release Illidan from his prison because, believe it or not, maybe there’s more than one way to annihilate a universe-destroying horde of demons. But then Malfurion got mad at her, so she took it all back. (Thank goodness someone else figured out he was needed to get this done.)

Despite all this; despite everything that happened between these three characters, one truth remains: Illidan is the only one of them to follow through on his actions.

At the end of the Antorus raid, after Argus is defeated, Sargeras is finally revealed, and captured. And Illidan was there every step of the way. He did everything he promised he would do- he fought with us and stopped the Burning Legion. But no only that, oh no- Illidan went one step further. He knowingly sacrificed the rest of his life to watch over Sargeras to make sure he never comes to power again. He gave his damn life, and any remaining shred of possibility that Illidan did everything he did purely for selfish power was obliterated in that moment.

For all his faults, Illidan did it. It was touching, and a worthy ending (and yes, I cried my damn eyes out).

It felt like everything Illidan had done had been worth it. It made me feel, as a person (not my character) that even if I’m trying to do what is right, I may not always get it right, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Illidan’s actions gave me hope for the underdogs, that we can do it.

So you can imagine my utter disgust at what followed next.

The first time we defeat Argus, a short quest line is started – Moments of Reflection. Here we have a crystal with parting messages from Illidan to Malfurion and Tyrande. (You can read/listen to all of the messages on wowhead here.)

To Malfurion first. And here Illidan speaks of the different choices they made in their lives, but for the common goal they shared- to keep the world safe. Illidan acknowledges he wasn’t easy to trust, but hopes his actions show the truth of his words. It’s very moving.

And you know what Malfurion says?

My brother made selfish choices, brought pain to so many. His transgressions are difficult to forgive.

This coming from the guy who literally tore Azeroth a new one?!?!!?!? Holy hell dude. Illidan hurt people, yes! He made mistakes, yes! But you know what he did? He kept on fighting to defeat the Burning Legion, because that’s what he said he’d do. What did you do? You went and had a bloody nap!

*deep breaths*

Alright, there’s still another message to go. Tyrande once saw the potential in Illidan. Surely she will understand.

NUP!

Contrite words, yet I must wonder whether he truly meant them….

Seems he has a duty to fulfill…

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?! Illidan is literally not on this planet anymore after having saved it (and the rest of the universe). And instead of coming home to revel in the celebration he deserves for saving us all, he stays in who-knows-where for the rest of eternity to make sure that Sargeras never comes back. And she thinks he’s lying? That says a lot about who she is and what she thinks of people. Where was she while we were fighting the Legion? NOWHERE. (To be fair, she did come to Suramar, which is a darn lot more than Malfurion did. Probably too busy licking his wounds. But for the rest of it, where were they?) Illidan was there every step of the way, and they abandoned us.

Even in his final moments, this very last goodbye, Illidan wanted nothing more to love and be loved by Malfurion and Tyrande. And they shrugged him off. Absolutely jerks.

I am glad there was a third message in the crystal for us champions. I will gladly defend Azeroth in Illidan’s place. Malfurion and Tyrande can go take a nap, because it’s quite clear they truly don’t care about anyone else. And I certainly do not care about them.

 

2017_collage_full
Part two of Topic 29: the 2017 wrap-up double challenge bonanza! 

The second challenge topic we had for December, to help wrap up the year, was to show one favourite screenshot for each month. I like this challenge, because I love taking screenshots (I have almost 3000 just from this year alone!!!) but boy is it a tough challenge choosing only one picture for each month. (ok so I may have cheated a little with the collage up top….). There’s so much exciting stuff that happens! BUT, a challenge is a challenge, so here we go.

January

There were a lot of beginnings in January (aside from it being the beginning of a new year). Firstly, this is when Pit Crew was born. It was supposed to be a new start for our raid team. And whilst things didn’t quite turn out that way, I do have fond memories of our first night in Nighthold, which also opened in January. My screenshots folder is PACKED full of pictures of the raid. It really was beautiful. January was also my first time in Karazhan, and also when we got our Arcanist’s Manasaber, for helping out the Nightbourne.

The screenshot I’ve chosen to share, though, is from my order hall. I chose this pic because it shows one of the things that I love most about WoW- the little things. These two NPCs are actually part of ~*~*SPOILER ALERT~*~*~ the restoration shaman artifact quest line. They’re not here all the time, they just stop by from time to time. And they are just adorable. Adelee is trying to teach Grash how to dance. It’s absolutely adorable. And like I said, is the little things that I love about this game. 🙂WoWScrnShot_011817_180459.jpeg

February

February gave me Experiment 12-B, completed Brawler’s Guild, a ghost moose, and a bunch of raiding achievements. It was also the month I wrote about being harassed online, and was also the month someone in game randomly saw me and whispered me to tell me they enjoyed my blog.

The pic I’ve chosen to share is from when I get my Arcane mage hidden artifact appearance. This whole quest chain was hilarious. And I just adore farmer Cinderlily with her sheep followers!

WoWScrnShot_021517_235102.jpeg

March

We went back to the Broken Shore in March, I “discovered” places in Dalaran that have always existed (I’d just never seen them!), I got extremely lucky with loot drops (hidden appearances, legendaries and mounts, oh my!), and bought myself Yu’lei. I also spent a bit of time levelling my priest, got all my hidden appearances for my mage, and took a whole bunch of screenshots of the Cathedral of Eternal Night. I also wrote a few posts in March, my favourite being where I designed my own zone in WoW.

