Day 08 – 10 Things We Don’t Know About You

This post is part of Saga’s 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge!

Truth be told, I’m a private person. I know, kind of silly, when you think about it, right? A blogger who posts fairly often who then claims to be a private person? Well, it’s true. I’ll talk about WoW until the cows come home — and I often do! — but I don’t talk about myself very much. At least, not about myself in a non-WoW context.

So, here’s my attempt to be a little more forthcoming.

1) My Keirsey Temperament Type is ESFJ – Guardian Provider.

2) I’m very good at remembering lyrics to songs, enough so that it drives me NUTS when others can’t. The problem? I can’t carry a tune.

3) I can, however, muster my way through some piano and clarinet playing, although I don’t get a chance to play much piano and my poor clarinet is in terrible shape and needs repairing.

4) I’ve been an online content provider, a web designer, a web coder, a marketing co-ordinator, a community moderator and a technical support/customer support specialist (at a local ISP) over the last 15 years. Also, a student. I’m just a couple of classes away from my BA in Sociology.

5) I love to write and I take part in National Novel Writing Month every year. In fact, two of my current guildies (and raiders!) are people I’ve known for years through NaNoWriMo. Having said that, I’ve only ever written 50k in November once and that was in 2003 — way before I discovered World of Warcraft. Curse you, WoW! <shakes fist>

6) I have blue eyes, like my brother, my father and my late paternal grandmother. Unfortunately, unlike my brother, my father and my late paternal grandmother, my blue eyes lean more towards various shades of grey/blue, rather than the piercing blue they all share. I am, occasionally, very jealous that my brother got the awesome!blue eyes in the family. (Shut up, Fog. Gloating doesn’t become you! :P)

7) Je suis plus ou moins bilingue. Mon français n’est pas tellement fantastique, mais je me débrouille assez bien dans des situations où je dois le parler. (Anche, parlo un po’ d’italiano. Ho preso tre anni all’università.)

8) Blessing of Frost started out as a recruitment avenue for Apotheosis, but it’s really evolved into its own little bit of fun. The hardest part about producing an episode of Blessing of Frost is not yelling at Majik as much as I’d like and, in fact, having to be nice to him. (We like each other quite a bit, but we prefer to show each other that affection by swearing at each other at length.) Still, I do quite enjoy it and it reminds me of working at my college radio station. Good times!

9) I’m fiercely loyal. Pretty much to a fault. One time, we were in Mount Hyjal, and one of the guildies was telling me, in a panicked whisper, she couldn’t find her vial from Lady Vashj. So I opened a ticket and started chatting with a GM through Kaz’rogal trash, saying “no, look, SHE WAS THERE. Do you want to see the logs?!” and stuff.

Here’s an image.

Can you guess what happened next? If you guessed “Kurn didn’t realize the boss was incoming and facepulled the boss and got ruined because she was debating fiercely with the GM”, you’re right!

One of these days, they’re going to close my account just because they’re tired of all the tickets I submit. :P

Yeah, my loyalty has its unfortunate downsides, but I care about my friends and my guildies. I don’t think I could ever be another way.

10) I have a pretty good sense of humour and can take some teasing, but when it comes to Canada, my sense of humour usually goes riiiiight out the window. I am passionate about my love for my country, which probably comes from living pretty much my whole life in Quebec and living through two separate referendums, and that’s basically where my sense of humour stops. I am proud to be a Canadian. I am proud to be a Quebecoise whose maternal side of the family has been here since the 1630s. I am proud to be a Montrealer. Those of you who have never had to live in fear of your country splitting up — you’re so very fortunate. At the same time, however, I wonder if those who haven’t had to live through that (and live through the constant threat, still!) don’t take for granted the peace and security they have. So take a moment. Appreciate your local, provincial/state and national governments if they’re democratic, if they’re reflective of your ideas and ideals. And if they’re NOT democratic, if they’re NOT reflective of what you believe, then work towards making sure your voice is heard in your government.

Uh. Right. Yes. I’m not really political. It’s just a Quebec thing. :) And dealing with the “Quebec thing” is what’s made me recognize how passionate I am about Canada, which is why the sense of humour that is normally pretty evident, just vanishes into thin air, if people start ragging on Canada. (And don’t get me started about people ragging on Quebec! I love my province too, you know!)

