All Things Must Pass

February 23, 2008 at 12:00 pm (Survival)

I believe it was Pike who said that it was only a matter of time before she got tired of playing WoW, and decided to move on.

It’s kind of inevitable for all of us, really. It’s a lot like falling in and out of love.

The initial thrills of discovery, the excitement of something fresh and new, followed by closeness and comfort, which in turn, can lead to growing apart.

I, personally, have reached a plateau in my playing. My skill exceeds my gear. I’m not saying that I’m the best PVP Hunter on the planet, or that by any means I am the best Hunter, Survival or otherwise, on Ravenholdt.

To be truthful, though, if we’re talking top 10 on the server… the answer’s a definite yes.

In order to get past this plateau, I’d have to sink even more time into the game than I’m currently willing, able, or will be in the future. Countless hours in PVP, more hours doing absent-minded quests for a flyer just so I can get keyed, and even though I’ve never been to Karazhan, I have no doubt that, with the right people, I could do it in my sleep.

Speaking of which, raiding until 2 in the morning? Can’t really pull that. I’m not the spry youngster I used to be years ago. (I’m 22, I’ve earned the right to be somewhat crotchety.)

So Drotara and Warbull, sorry guys. Would’ve been nice to chat more and enjoy Illidan, but hey, what can you do?

As for my guildies, they’ll get on without me. I’ve spent the better part of a year trying to catch up to them casually, and it’s clear they don’t need me.

And in regards to my loyal readers, however many of you there are, thank you. Knowing that there is an audience out there that enjoys my writing is encouraging.

I’m walking away from the game at my prime. I’m not quitting, or making a big fuss. Account’s cancelled, changed my password to something I’ll never remember, and that’s it.

Site’s here if you need it.

Adios.

-Track

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Survival In Arena – “Two men enter! One man leaves!”

February 22, 2008 at 10:40 am (Arena, General Hunter Knowledge, Marksmanship, Survival)

So, here it is.

The long-awaited Arena article.

You may notice that I have no Arena ranking whatsoever, and you may also be asking, “What kind of qualifications does he have?! 2000 honor kills, 2 welfare epics, under a hundred resilience, what gives? Why’s this nubcake writing an Arena article?”

At which point, I’ll kindly remind you that this blog is mine, so pour yourself a nice glass of Shut Up and a Humility chaser, before you sit your ass down.

In Summation :

If you’re going in as a Survival Hunter, the odds will be against you. Arena matches are BG’s in a microcosm, boiled down from major objectives to how fast you can bring the other guy’s health bar to 0%.

It favors large and quickly delivered amounts of DPS, which you cannot deliver on the level of a Warlock or a Mage. You also lack the healing abilities of a Druid or Shaman, the cockroach-in-plate-appeal of a Paladin, the lockdown capabilities of a Rogue, and the pure Mama-said-knock-you-out attitude that goes with being an Arena-geared Warrior.

Your CC is trickier. Depending on your Survival spec, you may or may not even have Scatter Shot, which is considered an essential skill to the successful Hunter.

Point is, spend some time in the BG’s, and get good at PVPing with your class first.

You’ll get the gist of what you need to stay competitive very quickly.

Staying Competitive :

Namely, instants. You will love Arcane Shot and Multi-Shot more than life itself, and Serpent/Wyvern/Viper Sting will be big for you as well. Rapid shot = your best friend.

Your pet, also, must be carefully managed. Don’t send ‘em after guys on the other side of an obstacle; you’re just headed for a heartbreak. (I actually can’t stand Winger, but that reference was so good I had to toss it in.) Keep your pet within line of sight as much as possible, and recalling your pet is never a bad idea, if you think they’re in any kind of danger.

Traps, however, are a trickier matter. Placing them in anticipation of a foe’s movement is the goal; but good opponents will out-maneuver them, and be aware of your traps. Your best bet is to work on that skill in PVP so that you can effectively trap, hinder, or disable your opponent at a second’s notice.

