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Category Archives: improvement

Shared Topic: How WoW Has Changed My Life

This week’s Blog Azeroth Shared Topic is by Effy from Effraeti’s RPHow has WoW changed your life?

Such a simple question, but there’s so, so much to it. I think during the six years I’ve played, the game’s done a lot of growing up and changing…and so have I! And of course, WoW has played a very large part in how I think and feel about many different things.

More than anything, WoW has definitely changed my perspective and attitude towards people and life as a whole. In last month’s Battlechicken Monthly Challenge, I posted about entering the field of teaching. When looking at what I’ve learned from WoW, all of my experiences from the game and interacting with the community have really built on important characteristics that I think I’ll need and highly value as an upcoming school teacher. From my WoW experiences, my views and perceptions of many things have adapted and changed…which I think are good, as I start working more with students! So here are some of the key qualities that WoW has made me value highly and aspire to get better at myself:

“You’ll never believe what crazies I ran into in that last dungeon, Cubby! They were all cursing like sailors!”

Believe it or not, I think WoW was a great avenue for me to be more outgoing (which I didn’t use to be), even if it was with strangers online. In doing so, I definitely learned to have thicker skin — whether it was through dealing with asshats in the dungeon finder, or being able to take constructive criticism as a part of a core raid member. Through watching the in-game community change dynamically through expansions, I’ve noticed how easily derogatory slurs and insults are thrown everywhere. It’s commonplace!But also because I can always expect to see that kind of behavior everywhere I go (sad reality that may be), I’ve learned to stop taking things too personally, and to keep in mind that it is just a game in the end. Even if it’s become a very consistent form of stress-relief for the past few years and what some may call a lifestyle! ;) And hey, sometimes you just can’t help but bite back a little, too.

What is this, I don’t even…

Being able to step up and take the lead is something that after having played WoW, I’m a lot less scared and tentative about doing. This has to do with my feeling comfortable and familiar enough with the game now, as I sure wouldn’t have the guts to even suggest ideas to people if this were back in TBC! In the above picture, I’d zoned into an LFR on my warlock alt and saw the entire platform covered in purple flames. I’d died even before I finished the loading screen! Then Ultraxion landed and snuffed out the handful of people still alive. Everyone jumped right in and started pointing fingers and calling names — but what good is that? I didn’t want to wait in another 30 minute DPS queue again. I went ahead and asked the two tanks if they knew what they were doing, and they had never even been there. After a few other group members chimed in to explain the fight, the boss was down in the next try. And all it took was someone to push the group towards the correct strategy and working together!

Children from the Stormwind Orphanage

We run into so many interesting (and sometimes just downright terrible) people in the game, but I think WoW has taught me to be so much more tolerant and patient. Maybe these people have a hard life outside of the game and use the pixels as a vehicle to steam off their stress. Maybe they in fact really just are immature, rude, or arrogant as a person, and it’s hard to completely change an individual’s personality. While these definitely aren’t excuses for offensive behavior, I’m more understanding that there might be some outlying issue making that person the way they are. That’s the way they will be. They’ll crave for attention, be annoying, whine a lot, and point fingers everywhere, but in the end, they’re just children. And sometimes you have to point them in the right direction and give them a talking to, and sometimes you just have to let them be themselves and leave them alone…

One, two, three, eleventy wooly mammoths!

Finally, I think the biggest changes and things I’ve learned from WoW have to do with time management. Nobody teaches you how to manage a schedule or keep up with tasks or prioritize in life. Hardly do you ever see anyone learn that from a class. Having played WoW from both semi-hardcore raider as well as very casual perspectives, I’ve noticed my priorities (both in-game and IRL) changing more and more with each expansion. In TBC/WotLK, I regularly raided as a holy paladin and was extremely active as an officer of my guild. Now in Cata (and I expect the same for Mists), I’m incredibly casual but have an embarrassingly large army of alts. Back then, my paladin was my “main” and I did absolutely everything on her — achievements, pets, mounts, you name it! Now, I’m incredibly attached to all of my alts, and don’t really have a main. And even though I don’t raid anymore, I still make sure to gear up all of my characters as best I can through non-“raiding” means (LFR/Valor).

