A year goes by, part 3…

(( Well, things are rocky with Ovistine and her mum. But what about Geoffar? ))

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Dec 13th, 2010
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A year goes by, part 2…

And now that Ovistine's got her real body back… how's her mum doing?

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Dec 6th, 2010

A year goes by…

A year goes by, and things change. When we last left Ovistine, she'd accidentally used a dimensional ripper to trade bodies with an elvish version of Ovistine — and here we go, catching up rapidly:

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Nov 30th, 2010

Dimensional Ripping For Dummies

"So the way I see it is this," Ovistine said, drink in hand, looking more cheerful and animated than Valinar had seen her in ages. "The goblin-type engineers have this whatnot called a Dimensional Ripper, am I right?"

"Well, yes."

"An' you've got to figure they have — well, dimensions, aye? That they rip people through?"

Valinar's left ear twitched. "Yes…"

"An' — now, follow me on this one — presumably those other dimensions have folks like us in 'em, aye? Or else when we ripped through 'em, we'd just go POOF."

"I'm not so certain about that," Valinar said, but Ovistine was already waving a hand, braids flapping out to her sides.

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Jul 23rd, 2010

Weirdly, I can't delete my account online.

For unknown reasons (ahem), the page one would normally use to cancel a WoW subscription isn't working. Saving this to try again later — this is what I'm C&Ping into the field. (And, okay, full disclosure: I'm canceling my second account, not the main account. Yet.)

I'm horrified by RealID becoming mandatory on the official forums, where people are often referred by support — in other words, if we encounter a bug or technical problems, we're required to link our real names to an MMO in a worldwide public forum to get help. It was bad enough that RealID didn't offer the ability to have an official, perhaps difficult-to-change pseudonym, but this is over-the-top. Privacy may be more and more an illusion these days, but that doesn't mean I need to pay money to give it up.

Believe it or not, I am actually less inclined to call and speak to a representative to make this happen — whenever I've had two accounts and needed to close one of them in the past (credit cards, etc.), the phone representatives have mucked it up. (I once had a support rep inadvertently close my main credit card while supposedly closing one I wasn't using. I gave them my credit card number, of course — the one I wanted closed, not the other one handled by that banking institution — but…)

(Incidentally, if anyone has suggestions for what to file this under, I'm all ears. I've been categorizing my complaint under [Support Issues] -> [Terms of Use/EULA disagreement], but is there a better place?)

ETA, from Twitter: What a surprise, the support line for cancelling your account is FULL and they tell me to post on the forums. So even if I called, they'd just… tell me to post on the forums. This is stunningly bad customer service, guys.

ETA 2: From a cached post on Google that has since been removed from the official forums (and why it was removed, I don't know), discovered that part of what breaks the "cancel subscription" page is going over the character limit in the comments box. My 514-character initial comment did not go through, but my 400-character comment did. My second account is now deactivated, and expires 7/29. My next billing date for my primary account is 7/26, by which time I'm really hoping they'll have some response to the public outcry.

Here's what I eventually sent (a shortened version of the above):

It was bad enough that RealID didn't offer the ability to have a pseudonym, but now that the official forums will require use of first and last name, we are required to link our real names to an MMO in a worldwide public forum in order to get tech support/report bugs. This is over-the-top. Privacy may be more and more an illusion these days, but that doesn't mean I need to pay money to give it up.

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Jul 8th, 2010
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"I want my brain back."

Ovistine could have spent weeks rehearsing exactly the right way to approach the Bronzes — had, in fact, spent several days thinking about how to formulate her request — but somehow the minute she ran into Chromie, it all flew out the window.

"Look, ma'am," she said, planting her hands on her hips, "this bit with my head being half-lost to time is all well an' good, but I want my brain back. I want it back how it was."

Chromie tilted her head and looked Ovistine over, head-to-toe. "You are who you were, and who you are now. All of you is still you. What is it you're looking for that you don't have?"

