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The first draft of my wedding present.

So I ended up hiring the amazing PVProject (http://vettoriartwork.daportfolio.com/) to do a 300 USD commission as a wedding gift to my soon-to-be-husband.

And since we met ingame, what better gift, than a piece of artwork of our vanilla chars? We met ingame, I played a human priest, and he played a dwarf priest.

The first sketch is here:

All credit and copyright to PVProject ofcourse.

I have only asked for the axe to be changed to a staff or mace – since priests cannot wield axes ingame.

I can’t wait to see the fully coloured, 60×80 picture, which will be decorating our home in the future.

And before you ask; no my boyfriend is not on twitter or following this blog 🙂

Thanks Blizzard, for my soon-to-be-husbond!

As some of you possibly read on Twitter, I am getting married August 8th!

We are not religious people, so we are going to the mayors office to be married, and furthermore planning to keep the celebration very casual and informal.

We have rented a house for a weekend, and ordered a butcher to provide a feast, including an entire roasted pig, plenty salads, potatoes in various ways, pasta and so on. For dessert we definitely plan on icecream, as it’s my huge weakness. Starters are yet to be decided. Then we are asking friends and family to come by, eat and drink as much as they desire, and then go have a cosy time enjoying the company.

We will have games and such – the house are surrounded by very nice nature and a big lawn, so our loved ones can play football and petanque or if possible, we might even borrow a small pool somewhere – in case it’s hot weather. Furthermore the house has it’s own bouncing castle – big enough for childish adults – so I’m certain we’ll have a fun day 🙂

I tried to convince the boyfriend to get an orc themed wedding – but sadly he was not excited about that idea. I would have loved it personally, but oh well… I guess that’s what they mean, when they say relationships are about compromises.

Don’t tell him, but I’m planning to get some awesome artist to commission a big painting of my vanilla char and his vanilla char together, aka the chars we played when we met ingame, as part of his wedding gift.

I still remember the day, back in vanilla, when we talked on MSN, and he admitted that he might have grown a bit fond of me.

I recall how he got drunk in the early beginning of our relationship, and I knew he was one of the good guys, when he sat down on the floor, hugging my leg in his drunken condition, and told me he loved me.

We have shared a lot of good times ingame and IRL, and our share of not-so fun times as well. When I tried to commit suicide at age 24, he left work to fetch me, got me prof. help, and spent time with me ingame, rerolling low level alts, just to be a bit on our own, as I struggled being social with my guild etc.

Over the years, he has always been there, even when I’ve been impossible, yelled at the poor guy, or cried my heart out due to my condition.

After 9,5 years, he still giggles at my facial expression each night when I brush my teeth.

After 9,5 years, he still supports me everyday, and I’ve gotten to love every single oddity about him, good and bad.

My boyfriend sings two words of a song, then laughs at me, as I cannot help but continue it… every single time.

And he looks at me with a big smile, and love in his eyes everytime we watch a movie, and I either cry, bury my head beneath the blanket in fear, or move my lips accordingly to the words spoken on the screen.

And yes, sometimes he annoys me too, when he insists on me seeing some trailer, I’m not interested in seeing, or fails at keeping the apartment clean with me – that guy just doesn’t know how to use a vacuum cleaner.

But you know? In the end of the day, I feel very very lucky, because I joined a guild in vanilla, and met my boyfriend ingame. Thank you Blizzard.

The status of the official wow forums.

So, in this blog, I’m going to comment on the -EU- forums, more peticularly the realm forum where I used to hang out from time to time.

I’ve stopped writing guides there, I’m mainly commenting on my own guild thread or a rare topic now and then, but by no means in the same degree as I used to.

Why, you might ask?

Well, the voting system, which I strongly dislike is one thing, I’ve written about that before, so I won’t repeat myself there.

But frankly, the generally allowed toxic tone, how people jump on you, sometimes in groups, and how namecalling and badmouthing, trolling and hostility is allowed, is more than enough to discourage even the most friendly and polite poster.

Report them, you might say. And yes I do report them whenever possible, but we never see any consequences, a 3 day ban is hardly felt and the guys are back to continue.

These days, we are actually being downvoted and told off for being helpful and for speaking common sense and supporting good behaviour.

