May 12, 2011

How to become a Gamer Chick – A Simple Guide

Step 1.  Be of the female species.  This is very important.  Sex changes do not count unless you were predisposition towards the feminine as a male.  Also, please ensure that you are homo-sapien as bovine, lupine, or any other form of mammal, avian, reptile, or plant life is unacceptable due to the lack of cognitive thought and/or opposable thumb.  Once you’ve determined if you are indeed a homosapien female, you may proceed to step 2.  If you cannot prove that you are so, then this guide will simply be humor to you rather than something of use.

Step 2.  Remember that as in all walks of life, gamer chicks can be beautiful or ugly, fat or skinny, nerdy or preppy (rare, but it happens).  It matters not to the game or those who you talk to on chat what you look like.  All that matters is how you play.  Throw aside your prejudices and play with confidence!

Step 3.  I call this step “The Baby Gamer Chick.”  If you have not gamed before, begin with something stupid simple, like Farmville.  If you cannot handle the simple task of running a pixelized farm, then you have no business sniping down the enemy.  Graduate slowly to Bejeweled Blitz and Zuma Blitz to test your adaption to speed.  Once mastered, play this game (  Once you can go for 18 seconds, you’re ready to graduate to real games.

Step 4.  Be not ye wary of violence.  While games like Farmville and Hello Kitty Island Adventures can be the gateway, you cannot stop there.  If the concept of head shots, zombies, portals, and assassinations make you queasy, then stay at the “The Baby Gamer Chick” stage of Farmville and Bejeweled.  For those of you ready to move on to the Big Girl games, my suggestion is to play with a group of friends who know what they’re doing.  Make sure that at least one of them is willing to actually TEACH you what each button does, and then prepare to be cremated by them in the weeks following.  Do not expect mercy, and do not ask for it.  You must experience the pain of being a newbie.

Step 5.  Practice.  Alone on campaigns, with your uber leet friends, however you want as long as you are improving.  Do not stay on the easiest level possible.  Jump right in at insane mode as soon as you’ve grasped the basic game mechanics.  Don’t be afraid of failure.  Shoot failure in the face with your developing skills.  You’ll soon be kicking ass with all your friends.

Step 6.  Branch out!  The world is your playground!  FPS, MMO’s, table top games, try them all and have fun!  That is the point of being a gamer chick, after all.

Well that…and kicking guys butts in PvP.

May 1, 2011

WoW Cataclysm: A Lady’s Perspective on Patch 4.1

The great sundering of Azeroth at the great hand of Deathwing changed the world as we knew it forever.   We’ve had four months to adjust to the changes we see in the landscape and quests, have had ample time to memorize the strategies for the new heroics, and some of the hardcore raiding guilds have even finished heroic raids.   And with the most recent patch, Patch 4.1, we have new instances that drop epic loot, a fantastic guild finder which will help you find a guild that fits your needs, incentives for healers and tanks queuing solo such as (very) rare pets and mounts, and cross-faction Bind on Account items. 

I’m in a casual raiding guild so the guild finder doesn’t interest me much at all.   However, I can definitely see the need and appeal.  Hopefully, this new device will help homeless aspiring raiders find their niche in Azeroth. 

Running with full guild groups, we’ve run the two new instances and were frustrated by how long it took to run the full instance for gear that was only slightly less than what we would find in Blackwing Decent or Bastion of Twilight.   A dungeon, heroic or not, should not take three hours to complete, even with wiping on a boss who is horribly bugged at the moment.  But despite the frustration, the new instances are rather amazing and I have already found some replacements for the few heroic blues I still had.   I can bet that within a week of running these, we will cut our time in half or better. 

I raid as an undead warlock, which means I am a pure dps class.  I have no options for tanking or healing.  So the incentives seem to me to be a bit unfair.  However, when speaking with friends who heal or tank for PUG groups, the incentives suddenly seem to make a lot more sense.  If you as a tank or a healer can manage to get a group of idiots who stand in fire, who fail to wait for three sunders (or whatever paladins and death knights use) so the tank has agro, who pull mobs due to careless auto running, who fail to refresh their form of crowd control, the list can (and usually does) go on and on, you certainly deserve to have something for your valiant efforts.  The issue I see with the incentive plan is that we will start seeing warriors attempting to tank in fury or arms gear, seeing tanks with PvP gear, healers who have half boomkin armor or even kitty druid leather, or are trying to heal with their Retribution set.   This means that fail PUG’s will become even more fail. 

Now for what was the most disappointing update for me personally.  Bind on Account items.  Before, things like heirloom gear could only be sent to those in the same faction (correct me if I’m wrong) as the level 80 you bought them on.  Now, Blizzard has made them account bound.   Does this mean they can cross servers?  Nope.   Am I a bit irritated at the misleading title?  Quite.   Am I going to quit simply because I can’t use heirlooms to level faster on a different server?  Nope.   I have friends on other servers and I greatly wish to be able to play with them sometimes.  However, I refuse to level a toon from 1-85 from scratch.  So, while you cannot send them to a different server as I (and I’m sure many many MANY others) had hoped, you can send them across factions.  So, if you are part of the….Alliance and are looking for some kick-ass Horde action, you may now do so in style, which I totally recommend.  For the Horde!

This is by far not a complete list of the changes, but to be honest these are the four I actually remembered reading and/or caring about.  Besides, there are much better things to be focusing on now, such as the new Fireflands raid coming in Patch 4.2.  -grin-


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