You can make effective use out of all traps in Arenas, thus giving your Immolation, Frost, Snake, and Freeze traps a lot of play. Explosive Traps would work better in BG’s, where you’re spreading out a lot of damage, but as Arena’s focus is “The Quick and the Dead”, you’re either very fast about doing damage or you’re very dead.

In this case, disabling opponents comes into play, and a Frost, Freeze, or Snake Trap might be just as, if not more valuable, than an Immolation Trap.

Most games will be over once an opponent blasts you with a couple of “nuke” or “skill” spells. (Skillcoil, Skill Lance, Skill Shot, etc.), especially if you don’t have PVP gear to even things out.

Hence, spending equal time in BG’s is just as important as spending time in Arena; you can work on getting two pieces of gear, keep your requisite skills sharp, and use BG matches to test ideas for Arena matches.

Generally, the lower brackets you’ll start in won’t be too much of a worry, as competitors in this stage will be either at the ranks they’ve earned, just starting out, or totally Season 3 geared veterans looking for a high ranking. Don’t sweat it, have fun.

Your Approach :

Ideally, you want a high concentration of Agility, Stamina, and Intellect. I’d recommend, depending on the situation, to either use Aspect of the Viper or Aspect of the Monkey.

Viper will help keep your DPS going longer throughout the match, as it depends almost entirely on Mana, and Monkey will take your already-high Dodge rating (from stacking all of that agility, remember?) to new, dizzying heights.

As Arena gear will max out your physical longevity, you’ll want to figure out whether you want to extend your longevity by becoming a hard target to hit, or to increase the amount of time in which you can do large amounts of damage. As I said before, don’t forget the spell-casting element of your class. When you’re out of mana, you’re almost out of hope.

Also, consider the brackets you want to play in. You, as a hunter, should only be in 2v2 for fun and possible points; as there are other classes with better 2v2 synergies (LAWL NERF CYCLONE), you won’t contribute as much, and shouldn’t expect to do as well as you could in a larger group.

3v3 and 5v5 is where you’ll shine. You, as a hunter, can pick your battles and your strategies, and when you’re not the main DPSer, your flexibility increases tremendously. You may be engaged with teams where the main goal is to sleep tanks and wreck their healers, or drain their casters, etc. You’ll be much more successful in these environments.

This isn’t to say you can’t kick some 2v2 ass, but the other brackets are where you’ll make more of a difference.

Survival in Arena? :

Finally, there’s your spec to consider.

To be truthful, for what Arena is based around – creating and seizing momentary advantages – MM / SV is best. Going for Improved Stings, Scatter Shot, Silencing Shot, and some choice Survival Skills will get you the damage you need with the flexibility you crave. You most likely will do the best with an emphasis in Marksmanship, I’ll be honest.

But I can tell by that look on your face that you’re not.

If you want to spec Survival and do Arena, here’s what I recommend. This is all entirely debatable, and I open the floor to anybody who has a solid argument against some of these skills.

1) Improved Wing Clip. No questions. Get it.

2) Survivalist. You want more health. Debatable, but still recommended.

3) Surefooted. The +hit is negligible; it’s hitting other level 70’s. What you really want is the 15% to resist movement impairment.

4) Resourcefulness. Drop Thrill of the Hunt, and get this. We’re talking about Mana efficiency here. (Speaking of which, get 5/5 in Efficiency.) You will depend on your traps to a much greater extent, and being able to cut their cost, as well as their cooldown period, is key.

The reduced cost of your Melee attacks is also a strong determinant in picking this.

5) Mull over Exposed Weakness. It may or may not work for you. Like Thrill of the Hunt, it’s crit-based. You’re playing against people with resilience gear, and while you will still crit, it won’t be to the degree that it was in PVE.

Raw DPS will win the fight; also, you will rarely be standing around long enough to take full advantage of keeping EW up on a target. (I said RARELY. It can happen, but not often.)

