22 June 2012

I love facepulls!

Things that usually happen when people get too close to some huge trolls/orcs in a raid:
1) they facepull the whole room and get aggro on everything,
2) they die,
3) everyone else dies.

Keep an eye on your W key, running too far ahead never ends well.

In other news: I won another Worn Symbol of the Elder King yesterday. So far I've kept only one of the five symbols that I've won. Amazing, isn't it?

15 June 2012

Communication issues

We all know - well, at least the raiders do - that communication is a tremendously important part of raiding, no matter which MMO you're playing. Always check and double check if everyone knows what they're doing, where they should be standing, who should be rezzed first and so forth. Failing to do so usually means that the group is going to experience a very painful wipe.

Of course everyone in my raid group knows that... but that's not what I was going to write about.

So once again we were running T2 shadow. We had gathered a very solid group of players - fortunately most FCers had decided to show up and were actually there for the raid - and were standing in front of the first trash pull in the shadow wing, waiting for our raid leader to give us instructions. He told us what we had to do and did a ready check.

"Hey guys, why didn't you CC/heal/DPS/tank when I said I was going in?"
Yeah, well, about that...

"Ward, did you accidentally mute your mic again?"
*awkward silence*
*crackle* "... oh jeez, that was my bad..."

Well done.

06 June 2012

Real life T2C on farm!

As most people who read this blog have probably noticed, I haven’t posted anything meaningful in the last five weeks. That is mostly because I was working on Real Life (T2C). I completed it roughly 8 hours ago and now I can finally come here and explain where I have been. I have to warn you and say that this time I’m probably going to write a longer post than usually, i.e. definitely more than 1000 words, so if your ability to understand long written texts is somewhat limited, you may want to ask someone to help you. 

As an introduction I should probably mention that I am a university student and I study linguistics. It’s not a very practical thing to study, really, and quite a few of my friends have asked me why I chose linguistics if there are hundreds of more useful things out there, ignoring the fact that studying something like, say, engineering or biology does not automatically make you a winner. No offence to any engineers or biologists out there. 

Okay, that’s not important. I was supposed to find an excuse for my absence. So: in the last five weeks I have been writing essays...

... studying for exams...

... and working on my final paper or thesis or slow and painful death, however you wish to call it. 

Of course the final paper was what caused me so much pain, drove me crazy and made me go from depression to euphoria, from euphoria to depression, from depression to euphoria, and finally from euphoria back to depression in less than 30 seconds at least a thousand times per day. I can’t even count the number of sleepless nights during the last month, occasionally I simply forgot what sleeping more than 2 hours in a row feels like. 

So yeah, real life was not very kind to me. But I’d like to thank my real life friends and kinmates from LotRO for all the support! Sometimes I felt like being sent on an absolutely hopeless quest, kind of like Frodo’s task to deliver the One Ring to Mount Doom. The other day I actually tried to imagine my kinship as the Fellowship of the Ring! I would be Frodo, of course, because I am the most important person around here, even though I whine a lot and struggle with seemingly trivial tasks. In my imaginary alternative universe I’d have the task to deliver my paper to my department on time.


And that’s where it gets kind of tricky. You see, I can’t imagine anyone from Fightclub as Gandalf, Legolas, Aragorn or Boromir, even finding a proper Gimli would be an awfully challenging task. However, this place is full of people with a very hobbit-y mindset. I mean, everyone talks about cookies, stupid jokes and silly pranks all the time, there are no truly epic warriors here. I guess it’s not that bad, so fine – there will be only hobbits in my fellowship.

Seems good enough so far, except that Ward would be an extremely abusive hobbit, encouraging me in a very discouraging way and discouraging me in a very encouraging way. Jerk. Kam and Jara were a lot more supportive.

That’s pretty much how it really was. I guess it worked, though, because I did finish it on time, sort of, and I survived all the other things that seemed to be determined to make me want to commit suicide. 
But of course, the worst part of my seemingly impossible task was thrown at me today: I had to give a presentation about my thesis. I almost didn’t sleep last night, I couldn’t eat anything in the morning, I couldn’t do anything because I was terrified of that presentation – I just lay on my bed and tried to think happy thoughts. I wasn’t very successful.

Finally I got up and talked to Jara, hoping it’d make me feel better. He sounded a bit too cheerful, so I gave up and tried to play Freecell. I didn’t win any games today. Sad. 
At 1 PM I walked out of my front door and tried to cheer myself up. I suspect I had my typical sad smile on my face again, but I couldn’t really do anything about it. 

Eventually I got to the building where I had to go, found room 438 (that’s where my presentation was going to be) and walked inside. It was very much like entering the Vile Maw without radiance gear before they removed radiance from LotRO – if you don’t remember that time, you’re a bigger newb than I am – and my heart was almost instantly filled with dread. 

I whispered „Good day!“ to everyone in a barely audible manner, because my voice had suddenly disappeared, and stumbled towards the back row. I found a free spot, sat down, whimpered quietly and popped the real life equivalent of a hope token: I logged on to Skype with my phone and IMed a kinmate of mine, another one of those people who seem to think like hobbits. He made me feel a lot better. Thanks, Jara!

I was also delighted to see my friends had decided to show up, even though I never asked them to do that. I assumed they wouldn’t remember my presentation, but they did! 

 At 2 PM it was my turn to talk about my thesis. I can’t really remember anything about it, but I hope I didn’t have the „oh god, I am going to die“ look on my face. I really tried to look confident and when I felt that my strength was not enough, I imagined Jara in the back row and thought of squirrels, as someone else had suggested. „Vowel harmony has been lost in all of the words that were borrowed – Steve! Steve! Steve! Steve! – and not only in the nominative case...“

And suddenly it was over. „Is that it?“ I thought to myself and chuckled quietly, thinking that this question almost begged someone to shout „THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID“ from the back row. I congratulated myself on completing Real Life T2 and held my breath, waiting to see whether I beat the challenge or not. 

Neither the reviewer nor my advisor had any kind words for me. „Steve! Steve! Steve!“ I thought to myself when they wiped my hope buff, desperately trying to keep a smile on my face.

When they told me my grade about a half an hour later, I felt relief. It was not as good as I had hoped, but neither was it as bad as I had feared. It was okay. My friends said it was okay. I think it was okay. I mean, that’s what I’m still telling myself to make the disappointment, guilt and bitterness go away. It is done and that’s what matters. I’m done here and I finally have my degree in linguistics.
And now I can play video games without feeling bad about unfinished papers and essays!