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