Everything is Always Moving

There's a funny thing happening in my guild.

I logged on late the other night to hopefully luck into a quick instance run (didn't happen), and there were four people from my guild on. I didn't recognize any of them. I vaguely remembered reading someone's app from a little while ago, but that's all. I mean, I've seen them around, but this is the first time I had ever logged in and not known anyone who was online.

"Well, new guildies are good for the guild," I thought.

However, these people were chatting with each other over /g, and they all seemed to know each other pretty well. Even though I didn't know them, it was obvious that each of them was a good fit for the guild. We have a strange and fun guild culture, and it was obvious that they were steeped in it.

It felt like walking into my living room and finding four very friendly strangers there.

Continue reading Everything is Always Moving

Game Terms Overcome

I saw the following title on my gmail homepage:

Wired: Awesomely Bad Defense Trinkets, Part II

…and thought, "A WoW theorycraft article in Wired?! Is this a parody or…?"

It's funny, because of course the word trinket existed before WoW. However, in the last three years, I haven't seen that word once outside of a WoW context, while of course I've heard it many times in WoW.

Thus, trinket has been completely co-opted in my mind, and I will now have to translate back to normal English every time I see it. Grats to Blizzard on successfully hacking my basic language skills and pointing them back to their subscription game.

And so, my submission to the imaginary version of the above article: Direbrew Hops. It's zomgepic, but it won't help you tank anything.

Choose Your Post-Major-MMO-Patch Chat Adventure


You log on. It's patch day! None of your addons work. There are all kinds of new toys and changes to enjoy, and you can't wait to explore the content.

At some point, you travel to a major city.

Goto 2.


You are in a major city. There are other characters all around you, doing normal in-game things.

There are seven posts in trade channel:

"Where the hell did all my Doodad 1 go?!"

"Where can I get New Character Enhancement?"

"gg on so much server downtime, omfg"

"LFG multiplayer content"


"My Doodad 2 got deleted!!!1 I'm filing a complaint."

"What is New Game Mechanic?"

If there is someone online who would like to kindly correct the internet, goto 3.

If there is someone online who would like players to do some amount of reading, goto 4.

If you've seen the question "What is New Game Mechanic?" ten times, goto 10.


The kind person answers the question. The original poster says thank you. Or not.

If you have noticed the person looking for multiplayer content twice already, goto 5.

Otherwise, goto 2.


The geeky gamer says,

"Go read the patch notes."

If there are many people of this mindset online, goto 7.

Otherwise, goto 6.


That person gets tired of trying to penetrate the repetitive patch droning, stops asking, and goes off to do solo content.

Goto 2, replacing "LFG multiplayer content" with a new and different person saying "WTB cool new Thing", then a new person saying "WTS reagent for Thing", then another saying "WTB reagent to make Thing", then start over with one saying "LFG multiplayer content".


The conversation continues:

"Jeez! Why not just answer the question?"

"Because people are going to log on all day and ask that question."

"It only takes two seconds to answer the question!"

"If I'm mean now, maybe the person will read the patch notes that they clicked right past to get into the game, and next time they won't clutter up trade chat."

Goto 9.


The Internet Dickwads appear from nowhere and pile on:

"whatever NOOB!"

"ya rly nub go nub somewhere else nub"


"go die kthxbye"

"w/e stfu cuz you have crappy welfare epics"

"diaf bbq moron"

"I've always hated you, Bob."

If the Dickwads start infighting and completely lose sight of the original point, goto 12.

If there is an extroverted person online who was bullied as a child, goto 6.

Otherwise, goto 9.


Many parties proudly declare that their opponent in the argument is a complete waste of everyone's time and effort to read, so they're reporting that person for chat abuse and/or putting that person on ignore.

You /facepalm in your heart that they announced this over the same channel.

Goto 2.


The conversation continues:

"This is a game, it's not homework."

"Why don't you just take five minutes instead of asking everyone on the server to do it for you."

"If I wanted to read, I'd watch the ticker on the bottom of SportsCenter. I just want to play."

"Then keep your 'just playing' out of the damn global trade channel."

Goto 12.


You just can't stand see this conversation play out again.

If you turn off trade chat and stay in the city, goto 13.

If you leave the city, goto 13.


After glancing at your chatbox, you say to yourself, "It's been over two hours and this conversation is still going on?!!"

Goto 10.


The conversation spirals out of control just like every other argument between strangers on the internet, for example:

"I pay my fifteen dollars a month and I can use trade if I want to, it's called Freedom of Speech."

You can replace it with any other typical weblog comments, forums, or irc lunacy you've ever seen, invariably leading to one of the following:

  • Religion
  • Politics
  • Science
  • Faith
  • Nazis
  • Yo Mamma

Goto 8.


You have left the city-chat network and are blissfully exploring the new content! It's a good thing the Massively part of MMO isn't mandatory.

If you stay on this character, you win! Enjoy the new content.

If you later log on an alt, goto 11.

My Compulsion is Infrastructure

Seven weeks after we started our Horde side project (leveling being friendly to frequent pauses and sudden stops), my wife happened to walk by my computer while I had my character select screen up.

"What are all those Horde characters?!" she said.

"Oh! Well, here's my auction house alt, and my grinding alt, and–"

"I thought this Horde thing was a side project?"

Blink blink. "It is."

"Are we giving up our Alliance toons?"

"No! But we'll need support for our horde mains, too."

"Our L32 mains?"

"We're going to need gold for epic mounts and–"

She didn't actually say anything to interrupt me, but her look cut me off. It's the "you're missing the point" look.

"Um… yeah," I said.

She's right, of course. Without even realizing it, I had begun duplicating the entire infrastructure that I have in place to support our Alliance mains. Crafting alts, auction house alts, and so on. That blink blink above is my brain suddenly becoming aware of a pattern I hadn't seen before.

Continue reading My Compulsion is Infrastructure