Yesterday – The Reason Behind Your Blog’s Name
Tomorrow – Your first blog post

Day 07 – The Reason Behind Your Blog's Name

This post is part of Saga’s 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge!

When I started my blog, I knew I wanted a fun name. Blogs I read at the time were named Blessing of Kings and Banana Shoulders and the like.

I knew, though, that I didn’t want to focus just on paladin stuff. Sure, I was playing my paladin in raids, but my guildies still (mostly) called my Kurn and that was still very much my in-game identity (and still is).

I knew I wanted to talk about hunter stuff, about how I hated that Beast Mastery was all the rage and all you needed was to spam-click a macro to get stupidly good DPS.

I knew I wanted to talk about raiding and the trials a raid group goes through while pushing through bosses and progression.

I knew I wanted to talk about guild stuff and what my guild was doing, both inside of raids and out.

I knew I wanted to talk about dailies and pally stuff and healing and alts.

It was going to be conglomeration of whatever I wanted to talk about. The only thing tying everything together was that these were going to be my thoughts, my ideas, my opinions.

Kurn’s Corner seemed right. There was alliteration (which I do love) and there was a broad sense to it. I’ve never felt trapped by my blog’s name — this is where I write whatever the heck I want to write. No constraints in terms of expectations apart from “this is what Kurn is thinking about today”. While I’ve done a lot of posting about raiding and healing and paladins, I know that I don’t have to limit myself to these topics, and that suits me just fine.

So Kurn’s Corner is a collection of Kurn’s thoughts about the World of Warcraft and that’s why the name has stuck since Day 1. :)

Yesterday – Your Workplace/Desk
Tomorrow – 10 things we don’t know about you

Day 06 – Your Workplace/Desk

This post is part of Saga’s 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge!

Before I started playing WoW, I sat at my desk and had a 19″ CRT monitor and a comfy office chair and a keyboard tray and speakers and everything.

I got a laptop. I started playing WoW. The laptop was miles beyond my desktop computer. The desktop wouldn’t even let me install WoW.

Thus began the era of Kurn-on-the-Couch.

I generally sit on my couch with my laptop on my coffee table. I also have a lapdesk that I use frequently if I want to sit back to relax or if I want to play from my bed (which I do, sometimes!).

I looked around for a picture of my desk at the height of my “this is my workspace” time, but I cannot, for the life of me, find it.

It’s all moot anyways — whole new setup coming in the first week of May. New computer, dual monitors, new speakers, everything. I will definitely have to do something about the TV situation, though. I’ve gotten used to watching hockey games (among other things) over the top of my laptop screen!

So tune back in then for a pretty picture of my new setup. :)

Yesterday – Favourite Items in the Game
Tomorrow – The reason behind your blog’s name

Day 05 – Favourite Item(s) in Game

This post is part of Saga’s 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge!

Oh geez. My favourite items in the game?

My bank is littered with mementos. Stacked full of memories. Here are a few of the things I hang on to because of the memories attached to them.

There’s my Royal Seal of Eldre’Thalas, which I loved because, at the time, it was a great trinket AND it was the name of “my” server.

There’s the Briarwood Reed, which I got on my paladin, even though, at the time, it was +damage/healing. I loved it because it was still an upgrade for poor little Madrana but also because I snagged it from this one guy’s mage alt. And just the satisfaction of knowing I outrolled him on it is totally worth it. (I really didn’t, and still don’t, like that guy.)

Of course, there’s the Rhok’delar and Lok’delar, too.

And I can’t forget about the Lightforge Spaulders, which actually made me feel like a real paladin, when I first equipped them. Similarly, Lightbringer Pauldrons look bad-ass.

Happy Fun Rock and I had a bunch of good times together back in Dire Maul.

And then there’s Zod’s Repeating Longbow, which I got about 11 months ago, after drooling over it for several months.

But I think that my favourite items are really things that no longer really exist. Keys. I’m talking about dungeon keys. Most keys no longer exist, but, by golly, I had all of them on Kurn. Except the Arcatraz. And screw Arcatraz. I had the Scarlet Key (SM and Strat Live), the Key to the City (Strat Undead), the Crescent Key (Dire Maul), the Skeleton Key (Scholomance), the Shadowforge Key (BRD) and more. I LOVED getting keys. And I remember a time when you didn’t HAVE a keychain and you’d make it alllllll the way up to Strat Live or Scholomance and someone didn’t HAVE the key because it was in their bank.

