Tag Archives: ranting

Go Phish

26 Oct

My site ended up unexpectedly being shut down for a couple of hours yesterday, so I do apologize if anyone tried to read anything that I have here and was unable to do so.  Needless to say, it was quite a wild ride! It all started a couple of weeks ago, when I started receiving some feedback from my friends and readers that my site was showing up on their antivirus software as possibly having malicious content, specifically a Trojan.  I have only been self hosted for a few short months, so I dont know too much on the subject or the inner workings of things.  I ran a full scan on my computer, which turned up nothing and then I called BlueHost, who hosts my website and asked what they could do about this.  The man from technical support ran a scan on his end, also found nothing malicious on my page and told me that if I could provide evidence of these alerts or of the malicious software that BlueHost could investigate further. I put out the call for people to send me some screenshots of what the man asked for and a very dear friend sent me an e-mail the other day with exactly what I needed.  I immediately shipped that off to BlueHost and awaited their response.  Near the end of my work day, I received two e-mails from BlueHost, one telling me that they had found a large amount of malware in my site and had created a folder with all of the information about it in there.  The second e-mail was from the Terms of Service department, telling me that a third party sent them a complaint about the malware on my site and that they determined that I was phishing, which is a violation of the Terms of Service.  Because of this infraction, they were going to deactivate my site and give me 15 days to contact them and get the matter resolved, or else they would potentially delete anything that they are hosting of mine. I called the Terms of Service department and they basically blamed everything on me.  They denied any responsibility for the malware getting through and told me that it is my job to monitor my site and make sure that it remains free of such things.  They denied any knowledge of promises that were made to investigate or clean up the site further and were unsure why someone in their technical support department would make such claims.  I was given the name of two third party companies that would be happy to help me clean up my site and help keep it clean, all of course for a low monthly fee.  Needless to say, I was pissed.  I didnt know any of this.  I assumed that by paying them to host my site, that they were also going to keep it safe.  There was never any indication that they did not automatically provide this service to me and this was the first time I had ever been offered the services of other companies to do such things.  It never came up until now.  Terms of Service wrapped up the call by stating that they would be happy to reactivate my site, if I could show them that the site was free of all malware and other potentially suspicious software and they would wait to hear my response on this.  I didnt know where to begin.  One of my friends offered his assistance with this and we sat on Vent together and figured out what to do.  I gave him the information that would allow him to access my control panel through BlueHost, to see what he could do.  Mind you, I wouldnt suggest you do this for just anyone, but these were desperate times and I really felt I could trust him.  As he is working on cleaning up my site, he was surprised to discover that nearly a dozen phishing sites or companies had basically taken up residence on my server.  Some of them were masquerading as tax companies or well known banking institutions.  It was an impressive feat and certainly not something done by amateurs. After he felt like he had cleared everything malicious out, I called BlueHost to see if my site met with their approval and if my blog could be reactivated.  The man on the line said I still had three pieces of malware remaining that they would like to see removed.  Let me get this right – they can tell me where the malware is and what it is, but they cant remove it?  How does that work?  Again, its not their job.  Or at least thats the way they see things.  So, I dragged my friend back on Vent and he removed the last three pieces of malware, to BlueHosts satisfaction.  Minutes later, my site was reactivated and everything appeared to be back to normal.I walked away from this experience feeling paranoid and confused.  How on earth did this happen?  I have always prided myself on being smart about my web surfing and my online shenanigans.  I dont open attachments Im not sure of.  I dont give out my password to strangers.  I use authenticators.  I run virus scans often.  I dont unscreen comments that look suspicious.  I dont download porn from sites that I dont trust and that arent secure.  I would like to think Im a smart person, in that regards.  I also dont know how to prevent this from happening again.  I really assumed that I would be safe, that my host would keep me safe.  That didnt happen.  My friend and several others offered me hosting on their spaces and Im seriously considering taking them up on this.  I dont need massive amounts of storage or numerous e-mail addresses.  I just want to feel safe.  I want to know that I can have a site up and running thats not going to negatively affect those who try to read it or that will negatively affect me.  I didnt even know something like this was possible. So Im trying not to give this too much thought and move on.  Im still trying to determine where Im going to end up, come 4.3.  I havent had any luck finding any runs in my current guild or group that are looking for healers or that would have me back (after the whole me refusing to go discipline fiasco), so Im having to take my business elsewhere.  I had one guild interview last night that I thought went well and I have had a few offers from others, too.  I really want to make sure I do it right this time and that I find a group that I enjoy first and that I can progress with second.  Before, it was the other way around and I realize that maybe that wasnt the best way to go about things.  I have learned that and Im still learning other things, too.  I just need to find the right group that is willing to learn with me and possibly even teach me a few things, too.