This pic for March, though, is of myself with 4 other lovely ladies I’m so fortunate enough to call friends. Each month (or as often as we can!) myself, Leeta, Natanie, Miggi & MrsO all get together just just hang out in chat and play some games together. Sometimes we run dungeons together, other times we’ll do invasions or old raid runs or even try our hands at Overwatch or Heroes of the Storm. But no matter what we do, we always have a great time, and I’m so glad to know them. ❤

WoWScrnShot_032517_212109.jpeg

April

April was “quieter” because I got a new job, so had less time to play. But I still managed to squeeze in an awful lot! It was the month of mounts: I got my fox mount, the Valajar Stormwing, the Leywoven Flying Carpet and I found the Long-Forgotten Hippogryph. We also got to solve some riddles to get a new (to be honest, pretty ugly) mount!

Other than all the mounts, we killed a whole bunch of mythic bosses in Nighthold, and I spent a looooong time bashing my head against the Mage Tower challenge (and not getting it at that time!).

The most fun thing that happened in April was the Inky Black Potion. Everyone went bananas for it, and it’s not hard to see why. I flew all around Azeroth and took a LOT of screenshots with that potion.

We also got to play with baby murlocs, in what was one of the most adorable micro-holidays of the year.

WoWScrnShot_040517_232358

May

I spent a fair bit of time with my paladin in May, getting her levelled up and finishing her class hall story. We had two micro-holidays that I attended- the Spring Balloon Festival, and the Glowcap Festival. It was also the month I got my Ratstallion mount, and when we started working on mythic Gul’dan.

During this month, we also learned of a little murloc pet, Squirky, who could be captured off the coast of Azsuna, on a very small island full of very strong murlocs. I was extremely lucky when I went to get a Squirky of my own- the lighting was absolutely spectacular, leading to the picture below. I think it looks like a painting. Those cotton candy clouds are just divine!

WoWScrnShot_052417_232310

June

Class mounts became available in June. I really enjoyed the quest line to get my shaman mount. Oh and what a mount it is! I also headed off to get my mage her class mount, too. I took part in the Running of the Trolls for the first time this year, and it was a lot of fun. Our raid team killed mythic Gul’dan AND mythic Helya – and all of this is just in the first 2 weeks of the month!

I spent some more time levelling a priest, brought Dog to Dalaran, and helped save Chromie. I also followed the clues to get my own Sun Darter Hatchling (which I wrote about here). Tomb of Sargeras took up the bulk of June, though. I took SO many screenshots of that raid. I really enjoyed everything about it. It felt like it had a proper story that contributed to the overall narrative of the expansion. I loved that completing the raid changed the physical world around us. The picture I’ve chosen, for me, represents everything we’re fighting for this expansion- our home (for me, Stormwind) and to stop the Burning Legion.

WoWScrnShot_062217_235942.jpg

July

In July I got to raid with my lovely friends Zee & Neuro again for awhile (though the poor things really did not have a good time with us… things were not great at the time 😦 ) I got myself a Wild Dreamrunner mount and the Paladin and druid class mounts. I even went to visit Faeb, just to say hi. It’s also the month I got my beautiful new PC, Alice!

The highlight for July, though, was hands down *finally* completing the Mage Tower challenge on my resto shaman. I had given up for quite some time as I had gotten so, so frustrated with it. But I stuck to it, and finally got the darn thing. And I felt very accomplished indeed.

WoWScrnShot_070117_102840

August

We had the Trial of Style in August, and it was a LOT of fun, and I managed to get the Remember to Share achievement, which gave me yet another mount.

However, without a doubt, the biggest thing to happen in August was going to Argus. Not only did we get to explore this world we have heard so much about… but we got to see a whole other side to Azeroth. It hit me right in the feels, this pic.

WoWScrnShot_083017_173556

September

Another month of mounts, artifact challenge and hidden appearances, and of course, raiding. But easily the most defining moment in September was, after hours of running and and searching a seemingly endless maze, finally seeing this treasure box at the end of it all (and of course getting the Lucid Nightmare mount). I had intended to write about my experience getting this mount, but it was also around this time that my blog went down for extended maintenance, so I didn’t get to. For what it is worth- I absolutely LOVED getting this mount 😀

WoWScrnShot_090317_230916.jpg

October

I ran with gnomes, got more hidden artifact appearances, and got my little priest her class mount. It was a lot of “alts” time that month, just ticking off the achievements.

We also had Hallow’s End, where I got to fly around like a sexy maniacal pumpkin! WoWScrnShot_102017_221050.jpg

November

It’s always all about Blizzcon in November, with everyone flying around in their Blizzcon class mounts. It was also WoW’s birthday, so of course there was lots of alt-levelling here, too, including getting my Monk her class mount.

November was also the month that the guild fell apart. Again. It was particularly sad and painful this time around, because we wanted it to work so much. But some personalities just don’t mesh well, and we split up and went our separate ways.

But on a happier note, November had the Moonkin Festival, which was ADORABLE. I loved having my very own moonkin squad! 😀WoWScrnShot_111217_225231.jpg

December

And here we are at the end of the year. December has given us yet another stunningly beautiful raid, Antorus. Again, a fabulous raid that really brings the story together. It’s also the first raid with our rebuilt team, Realm. So far, things are going really well, I think. It’s not perfect, but the imperfections aren’t as sour as they were previously. The people are great. Just so great. I’m so fortunate to have such a wonderful group of people in my life. And it’s for that reason that, even though history shows otherwise, I think we’ll work as a team. I have to have hope that it will.