It is not a forum I wish to engage in, hence I’m sticking to my blog and twitter.

To give you an example, in an offtopic thread the other day, a girl told about her beloved cat, who recently passed away, and granted us a short little video of it drinking water, while growling almost like a dog. A cute, non-offensive story about a pet she had loved and sorely missed.

A guy replied to her post, quoting her video and made comments as if he was pleasuring himself due to watching the movie.

The girl ofcourse reacted rather strongly, to a guy fapping to her deceased pet.

Anyone who tried to speak reason, or to agree with her right to be upset was downvoted and told off, the others told the girl herself she was an attentionseeker and should quit whining pretty much.

So goodbye wow forum. Until the day Blizzard decides to clean up their forums, I won’t participate. I will not support a field for trolls and hostility to grow in.

So… I think we’ve gone viral…

A guy shared this picture on wow reddit, and within a day, it has been viewed on Imgur 360k times.

I’m baffled. I had no idea such a small thing could ever turn into something so huge. I joined the thread as OP wrote to me ingame, and told about it, and I must say, I’m grateful for all the positive feedback from gamers in both America and EU.

I guess I might as well explain the concept behind Secret Santa, hopefully it could inspire others to do good to their community.

Secret Santa started, when a -at the time- random guy approached me ingame, shortly before Christmas.

He informed me, that he had enjoyed my posts on realm forum so much, that he wished to grant me 20k gold as a Christmas gift.

I was really touched, but at the same time felt a bit odd accepting so much money from a stranger – I mean, we all know the “random guy gives money to wow girl, because girl.” sentiment.

I thanked him very much, but declined politely, yet he insisted. After a while, we agreed that I would accept the money, but not for myself. Instead I would share them with our realm, by tricking people into doing something nice, replying kindly to a newcomer, invite newbies into RP, or simply just by watching a player do a random act of good to another player. The rewards should go to random people, no matter if they are on anyones friendslist or not. I believe we have given money to two people I know ingame so far, the rest have been complete strangers to me.

Any nice little act of positive, friendly, constructive, helpful behaviour can be rewarded if the players are lucky enough for us to notice.

We gave out 27 k gold during Christmas, continued past New Year, then took it up again during the anniversary of our realm, and trust me, I’m certain we’ll see more of this by easter, if not before.

As I write this, more than 50k gold has gone out, most from our own pockets – 7k donated kindly to us however from players who got inspired.

My friend prefers to stay anonymous, due to comments like this:

So we agreed, I would be the face behind this, as I’m quite used to being noticed already. Make no mistake however, my friend is reading the Reddit thread as well, and is equally stunned by the response as I am.

Our goal and purpose with this?

We wish to bring a smile upon the faces of our fellow players.

We wish to do our little to improve the community, by focusing on and promoting good behaviour.

We hope to inspire others to do what they can to help newcomers and their fellow gamers.

-Zugrah

That time of the year…

So it’s starting… the days grow longer, it begins slowly to get warmer, no more ice and snow.

People are celebrating valentines, new couples emerge and jumps out, as the nature welcomes them with open arms…

People go to the beach, into the garden, barbequeing their hearts out.

Co-workers come in, flashing their tans.

And…

I get busy at work.

From now on and until June 30th, I’ll be expected to work 10-15 hours extra each week compared to normal – in periods a lot more.

My short sparetime will be devoted to WoW, and thus I will remain pale when everyone else turns brown.

This is not a big deal. Except… I’m addicted to wow. How will I manage without my weekly 50 hours of fun? My garrison growing lonely… my guild only seeing me… well… 30 hours a week… (It’s WAY too little!). Frankly – I already found 50 hours a week online to be a bit too little for my taste.

There’s only one solution. I must dump my boyfriend (just kidding, but seriously, it sucks).

Thanks Blizzard. You got me hooked. When do you make a matrix connection, so I won’t ever have to deal with IRL again?

Honestly, I would accept it.

My comment on the wow-forum vote system.

Now, we have had the voting system in place for a while on the EU forums now. WoW players gets to upvote or downvote other players posts.

While this seems nice and fine on the paper, it sadly opens for a cesspit of abuse.