Poor

10 Oct

Theres nothing noble about being poor.- Brian Kinney, Queer As FolkThis afternoon, I was on my lunch break when my Twitter feed suddenly exploded with Tweets talking about a new companion pet at the Blizzard Store and how people thought it was a bad idea.  Now, most people tend to get really excited at the idea of a new pet being introduced to the game, so I couldnt figure out why this one had everyone up in arms.  I asked for more information, before heading back to the office and discovering this announcement:Q: How does the Guardian Cub pet work? How is it different from other Pet Store pets?Unlike the other Pet Store companions, the Guardian Cub is a tradable, one-time-use pet that permanently binds to a single character upon use.

Flexible

7 Oct

I took a moment yesterday to catch up with an old friend from my World of Warcraft days, whom I consider to be a respected authority and someone that I have a lot of love and respect for.  At some point in the conversation, I mentioned that I felt a whole lot more comfortable with the idea of healing as a discipline priest, when she added that she was starting to learn how to be a shadow priest.  I couldnt help but laugh at the thought of the two of us both trying things that were so outside of our comfort zones and imagining how well each endeavor would ultimately pan out. This got me thinking about just how flexible healers should be.  In World of Warcraft, each healing class has the ability to perform other roles, as well.  Druids and paladins can tank or DPS.  All 4 classes can do DPS.  Priests could also choose to heal one of two ways.  I admit that I didnt really understand the need to be flexible and how important it was until I started playing Rift.  Maybe this is because the idea of performing multiple roles is something that was ingrained into the game from the start and not something that was added in later.  I knew going into Rift that this would be expected of me and so I took to it much easier than I did before.  I think it also helped that I was so overwhelmingly curious about all of the potential souls that I didnt want to settle for having just one set of three souls.  I wanted to try a little of everything and did not want to feel tied to just one role.While I had become more comfortable with the idea of being a general healer and not being defined by one spec, I was less comfortable with the idea of being asked to tank or DPS, when needed.  During the last couple of raids, I have felt incredibly bored.  I feel as if either my group takes too many healers or the ones that we do have perform so well that there isnt really anything to do.  Some healers are asked to go DPS because of this and this is something that I dont feel comfortable enough to volunteer to do.  Even when we reduce our healing roster, I still dont feel like I have enough to do.  I dont feel like there is imminent danger coming from a lack of healing.  Im really and truly bored.Things kind of came to a head last night, during one of our farm nights.  I think we were running the bare minimum of healers that we needed to clear the zone and I still had very little to do.  Some people are fine with that, but I am not one of them.  I need constant stimulation or Ill start to tab out and lose interest.  I saw that one of our rogues had been benched or was sitting out, so I asked if he could take my place.  I wasnt mad or upset.  I just wanted something to do and I wasnt finding that in my raid.  I knew that they would be fine without me and that they would have more than enough healing to get them through what they wanted to accomplish for the night. When I logged on this morning, I found that I had been demoted to a casual status in the guild.  I cant say that I was surprised or terribly upset about it.  But, it did get me thinking again about healer flexibility in the games that I enjoy.Im sure I could have offered to go DPS and I would have been entertained enough where I wouldnt have felt the need to leave and find something else to keep me occupied.  I didnt have to sit out for a DPS, when I could have just re-specced and performed that role myself.  I had opened myself up to being a better healer by learning how to heal in various ways.  But now, I feel like I have to take that one step further and be a better cleric or priest, in general.  Its not enough to just be a healer.  I have to be a tank and a DPS, too? The number of healers required in Firelands seemed to bounce back and forth.  This seems to be the case in Rift, too.  I was open to being a Purifier in Rift.  I am now open to the idea of being discipline in World of Warcraft.  Why dont I feel like thats enough?  Why do I feel like healers are being asked to be something theyre not, in order to get a raid spot?  What happened to the days when we were asked to heal and do nothing but heal?  Am I the only who feels this way?  Mind you, nobody has ever asked me to perform any of these roles.  But, if you only need so many healers to get past an encounter and you have more healers than are necessary, what else are they supposed to? Im a healer.  I love to heal.  I love seeing 20 health bars falling dangerously low and knowing that I have to pick them back up again.  I get a rush from seeing a tanks health bar bounce back and forth, from full to half-full to really low.  It gives me purpose and it gives me something to do.  I know that if Im not there, those health bars may not fill up as fast.  It gives me a reason to log on, to sign up for a raid.  Thats how passionate I am about what I do.When you have mages who can heal and do damage, plus clerics who can DPS while healing, and both seem to provide more utility and healing than a healing cleric can, whats the point of even showing up?  To me, there isnt one.  I feel that the original intent of make healing more inclusive by allowing more people to be able to heal is doing more excluding than anything else.  There are only so many spots to go around and far too many healers to fill them all up with.