So I end this series with a hopeful picture for you all. WoWScrnShot_121017_134442.jpg

 

Like I said, this was hard. There are far too many picture to choose from each month. But if I chose them all, we’d be here forever. I hope you liked the images I chose, though!

So that’s it for December, and 2017! Thank you to every person who has ever stumbled across my little blog, and an extra special thanks to anyone who has liked or commented. It means the world to me that you read my silly words.

May 2018 be full of love and hope and laughter, and all the things that make you happy.

xo

PS: Ok one last one because I can’t help myself! I just really love this pic!!

illidan

zcblogchallenge_contributor_rectangle

Hey guys just a quick heads up. I’m making some changes to my website over the coming days/weeks, so things might look a bit weird around here… hopefully I shouldn’t break anything!! But don’t freak out if I do, or if things look strange or broken or whatever. I’ll get it right at some point!

I’ll let you know when I’m back up and running properly. In the meantime, if you’re looking for other WoW blogs to read, go check out Z and Cinder’s Blog Challenge (#ShamelessSelf-Plug)

See you laters!

xo

 

Hey, what a surprise, I’m behind on posting responses to our blog challenges! That is so unlike me! 😉 Clearly I have a lot of catching up to do, and rather than starting at where I last left off, I’m just going to go in any darn order that pleases me.

So, Topic 23 asked why I blog about WoW.

I’ve been writing in blogs/journals since I was 11 years old. I got given a diary from a friend of mine at the time, and sporadically wrote in it when I felt I had something “important” to say. When we got our first computer, one of the first websites I came across was Open Diary, and over the years maintained at least, sometimes multiple, journals on there. I made some really wonderful online friends there, some of whom I’m still friends with today. Eventually I got a LiveJournal account, but it didn’t really gel with me at all. It was “too cool” for me, and so I found myself moving back to good old pen and book.

When I moved to England, funnily enough, I didn’t write a lot, even though I was having a lot of adventures at the time. Instead, I took a lot of photographs, which in some ways replaced my words for awhile. One thing that did happen while I was over there, was that I found myself doing more creative writing, working on a story idea that has been floating around in my head since my last year of uni.

Coming back to Australia, I had a whirlwind of study and moving interstate and finding work in Melbourne and settling in here, and I didn’t write much. And then I met Thor, and, because we were on opposite side of the country, all of time was spent talking with him, and I didn’t need a journal. And then he moved in with me, and introduced me to World of Warcraft. And well, we all know how that turned out!

It doesn’t matter how long I stop writing for, I always come back to it. I love it. It’s what I studied at uni, and it’s what I always seem to fall back on. So when you ask why I write about WoW, it’s because I can’t help but write for starters. And secondly, it’s because so much of my life is about WoW. I spend a lot of time playing the game, and interacting with the people I have met through and because of it. I write about WoW because there is so much to write about, because there are so many stories to share, because I still just need to get words out of me.

One of the questions that seems to pop-up alongside why you write about WoW, is who you think reads about WoW. Who is your audience? And this is probably the part that will be a bit weird, but my audience is me. If you look at my past and see how I have written, it’s always been for me. For my blog, it has to be for me. Because if it’s not, I stop being truthful. I start censoring myself, worrying I’ll offend someone who might be reading. And I don’t like that. I don’t like the dishonesty.

So as rude as it sounds, I’m not bothered if people don’t like my blog, or if they don’t like what I write about or how I write it or what I have to say. This is my little corner of the internet to use my words how I want to. And if people like that, if people enjoy what I have to say and want to come back to read more, that is so immensely flattering and kind, and such a wonderful bonus to this whole thing. I appreciate each and every person who comes to my blog and reads it or likes it or comments on it- it’s a beautiful feeling! But it’s not the driver for this blog. The driver is me, and will continue to be me, and my adventures with WoW.

🙂

PS: For anyone who is looking for new/more WoW blogs to read, check out our Bloggers page on the Z and Cinder’s Blog Challenge website. It’s a list of anyone who has ever participated in the challenge. You might find someone new to enjoy reading!

ZCbc_square

Well, I find myself here once again where the team I’m raiding with has crumbled. We had been losing a few people here and there over the past couple of months for a whole bunch of different reasons. I’m not sure what happened, but this last week something snapped, and we were done. Through a combination of real life issues and people wanting a change, we dropped enough to not have enough people on the team to raid anymore.

It’s not a new story, and it’s not a story that we’ll never hear again. This is what happens. And even though I’ve been here so many times before, it doesn’t get any easier. Before raid on Wednesday we all logged on and had a chat about what everyone’s plans were. There was talk of server transfers to try and rebuild the team on a more populated server (and then further discussion about what the server might be); there were talks of staying put and pushing through it; there were talks of finding other teams, of going our separate ways… and of disbanding entirely. In the end, some people decided to move on, which in turn made other people also decide to move on to other teams rather than waiting for the numbers to come back up again.

There were no hard feelings towards the people who decided to leave for other teams. I totally understand it. Things weren’t perfect, and some people had really good reasons to go, but it still makes me sad. *shrug* It is what it is, and I truly hope everyone is happy wherever they end up.

In the meantime, there are 10-13 of us who have decided to stay and try and rebuild, rather than moving the guild to another server. Our team is 5/9 mythic… past the halfway mark of Tomb of Sargeras… so hopefully we will be able to attract some good players in time to get mythic Kil’Jaeden down. (Shameless plug! Here’s our recruit thread on the forums.)