6) Clever Traps / Entrapment / Humanoid Slaying. Get them.

7) Readiness. Possibly the most dangerous of all Survival Hunter tricks. Might even be worth giving up Scatter Shot for.

All in all, Survival will do what it is intended to do – be the pesky PVP hunter that you were meant to be. Your perspective should, likewise, shift; learn to think on your feet.

You have less time to plan for things, but you should spend time preparing your reactions. You’re not just the sniper-guy with a pet who’s good at setting traps, and occasionally melees.

In order to succeed as a Survival Hunter, you have to be a quick thinker, be able to adjust to any situation, know the abilities that will help you achieve your goals, and more importantly, don’t get lulled into a false sense of security.

Remember, Xutoo gave us a little Portuguese proverb back in January – “The water the river carries never returns, but the river will always stay.”

You’re the river, not a dam.

Once you’ve made mistakes, don’t obsess over them. Learn from them. Each match is a fresh learning experience, and don’t forget that, after all, it’s just a game.

Have fun!

-Track

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What makes a Track Hoof?

February 21, 2008 at 8:11 pm (Uncategorized)

I know you’re expecting a real, quality entry, and I assure you, I have them in the waiting.

But god damn it, I hate these effing cougars.

I miss my hunter, but I refuse to give up on Smackhoof until I, at the least, get Bear Form, and start ripping those rotten little furballs apart.

I miss many things. Notably, I miss Feign Death.

But I also miss my guns.

As I’ve said before, I love guns. It pains me to be forced into using a bow at any point in the game. Say what you will about the Tauren mythos, the pure psychological draw of Bull + Gun is undeniable.

It’s an unholy union. It doesn’t make sense. It lacks grace, finesse, and everything a giant Earth-loving cow should offer his party.

But the forbidden fruit has been tasted. And it is sweet. (I wanted to find a clip of a particular scene from Zoolander, but there’s none on youtube. For shame!)

To me, playing Trackhoof while not using a gun is unnatural. The aspect of me that comes out is not some careful archer, it’s a cross between John Cusack and John McClane.

In a nutshell, Trackhoof IS Martin Blank.

In real life, I don’t even own guns. I have a sword ( a memento of mine, from a friend), a couple of martial-arts trophies (I am deceptively dangerous for a fun-loving guy), and a small, ferocious, adorable attack dog.

But I love and respect guns. They’re amazingly crafted, human-designed equalizers. A big guy with a Beretta is as threatening as an old-age pensioner with a .45 Magnum. It’s an intriguing concept, and I’m a fair shot, so the firearm draw my attention.

Like ChainTrap said of his experience with being a Hunter, I too enjoy the idea of being a sniper-type character. I love the challenges of being tactical. I love the control aspect, and I like holding battles in the palm of my hand.

In the real world, I hold much the same role. I’m the organizer, the tactical mastermind, and resident damage control expert. I’ve helped avert some minor crises as well as major situations, from dressing wounds, psychological breakdowns, and run-of-the-mill alcohol poisoning to keeping keg parties from getting busted, stopping street brawls, and even saving a friend from failing her final exam.

I find it funny that, to an extent, games really reflect life.

You’d think that we’d choose to be people we aren’t, when we always end up being who we are.

Just, y’know, with horns.

-Track

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Leveling an Alt…

February 20, 2008 at 8:00 pm (Alt, Druid, Miscellaneous, Uncategorized)

So, continuing the departure with the alt, I was hanging on Illidan as Smackhoof, and said hi to Drotara (Hooray, another person I know on Illidan!).

Here’s a snippet of our conversation :

Drotara : Yeah, I plugged in the Dragonspine Trophy into my copy of Cheeky’s spreadsheet and it actually lowered my DPS… crazy
Smackhoof : Damn, that’s
Smackhoof : OMG COUGARS
Smackhoof : DAMN IT
Smackhoof : I swear, they’re like furry murlocs
Drotara : lol
Smackhoof : There were like 3 of them that popped out of nowhere
Smackhoof : and I thought, “Ok, Freeze Trap, Wyvern Sting, Pet’ll grab the other two”
Smackhoof : “OH CRAP, I’M A DRUID…um… roots and run like hell?”
———————————-
Drotara : Yeah, I hated leveling my alt… I mean, you’re level 8, you can’t even do anything yet!