We saw it as a MVP once posted a helpful post on the Argent Dawn EU forum, and got 120 dislikes, as the reply was perhaps less well thought out. It was followed up by an infamous goblin from the Iron Vultures, who made a post on customers forum, congratulating said MVP on “being the most disliked person ever on Argent Dawn forum.”

We have seen it countless times, as a dwarf made himself unpopular due to some events on alliance. He has not been able to post anything ever since, without getting heavily downvoted, no matter how friendly and helpful his posts might be from time to time. I’m not saying his previous actions were alright, I don’t know the factual happenings well enough to take a side, but what is happening nowadays is pure bullying if you ask me.

Finally I can give myself as example. I have a couple people on the realm, who dislikes me for various reasons, I also have a person who has stalked me for 1,5 years ingame and on twitter, after I kicked him from a guild due to bad behaviour.

I’ve received friendly messages like this one, ingame:

And the up- and downvotes are just another way for him to be after me. Often my guilds recruitment page had all their posts downvoted -1 on all posts, so we had to go upvote it after, to even it out. I cannot prove it’s him ofcourse, but I feel rather convinced, as he has shown a rather large stamina in his efforts so far.

I decided to give out money to random strangers on the realm, together with a friend, during the Christmas we gave out 27k gold, promoting friendly, helpful attitudes. We decided to repeat it to celebrate our realm turning 10 years on February 11th, and even posting a thread like that, gets me downvoted by those who hate me.

This has caused me to not write much more on realm forum, any RP guides I’ll make in the future, will be placed on my blog instead.

I know several others have stopped writing on wow forums due to downvoting-abuse, and frankly it saddens me to see the good, constructive, friendly posters being shunned away by this.

My take on lore vs. RPG and fanfiction

So as those of you, who know me ingame might be aware, I’m a sucker for lore, the canon lore that is.

I’m not a huge fan of lore violation in roleplay.

That means, 30 year old orcs who were born in Durotar, Yaungols and Drakkari trolls who joined the Horde, a bloodelf who were raised by Amani trolls, or healing blademasters… No thanks. All of those, are examples I’ve encountered ingame.

I am aware some of the more special snowflakey concepts can be open for debate – like half human-orcs, I’m not a fan of such either, however, unless the story is told very well.

“Whoa, whoa whoa!” You might say: “What about the religion your clan has?? That’s clearly not lore!”

And you are right. It is implemented, recognised and acknowledged as utter fanfiction. It is not forced upon anyone to believe and accept this, especially not outside the clan.

What I can accept, and which is supported by lore, is that clans each have their own “thing” – Frostwolves are multicultural, Blackrocks drown their weaklings by birth, Stormreavers are warlocks, and Laughing Skulls are insane.

As a roleplayer, I enjoy player added ideas, when no claims are made, that it’s lore, if the story told is actually good, and when people are prepared to face any IC consequences from their actions. Also, I appreciate it only, if it does not violate any present lore.

And please – do not read any dodgy sentence in the RPG’s and claim that I should accept your unique char (which is rarely all that unique, just poorly told, far fetched and almost impossible to believe) as it’s lore. RPG is not canon – for a reason.

Regarding the “religion” within the Blackjaw Clan, it is presented as stories shared within that clan, possibly due to the huge influence a big number of warriors have had on the culture.

At some point, some of the warriors wished for more understandable believes, rather than the more mysterious ways of a Shaman, especially as the Shaman struggled communing with elements and ancestors after the blooddrinking of Mannoroth. That said, some of the Shaman within the clan, might frown upon this belief.

With a very imaginative leadership within the guild, we have over the years developed clan-specific rituals, dialect and culture.

http://blackjawclan.webs.com/

I enjoy the clan fanfiction within the Blackjaws, for the originality, quality and thought which has been put into it.

Just as I will accept any -good- story from other players, if they actually manage to explain my char, why their Drakkari was not kill on sight, when they first met Vol’jin’s Horde.

My char might not approve of their attempts to tell, and she might not approve of their presence however. That is IC consequences from being a Drakkari within the Horde. You chose it, suck it up.

Being a child

As a 32-year old accountant IRL, people are often quite surprised to realise I live half my life as an orc.