Priestly Predictions For 4.3

28 Sep

Within the last few days, we have been inundated with information about everything and anything concerning patch 4.3.  Yesterday, a huge amount of data was released, which covered upcoming class changes, the first images of the hunter and priest T13 sets, and even a few words about class balance from Ghostcrawler himself.  Lets take a look at what we do know, so far,  with regards to where priests will stand in the next patch. ___ of the Dying LightOur first look at the priest T13 set came out yesterday and it looks a little something like this:  What you may notice right away is that there are three different color schemes for this set.  The one on the left is presumably made up of the pieces that you can get from the new Raid Finder feature, the second one is probably made up of the pieces that you can get from a Normal mode of a raid instance, while the last image on the right is most likely the Heroic version of the set.Im pretty pleased with how it all looks.  I like that they incorporated elements of Lightwell into the set, in keeping with the theme of using noteworthy spells from each class as inspiration for the set designs.  The overall theme kind of reminds me of the Royal Flush Gang, from Batman Beyond with bits of Jenova thrown in, from Final Fantasy VII. Information about our T13 set bonuses was released first.  They appear to be, as follows:Healer, 2P- After using Power Infusion or Lightwell, the mana cost of your healing spells is reduced by 25% for [10|15] sec.

Choice

5 Sep

Whenever I read something, I try to imagine the authors voice in my head and what it would sound like if they were reading the story directly to me.  If theyre angry, I imagine their voice rising and falling and maybe even that theyre pacing back and forth.  If theyre happy, I imagine them smiling broadly and expressively talking to me with their hands as theyre sharing their good fortune with me.For anyone reading this post, I would like you to imagine that Im speaking to you in a very level headed, professional tone.  Im not angry.  Im not upset.  Imagine that Im speaking to you in the same tone of voice that I would if you were listening to my podcast or if you were listening to me discuss strategies with you during a raid on Vent.  What Im about to write has nothing to do with being spiteful or malicious, but with the feeling of maybe being a bit misunderstood.Its recently been brought to my attention that certain bloggers or personalities have expressed concern or frustration with the fact that many of us in the blogosphere have been highly critical of World of Warcraft and Blizzard for certain decisions that they have made and continue to make towards the game.  Certain people feel that we have become overly negative and that we are fostering a sort of bitter rivalry between those of us who still enjoy World of Warcraft and those of us who may have moved on to greener pastures (i.e.

