Flight of the Phoenix

November 14, 2009

The people who read this have always known me by my current nickname: Vaadren. It’s a name I’ve carried for years now, and suits me well. However, I still carry a soft spot for my “old” nickname, the time when I was known as the Flaming Phoenix.

I’ve grown a love for the Phoenix over the years. The majestic beauty of the fiery creature, the mythology behind it, and the symbolism.

But also because of its namesake city in Arizona. As a kid I spent several years there, and as a second home, the city and the creature from which it lent its name have been a very important part of my life ever since.

Enter World will be without updates for two weeks. I’m going back to my second home for a short visit, leaving me without WoW and with only sporadic internet access. There are several reasons why I’m going, but only one fits the symbolism.

I need a battery recharge. As the Phoenix, it is my goal to “end an era” and be reborn anew. And there’s no better place than what is, for me, the most inspiring and meaningful place there is.

I’ll return on the 28th, a new me.

A reborn Vaadren.

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And now for something completely different: Engineering

November 10, 2009

Ever since Burning Crusade I’ve been a miner and blacksmith. At first, I completely neglected the professions, thinking it’d take too much time. Later on I managed to level mining, making a fair amount of gold with selling the ores. Blacksmithing was still a pain.

It wasn’t until late into Burning Crusade when I needed a set of Ragesteel Shoulders, that I started leveling up blacksmithing. And indeed, it was painstakingly difficult. But I made it, got blacksmithing all maxed out and pranced around with those god-ugly, but effective, shoulders.

When Wrath of the Lich King came around, it became much easier to level both. And the profession-only recipes really made having a crafting profession worthwhile. Extra sockets for blacksmiths, ring enchants for enchanters, special prismatic gems for jewelcrafters.

Where does that leave engineering, though? Taking a look at its “added value”, there is actually some nice things to be said, but instead of profession-specifics it lies more in what engineering does best: gadgets.

Explosive sheep are fun, but hardly a useful tool. But who doesn’t like a Repair Bot after a wipe, or perhaps a mailbox in obscure places? Back in Burning Crusade the craftable goggles were quite powerful (much less so now, with T8.5 and T9 available at your local gear vendor), and while more a novelty item than anything else, who can forget the flying machine and chopper?

In PvP, engineering gets a boost. Enhancements like nitro-boots or rocket-firing gloves have more than once turned the tides in a battleground. The craftable explosives have never hurt either (except the opponent, of course).

But above all, I think engineering is a “boys and their toys” profession. And it’s frikkin’ awesome.

I’ve been wanting to level engineering for a long time, but I preferred the freedom of mining. I liked being able to get the mats for a blacksmithing recipe myself, instead of being dependant on a miner friend or auction house. But in the end, I liked engineering more.

I called in the aid of a good friend of mine, and together we went across Azeroth and beyond to farm all the materials needed for a massive powerlevel to 450. A few gold was spent on some hard-to-find mithril and random mats, but most of the materials were gathered by “me ‘n Sc” in a 7 hour straight grind.

It got me to 440, and now I’m at 445 with a bit of work. The last few points are always the hardest. And Sc is still helping me to get all the mats for the final stretch. 5 Wormhole Generators to go, and with him as the only miner left, a lot of the mats come from him.

It’s a courtesy I extend to a lot of guildies, helping them out or crafting things for them. But regardless of whether I find it common courtesy or not, I’m always glad to see such generosity. Therefor, I’d like to thank Langdon for donating some mats you had lying around (it helped a lot!), and of course my favorite Death Knight, Sc, for the long grind that has been and the help yet to come. You guys rock!

And if you’re ever on Lightbringer EU and you see a Paladin running around with a mechanical sheep following him, there’s a good chance it’s me.


The State of the Guild 2009

November 2, 2009

I promised the further explanation of the last post, a good two weeks ago. Here goes.

Samsara suffered some massive blows the last month. It’s unclear where it started to go wrong, if at all. What is clear is that we as the officer team made a decision here and there that we probably shouldn’t have. Either way, there was probably nothing we could’ve done to prevent it all, so I’m not about to whack myself over the head for it.

We’re seriously stripped to the bone now, and it doesn’t feel good. We’ve had most of our core members leave recently, reason being that the guild “didn’t have the right feel anymore and wasn’t what it used to be”. Our once thriving guild chat is practically empty now, and we’ve been reduced from an approximate 20 members online at any one time to about 4. 

Ironically, with Samsara’s second anniversary coming up, there’s not a whole lot to celebrate.

That’s no excuse to be down in the dumps, though. Call me naive, but I’m a firm believer of the “for better or for worse” mentality.

If you’re going through a rough patch in your life, what do you do? Give up and retreat? Or do you tie yourself to the deck, hold the ship straight with all your might and ride that big wave through the storm?

I’m one who usually goes for the latter, and this time is no different. I once made a promise to lead this guild in the best possible direction, to the best of my abilities. And I’m not about to forsake on the obligations I accepted.

Be it a relationship, soccer game or a Warcraft guild, everything you do will at some point throw you a curveball. It’s up to you how to deal with it.

And when the going gets tough, the tough get going.