Smackhoof is now level 9. And as soon as he dinged, he was eaten alive, AGAIN, by voracious Flatland Cougars.

I love having a new character that I enjoy playing, but i hate three things above all else.

1) I die, on average, about 823579862387568214234 more times than i did as a hunter of the same level, or my old priest. Which, being that I died a LOT, is unnerving. I am hoping that gaining the ability to go were-bear on their asses will change things.

2) I hate not having bag space. I will be saving my pennies and hoping people buy my auctions of Copper and Peacebloom, so’s I can get some nice bags. Really, the not-having bags is a major irritation, and will be rectified immediately.

3) I hate walking. HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE walking. Is there a way of cross-server bribing to get a GM to just insta-level me to 30?

-Track

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A quickie.

February 19, 2008 at 3:04 pm (Uncategorized)

I have a couple entries written up and ready to go, but I just want to toss a quick one out today, since I don’t have much time.

At the behest of a friend on Illidan and the advice of Triple B, I rolled a druid there.

Still haven’t gotten Bear form yet.

I want to be a furry tractor / killing machine, damn it.

-Track

Addendum : After a minor setback involving the longest Heroic Ramparts run ever and a 30 gold repair bill, my bank’s now at 250 gold (and one Primal Nether).

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Hunterology – Chestgear, a.k.a Straight Through The Heart

February 16, 2008 at 4:14 pm (Dee Pee Ess, Hunterology, Marksmanship, Survival)

In respect to the lengthy title, my zealotry for 80’s metal knows few bounds.

You remember my last article on headgear, yes?

You remember how one helmet, the Gladiator’s Pursuit, emerged as the clear winner, yes?

Well, those days are over, my friend. Welcome to what Survival is really about.

An ongoing battle of wits.

(My only advice, as a Survival Hunter, is to avoid land wars in Kalimdor, and never bet with Goblins when death is on the line.)

So, let’s look at the possibilities for pre-Kara gearing, shall we?

Gladiator’s Chain Armor
.

27 Agility, 3 sockets, a little Intellect, a TON of Stamina, and + Crit. A solid choice. You benefit from everything that goes with picking PVP gear, but the Crit also adds a nice boost for your damage in lieu of having a gratuitous amount of Agility.

Breastplate of Rapid Striking.

40 Agility, 20 Intellect, twice the AP of the Gladiator’s Chain Armor, and 20 hit. Usually goes for around 150 on the AH. No sockets, though, which earns a demerit. Otherwise, it’s an amazing piece of gear, especially if you need +hit and AP. However, it’s not the BEST choice.

Laughing Skull Battle Harness.

28 Agility, 29 Stamina, 20 Intellect, 40 AP, 3 sockets. Overall, if you get it, be happy. It’s a cool piece of gear, looks fine, and will serve you well. You can max out at 52 Agility, but you’ll give up the possible +2 MP/5 bonus.

Warden’s Hauberk.

WHAT THE?!? 39 Agility and 30 Stamina!? Yes, it’s clearly feral and rogue gear, but you can get this by being Honored with Cenarion Expedition, starting at Level 62, and with 3 +8 Agility gems in there, you’re looking at around 63 agility from one piece of armor alone.

It’s not quite the balance of stats you get from Level 70 gear, but it’ll hold you over with a solid amount of Agility on the cheap until you get some of the truly amazing Survival gear later in the game.

You also get +4 hit from socketing it with Agility gems. 😛

Felstalker Breastplate.

26 Agility, not too bad. 3 sockets, also not bad. 26 intellect, great deal. 52 AP, awesome. 20 hit with the other two pieces? GREAT.