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Jun 21st, 2010
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In which I cheat on WoW with other games

I have been kinda quiet on the topic of WoW due to the fact that I'm struggling with some raid burnout. My raids are progressing just fine — my 10-man has gotten its first Arthas kill and knocked out a couple of hard-mode fights — and my 25-man is up to Arthas and should be kicking him in the face this week. (Or the other way around. You know how boss fights go.) My characters are more or less in stasis, RP-wise. So I thought I'd do one of those "Other Games I Am Playing/Have Recently Played" posts, just to have something new on the blog…

  • The Beatles: Rock Band. I would like to say that I remained strong in the face of finding out that the XBox 360 has Gamer Achievements (my characters in WoW aren't achievement-happy, after all!), but that would be a bald-faced lie. I am currently working on "How Could I Dance With Another?" (100% on Expert Bass on "I Saw Her Standing There") and "That's It! You've Got It!" (350-note streak on bass on "Hey Bulldog", which I think will probably need to be done on Expert to even have 350 notes). Still, for having owned the game for less than a week, I think I'm learning pretty fast.
  • Starcraft II Beta (only not). I… installed it. But I really play the Warcraft and Starcraft RTS games for the story, not the multiplayer "stomp people's faces in/get your face stomped in" experience — I pretty much did that to exhaustion in college — so having discovered that single player mode is not available in the beta, I'm not so sure I want to bother.
  • Defense Grid. Defense Grid is made of win and awesome and more win and more awesome. It's a terrific tower defense game, and I'm having a lot of fun with it. Tower defense games are very me — I like defensive strategy games. (This may have something to do with why I like healer classes in WoW.)
  • Portal. I recently played through Portal again. I found it just as much fun the second time through, only I was better at it this time around. :D That was a nice surprise! Normally I'm not so great at 3d-shooter style games.
  • Cogs. I really need to reinstall this. (I recently lost my entire hard drive to a crash, so I'll have to start it over. Groan.) It's like a 3d version of Pipe Dream/The Very Clever Pipe Game, in which you move around sliding pieces of a given puzzle to get steam from one end of a pipe to another (or turn cogs which turn other cogs, or any number of other things). It has a really pretty steampunk theme, and as a bonus, you can get your menus and other information in English or LOLCat.
  • The Sims: World Adventures. I can only play The Sims for so long before I feel like I've beaten the game, but the World Adventures expansion was tons of fun. I really enjoyed the puzzle-game-esque nature of the "adventures" you go on in China, France, and Egypt. I'm looking forward to the next expansion, which is coming out next month.

That's about it, I think. I'm still looking over XBox and Wii games to see if there's anything else I'm interested in playing — if you have puzzle game/strategy game/casual game recommendations for XBox and Wii, I'm all ears. :)

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May 12th, 2010
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Is SI:7 recruiting dwarves?, and The Tail of The Tinkering Shaman

(( With Ethel's growing concern about Tiforis and Ovistine's continuing worry over Valinar — what with both of those lads having Shadow's Edge whispering to them now — a pair of dwarves found themselves wondering if it might be good to keep a constant eye on their menfolk. But how to get that eye into Icecrown Citadel, close enough to watch their battles? Well, a certain shaman was putting together a Jeeves, and… ))

Teu hummed to herself as she applied her shiny new Gnomish Army Knife to a King's Amber. Valyrie could barely watch; such a nice gem to be cut in such an amateur fashion! On the other hand, lately Teu had been making all sorts of neat things–target dummies (some of which exploded in a terrific burst of color when Valyrie attacked them), explosive sheep, and boxes and boxes full of saronite bombs.

"Do I get some?" Valyrie had asked, only to be met by an indignant puff of air and a five-minute lecture on how bombs are not for inside the house. As if the furniture didn't need replacing anyway!

It had brought a bit of company by, which was also welcome; Teu had mentioned that the tiny braided dwarf was coming over to help Teu put together her new robotic butler, who was apparently going to clean the house for them. Valyrie was entirely in favor of this plan. When the knock came at Teu and Valyrie's door, Valyrie hopped up and went off to answer it.

The braided dwarf looked up, and up, and squinted at Valyrie. "'Ey there, Miss Valyrie. Is Teu ready to get started putting her Jeeves together?"

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Feb 22nd, 2010

I think that I shall never see…

…a healer HoTter than a tree.

Ovinia stands in front of a defeated Keristrasza.

Ovinia puts down roots in the Nexus

Ovinia is now 72 and shaking her leaves like nobody's business! While it will take some time for me to put down roots into the resto tree, I'm happy to have branched out this way! Healing as a tree is fun beyond beleaf!

Okay, okay, I'll stop, really.

It's a very different experience from healing as a disc priest (SO MANY BUTTONS OMG) or a resto shammy (everyone stand together in a pile! now chain heal! chain heal like nobody's business!). I haven't actually specced my paladin holy in LK, so I can't speak to that, although I can't help but think it is also very different from tree-healing. ^_^ It's a combination of constantly being on the edge of your seat and getting to relax and think "wow, my HoTs will just keep everyone alive with no problem!" the whole time. I think I was more intent on Grid than I've been in ages, though hopefully I didn't stand in much.