And yes, I guess it is quite odd, even though I know many like me inside this online world.

One of the things I notice once in a while, is how people hide it IRL, afraid to acknowledge their inner geek, admitting they are a child deep within.

I’m not sure I follow why.

I got my very first accountant job due to playing WoW – turned out my boss was hardcore raider.

I got my current job due to being a computer geek – turned out they lacked a computer savvy person.

And yes, I brought my Frostwolf plushie to work the other day, they chuckled a bit with me, and accepted that I, as a 32 year old accountant had brought a toy with me for work.

And sure, my intern sitting infront of me, shaked her head a little as I took a picture of my Frostwolf using an old calculator, but it was fun nonetheless.

I believe, the world would be a better place, if we all just remembered the joy of being a child and playing once more.

And yes, I cry after roleplay, as I get so attached to the various chars people build up, it’s so sad when they die in-char, I jump half a meter in the couch from a simple shock-effect in a horror movie, and I turn in my chair to avoid falling down a cliff in WoW. But I love my imagination, and I am proud of it!

I dare you all, to enter the biggest toystore nearby, today, and immerse yourself into the world. Play with the toys, act silly, run through the shop with an “elephant trunk” making elephant noises. Try it. Release the adult stress and forget anything which troubles you, even if just for a second.

It’s liberating.

My inner child!

So, today is yet another day in my second life.

-No I do not play Second Life, I just spend so much time in WoW – it has become a second life for me.

Currently I’m trying to level my engineering and herbalism up, so that I am finally done with my professions.

I have a task with some reputations, and also, I should begin to clear some old MoP achievements out of the way, I guess.

Roleplay takes a lot of time from me, and there’s so many things I want to do ingame, but just didn’t have the time for yet.

I still have only had time to max 3 chars to 100, I have most unlocked for garrison though. Soon™.

I brought my little Frostwolf pup to work today, and afterwards we went outside in the snow for a quick snowball game. My coworkers are now convinced I’m insane. I guess they might be right.

A night within the Clan

Thoughts from a Shaman.

It had been a long night, Grak’rrah yawned loudly, before she cuddled up against the already sleeping Rar’gnak. Now if only she could sleep fast.

She closed her eyes, yet the memories of the day seemed to keep disturbing her rest, as her thoughts spun around inside her skull.

She sat quietly by the fire with Rar’gnak, enjoying a meal from the Elekk they had hunted, when they bonded a few days earlier. Suddenly Hellfury had yelled “Lok-Narash” and Grak’rrah had jumped up on her feet, only to realise, it seemed no eminent danger was present. She returned to her seat for a little while, before Rar’gnak had wished her a goodnight and departed.

She had moved to the smaller fire, now only Iron Maw Fireblood being present – and Grak’ had greeted him. After a short moment, he had ordered her to go see, if anyone needed mending – briefly mentioning what had occurred. Something about a Skywise shooting at her clansmen.

Grak’rrah had of course obeyed. After all, the Code explicitly stated; “-Obedience- We will obey orders without question and with speed and surety. We will trust in those who command us. It is not our place to question their actions but their place to question ours.”

A swift “Swobu” and she rushed in the direction the others had went. Shortly after, she located them, and a quick question to the nearest orc, determined that no one was suffering from injuries. As no one required her aid, and as everyone awkwardly claimed it having been an accident, she decided, it was best to report to the Iron Maw. Clearly, enough clansmen were present; another one would only add confusion to the matter at hand.

Before she had time to return to the Iron Maw, he yelled for assembly, and Grak’rrah hurried back to line up. As usual the Blackjaws struggled to perform something as simple as creating a single line, and Grak’ could not keep herself from making a small comment about it. It helped. Grak’ curled her brow, perhaps this was worth noting, she thought to herself. The Blackjaws could, when they wanted to, they just lacked the discipline.

Iron Maw Fireblood has picked the Skywises out of the line, asked regarding the arrow, and finally broken Verzan’s face. Grak’ was hardly a fan of violence, but the Code also stated: “-Punishment- We should learn to accept punishment for our failures. It is only by being punished that we can know what was wrong and remember the lesson. It makes us stronger. It makes us sharper. It makes us Stoneface.”