The options for bracers pre-Kara are sparse; The Felstalker Bracers are probably the best gear you’ll get, easily, outside of the PVP bracers, which is why I’m not bothering to touch Bracers in terms of Survival Gearing. It’s either Felstalker, getting some Badges, or PVP Bracers; no choices.

The belt also kicks ass, and comes highly recommended, so don’t feel like you’re missing out on gear options because you pursue a set bonus.

Ebon Netherscale.

Yes, you could go for this. The bonuses are amazing. But it has NO STARTING AGILITY.

I don’t ever want to see a Survival Hunter wearing anything Ebon Netherscale. It’s Marksmanship armor. If you’re Survival and wearing it, you’ve betrayed your family, and thus broken my heart.

(On a side note, you don’t want the Kiss of Death from a Tauren.)

So, here’s the ranking, with labels :

1, Overall King of the HillGladiator’s Chain Armor
.

In terms of overall stat spread and + Crit, PVP gear’s still king. BUT, if you need +hit, or could spring for a little more Agility, you might want to sacrifice the + crit and go for some of the other choices.

1, 2 – Kings of Plus Hit. Felstalker Breastplate, Breastplate of Rapid Striking.

If you pick up all three pieces of Felstalker gear, and you’re a Leatherworker, you get a +20 hit bonus and some fairly solid +Agi and AP gear.

This is the path I’m going, as I also need points to get to 375 leatherworking. The BORS (in honor of the brave knight who got pwned by the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog) is an excellent choice if you’re going with PVP gear and need a little +hit in your life with more space to spare. You don’t get 3 sockets, but hey, who cares? You can hit stuff good.

1 – Pure Agility Awesomeness. Warden’s Hauberk.

Honestly, if you want to get balls-to-the-wall agility pre-Kara, you need this baby. Even with +6 agility gems, that’s still 57 agility. For more agility than you can shake a very large stick at, grab this, drop some +8’s in those sockets, and procure yourself a Major Agility-enchanted Terokk’s Quill. That’s 147 agility before you get a +6 to all stats enchantment to the chest.

Saucy.

Last – Hooray Creepy Lookin’ Mail Armor!. Laughing Skull Battle Harness.

Really, the only advantage it has over any of these others is that… well, it costs less. It has a better spread of stats than some of the other contenders, but if you already have Arena gear, you aren’t terribly concerned with Stamina, and as a Survival hunter, Intellect is important, but of secondary importance to damage-dealing stats. Hell, you can get 17 Intellect from the Gladiator’s Chain Armor, and way more +crit, which, in this case, makes the choice a no-brainer.

FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS GO FOR BAD ARMOR!

Also, you’ll have to gem carefully to get a +2 mp5 bonus. That’s good, but you want the chestpiece to be the piece de resistance in your arsenal, and if you wanted mp5, just shell out for this lovely piece of Shaman gear and leave your Survival Hunters Anonymous Membership Card at the door.

(sorry, dues are non-refundable, but feel free to grab a donut on your way out)

That’s all for now.

Happy Hunting!

-Track

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A necessary evil.

February 15, 2008 at 8:04 pm (Miscellaneous, Survival, Whoops.)

So, in between the regular, informative posts you’ve all come to know and love, including my upcoming addition to the Hunterology posts on proper Survival Gear (which will be here tomorrow), and the light-hearted fare, such as the guest-posts by Nightravyn and JoanRivers, a certain somebody’s pet Carrion Bird, comes the first installment in an ongoing saga of massive sacrifice and tribulation.

It is an epic story of personal struggle, sure to be passed down from generation to generation, just as many before have told the tales of Odysseus, Gilgamesh, King Arthur, and Johnny, soon they will relate the tale of Trackhoof, and his quest to save up the princely sum of a thousand pieces of gold for a flying mount.

