Headless doll

Finally, you horrible dragon you.

So having one-shot Valithria we spent the rest of Monday night wiping on Sindy again. This time though, rather than collapsing in a puddle more-or-less immediately after the phase transition at 35%, we were getting some decent progress in the final phase, with a number of sub-10% runs and a heartbreaking 2% wipe (gah!)

Last night we set up camp in Sindragosa’s lair and went to try again. And we did it!

The noise on vent was … well, it was loud. For me this is pretty much the first long-sought kill and it felt *good*. When we first ended the vile Professor’s crazy experiments a few weeks back, while it was a kill the guild had been working on for a while (I think), it was only my second night with him — including the night where we cleared the preceding bosses and had a quick couple of familiarisation runs. I’d yet to experience the “joy” of spending an entire night not-quite-managing to succeed until with got to Sindragosa. We’ve been working on her for a little while now on and off, albeit in part because some lineup changes left us struggling for a bit. And now she’s dead. HA!

I could, of course, attribute our success to the infamous buff. I could attribute it to the return of our not-emo-honest healy shaman (*wink*). I could attribute it to the return of our OP hunter who had “gone tree for the team” for Monday’s session. Instead, I’m going to attribute it to a song.

Earlier in the day I’d reminded myself of the Lambton Worm. And I’d even gone so far as to remind the raid of the story. Short version: A dragon had takes up residence on the estate of John Lambton causing havoc and proving quite unkillable. On his return from the crusades, he employs his skill and a little occult assistance (a buff!) to slay the worm. Unfortunately, he fails to follow the instructions properly and his family line is then cursed for nine generations and  to not die in their beds. As a group, we decided that there were attractive alternatives to “dying in our beds” — dying in other people’s being just one potentially interesting option — and resolved to kill the Wyrm, Sindragosa. Whether the bed thing happens is something we’ll hopefully not find out for a good long while.

After the screaming had died down and the shaky fingers were back under control we toodled back to the plague quarter to see what energy we had left. In the remaining hour or so we cleared Festergut, Rotface, the nutty Professor and finished up grabbing The Orb Whisperer from the Blood Princes.

But the worm got fat an’ grewed an’ grewed,
An’ grewed an aaful size;
He’d greet big teeth, a greet big gob,
An greet big goggly eyes.

Aye, pet — that sounds close enough.

Beer bellies and sagging

This is a post primarily about the videogame World of Warcraft. Just thought I’d let you know up front, in case you were wonder. Also, there may be mild spoilers for Dragon Age.

On a recent guild trip to ICC we had one person on their first ever visit, and another who, although a frequent visitor, had never healed there. Naturally, we made sure to switch the buff off as we’re very cruel to give them the “real ICC experience” before they had a chance to steamroller the first 6 bosses raiding +buff. Much fun was had.

Aaaaanyway, we might have spent a little longer than usual “practicing” with the jetpacks when we got to the Gunship encounter. That’s the only excuse I have for finding myself admiring one of the dwarven deckhands, who was so bonny that I felt it necessary to draw the raid’s attention to the vision I had discovered. The word “Pervship” wedged itself in my mind as a replacement for “Lootship” and the long-deprecated “Gunship”, as we all stood around ogling. EDIT: During a subsequent visit on another character (in a pug!), I noticed that my muse was no longer there. Perhaps she was in counselling and suing Muradin for sexual harassment in the workplace. Ano of the Argent Dawn, sexual predator? *gulp*

I mention this not so you know to avoid me at parties (“Ew, it’s the digicreep!”) but because it reminded me of a minor problem I had with Dragon Age which I’m now having with my newest baby alt. First, let me introduce you to Grammy.

Grammy is a gnome warlock, created completely by accident when I was poking at the character creation screen to see what combinations were available. I had no intention of making another gnome, much less a warlock — I quite fancied something with faster LFG queue times, ta — but it was one of those occasions where the decision was made for me just by the way the character looked.