While Grak’rrah was no Stoneface anymore, she would abide by the Code, unless it went straight against a superior’s order. The Chieftains and the Iron Maws would of course always have first priority.

Funnily, that was also a part of the Code. “Loyalty- To have absolute faith in our Chieftain and our Clanmates. Protect them with our life. No matter their race or trait, they are our brothers and sisters. Nothing else matters more than our Clan.”

Grak’rrah realised her thoughts were drifting, half-asleep as she was. She returned to the punishment. She had forced herself to remain quiet, doing her best to keep her face neutral, without revealing any weakness. No matter how much the Skywise might be hurting, she was certain, Iron Maw Fireblood would have ordered her to mend the girl, should he deem it necessary. Obedience.

She had been trained in obeying, in the plentiful exercises within the Stoneface Clan. Any attempt to break a line, once the order to line up had been given, would have resulted in severe punishment by the Stone Guard back then. More than once, had she seen a clansman being physically broken by the loud-yelling Warsong.

She forced herself to stare straight ahead. It was a trick, she had been taught back then. No matter which superior yells at you, or what happens, you just keep starring ahead.

She hoped the young Skywise was all right. Her face might of course be damaged… but on the other hand, a shot from that range could just as easily have been fatal. The Iron Maw was fully entitled to punish as he had done. However, even if he had not, she was not one to disobey a superior.

The foolish Hellfury, a shame he was nothing like his older self, had challenged Rugoram to Mak’gohran. She snorted loudly, only to make the sleeping Rar’gnak grunt, and turn around, coiling his arms around her. Grak granted him a brief smile, before her thoughts returned to the events. Rugoram had of course accepted; no proper orc would have refused such. Lumarda would most likely.

Grak grimaced her face, as her thoughts drifted to Lumarda.

The young female was just as disgusting as Hellfury. While he drooled at any female he could spot, she made sure, no one doubted how much she enjoyed it. Always walking around halfway nude, flirting like an elf, and even stating that she admired the behind of Jaina Proudmoore. Grak’rrah grunted. Lumarda had no honour, no wonder she was chasing the Blackjaws, rather than staying with her own clan. They had most likely disowned her. The other day, she had even complained, that she found it dull, to stay in the camp.

Grak’rrah had tried. Even after the girl had threatened Rar’gnak with a spear and her bow. She had even shared most of her Code, to the youngling. Had she listened? Not a word had penetrated the thick yet empty skull. Grak’rrah, former tutor of the Unforged within the Stonefaces, had wasted the –Code- on an unworthy disgrace.

Her thoughts continued.

She had to admit to herself, that even though, her thoughts often drifted towards the Code, which had been beaten into her spine, she was quite happy to have joined the Blackjaws. The Chieftains were strong and honourable, and most their men, while hardly disciplined, were men and women of honour, strong with courage. Even those struggling to be, right now, promised well for the future.

Finally, she had Rar’gnak. The man, she had never dared to hope for.

At first, she had claimed to be into girls, whenever a male tried to smooth-talk her within the Stonefaces. Had a girl tried the opposite, she had claimed to be into males. Sometimes she had claimed her Shamanistic duties took all her time.

Then of course, there was Rok’rah. Rok’rah… was Rok’rah. He had declined her due to the duty they had both obeyed within the Stoneface Clan. Rok’rah… son of Dhakrog Stoneface. Grak’rrah peered at the sleeping Rar’gnak, unable to resist a slight comparison. So alike, yet so different.

They had never even kissed. Rok’rah and her love… was of a different kind, she realised now. Their shared love of the Clan, the Code, and the Chieftain. They had been a match if any, seen from the outside, and yet, duty had taken its toll.

She had at first declined the thought of Rar’gnak as a mate. He was… amazing, no doubt. She knew however, if any, that duty came first. It was not until she had a talk with Chieftain Bloodhowl, who assured her, mating and breeding in his eyes, was part of the Clan duty, she allowed Rar’gnak closer to her.

Grak’rrah grunted slightly. Now she was mated and bonded. Soon, if the ancestors wanted, she would be with whelps.

Her final thought, as her mind at long last drifted towards the land of dreams flickered around in her head as a lost butterfly; “Duty first.”