Putting A Face On Goodbye

30 Aug

One of the main reasons that the gay marriage movement has gained so much ground in recent years has been attributed to people being able to put a face on gay marriage, which makes it much more difficult for people to deny others that right when they know someone who is in a similar situation.  When its your uncle, your neighbor, your boss, something like that really hits home for you and it affects you in ways that it otherwise wouldnt. The same goes for a charity that youre trying to raise money for.  If you have lost someone to HIV or breast cancer, chances are that you will be even more passionate about fund raising for that particular cause and you may possibly even participate in events to do your part so that the very same thing doesnt happen to someone else.I remember when the news that Blizzard had lost 600,000 subscribers had been released and people began absorbing and discussing it.  It didnt really hit me.  I was firmly in the Oh, its just 600,000 people.  Were going to be fine camp.  I didnt have a personal stake in it, really.  Those were just numbers to me. Shortly after, we learned that the cross realm Dungeon Finder was going to be implemented.  I remember posting something on my Facebook about this, hoping that the one third of my friends list who I met through WoW or who I know play WoW might be interested in queueing up with me sometime.  Instead of seeing the expected responses of Sure, hit me up! I was sad to see a string of Gosh, I would if I still played the game, type responses.Suddenly, those 600,000 people had names.  They had faces.  I knew them.  I couldnt believe what I was seeing.  They couldnt all have quit the game.  Could they?  The most surprising response came from one of my ex-boyfriends, whom I had actually met through the game and had even moved out of state to be with.  He was as firmly engrossed in World of Warcraft as anybody else.  He was one of the first PVP Gladiators, had the Insane title, and had repeatedly been asked to participate in Beta testing.  In fact, one of the many reasons that we broke up was because of the game.I remember the night that we broke up, when I told him that I needed a life outside of the game and when he replied that he couldnt give me one.  That guy was now in nursing school and had been so busy discovering life that his 10 man team (the members of which he handpicked himself) didnt even manage to finish clearing any of the T11 content on normal mode.  Of course, I was happy for him.  But it still blew my mind.  He was the last person I would have expected to join the ranks of the 600,000 who quit World of Warcraft for whatever reason.  And here I was, still playing. Then word came that another 300,000 had quit.  It affected me a bit more because I was one of them now.  I knew why people were leaving the game.  Because I was doing it, too.  Even then, people were still brushing it off as a modest loss and it was no big deal. Today, I read a blog post from Borsk that literally took my breath away.  In it, he mentions that his guild, which had weathered many storms and overcame many challenges along the way had finally decided that their last raid together would in fact be their last.  I couldnt believe what I was reading.  Here was someone else, who I thought would be one of the last to stick it out and show us all that World of Warcraft was worth staying around for, who might even be enough to lure some of us back into things and he was saying goodbye, too. I guess what Im trying to say is that were losing people.  Let me stress that.  We are losing people.  Were losing loved ones.  Were saying goodbye to friendships and memories and ties that we have formed with one another.  Its more than just lost revenue and subscription numbers.  Its not just a lump sum that we can shave off the top of a quarterly report and write off so easily.  These people have names and they have made contributions to the game and to the community.  I think thats something that we tend to forget about when were thinking about things like this.  It doesnt seem real, otherwise.  When you can rationalize it away, when you can convince yourself that it doesnt affect you and it would never happen to you, it becomes easier to deal with it and to dismiss.What people dont understand is how difficult it is to get to that point, to know that its over, and to know that you have to finally do something about it.  Its a very hard thing to have to go through.  You might make an attempt to stay in touch and to try and keep things as close to the way they were as possible, but not everybody succeeds.  Think about how many people you have seen leave the game through the years and that you still remain in touch with.  If youre anything like me, you can probably count the number of people on one hand and still have fingers left over. I just want people to remember that, the next time the topic of people leaving the game comes up again.  There is real loss happening here, that goes beyond income and bragging rights.  Its hard to say goodbye, but its harder to admit that its really over.

Fun

23 Aug

Ghostcrawler brought up the notion of fun 15 times in the most recent edition of the Dev Watercooler series.  In my opinion, this was about 14 times too many.Let me explain.There are many different kinds of fun.  There is the kind of fun that you have when you are going down the steep hill of a rollercoaster.

New Holy Shatt Podcast – Episode Seven!

19 Aug

Start your weekend off right by listening to a podcast that I was recently asked to be a guest host on.  The show is called The Holy Shatt podcast and its hosted by a friend of mine who I met through my time on The Sundering podcast.  You can check out the episode here:http://raleighite.com/2011/08/holy-shatt-episode-7-o-i-guess-i-should-record-a-podcast/I dont think Ive ever laughed this much or this hard on a podcast before.  Travis was a lot of fun to record with and we were both extremely candid, regarding our thoughts on why Blizzard is losing subscribers, how to properly say my name, and how to best handle stressful situations in the Dungeon Finder.If youre looking for an episode with a lot of laughs and some heartfelt opinions on the current state of things in WoW and Rift, take a listen and have a good time along with us!Have a great weekend!