For now, I’m just feeling sad. I know it’s (hopefully?) not my fault, but it doesn’t stop me from feeling like rubbish. Being in a guild and raid team like this always feels like a second family. We all spend so much time together, and we argue and celebrate wins… so it just feels weird everyone not being together any more. But like I said, it is what it is, and it will probably happen again. In the meantime, I’m holding out hope we find some more awesome players so we can get back to killing internet pixels. 🙂

 

 

My lovely friend Zeirah and I have turned our weekly blog challenge into a public blog challenge for anyone to participate in. Each week there is a new topic for everyone to write about and share. This topic was put up to help get some great positive posts out there, to remind people why the love WoW. You can read everyone’s thoughts about this on our website here.

It’s funny, I’ve put off writing this post for awhile. Not because I don’t have anything to love about WoW, but because there is so much to love and I’m finding it difficult to pin down only a few things to talk about. Like Ann, I just love it all and could go on for days. But I won’t! I’ve chosen a few things to talk about, but this by no means is everything I love. Hands down one of the biggest things is obviously the people I have had a chance to meet through WoW. And the characters and the story will keep me coming back for years to come. But I want to talk about some of a couple of other reasons. 🙂

The music

The music in WoW constantly breaks my heart with its beauty. I went looking for a favourite piece to share with you guys for this post, and here I am crying my eyes out just listening to it already! (I know, I’m a sap!)

Some of my favourite memories from WoW are because of the music. I loved all of the music in Mists of Pandaria, but the moment that stood out for me randomly happened the day after the Vale of Eternal Blossoms had been destroyed (good one Garrosh!!). I was kinda just afk-ing in the zone, just looking around at all the beauty we had had a part in destroying and feeling really awful about it. And then the music came in… the music had changed. When the Vale was pure and alive, the music was sweeping and beautiful and generally what you expect from such a stunning zone. When it got destroyed, the music changed. It still had similar themes, but they were sad and quiet, like a wounded song bird. I cried, I truly did. It was just a small thing, but it was the final straw for me. I felt so terrible about what had been done there – it was destroyed in so many ways.

More recently… well, we’ve had quite a lot of heartache already in Legion, haven’t we? So of course the music is just going to rub salt in the wounds of our already breaking hearts. The first time I knew the music was going to kill me in Legion was in the Broken Shore was of course during the Legion cinematic trailer.  But the real clincher for me came in the Broken Shore cinematic…

It just… oh man, it just gets right in there. It starts out well enough, all dramatic and action-y while everyone is fighting, but it starts to change as everything goes downhill, getting more and more tense. That moment when Varian realises he’s not going to get on that ship to freedom, and music softens as Varian asks Genn to give his son the letter… and then it sweeps up into this huge damn heroic moment as Varian lets go, and falls to battle to the death. It’s heroic as fuck, there’s no other way to describe it. But then, he defeats the demon, and the music stops, and in that tiny breath of silence we have hope, a tiny feather of hope that maybe, just maybe, he might survive, even as we hear the motors of the ship flying away. And then the demons come, and he’s a hero again, fighting until his very last breath until we’re at the feet of Gul’dan, and he’s saying that Varian has died for nothing, but we know otherwise, and Varian shouts “For the Alliance!” and the music confirms it – he’s a hero until his dying breath. And god that music, the way it works at that moment… my heart feels like Varian does as he shatters into a million pieces. #cries

We get to hear bits and pieces of those themes throughout Legion as we run around the world and to the raids and experience the important quests and what not, and every time my heart twinges.

I mentioned the original Legion cinematic earlier – re-watching that again to write about this music I realised that the other music I wanted to write about was actually featured very briefly in that! The other big music moment I had in Legion happened quite by accident again, and it made me cry as well (I’m sensing a theme here…) Obviously the death of Varian has hit me pretty hard, so I have a soft spot for this.

It happened shortly before Legion launched, and I was flying in Stormwind from the Keep to the Mage area where the Demon Hunters were hanging around at the time. Those who know Stormwind well will realise that in doing so, I flew right over the memorial to Varian, Lion’s Rest. I stopped to look and pay my respects. And then this happened:

I don’t know what it is about this piece, but it pulls on all the heartstrings. (And those darn lyrics don’t help, either!) It seems a beautiful farewell for a fallen warrior. ❤

Anyway, as you can tell, I have a thing for the music. It’s always so fitting, and really helps me feel so immersed in the game. One of my favourite parts of any new expansion or zone is hearing the new music that comes along with it. If you haven’t done so, I recommend turning the music on in game while you’re running around doing your World Quests and what not.

It’s beautiful

I mean, come on…

wowscrnshot_012817_222555

wowscrnshot_093016_212216

WoWScrnShot_112016_140743.jpeg

Shadowmoon valley.

Shadowmoon valley.

Being a hero

This is a big one for me. One of the questions that Leeta asks her guests on Behind the Avatar is whether or not they play male or female characters, and why that is. When I first read that question it got me thinking about why I always play female characters. Of course part of it is that I’m female, so I want to play someone like me (hence a chubby pandaren suits me just nicely!) But it’s become more than that.

For me, in my real life, I feel like a lot of it is out of my control. I feel like I’m not good enough, and I feel like I’m not talented or useful in any way (hello anxiety and self doubt!). But in WoW I am so much more than that. I am strong. I’m (somewhat) intelligent (why did I have to set Gul’dan free again at the start of WoD?!?!). I am a hero. A hero! I get to wield strong weapons and use the elements to hurt or heal, and I love that. And despite it not being real (I promise I’m not throwing buckets of water on people in real life in an attempt to heal them!!!) I have found that as a result of me being a hero in WoW, I have more confidence to try things in real life. I feel empowered, and sometimes I even feel strong. And that to me will always bring me back. That and to me, there is no better sound in the world than the quest completed sound!!