So, Grammy. She’s seen most things. Twice. She’s old, and a bit tired — that’s why she has the minions. She has no intention of being a nice old lady handing out Werther’s Originals. You only have to look at her — wizened face, a murder of crowsfeet around her eyes, the toll of the years evident in her stare and her aging body, which makes her look like a … miniature swimsuit model???

Waitaminute. How can you pair a face *that* damaged with the regular bouncy gnome body? In game, she’s even more horrifying that she looks here!

This reminded me of something I’d felt when playing Dragon Age — that there was something wrong with the female body models. Ok, Morrigan (despite conforming to the string-is-tougher-than-you’d-think school of combat clothing) was a twentysomething who ran around forests all day — there’s no reason for her not to be in good shape, right?

Morrigan dear, the Rab C. Nesbitt look is dated...

And Leliana, well, she was a professional seductress/assassin.’Nuff said.

I don't know where your weird combination accent came from and I don't care. *swoon*

But why did the geriatric and mildly insane priestess outside the Chantry in Denherim have to look “ripe for worship”?

I don't know what to say about this. *insert religious quip*

This town appears to have opened their augmentation clinic before they opened the laundry.

Local amenities: slurry pit, cesspool, cosmetic surgeon

And once I’d noticed that whether highborne or low, noble or refugee, everyone had the same profile, I couldn’t *stop* noticing. It was very offputting. Seriously Bioware, you put a million different sliders for freckle density, nostril angle and septum depth in the character creator (even releasing a standalone “character creator” before the game shipped), but you couldn’t spring for more than one body model for the NPCs?

And now Grammy. Face like a sharpei, body that could be reasonably described as “perky”.

I’m so tired of this. Just because I don’t necessarily want to be “me” ingame doesn’t mean I need to be an olympian or a Heavy Metal cover girl. It’s 2010, and a $600 PC from Best Buy is more powerful than the mainframes used to design the stealth bomber but the best we can manage  is a single body model for each race/gender combo? Don’t be silly.

And so back to Grammy. If you’re going to allow me to “customise” my character, let me customise my character. Not just choose between a few heads and a hairstyle or two. Let me make a mage with a beer belly and bad posture — why *wouldn’t* she be unfit, she never has to run anywhere! Let me make any kind of male character who isn’t a colossal mesomorph. And if I want to make a twisted, grumpy old lady to throw curses around and complain loudly that this would never have happened when she was a girl, *let me*.

All of those FlagRSP descriptions featuring stunning figures and perfect skin are just a little too accurate.

Bonus pic: I'm sure there was a good reason for running naked through the fire...

Caveats and disclaimers

1. No, I don’t live with my parents
2. Or my grandparents, or any other elderly relatives
3. When I was 16, thanks
4. With a human female, you sicko

The *real* interview with Jaina Proudmoore

Over at the Noisy Rogue, Adam has posted an interview with Jaina Proudmoore.

I’m not sure why (I can only assume that Alliance PR threatened to pull their advertising) but the interview he published bears only superficial resemblance to the transcript provided to MB by a confidential source, moments ago.

In the interests of journalistic integrity, it is presented unedited.

[Host]: Good evening once again, and welcome to our continuing series of interviews with some of the major and minor players of Azeroth. Tonight it is my great pleasure to welcome the renouned sorceresses, leader of Theramore Isle, and demon hater, Jaina Proudmore. Jaina, welcome to the show.

[Jaina]: *quiet sobbing*

[Host]: So Jaina, you have a reputation as being a bit of an emo bitch. How do you respond to that?

[Jaina]: *waaaaaaaaaiiill* *more sobbing*

[Host]: Fair enough. So, you rule in Theramore Isle … how is that?

[Jaina]: *sobs* Hooooooooonnnk. *snivel*

[Host]: Urgh. Er, can we get some Kleenex in here, please? No, wait, don’t cry on me, you’re all sticky.