Relatedly, though, I do still love my Blessed Medallion of Karabor.

(Also, totally unrelated, Episode 15 of Blessing of Frost came out Tuesday!)

Yesterday – Your Best WoW Memory
Tomorrow – Your workplace/desk (photo and/or description)

Day 04 – Your Best WoW Memory

This post is part of Saga’s 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge!

Day 04 – Your Best WoW Memory

There is no way I can narrow it down to just one memory or one moment of elation or one moment of pride or one moment of accomplishment. I’ve been playing for over five years, fairly regularly, fairly steadily. That’s a lot of time and that’s a lot of memories accumulated.

What I’ll do here is narrow it down to two memories from each expansion. That still doesn’t seem “right”, but it’ll have to do.

Vanilla WoW Memory #1: The one that tops the list here is everything I went through to get my Rhok’delar, Longbow of the Ancient Keepers. My guild at the time wasn’t clearing MC. We hadn’t even actually killed Onyxia, as a guild. So one day, there I am in Trade, and someone is SELLING the Ancient Petrified Leaf. They had killed Majordomo and looked in his chest and there was a leaf that no one could use. So they sent someone out to Ironforge and they started spamming Trade.

500 gold later, I was being summoned to Molten Core and I looted my leaf. I’d already gotten the Mature Black Sinew from Onyxia from a pug as I was the only hunter there who hadn’t gotten it yet. So I was well on my way and could start killing some demons.

I found Nelson the Nice and Simone pretty easy, but it was Franklin the Friendly (the first one I engaged — repeatedly) who kicked my ass all over Burning Steppes, much to the amusement of my guildies who would camp out and watch my miserable attempts. To this day, he is still my nemesis. Artorius also gave me a bit of trouble. Had Majik not been there on his priest to rez me (the demon and I killed each other at the same time), the demon probably would have despawned.

All those things together make up one of the best memories in WoW for me.

Vanilla WoW Memory #2: The Tier 0.5 questline. Yep, 45-minute Baron run and all (thank you very much, we once did it in 39 minutes with my cat, Whisper, “tanking”, plus Crypt healing, Majik, Tia, Tan and myself DPSing!), this is still a favourite memory of mine. It was three years AFTER I’d done everything for the questline that I finally got the Beaststalker Tunic from General Drakkisath in Upper Blackrock Spire and got my full Beastmaster’s Armor set. The five of us basically did this questline without a tank. The only time we needed an actual tank to help us out was the extra boss in Ras Frostwhisper’s room in Scholomance and the last boss, Lord Valthalak (aka, Lord Whatshisnuts) in Upper Blackrock Spire. The rest of it was easily done on our own or with the five of us. It was during this time that Majik lagged out on Vent and we actually thought he was high on some really potent drug.

I don’t think I had laughed that hard in my life, up until that night in Dire Maul, and probably not since then, either. It was one of the best times in this game for me.

Burning Crusade Memory #1: Killing Vashj. We have a copy of the kill video over on YouTube. This was the best kill of any boss probably ever, for me. I knew every detail of the fight, micromanaged it and after a LOT of time on this, we got her down, thanks in part to my 15k crit Lay on Hands when Dayden was the last tank left. Woot!

Burning Crusade Memory #2: Probably getting Kael down and getting my Hand of A’dal title. Killing Illidan was awesome, but it was post-3.0 so it wasn’t quite the same as getting Hand of A’dal, which is the title I still prefer to wear.

Wrath of the Lich King Memory #1: My different guilds in Wrath, all of them. Even the one with the crazy, abusive raid leader. Resurgence of Bronzebeard, the Proudmoore one and Choice of Skywall. After being in my own guild for two years, I was nervous and scared and not remotely confident about my abilities and value as a player. But Resurgence and Choice welcomed me with open arms. My Proudmoore guild, though less warm-and-fuzzy, allowed me to raid with my RL Friend the Resto Druid for several months and got me my ICC 25-man drake and, for the first (and last) time, allowed my friend and I to earn a title together — Astral Walker. So I’m indebted to all three of the guilds I spent time in during Wrath.