The path is fraught with danger and obstacles abound; for the mighty Trackhoof must resist the temptations of the Orgrimmar Rib Joint, 50s Shot Night at the End of The World, his compulsive Auction House habits, and that house over at the corner with all them pretty mailbox-dancing ladies offering “jobs” from A to Z

(be strong, Track, be strong!)

It truly is a perilous task.

The choice pieces of wisdom he’s been offered?

“Do quests.” – Guildie.”

Dude, do quests. >_>” – My Co-Worker / Friend / Copycat blogger at Warriors Anonymous

“omgnoob! Go to Netherstorm / Shadowmoon, do quests, and get $$$! DO EET NAOOH!” – the sage advice of my ever-insightful guild leader, one Mr. BlackOmen.

So, that in mind, the tally begins.

Total as of 2/15/08:

210 Gold.

-Track

P.S. Was in Old Hillsbrad the other night.

As a Human, Track looks like Chuck Norris with a crew cut.

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A different perspective.

February 14, 2008 at 9:40 pm (Guest Post, Survival, Uncategorized)

Oh man, here he goes again.

I don’t know where he got that brilliant idea to sic five different enemies on me at once, but it’s getting old.

Sure, it’s efficient. I keep growling and screeching in their little dragon ears (yes, dragons have ears, and they have very sensitive hearing), and keep them off his back. But he does a ton of damage. Every other shot has these giant dragons yelping in pain and agony. But it’s agonizing, to me, at least, until he’s killed them off.

What makes it worse is that he’s healing me while he’s doing that.

I get hit, I get a couple of major cuts, and bam – they’re gone again, only to get re-opened. It’s like death by a thousand knives, but the wounds keep healing. Hurts like hell.

A minute later, he saunters over, loots them, skins their carcasses, and plods on to the next target.

Not even a thank-you. Not a “Hey, great job, Joan. You really held that aggro back there.” Sure, he throws me a Talbuk Steak once in a while, and I’m happy for the most part, but Trackhoof is really PISSING me off.

He got this brilliant idea to go hunt for a pet. Not for him, for somebody else. “I’m a big game hunter”, he says. “People pay handsomely for that little baby whelp, and you know how bad I want to fly.”

I do, actually. There were a couple ill-fated attempts where, in frustration, he decided to try and ride me around Shattrath… but let’s not talk about that.

Let’s talk about why I’m his favorite pet.

I mean, Zumulus is a little sparkplug – she’ll zap the bejeesus out of anything, but she can’t keep pissing people off the way I can.

And Swayze? That old hack’s been out of rotation for ages. I don’t know why Track keeps him around, except for old time’s sake.

Frankly, I liked Snuggles the Bear a lot better than that damn mangy cat. He couldn’t keep aggro if his life depended on it (and usually, it did), but he was a lovable sucker.

Oh, crap. Misdirect and two blue dragons comin’ my way. They’re kind of big this time. That’s okay, I like ‘em big.

Plus, I get to eat their entrails once he’s skinned ‘em.

It’s a good relationship.

-Joan

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HAPPY TWO MONTHS!

February 14, 2008 at 8:44 am (Survival, Uncategorized)

Well, folks, I am glad to announce that it’s been two months since Survival Hunters Anonymous has made its way onto the internets, and in my eyes, it’s been quite the success, starting up from nothing and becoming the little slice of kick-ass (with awesome sauce) that it is today.

To celebrate that, the fact that there’s some holiday to do with lots and lots of candy, and the fact that I put in my two weeks notice yesterday (HOORAY!), the following will be happening today:

1) I will be changing the layout to be more eye-friendly. I like it this way, but I found a cool one that I think you’ll dig. In terms of the Survival Hunters Anonymous motif, it’s going to be far less Fight Club-y and more “pistols at twenty paces at dawn!”. In other words, it’s going to be slightly more sophisticated.

2) I have a special guest entry from somebody very near and dear to my heart…one of my pets, the infamous JoanRivers. That’ll be up later.

That’s all. Thanks for coming, and here’s to many more!