 

So those are some of the slightly different reasons why I keep coming back to WoW. To be honest, I’ll probably end up doing posts about my thoughts on the other reasons as well, but for now, this is it. 🙂

What are your reasons for coming back to WoW time and time again? Why do you love it? Leave a comment below, or join the blog challenge!

zcblogchallenge_contributor_rectangle

This week has been absolutely jam packed with stuff to do in WoW. It’s been an absolute blast! But since patch 7.2 Tomb of Sargeras dropped live earlier this week, I’ve been disappointed to see my timeline so full of negativity. There have been waves of anger and complaining coming in at every direction, and it has been making me really cross. It was starting to bring me down. And I could write up a post to whinge about player behaviour (again!) that no-one will read or will think applies to them, but I’m not doing that this time. This time, I’m going to fill your timelines with positivity and all the brilliant things that are in the game at the moment.

But I will say this. For those of you who say the patch is a waste of time, or that there’s nothing to it or that “this, that and the other” is stupid, please remember:

  • You are responsible for how you play the game
  • You are responsible for your own enjoyment of the game
  • Please stop blaming Blizzard for things that you actually have control over.

Get out there and have some fun! And if for any reason you can’t find it please have some consideration for those of us who absolutely love this, and who you are bringing down with constant negativity.

Now, on to the good stuff – a bucket load of screen shots and adventures!

Deliverance Point

Patch 7.2 started for us Aussies on Wednesday morning, and when I logged in Khadgar was there, ready to start the charge to take back the Broken Shore. So off we all went, flying to our doom on the most stunning mount I’ve ever seen!! (I am holding out hope that this mount will be a drop from the Tomb of Sargeras raid. Please, please!!)

WoWScrnShot_032917_104055

Pretty sweet ride to the Broken Shore if you ask me!

It was eerie going back to the Broken Shore. This was the place that so many of our allies fell. This is the place where the leader of the Horde was mortally wounded. This was where we lost our King. When we landed, and the demons were running around without a care, I hated them all over again. I took far too much delight in cutting them down, as we made our way through the shore.

WoWScrnShot_032917_104610

We met our fair share of cocky demons who think they’re tough cookies – I quickly put them in their place. At once point we even got to go up on one of the ships, which was brilliant. The floating fel-green image of Dalaran in the navigation panel made me sick to my stomach, though.

We managed to get ourselves a little settled in Deliverance Point. I actually really love this space. It is exactly what I imagined an impromptu battle station would look like – tents posted in a common area for food, shelter and healing. Guards everywhere to keep the area safe, flight paths to get us around, and the vendors with all the goodies!

But what I absolutely loved best of all about Deliverance Point, is that it was tailored to me as a shaman. (And to you and whatever class you may play). The guards protecting the area are shamans and elementals – the barriers are made with totems. There’s even a healing triage in a healing rain circle that is monitored by Morgl the Oracle (who is very sassy indeed!)

WoWScrnShot_033117_095740

Totemic power ftw!

WoWScrnShot_033117_095841

Elementals to help keep us safe

WoWScrnShot_033117_095904

I absolutely LOVE this banner!! I want it as a toy

WoWScrnShot_033117_100215

Dagg the Ogre is in that pond in the middle!

WoWScrnShot_033017_221612

There he is! Hiding out in the silliest of ways as always 😀 

WoWScrnShot_033117_100302

I really love how busy and purposeful this space feels

WoWScrnShot_033117_100427

Morgl the Oracle and other resto shamans healing people up….

WoWScrnShot_033117_100519

… while the druids over there have a snooze!!

I’m looking forward to seeing the buildings as they are completed. At the moment their are construction sites that in a really nice touch, are as complete as their progress shows on the architecture table! (i.e. the table says the mage tower is 40% complete, and the building itself looks to be about 40% complete)

WoWScrnShot_033117_133701

40% of a mage tower

Stronger Artifact weapons

I spent quite a lot of time exploring the rest of the Broken Shore, but I’ll write about all that in another post. Because one of the other big things that needed to be done before raid that night was to unlock the new artifact weapon traits. I ended up doing both the restoration and elemental quest lines to unlock both of those weapons (my enhance weapon isn’t ready for them yet!)

The restoration quest line sent me off to Bradensbrook where things are going bad. The Legion have been riling up the poor ghosts in the area, and they are hell bent on “protecting” everyone from the “demons” that we are. It was a little tough only because there were quite a lot of mobs around and I had to do it in resto spec for the healing, so my damage was quite low. But I got through it, and watched as the poo head organising it all ran away like a coward. (Though I understand now that these quests are the precursor to the new solo challenges for the artifact skin, so I am PUMPED about that!)

I went back to Khadgar and his crew and they were super grateful. So much so that they made my artifact even stronger, and gave me a whole bunch of new traits to go and get.

WoWScrnShot_032917_140912

It’s a fact that you have to glow when you get more powerful #ItsTheRules

Because my artifact power was previously maxed out, I was able to get my weapon up to 39 traits straight away. Then between all the AP you get from questing and the fact that the questing itself also opens up Artifact Knowledge to give you SO MUCH ARTIFACT POWER I was able to get to trait 40 before raid on Wednesday. It was a good feeling! My goal is to work pretty hard to get all of the brand new traits as soon as I can (which if I’m really lucky and work hard I can maybe get done before raid on Sunday?)