Bang

10 Aug

This is the way the world endsThis is the way the world endsThis is the way the world endsNot with a bang but a whimper.- T.S. Eliot, The Hollow Men.I woke up the other day to find this post in the Breakfast Topics section over at WoWInsider and it got me thinking.  I related a lot to what the author had to say.I always imagined that when the time came for me to quit World of Warcraft that I would go out in a blaze of glory.  I fantasized about going out like Jack Berger and randomly shouting Fuck you and fuck you! before casually walking off and going about my business like such a random outburst never happened.Or maybe I would go out in the most passive-aggressive way possible.  I would tell people I was quitting the game, leave a huge goodbye post on various forums and check back often to see who would miss me or who would try to convince me to stay.Instead, it just kind of happened.  I received an e-mail from Blizzard, telling me that my subscription could not be renewed because the credit card linked to my account was no longer valid.  This is because I had to cancel my debit card a few weeks ago, due to some unauthorized charges that were made to my checking account.  Normally, I would have been all over that.  I would have been tapping my fingers impatiently on my desk while staring at the login screen, waiting for my payment to go through so I could keep playing.This time, I took a good, long look at the e-mail and deleted it.  Just like that, I had decided that I would not be renewing my subscription to World of Warcraft and that I was ready to finally move on with my life and with my gaming experience.  No string of expletives.  No emotional forum posts.  No one last thing before I go.I have been spending a lot more time playing Rift and Im really enjoying it.  I belong to a great guild that is home to some familiar faces in the blogosphere who I can see myself doing big things with.  With that said, I have decided to begin posting regularly about topics pertaining to Rift, specifically healing and the calling that I play.  I feel inspired in ways that I havent experienced in a long time and Im eager to pour out my thoughts and feelings here.Because Rift is a new game, they dont have the resources that World of Warcraft does.  There isnt an Elitist Jerks or a Blog Azeroth or a WoWInsider just yet.  There arent many personal blogs out there that talk about things from a players perspective.  There is a huge niche out there that could be filled and I would like to be one of the first to fill it.  Its a huge opportunity and I look forward to giving it a shot and seeing what becomes of it.  I plan on giving my blog a face lift,  too, to reflect that Im going in a new direction.I have no intention of deleting World of Warcraft from my computer.  I have nothing bad to say about the game or those who continue to play it.  I still plan on going to BlizzCon in a couple of months and continuing to support those who I regularly follow and enjoy reading.  The Double O Podcast is still going strong and you can count on Ophelie and I to continue bringing you the best episodes we possibly can and to keep talking about the things that you all want to hear about.They say that lightning never strikes twice.Well see about that!

Crutch

4 Aug

Things have been kind of quiet around here lately, for one big important reason:I decided to take a break from raiding.The circumstances surrounding my most recent post really tipped the scale in that direction.  When I say tipped the scale, I mean that there were other things already on the scale that were making it lean in a particular direction.  This just ended up being the deciding factor.For the most part, everything has been entirely amicable.  There were no hard feelings between myself and my group (other than the initial furor by some over the post itself).  Im still in my guild and Im under the impression that I could come back and raid at any time (if not with my current group then with another one that falls under our umbrella, of sorts). Its been a lot easier to go without raiding than I thought.  I dont even think Ive logged into the game since I made the decision to take a break.  I feel overwhelmingly disappointed with the current state of things.  I feel like Bring the player, not the class has turned into Bring the cooldown, not the player. I feel that we have fallen into a state of convincing ourselves that we need certain things to succeed, when that wasnt always the case.  I feel that this has created a demand or a sense of obligation that everyone needs or deserves a cooldown, which Im sorry to say isnt true.  I was against shamans receiving Spirit Link Totem and I cant say that I sympathized with druids who insisted they needed a cooldown, too.  This is what the game has turned into.  It has turned into taking classes who were strong and are strong and convincing them that they arent or that they are nothing without a desired cooldown.I have been spending most of my time cooking real meals, going to Zumba classes twice a week, and getting addicted to various TV shows on Netflix.  I have been spending quite a bit of time playing Rift and getting familiar with how the end game works and trying to decide if I want to get involved with that at all.  I have entertained the idea of coming back to WoW, either by raiding with a different set of people or choosing a different spec thats outside of my comfort zone (like the deeply misunderstood Atonement spec).  Most likely I would remain holy.  I dont really have a plan right now and it feels good to be able to say that.  Im just kind of putzing around and having an absolute blast doing so.So in closing, Im still here.  The blog is still here.  Ophelie and I are recording a new episode of the Double O Podcast this weekend, so the podcast is still here.  I dont really know where Im headed, but hopefully a few of you will still be willing to take the journey with me and see where I end up.Thanks for stopping by!