-Track

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Blog Azeroth – A Balance of WoW and Life?

February 12, 2008 at 9:47 am (Blog Azeroth, Miscellaneous, Uncategorized)

I also, on top of loving Judas Priest, happen to dig myself some Scorpions; hence why I was torn about naming this post “Wind of Change“. I know it wasn’t a direct pun, but it felt like an appropriate name.

But, today’s topic – balance. Yes, that’s right, it’s time for a personal post, based off a topic I made at Blog Azeroth.

I’m somebody that’s always had a problem balancing things out. Not out of virtue of being excessive, just never cared enough to pay attention to it.

The only way I could keep the balance is by limiting what I did, and knowing when to tell myself to cut back. Hence why I’ve stopped drinking almost entirely. (That, and I like getting to sleep. Me having one drink even messes that up; which is why, as much as I adore bourbon, I’m not a true Survival hunter. :P)

Just this past couple of months, I’ve been keeping a schedule, and that’s been helping with everything else. I’ve got a lot going on in the personal life, i.e. applying for grad school, trying to get recommendations from my old school (been out for almost a year now), quitting my job, et cetera.

I keep a list of things I’ve done, and that helps me keep it all on track, so to say. (and yes, the script writing’s going fairly well. Got two solid ideas that I’m working on right now.)

But I do enjoy WoW, so I have to say I hate it when I get locked into something I’d rather not do – like, for example, grinding money for my flyer, getting keyed for Karazhan, and so on. In an ideal world, I could log on, get some PVP action, and maybe get in on a raid with my guild, laughing the whole time, and be done in 2-3 hours a night.

In real life, there’s hours of stuff that goes before that. Need the Flyer before you can do Arc, need a group for that and Steamvaults, need to get geared for Karazhan, need to have pots and buffs, organized groups, etc.

Now, since I try to keep it to about 2-3 hours a day, roughly, I can minimize that. I can farm a spot here, do nothing but BG’s for a spell, and pester my guild leader for invites to raids. 😛

Mainly, though, there are a couple reasons I still play, even though one could see this as a total timesink, and I’d be inclined to agree with them.

1) My real life friends that play. They’re up at my alma mater, I love ‘em, and it’s a way for us to keep in touch, and on top of all the good times we’ve had at each other’s side, we try
to spend time in groups helping each other out in-game.

2) My guildies. They’re good people, and thankfully, the rest of the officers aren’t loot whores / drama llamas. We all keep a good sense of humor about everything, except when we need to buckle down. (i.e. this week, in which everybody does SSC until, as our GL said, “We get it RIGHT and don’t wipe on the damn blind dude anymore!!”

3) The blog. It’s a nice creative outlet for me, I enjoy keeping in touch with you guys, and I love the challenges that writing a blog brings in terms of scheduling and researching. It’s like being back in college, writing a term paper, except liking what I’m writing, and putting in a couple clips at a time.

4) Being, as I mentioned in the previous entry, the WoW Equivalent of John McClane. I love action movies, and having the chance to be that kind of balls-to-the-wall quick thinking action hero is quite awesome. Honestly, if I could walk into Karazhan and leave a message for Prince on the body of the Big Bad Wolf saying, “I have a Sniper Rifle now, pew pew pew”, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

5) My real life friends.

As far as real life balance, I haven’t skipped work to play WoW, stayed up all night just to play (the few times I have, it’s due to genuine insomnia, and on those nights, I’m up until about 5 AM anyway.), skipped out on social events or hanging out with friends, or given up much of anything else.

Thanks to working retail, I don’t get much of those anyway, so I take the chance whenever it’s given to me to hang with my friends.

For me, WoW’s a bit of an escape. I’m a 22 year old college grad living at home with his parents, working odd hours at a mediocre job, and there’s no end of it in sight. It’s the chance to be something more, as well as the writing I’ve chosen to do about it, that’s helped me get through it.

(but, since I’m quitting the job, it means that there is some kind of end in sight!)

-Track

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