I wasn’t overly thrilled with my new traits initially. The one that has 4 ranks just makes my Spiritwalker’s Grace (which allows me to cast on the move) last 2 seconds longer for each point (making it 8 seconds longer overall). But last night when we were back on mythic Krosus I took the Graceful Spirit talent, which makes the cool down of SWG 60 seconds. With those 4 points going in, it meant I was able to cast on the move for more than half of the fight, which was actually really, really nice (though I do miss my fart talent!!)

I also went off and got going on my elemental artifact empowered. The quest for this one was quite different, and involved a lot more puzzles and mind games than hitting things. One part of the quest line has you trying to figure out which combination of 3 runes you need to activate to “do a thing” (I don’t want to give anything away!). There are books laying around with clues in them, and you have to piece it all together to get the right 3 (and only the right 3!) activated. I will give this tip, though, for anyone who hasn’t done this yet – you need to speak to the guy when you have activated the 3 runes. I got it right the first time, but didn’t speak to the guy because I was expecting something to happen straight away, so I thought I’d done it wrong and started over again. So save yourself some time and talk to him!

WoWScrnShot_032917_170109

See? Glowy and powerful! 

So far I’m really enjoying the patch, and I can’t wait to see how the story unfolds each week! There are already some really awesome world quests, there’s loads of treasures to find and rares to kill, and the new dungeon is really cool! And eventually we’ll open up the Tomb!! Oh my gosh I can’t wait.

Have fun everyone!

 

It sure has been quiet around here, hasn’t it? To say things have been chaotic in my life right now is a bit of an understatement, and it has obviously been affecting all the “extra-curricular” things I do in my life – this blog included. I have finished up at my last job and am working hard to find myself another in its place, which is incredibly draining, at times depressing, and incredibly time consuming. And in addition to that, my Nan is incredibly unwell at the moment. So much so that I flew up to see her in case things got worse and I was too late. It’s very much a “wait and see” situation at the moment – she could go either way.

Anyway, all of those things combined with still trying to maintain a raiding schedule has just thrown me for a loop, and my poor little blog has suffered. But I am getting things back on track today, so expect some catch up Z and Cinder’s Blog Challenge posts to head your way very soon, and hopefully some more regular updates.

Thanks for being patient with me!

xo

*** I’m heading this post with a trigger warning. If you are sensitive to discussion about online harassment and rape, please do not read on. ***

I’ve ummed and ahhed about writing this post for quite some time now for a number of reasons. The main one has been that I just didn’t want to talk about it. The second one has been that this has, until recently, involved a minor. But last night something changed, and I stopped being angered and upset by the situation and instead felt an immense amount of pity and, well… schadenfreude.

So here I am to tell you the tale of my internet harasser. Not because I want to publicly shame him (there will be no name and shame here) but to talk about this experience that I’ve had; to add another number to the data of women who are harassed online simply for existing; to let others who may be affected by this know that they aren’t alone. And to laugh. Oh how we’ll laugh.

Let me start at the start.

This is a story about a fellow we’re going to call Blah (no, that’s not his real or gamer name, I just can’t be bothered dignifying him with anything other than boredom).

When I first joined my now ex-guild about a year ago now, I was keen to make some new friends and make a good impression. I was excited about joining a mythic raiding team, after all! I liked to help out when people needed help or answer questions if they needed them, let people know of rare spawns etc. and just generally have a bit of a chat in game. You know, what most humans who play WoW do.

I got along fine with most people and made some friends pretty quickly – all was going well. I hadn’t raided with anyone yet so this limited time in guild chat was the extent of the contact with anyone. A couple of weeks after I had joined I saw Blah had made a comment about something or other in guild chat. I asked a question about it – no response. Someone else asked a question and Blah responded, so I asked another question. I received a rude response back , and then he just stopped talking to me. At the time I thought it was incredibly rude (especially given he was happily chatting away to others at the time) but I ignored it and went on with my day. If he didn’t want to talk, fine. I wasn’t going to go out of my way to engage with someone who didn’t want to talk, so I just didn’t bother.

Not long after, I was brought in to the raid team, as a healer had left and they needed me in. Huzzah! I was so excited about it all. During raiding Blah was just a generally gross human being. Aside from the usual rubbish of someone who doesn’t care about a team, (like showing up whenever he wanted, not doing mechanics or anything or listening when he was there, and talking shit to/at everyone) it became apparent very quickly that he was in a level of his own filth. It was the way he would “speak”. He would “joke” about rape pretty openly and harshly about girls that he knew in real life. He would laugh about it, and make derogatory comments about other girls in the team. It was disgusting and disturbing.

Legion came along, and his behaviour didn’t change. The guild jumped on the Discord band wagon, which quickly turned into a cesspool. Most of it I could ignore. This, I could not ignore:

img_2796

Yeah…

The first time

The raid team progressed through Emerald Nightmare pretty quickly when it first came out, clearing heroic in the first week. We were all pretty pumped. But it was early in October when we hit a slight bump when it came to mythic Ursoc. We had a tense night of wipes on that fight, having to call it before we got the kill. We were all running back in after the last wipe and the raid lead was talking about how to improve for the next night, when in chat I see

Blah spits on you.