Wrath of the Lich King Memory #2: Killing the Lich King with Apotheosis on 10-man with Kurn and on 25-man with, well, 24 other members of Apotheosis. (Although this 10-man LK kill was pretty epic as well.) This happened at the tail end of Wrath of the Lich King, after the 4.0 drop, I believe, and honestly, seeing this team of people working together to successfully defeat the Lich King was great. When you take into consideration that a lot of them hadn’t ever seen the fight, it really makes me proud.

Cataclysm Memory #1: Just one memory so far for Cata — the fact that, three months into raiding, my guild is still alive and kicking. We’re still doing 25s. We’ve still never had to cancel a raid (although we moved the raid from Superbowl Sunday to the Monday). We’ve never had to drop into 10-mans. We’ve gone 11/12 normal modes and 1/13 heroic modes all on 25-man. We’ve lost a lot of people who originally threw their hats in, but we’ve recovered and gained some valuable members as well. Despite the stress and frustration and aggravation I’ve experienced so far, the best part about this expansion, for me, is that I’m raiding with people I know and love and, if I don’t love them, I at least respect them. We’re quite an interesting crew. And I love that we’re still together, conquering content, one boss at a time.

Looking over my answers, boss kills are generally my big moments of “YES!!!” in this game, followed closely by guild-related things. Amazing how much my favourite memories really rely on other people. I’m glad I’ve got a group of folks I really can rely on.

Yesterday – Your First Day Playing WoW
Tomorrow – Favourite item(s) in game

Day 03 – Your First Day Playing WoW

This post is part of Saga’s 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge!

Day 03 – Your First Day Playing WoW

What’s funny about this is I kind of have two “first days” of playing WoW. Somehow, before I went out and bought a copy, I had found an online copy of WoW with a private server attached. Of course, I had absolutely no idea what a private server was, no idea what I was doing. I just followed the instructions with the download and found myself at the character creation screen.

I created a human male warrior and then logged in to the world.

So there I am, level 1, standing in Elwynn, completely amazed at the graphics and level of detail and everything.

And then I decided to go exploring.

There weren’t any NPCs, no mobs, not a soul. It was crazy. I ran, I actually RAN, from Elwynn, over to Redridge, up through Burning Steppes and then I saw Blackrock Mountain.

I went into Blackrock Mountain from the south side and I have this very strong memory of running up the spiraling ramp and running up and down the chains.

But, there was no one there. At all. It then dawned on me that I was on a local server, not an online server, so I went digging around and discovered I needed to buy the game to connect to the real game servers.

It was over Canadian Thanksgiving that I did so, so that’s mid-October of 2005, and showed my brother the game. I had elected to roll a male night elf hunter, because I was trying to keep a low profile. As a woman, I’ve been harrassed a LOT in online communities by creepy guys, so I was prepared for that happening and decided to fly under the radar with a male night elf.

So my first day of playing WoW for real was me running around Aldrassil and Shadowglen, playing like a scrub. I’d shoot something once, it would come at me, another autoshot might get off and then I’d melee the mob down. Somewhere in all of this, I convinced my brother to start playing and he quickly went out and bought the game and rolled a druid. (He beat me to 60.)

My first real day of WoW play was pretty awesome. I loved dinging. I knew I wanted to do more of it. I really felt like a hunter, too, stalking my prey. I had no idea what it meant that a mob was red or yellow or green to me (both in terms of friendliness and level) and I was constantly getting lost by the spider tunnels.

I also remember that Shadowmeld got a lot of use from me right from the start and I was SO sad that I couldn’t move while stealthed!

Honestly, though, what I remember most about my first day of playing WoW is how gorgeous Aldrassil was. This lush, green place, a huge tree… it was really amazing. I was blown away by the graphics and I loved running around Shadowglen. And jumping. I loved (and still love!) the male night elf jump. Somersaults!

Yesterday – Why You Decided to Start a Blog
Tomorrow – Your best WoW memory

Day 02 – Why You Decided to Start a Blog

This post is part of Saga’s 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge!