I think much of the time management portion goes hand in hand with “growing up” and just taking on so many more responsibilities, especially now that I’m going into teaching. Instead of the long-houred sessions of play time I had during college, I sometimes even have nights where I hardly log in but to check mail/AH…and even nights where I won’t log in at all. (/gasp!) And while I do sometimes terribly miss what I consider “real” raiding and being on a core raid group, I’ve learned to really enjoy the small and fun stuff that I can enjoy without devoting all of my time to a guild and raid team. I’m always still on the lookout for silly things like giant mammoth parades in Dalaran… :)

Week 2 Challenge: Why Do You Do What You Do

Sorry, I simply couldn’t resist. It just had to be done!

I recently found Ambermist’s Newbie Blogger Initiative Weekly Challenges over at Battle Chicken. Sadly, I missed last week’s challenge topic about building your own boss, but I’ll definitely try to keep up with the upcoming topics and highly recommend fellow new bloggers to check it out!

Week 2 Challenge: Why do you do what you do?

I’ll answer this challenge as “Why do you play?” There’s so many things I love about WoW, and the things that amuse me that I have fun with far outweigh the sometimes-frustrations of the game. Here are 5 reasons (or random things) that keep me playing.

  1. My Characters – I’m pretty attached to all of my characters, especially those that I’ve spent xx-day’s worth of /played time on. While I don’t play on an RP server, each of my characters definitely have their own personality and vibe when I play on them. I love them all dearly! My only complaint? Wtb moar character space, plzkthx! I’d even pay $25 for an extra space. Not kidding!
  2. Self-Improvement & Learning – I’m always trying to improving myself and my characters — whether it’s respeccing my talents, improving my gear, maxing out profs, or even achievement hunting. Although I’ve retired from raiding (minus LFR) and play less, I still push to have my characters the best that I can possibly make them within my ability. There’s always room for improvement, and I’m always ready to learn more.
  3. The Small Things - I like all the detailed, small things in-game. I’ve leveled Archaeology to the max on three characters and have Associate Professor/Professor on two. I wish there were more Archy achievements! I love fishing and cooking also. Needs moar recipes! I’m so excited about cooking in MoP! I’m constantly amused by the tiny details, from the multitudes of different consumables found in-game, NPC interactions, all the critters, exploring and viewing scenery….and more. Yay for  being easily distracted! ;)
  4. Healing – I’ll probably write about healing in more detail in the future, but it really is one of my favorite things to do in the game. Friends know me for heal spamming random people when I get bored. (Sorry, unsuspecting target!) I love how reactive it is, especially how we have to overview the whole raid but also manage priorities and/or heal assignments. I’ve always loved the “behind the scenes” kind of feel I get in all settings, too. In conjunction with #1, I’m always working towards becoming the best healer that I can be, no matter what character I’m healing on. (I even have bandages-spec ready on my rogue, ok? Just kidding…sort of! I have had to bandage a tank on a Hour of Twilight boss once, but that’s a story for another day.)
  5. Friends, Family & Guild(s) - And of course, the biggest motivations to keep playing are friends and (sometimes) family that decide to join me in my adventures in Azeroth and beyond! Without them or my guilds, I don’t know who I’d tell my dumb jokes to and spaz about silly things. Sometimes I’ll even just get on to chat with guildies, RealID friends, etc. while I’m working on other things in real life. To me, it’s a great way to keep in touch with people I don’t see face-to-face on a regular basis!

There are a lot more things I could list that I enjoy about WoW, but those are probably the most important ones! I do sometimes get bored of the game, but not for long. Those times are just my cue to take a quick break and do other things, but I always end up coming back to play eventually, and I expect to continue playing for quite a while. :)