[Jaina]: *wail* *cry* *whine*

[Host]: That’s it, I’ve had enough. I’ve accepted a job on  KTV3, presenting a youth show called “Dude, that’s my candle”. Screw this and screw you. *exeunt*

[Jaina]: *sobbing*

[Director]: Cuuuuuuut! Ok, set up a meeting with PR, Legal and the writing team. We’ll need to get this out ASAP. Can someone portal her home? And fetch a mop, that puddle’s a safety hazard


We here at Mysterious Buttons are committed to unbiased reporting and are proud to publish the truth*.

Mysterious Buttons is a wholly-owned subsidiary of She Always Rejected Me, a Wrynn Enterprises corporation.

Screenshot post: Hippy

I didn’t know it, but it turns out that Ano is actually a bit of a flower child. So it’s no surprise he really likes the entrance to the Ruby Sanctum…

Peas and love
Peas and love
More peas, dear?
More peas, dear?

It’s hard, being a picky eater, but sometimes you’ve just got to say “no” to food contaminants.

Waiter, I'm not sure I ordered the gnome savoury...
Waiter, I'm not sure I ordered the gnome savoury...

And finally, a moment of shamelessness. Centrella had *another* good night in a PuG. A random ICC 10 group got her…

…plus the Icecrown Spire Sandals *and* the Scourgelord’s Baton which, once I find something better than Seethe to pair it with, should do nicely. She’s becoming promiscuous!

Playing with others (‘ balls)

I girded my loins, took the plunge, consulted a cliché dictionary and bit the bullet, and joined some total strangers to tackle raid content. That’s right, I took Centrella pugging. Centrella, the gnomish hybrid of Cher and Princess Leia. Centrella, who has precisely *zero* raiding achievements.

Centrella, who will hate me for reposting this picture.

I was pleasantly surprised, actually. Firstly, I was surprised to be able to join a group at all. For all three runs I saw a “LF ranged DPS for X”-type message curiously absent a “min 6.2GS, link achiv” suffix, sent a quick “I’m up for that” message and was promptly invited. I mean, ok, it wasn’t like it was ICC hardmodes or anything, it was a couple of VoA runs and the weekly (Razorscale) but still.

Secondly, I was pleasantly surprised that people were all generally polite (if a little impatient) and there was none of the “OMG joo fail” when things went a little wrong, just a simple “oops, sorry” followed by “meh, it happens ;)” and carry on. Stark contrast to some previous experiences.

The weekly run was fun — Flame Lev was straightforward handled and although we had an unlucky wipe caused by a healed lagging out in patch of fire on Razorscale, the second attempt was smooth Cent was able to pick up both [Shutout] and  [A Quick Shave]. The VoA runs were also comfortable, although I did manage to pull aggro on the trash before Toravon —  I blame Omen and the periodic “I’m not going to show you any threat info for this fight” bug I seem to get.  Even better, I was the only mage in the group when the Bloodmage Gloves dropped, leaving me with two more frosty badgers required for 2pc T10. Woot!

This post over at Pew Pew Lazerz thankfully reminded what to do with the “frozen orbs”, and also reminded me to check recount afterward. Upshot: much the same, but smaller numbers. Forewarned, I did 1/3 of my damage to the balls  and felt smugly self-satisfied in a most unattractive way.

Just in case you’ve never thought about it, here’s the mage-eye view of the Toravon fight: Buff, pew-pew-pew-owait-i-have-to-kill-frozen-balls-pew-pew-balls-pew-pew-balls-pew-pew-balls-pew-pew-pew lootz.

As luck would have it, earlier in the evening Ano had spent some more time wiping on Halion. And watching purple balls. This got me thinking about fight mechanics and Blizzard’s evident testicular obsession. Herewith a quick rundown of some encounters I have personally experienced:

Any more?

Balls, balls, balls. Between this, encounters like Rotface, and the proposed /flirt emotes for goblins (Ever rode a rocket before? Mine’s huge and He asked me to go up on him for example), you could tell me that the design department have an average age of 12 and I’d be relatively unsurprised.