Day 02 – Why You Decided to Start a Blog

I’ve been keeping blogs and journals since, well, I think it was probably 1998 or 1999. That was back before Blogger even really existed. My first blog was hosted on my own personal website and it was something I updated manually. Yup, designed it myself, coded it myself and wrote all the content into the HTML code. Having a blog was nothing new to me when I first installed WordPress here and made Kurn’s Corner. (Hilariously, my very first post was dated April 4th, 2008. More on that on day 9!)

So I started one because it was easy for me to do so. I had the web hosting for the Apotheosis site already and I made the subdomain for myself and installed WordPress.

What was I going to write about? Primarily, at the time, I wanted to write to educate people. When I started writing, we were about six or seven months out from the release of Wrath of the Lich King. I was getting frustrated, so very frustrated, by the idiocy of people I would encounter. I’m not talking about my guildies or my friends, but just the random people I’d bump into who were clearly doing it “wrong”.

I like to do things well. If I can’t do something well, I don’t like to do it. (Doesn’t mean I won’t, but I will always try to do it to the best of my ability.) So when I see other people trying to do something I know how to do well and I see they’re NOT doing it well, it drives me a bit nuts.

My second post on this blog was about jewelcrafting and explaining how to get all the different cuts. It was about educating people and telling people that an orange counts as both a red AND a yellow and that metas need to be activated.

Looking back over my first posts, though, I spend a lot of time talking about Apotheosis and Lady Vashj and then pally stuff.

Really, my blog’s purpose hasn’t substantially changed since I started it. I really started it to educate people and I like to think I’m still doing that. I quickly started to use it as a place to talk about what I was doing in-game. I’m definitely still doing that. :) I also used it as a place to ponder aloud about paladin stuff. Pretty sure I’m still doing that, too! If anything, my blog has brought in more paladin stuff over the last year, which is good, since it ties in with the educational slant.

I guess the short answer to this is that I started a blog to educate people and to give myself a platform to talk about stuff in the game that’s important to me and just to chatter a bit about what I’m up to in the game and because it was easy for me to do.

Yesterday – Introduce Yourself
Tomorrow – Your first day playing WoW

Day 01 – Introduce Yourself

So I read over at Dwarven Battle Medic that Fannon is taking part in a blogging challenge that Saga of Spellbound came up with. I know I’ve been neglecting the blog lately, what with all kinds of other WoW obligations and some RL obligations too, so I figured at least this will get me to post daily. :)

Day 01 – Introduce Yourself

Hi, my name is Kurnmogh, but you can (and should) call me Kurn. Please do not call me Madrana, even though that’s the character I play on more often than not, nor any derivations thereof. Kurn is just fine, please and thank you.

I’m a female 30-something-year-old Montrealer who has been playing WoW since before I was in my 30s. I’m finishing up a sociology degree from a university here in Montreal and I do some contract work to do with web stuff, both design/coding and the online community aspect.

I’m the guild master and healing lead of Apotheosis, an Alliance raiding guild on the Eldre’Thalas (US) server and spend a lot of time healing in raids as a holy paladin. I still love my hunter to bits and pieces, though, but I realized at the start of Wrath that being a DPS doesn’t satisfy me the way playing a healer does.

I love to write in my spare time. Does this surprise the frequent visitors out there? I think I’m pretty much known for my absolutely epic-length posts (both blog and forum variety) possibly more than I am known for any paladin expertise I may hold. Sadly, I don’t get to do this as much as I’d like to, due to the aforementioned “guild master” title, but I am definitely a writer at heart.

I also watch a stupid amount of television, usually not at the same time as it actually airs. Current shows I’m watching weekly include, but are not limited to: Castle, How I Met Your Mother (a guild favourite!), V, Glee, The Big Bang Theory, Grey’s Anatomy, 30 Rock, Survivor: Redemption Island and I occasionally keep an eye on House and Desperate Housewives. I just finished watching Season 1 of Community and am trying to catch up on Season 2. I also catch as many Montreal Canadiens hockey games as possible, which is probably about 35% or so of them, primarily because they play a LOT of games on raid nights.

Anyways, I guess that’s sufficient for now! Much more and there won’t be a lot left for the next 19 days! :)

Tomorrow – Why you Decided to Start a Blog

Responsibilites, Skills… and Me

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a sociology student. I’m close to getting my bachelor’s degree and, with any luck, the upcoming fall semester of 2011 will be my last semester.