I was grossed out, and angry, but waited to see how many others he would decide to /spit on (such a team player!) The answer was none. No-one else was going to be spat on, just me. He sat there, went through the raid frames, found my name, and spat on me. I was livid. I got up to calm myself, then sat down again and said to my heal lead, “Is it ok if I don’t heal certain people in the raid anymore?” I was half joking, but frustrated – this was really shitty behaviour! My heal lead said “Blah?” to which I said “yes”. He replied “We saw. We’re talking about it in officer chat now.”

I felt immediately better. This act hadn’t gone unnoticed. And more than that, the fact that the officers were talking about it indicated that I wasn’t overreacting and it was a shit thing to happen.

This is the part where guild leadership is an important part of determining whether or not a guild is going to be right for you. It doesn’t matter how many officers or fellow guildies might feel about a situation, if the guild master doesn’t agree, nothing much happens. Which was the case here. Blah was given a warning by one of the officers, but that was as much as they were able to do given (from what I understand) the guild master didn’t see this, or anything else Blah had done/said as a problem. (I don’t fault the officers for this at all. They have been brilliant throughout all of this.)

The next time

The warning seemed to have at least a small impact on Blah, and he was quiet for almost an entire month. I (stupidly) thought this meant everyone had moved on and we were done with it. Remember, I don’t engage with this person at all. I don’t speak to him, I just go about my business healing people and doing my thing. Which is what makes it all worse, I think. So many times I’ve sat here asking myself “what did I do?? What was it that I did that made him hate me??” And I come up empty. It always seems to come down to the fact that I just exist, and that I am a female.

I’m getting off track, but in some ways, I’m not. Because what happened next quite literally came out of nowhere at all.

I’ll preface this part by saying that I don’t talk about my blog or podcasts in guild. Mostly because I don’t think anyone would be interested in them, but also because sometimes it just feels like showing off. So they don’t come up.

On Tuesday evenings we live stream our recording of Reins of Azeroth on Twitch. It’s fun! We get a couple of people come along in the chat, and it feels more like we’re actually talking to other people rather than just each other. On this particular evening in mid-November we were in the process of setting up when Spazz comments that someone is already in our twitch chat room. Then he went a bit quiet. I asked what the comments were (I wasn’t logged on yet) and he said something about “Blah says you’re a shit healer”. It took a bit to register, because like I said, I don’t have anything to do with this guy. And what’s more, I’ve never spoken to him or anyone else in guild about that podcast, so it took a bit to put two and two together.

I asked Spazz to send me a screenshot of what was said.

img_2795

The text is small, but it reads
“blah says you’re *** healer”

I then looked at who was in the chat at the time and saw Blah with 2 of his mates. This was an attack perpetrated by Blah, and they were all sitting in twitch chat waiting for me.

I’m going to interject here with a note: I don’t care what people have to say about my healing. I really don’t. I’m not the best healer in the world – I certainly don’t proclaim to be! – but I’m not the worst and I do the best that I can. I’m not offended by someone saying I’m shit – sometimes I am!

So believe me when I tell you that it wasn’t the comment that upset me and freaked me out.

Here’s what did freak me out. Firstly, this is a person who thinks rape is funny. Secondly, the amount of work involved to find where I was going to be at that specific point in time is too much for this to not be premeditated. As I said, there’s no previous discussion of my blog or podcasts anywhere. So for him to find me he had to:

  1. google my toon name
  2. find my blog
  3. find the podcasts I worked on
  4. see that Reins was recorded live on twitch
  5. set a reminder to go to our twitch page at the time we start recording
  6. and then have someone harass me on there while he watched.

That’s a lot of effort. That’s also a lot of evidence that it was a targeted attack designed to publicly shame me. He could have just tweeted abuse at me if he wanted to, but he chose to do this in a public space, to publicly humiliate me.

The users were banned from the channel, and they were reported for harassment to twitch. Which is about all you can do in these situations.

The kick & the aftermath

I still had a show to do, so after taking a breath to calm down and talking with Thor, we got on with recording. That was fun! /s But while we were recording Thor logged in game and immediately talked to one of the officers that he gets along well with. Thor explained what had happened, and showed him the screenshots of what was said and who was there. I understand that a quick discussion was held with officers who were logged on at the time, and shortly after Blah and all of his alts were removed from the guild, regardless of what the GM thought.

After recording, I warily logged into WoW and immediately received a whisper from the officer Thor had spoken to – he was checking up on me to make sure that I was ok. We had a bit of a chat. It was greatly appreciated. (Like I said, the officers have been great).

The aftermath was unexpected, though. I went to bed that night feeling hot with shame. Why is that? I hear this a lot from women who have been harassed, and one of the first emotions they feel is shame. Where does that come from? What on earth did I have to be shameful of? I racked my brains to figure out what I had done or said to Blah that made him hate me. What did I do?  I would replay the raid nights over and over in my head trying to pinpoint the moment that made me a target, and I couldn’t find it.

Then the anxiety and the fear joined in with the shame. It was a lovely cocktail that kept me from sleeping properly for quite some time. In the middle of the night I panicked about ways Blah might find my personal information, and had Thor calm me down by setting a few things differently to help me feel better. (What would I do without Thor? He has been my rock).

It wasn’t a good time.

I worked really hard to push that cocktail of emotions aside. I had to go to work and function as a human being. And I sure as hell was not going to let a useless turd stop me from playing WoW (which I guessed is was goal?!). So I went into raid, and it was great. Not having the constant negativity from Blah made it a really great time for everyone. And so I tweeted as such afterwards.

Blah decided to reply:

img_2797

Again, I can’t stress enough that I don’t give a hoot about what a person like Blah thinks of my healing. It’s not his words that are the problem here – it’s the targeted harassment that is the problem.