I also got a nice new belt and a quest-reward cloak out of the deal, which was great, too. And I got to flip Grand Magus Telestra the bird, because HAHAHA OVITREE COULD HEAL THROUGH THAT. (Being flung all over the place just isn't a shaman's favorite fight mechanic ever…)

Now that I've inflicted myself on friends (thanks, guys!), I'm tempted to wander through more random dungeons, trying my hand at this tree-healing business. I wish Ovinia had more of an RP backstory, but she is more or less a blank slate. I have a vague idea that her favorite shapeshift form is actually her aquatic form, because she loves the water, and that when not adventuring, she actually lives on (or owns?) a boat near Darkshore (and has been a part of a few different boats' crews over the last several decades), but I have no further ideas yet. Kaldorei RP has a lot of potential, but it's just never been as close to my heart as, er, certain other races. Still, it's time to get over the ancient dwarvish fear of trees, I think! It'll be fun seeing what tree-healing is like in a little more detail. (It may also make me a little less trigger-happy in my raids, so I can stop sniping so many heals out from under our excellent druid healers. Ahem.)

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Feb 18th, 2010
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RP impatience and ICC

(By which I don't mean "RPing impatient characters". That'd be a different post!)

How often do you get impatient for something big to happen for your character? Whether it's a wedding, a breakup, a character revamp, or just having the opportunity to RP with a well-loved but rarely-seen character, there are often circumstances that prevent us from being able to snap our fingers and declare "boom! done!" about something.

When it's a matter of lining schedules up, that can be frustrating. When it's a matter of many plots weaving together properly, that can be challenging.

When you are waiting for Cataclysm to come out so you can race-change your most-logged-in character and have her take over the mantle of the character you still consider your main, it can drive you UP THE DAMN WALL.

In a way, I kind of wonder if the impatience I'm feeling toward getting to play Ovistine full-time again is rubbing off on poor Teuthida. Teuthida's major plotline, I felt, had a lot to do with Kael'Thas — she and Valyrie originally set off on the mission to retake Tempest Keep, ended up on the Exodar, and after many adventures, took the bastard down. Her real goal at this point has always been to help rebuild Shattrath City and try to help out at the orphanage. But off she trots into Naxxramas… Ulduar… Trial of the Crusader… Icecrown Citadel… not because she wants to, but because I love playing a shaman.

How's she doing now? Well, she's not really enjoying herself in ICC; she comes home smelling terrible, she's not entirely convinced Arthas can be beaten, and she simply doesn't have the same kind of background with the heroes of Azeroth that other people do. (She barely blinks an eyelash at Muradin Bronzebeard, and has yet to figure out why Muradin calling out "By me own beard!" makes several members of her adventuring party raise their boomsticks or steins in a loud /cheer.) Arthas, ultimately, worries her a lot, and she's not so sure her time is best-spent there in ICC, as opposed to being home with Valyrie or going back to Shattrath and trying to make sure a few orphaned Draenei have a really great next few years (even if the next few years are all that's left).

I, on the other hand, pretty much love ICC. The fights are challenging but not impossible, the plot is great, and I'm really excited to see how it all works out for us (PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD NO SPOILERS). I'm really having a good time there, and it's nice to know that there's still so much new content ahead of us.

Mind you, there's an RP reason for Ovistine not to be in Icecrown Citadel right now — with her memory and abilities as fractured as they are, she knows she can't be trusted to go into the front lines. She doesn't know when her healing abilities will be cut off again — it could happen at any moment. She doesn't know whether she'll always be able to harness chaos and walk in shadows, or if that's at some risk of going away with the light as well. ICC is really dangerous, and Ovistine's not about to put her friends at risk by asking them to bring along a priest who may or may not be reliable, albeit through no fault of her own.

There's still Ovi's memory to sort out before she can really tackle the other alternative, the one she hasn't even thought about yet — harnessing healing energies the way the Wildhammers do it. I have a character in play who's intended to be a possible pathway to that end, but I'm leaving my options open — I don't want to lock myself into one true storyline, since I think improvising Ovi's story has been an awful lot of fun over the past several months. :D But at some point, I should probably write up a quick bit on Varrim Featherstoneshire (Fanshaw), a former gryphon rider who took a very bad fall and is not even a little bit happy about being grounded for the foreseeable future. :)