As such, I’m trying to figure out what I want to do with my life and I occasionally see a vocational counselor to try to help me narrow down the field.

Perhaps unsurprisingly to some, she was fascinated to hear about my involvement with WoW. I don’t tend to talk about it a lot “in real life”, but when I mentioned that something I loved doing was raid leading, she kind of had to ask what that meant and I had to explain and, yeah, she constantly tries to get me to relate things to WoW.

Once I get over the embarassment of it, it’s kind of neat, because she shows me why I love the game in a whole other way.

My “homework” for my next session is to write up a CV (or resume) of my GM skills. “Pretend,” she said, “that you need to apply to become the leader of another guild.”

“But that would mean my guild had failed miserably!”

She chuckled and told me to pretend I was six months removed from the pretend end of my guild and to try to write up a CV.

Obviously, the reason she’s doing this is to show me, in concrete terms, that the skills I have gained and refined while playing World of Warcraft have relevance in the real world. Which I know, but I rarely see real applications for it. I mean, how often do you have to parse a log in real life? How often do you have to armory people in real life? How often do you have to respec in real life?

My appointment’s in a little over two hours, so I thought I’d share with you guys what I wrote. Note that my Bronzebeard and Proudmoore guilds are not named because I’ve been pretty harsh on those people in this blog in the past.

Continue reading “Responsibilites, Skills… and Me”

Busy! Productive!

Monday morning, I woke up and promptly recorded Episode Five of Blessing of Frost with Majik, which I need to edit after I do this post.

Then, I went out to meet Ophelie from The Bossy Pally and the Giant Spoon for coffee. She was in the area visiting friends and was kind enough to ask me if I wanted to hang out, so we settled on Monday afternoon. 48 minutes after I finished the podcast with Majik, I arrived at the coffee shop and just a couple of minutes later, Ophelie arrived.

We had a great chat — from Canada and Quebec and Newfoundland to TV shows, from holy paladin mechanics to guild stuff, from Matticus and Conquest to Oestrus and Apotheosis. ;) It was a good time!

FOUR hours later, I realized I needed to get going, so I hauled ass and got home in time for my officer meeting which lasted over two and a half hours. It’s our first of the expansion and we got ALL the EPGP crap ironed out by virtue of doing a random regular, which ended up being Stonecore. And we played with the loot mods through the instance.

I’m shocked that it took Daey almost two hours to make the “Why don’t we just frigging /roll for loot?” suggestion that he’s basically famous for. (He suggests it multiple times EVERY expansion and gets shot down… every single time.) I bust out laughing at it, though. It felt like I was home.

So we finished up with EPGP – decided what loot mods to use, precisely, worked out the figures for EP awards and then, the most miraculous thing happened.

Dar actually said she’d update the EPGP post on the forums (which basically had how we do loot organized, but very out of date and not complete — lacking details that we had JUST hammered out tonight).

I nearly fell over in shock. One of my officers. Volunteered. To write an official post on the guild forums. Why I didn’t make Dar an officer during Wrath, I don’t know, but I’m sure as hell glad she threw her name in the hat for Cataclysm!

So she updated and edited my original post, created a new thread, which I just added a couple of things to, then replied to and gave a couple of additional details on standby and such… and that was it for all the EPGP stuff! Ecstasy!

I’ve gone another check of the people who weren’t QUITE up to snuff on my weekend check and written to them, reminding them of what they’re missing. Mostly it’s just enchants that are lacking. I think almost everyone is at the appropriate ilvl of gear we’re requiring (338+) and the ones who are lacking enchants, I put on standby as a temporary measure to remind myself to check their missing enchants before I invite them to the raid tomorrow.


The plan:

If we have Tol Barad, Baradin Hold to start with.

Then, Magmaw in Blackwing Descent. If the big worm dies, we go to Omnotron. If Omnotron goes down as well, it’s off to play with Halfus in Bastion of Twilight!

Why those bosses? We have experience, albeit limited, with all of those bosses, so the learning curve won’t be terribly steep. Hopefully.

Anyways, it’s 4:14am and I need to edit Blessing of Frost before I try to get some sleep and then write more stuff on the guild forums. Busy day on Tuesday!