Except this time, he messed up. He tweeted from an account that uses his real name. So not only is he a disgusting, rapey asshole, but he’s a stupid one at that. This was the first time that I actually laughed about the whole situation. How could someone be that stupid. It took literally 5 seconds to google his name and find his facebook page which showed where he lived, what school he went to, and who his family were. I had a face to the name. It was also apparent from this publicly facing information that he was underage (17), which immediately stopped me from naming a shaming or progressing with anything publicly any further.

What I did do is start writing a letter to his mother to let her know about his behaviour. It was therapeutic for me to write it, and so by the time I finished it, I had calmed down and I didn’t send it. Also by then, time had passed and I thought things would end because Blah was no longer in the guild and would find something else to occupy his time.

This was not the case.

Again and again…

Since being removed from the guild over 3 months ago, Blah came been back time and time again to harass me in new and interesting ways.

He came back to another live recording on twitch:

cropped_ndhjo2oa

You know there are other words, right?

This one was interesting – he logged on to our team speak server during raid one night (so in front of the entire raid team). He kept logging on and off and on again, making a sound in the channel each time it happened. So we checked the log to see what was going on, and he’d done this:

ts_blah

Hi-larious! He was banned from the server.

Up until this point, the worst thing that he’d said was that I was a bad healer. But then he started to bring in more profanities. And in this case below, other people.

This was posted on the guild’s Discord server at around 11:30pm one evening:

img_3005

In this instance, white male = Blah

 

Delightful. And not only was he attacking me, he lashed out one of the people who had stood up for him in the past. Again, he’s not the brightest crayon. This was quietly deleted from the discord server by the GM in the middle of the night. Part of me is glad to have seen it when it happened – it just adds to my body of evidence.

During all of this there were comments made in guild and raid chat from his friends who were still in the guild, saying things like “Let Blah out!” etc. It made it easy to know who to avoid. (A side note – I did find it incredibly amusing that his “friends” didn’t jump ship with him. Rather than sticking with their friend, they stayed in the guild and just bitched for awhile before giving up. I can only assume they weren’t all really good friends after all, or didn’t care enough to follow him.)

Then the guild fallout happened and we all split up. When the new guild was formed, it was very easy to know who would not be invited to join the team. People who wanted to be immature and harass other people could go their own way, and the rest of us who weren’t like that could go the other way. I truly thought that would have been the end of all of it. The guild fell apart, his mates were free to play with him if they wanted to – it should have been over.

But we wouldn’t be here if it were, would we? 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day!

This Tuesday just gone, Valentine’s Day, was a recording night for Reins of Azeroth again on Twitch. We were having a nice time talking about WoW reputations and things like that, when this appeared in chat:

e_nkqgr0_cropped

For those who can’t read the name, it’s posted from “Cindersllut”.

This was a new one – I’m a slut now?

The comment was deleted from twitch very quickly by speedy Spazz, and the user banned from the channel. Sure enough, a few minutes later in the list of viewers, Blah’s twitch handle appears, confirming that he was the perpetrator.

This time, though, it didn’t bother me. I actually laughed. As lame as it may sound, I was in a nice guild! That’s apparently something to be ashamed of? That’s something to try an embarrass someone about? I mean, you’re really reaching with that one.

I spoke to Thor about the latest Blah episode after we had finished recording and he said:
“So you’re telling me, on Valentine’s Day – a day that you spend with people you love and who love you – Blah had nothing else better to do than go on twitch and harass you? He had no-one to be with?”

It really doesn’t get any more pathetic than that, does it?

This was the big turning point for me. I had always known Blah was a waste of space and oxygen, but the image of him being completely and utterly alone on Valentine’s Day, and choosing to harass someone as a way of dealing with that was just plain and simply sad and pathetic. It’s where the schadenfreude comes in. Every single time he has harassed me, he has done so in a public way, with the goal of trying to make me look stupid in front of other people. Which means he was tracking my movements, know where I would be and when I’d be there. It’s creepy, yes, but it also means other people are seeing him behave this way, seeing how pathetic he is.

This whole thing isn’t about me. It never has been. Blah is not a happy person, and I am. I work hard, I have fun, I laugh with friends – I have a good time, and a good life that I am immensely grateful for, and I think that shows. He does not have that. I didn’t do anything to make him treat me this way other than live my life and be happy. He sees that and can’t stand it, and tries to shoot me down. Well, I’m the personification of this song 🙂

It.won’t.work.

youhavenopower

What next?

I’m bored of this, I really am. I don’t have time for someone who gets their jollies by bringing others down. It’s gone on long enough. I have kept a record of every time Blah harasses me, and I’ve already built up quite a collection of evidence. 4 months, 5 different platforms and multiple instances of tracking down my location at a specific time are all enough for police action to be taken. And thanks to Blah’s non-existent facebook privacy settings, they will have no troubles finding him.

As for me, I’m not going to stop playing WoW, or stop being a nice person or enjoying my life. I will continue to block and report any attempts Blah makes to humiliate and harass me – and I will watch him self-destruct as fewer and fewer people want to be around him as a result. Because at the end of all of this, he’s not making me look bad, he’s just showing the world what a pitiful human he is.

 

Thank you to Thor, Spazz, Sirius, my guild officers, Z, and Spanky for their (sometimes unknowing!) support in all of this. If you are being harassed online, please talk to someone. If you are in Australia, visit the SmartSafe website for more information on where to go and what to do.

 

%d bloggers like this: