Saturday, May 28, 2011

Writing for Money

When my 8th grade English teacher signed my yearbook, knowing I was moving from California to Arizona, she told me to "show the people in Arizona what a real writer was."  When I wrote letters back to my band leader, she responded that her fiance said I should become a writer.

But when the time came for me to choose my area of study for college, I chose physics.  I was under the impression that only with a technical degree could one be assured of making a living.  I was good at math and moderately interested in physics, and I was following in my father's footsteps.

I graduated with a degree in physics and a specialty in secondary education, holding a teaching certificate.  But I never taught under contract.  Instead, I ended up working for a defense contractor, sometimes staring at twenty-year-old undocumented lines of Fortran, and sometimes working as a technical editor.  Interestingly enough, I really enjoyed technical editing.

If I hearkened back to my deep roots and my first love, it shouldn't have been too surprising to me that I enjoyed technical editing.  It wasn't writing, but it was playing with words and phrases and punctuation.  I gained the confidence to stand up to people with Master's degrees and tell them that the paragraph they had written was confusing and should be revised, regardless of their credentials and their pride.  And I gained an appreciation for the beauty of parallel structure and a consistent format.

When I realized how much I enjoyed the process, I considered writing for money.  In my youthful thinking, the only way to write for real money was to write fiction, but I found the process very arduous.  There were many novels for which I started character sketches and skeleton plotlines, but when I sat down to flesh them out, I found my enthusiasm waning almost immediately.  And there was no market for short stories, even if I wanted to write them.

One day, I admitted to myself that I just didn't like writing fiction.  And as I considered myself without the knowledge to write non-fiction, I gave up the idea of writing for money.

Until now.

Not too long ago, I discovered some websites which connect freelance writers to purchasers of written content for on-line use.  Granted, they pay pennies, but they are a start.

The process is simple:  register on the site, submit a writing sample when requested, and claim and complete writing assignments from a list of choices.  Payment is made through Paypal.

Tentatively, I registered at the site most recommended for complete beginners.  I chose a topic from their list for a writing sample and put something together which I felt flowed reasonably well.  I knew when they read my writing sample, they would rate it from a 2 through a 5, which would affect both my rate of pay and the quality of assignment I would be permitted to accept.  I also knew there was little chance I would receive a rating of 5, as that is considered a professional writer.  All I wanted was to receive a 2 rating and begin the process.

When I received notification they had completed reviewing my writing sample, I logged on to the site to view the results.  I stared at the screen and immediately called my husband.

"They rated me a 4!  I can't believe it!"

He laughed and said, "I told you you sell yourself short."

Yesterday I completed my first article, a short piece on toilet training, which took me roughly a half hour, including edit time.  I do not know if the purchaser will give me on-line credit for my work, which is not required under the terms of service, but to me, that does not matter.  What matters is that I have finally dipped my toe into the world of writing for money, even if just for pennies.

Monday, May 23, 2011

What's in a Guild Name?

When I asked my guild leader some time ago if my teenage daughter could be invited into the guild as a non-raiding Friend, his one question to me was whether she understood that her actions reflected on the guild.

Tempest has been in operation for over four years now; I have been a member for just about three. (Have to look up my anniversary, which is any day now.)  We have never been first on the server, but we have maintained reasonable progress. We have gone through bad times and good times, hard times and times when everything seemed to be running about as smoothly as guilds can run. We maintain a rather low profile in that our members are not Trade chat trolls, nor do we permit dishonest behavior, whether in or out of the guild. We are consistent in our raiding and patient with recruits as they learn the encounters. Over time, we have gained a certain amount of respect among the server population in general.

We'd like to keep it that way.

Reputations take time and hard work to build up, but they can be destroyed in an instant. The longer the reputation has been building, the more it might take to completely destroy it, but that doesn't mean it can't be weakened. And, yes, the actions of one person in a guild can tarnish the reputation of the guild. People judge players by their guilds and guilds by the players they accept.

This is one reason why, when I post on the server forums, I do so on a low-level, cross-server alt. This is not because I am ashamed of anything I say there--I dare you to find a time when I was rude--but because I do not want what I say associated with my guild name, lest my personal statements color others' opinions about my guild.

There have been times when people applied to join our raid, and upon reading the name of their current guild, our raiders have questioned their judgement or character.  For example, if you see someone applying from a guild entitled "Was This Your Instance", it is difficult to disassociate the name (and, to be honest, the reputation) of the guild from the individual player, although he may have had nothing to do with developing the guild's reputation.

Some time ago on the server forums, there was a report of a ninja. The person accused actually admitted defiantly on the server forum that he had ninja'd the item, but so what? As the exchange went on, encompassing several people from the server, it became apparent that the actions of this person were reflecting poorly upon the guild, whose leader began by defending this individual, but who eventually worked out a restitution deal for the person whose loot had been stolen in the incident. There were comments made about the quality of a guild which would keep a member of this caliber. That guild no longer exists.

It is important for players to recognize that their actions do reflect on their guild, not just their own names. In the immortal words of Benjamin Franklin: "It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it." This principle applies to guilds, as well. I think sometimes players do not realize their actions can affect the way some people see the guild whose name they wear above their heads. But, like it or not, it matters.

Oh, and by the way, if you're a ninja, please don't bother applying to Tempest.  Save everyone the time and trouble.  Thank you for your interest, and good luck in your search.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Nickles and Dimes

Yesterday, the blues announced a feature under development to allow friends of the same faction on different servers to group together for 5-man instances.  They stated this feature would be a premium service, meaning, it's going to cost you extra if you want to use it.

I've heard some people complain that Blizzard is starting to nickle and dime them in their game play.  First it was vanity pets and mounts.  Then it was the mobile auction house and guild chat feature.  Now this.

Personally, I don't have a problem with Blizzard making this service premium.  First, I won't be paying it, as I don't use RealID and so don't keep in contact with people on other servers as a general rule.  (And I have no real life friends who play.)  Second, why not have a fee for an optional extra service?

As the blue stated, it takes a lot of time and effort to work out the requirements for this feature.  This means, of course, that Blizzard is spending a lot of money paying people or adding equipment or whatever it is they need to do to get this capability in place.  They have to have a plan to recover their costs, or it would not make good business sense.  (And, face it, people, Blizzard is a business.  If running these services did not make money, they wouldn't be doing it, and we wouldn't have a game to fuel our blogs.)

It's sort of like toll roads.  The costs for building and maintaining these roads are recovered by the tolls.  The roads themselves are not a necessity (although sometimes they may seem that way.)  People could, if they wanted to avoid the toll, take the other, pre-paid roads (nothing is really "free"), which may take longer or require them to travel more slowly, deal with poorly-maintained pavement or stop at traffic lights.  But if they feel it is worth it to them, they may choose to pay the toll and travel in relative comfort and convenience.

A similar idea is true with this feature.  If people want to run instances with their friends, they do not have to pay the money for the premium service to run selected cross-server dungeon groups.  They could create a new character on their friend's server, level him up, gear him, and then run dungeons.  But that is a pain in the neck, especially for people who do not have a lot of time to play.  So, instead, they may choose to pay the extra fee for the convenience of being able to play with their friends on other servers, which is a reasonable option.

What would be a possible alternative to making it a premium feature (or making other features premium, as well)?  Blizzard could require all our subscription fees to increase, to cover the costs of their current and future feature development.  But would this be fair to those of us who do not need or want to use the extra features?

I like the fact that I can choose what I buy instead of having the costs for bonus features I do not use automatically transferred to me.  (Sure is an improvement over the tax system . . . of course, it's an improvement, anyway, because if you don't want to pay the fees to Blizzard, you can choose to "opt out", which option is unavailable when it comes to taxes . . .)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Logging my Time

How much time do you spend each week playing World of Warcraft?

If you're like me, you have had times where you spent more than you were willing to admit.  For a good deal of Wrath, I can say I spent roughly 3-4 hours in-game every night.  Sometimes I logged on for a half hour or so after the kids were on the bus, before I had to get ready for work, while my husband was still asleep.  Sometimes I came home at lunchtime and logged on for a half hour or an hour, depending on how long I had that day.  On weekends, I might play some in the afternoon, if the family didn't have anything going on.  When you tally all that up, it's quite a chunk of time.  But I was having a lot of fun, and the times I was playing worked around the necessities of the family, so it was not really a concern to me.

It was, however, a concern to my husband, who worried about me.

When Cataclysm came out, I, like most raiders, worked hard to level, gear, and prepare for the start of raiding.  I did not have the freedom to take off a few days, so I played my usual roughly four hours in the evening, bit by bit, until I was finally prepared ahead of the first scheduled raid.  Then for the first while, there were things to accomplish--herbs to gather, rep to grind, fish to catch--until my stock was filled and my rep requirements were met.

And then what?

Things got a lot more casual.  (I.e., my main had nothing to do when not in raid.)  My enthusiasm to play on non-raid nights became greatly reduced.  And with my enthusiasm to play reduced, my interest in other things proportionately increased.

This weekend, after vainly trying to assure my absent husband that I don't play nearly as much as I used to play, I started something he wanted me do back in Wrath:  a time log.  He maintained that if I was honest with myself and logged the amount of time I spent in-game, I would be surprised at the number of hours.  (I didn't start a log then because I knew if I recorded all that time, I'd have to feel guilty that I was not being productive.  But he was still playing then, too.)  This log is not to show myself how much time I spend in-game, because I know my time has been greatly reduced, but to show my husband how much time I spend in-game, to prove to him that I meant what I said.

In the last two days--weekend days--without trying to limit my time, I've logged three hours total of late evening play time.  I'm not sure I would have spent that long in-game if I had not been listening to a podcast.  If my husband had been home, I might not have logged on at all.

I simply wasn't that terribly interested.

Three hours in two days, after all the kids are in bed, is an entirely respectable time to play a game.  Sure, on raiding nights, three nights a week, I will log four hours, but given that the other nights show one or two, I think I can make a case to my husband that my game time is not excessive.  Perhaps he will finally believe me.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

I Have Proof!

There really are people behind those avatars!

When our guild was working on 25-man ICC, we also set up a few unofficial 10-man groups.  One of those 10-man groups included three healers:  a Resto Druid (me), a Discipline Priest, and a Holy Paladin.  The three of us had been healing with each other for quite a while and were good at what we did.  We trusted each other and had confidence in each other's capabilities.

Now, having that kind of relationship of trust is not terribly unusual in a successful 10-man raiding group.  What was unusual, however, was that all three of us hailed from the same medium-population state:  New Mexico.  (Which apparently ranks 36th out of 50 in population by state . . .)

I thought this was funny, so I used to call us the "Leet New Mexican Healing Team."

Well, this week I had to go on a business trip in-state.  And it just so happened I ended up in the general neighborhood of the other two members of the "Leet New Mexican Healing Team."

It was the perfect opportunity!  The three of us were able to get together and talked for something like three hours.  I snapped a picture of the other two members, which means, of course, I have the screenshot!  (But I'm not so mean as to post it on my blog without their permission.)

I had never thought I would ever have the chance to meet anyone in person I had first met in WoW.  (Unless, of course, I went to Blizzcon or something, which hasn't happened to date.)  So this was really neat.

Of course, when I headed for home two mornings later and discovered my almost-17-yr-old daughter had put a hole through the girls' bedroom door the night before because the 9th grader had locked it and wouldn't unlock it, I wondered if I ever wanted to travel again.  (Why, why, why did she not just call me when she couldn't find the precision screwdriver to unlock the door and ask where I keep a spare?  Or call me and put me on speakerphone so I could talk with the 9th grader?)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Various and Sundry

I've had a lot on my mind lately, so pardon the ramblings.

My husband changed positions at work, which hasn't always been easy.  (Sometimes even a promotion can make you feel hollow at first, just because of the shift in focus--having to leave behind the results of the hard work you've put in for so long.)

My teenage daughters have been giving me grief.  (What teenage daughters don't, right?)  The other day, I actually sat on a floor, reading a book, waiting for my 9th grader to finally stop pouting and be ready to listen to me.  (Good thing I had a book.)  The whole thing ended well, but it sure took a long time, a lot of patience, and an outpouring of love.  Even my teenage daughter who is doing fabulously at school (8th grade Valedictorian, yay!) has moments where she bursts into tears while I stand around wondering what body language I failed to see or what I did to make her feel she is unloved or something.  And my 10th grader thinks she is always right and knows loads of information on every topic.  (If she really doesn't, she fakes it. 'Nuff said.)

Local happenings have been . . . well, happening.  In a rural area, whenever someone experiences tragedy, it has widespread effects.   And tragedies seem to run in cycles.  You'll have a long time when nothing much happens, then a series of tragedies happen in only a few weeks.  In the last few weeks, my second daughter's classmate's father committed suicide, a friend's sister lost her full-term baby (stillborn), and our postmaster had a stroke.  And just two days ago, a co-worker got in a serious four-wheeling accident.  He's still in a coma with a pretty broken-up body.  Oh, and by the way, two mountain ranges over, a big fire started yesterday.  The smoke is intense--looks like a large, low-lying cloud over our valley.  The high winds aren't helping the situation at all, and at least one co-worker's home is potentially in the danger zone.  (She's understandably not at work today.)  The good thing about being in a rural area is when tragedy does happen, people come together and help out.

So when I have looked into my mind to think of things to write in this blog, my mind has stared back at me, as blank as the page.

In the evenings, when it's time for the girls to be in bed (all of them . . . little ones go to bed earlier, but they don't always fall asleep earlier . . .), I've wanted to sit down and run an instance or something, but so often, I've found myself too tired, emotionally if not physically.  I'll log on Anachan and think, "Troll heroics!" but when it comes down to it, the thought seems exhausting.  (I did manage to make it into a ZG the other day, on the last boss.)  Or I've pulled out Hikarinoko, who is now running around the Eastern Plaguelands, and think, "Ok, I think I have enough Intellect gear to attempt to heal, and I have Beacon!" but again, I find myself too tired to press that Dungeon Finder button and end up running quests instead.  (I'm reserving judgement on the updated Darrowshire chain until I finish it . . . but the caravan is amusing.)

I think I've managed to figure out a Vuhdo configuration for Hikarinoko's healing.  The train of thought on the bindings is similar to the train of thought on both Anachan and Kaminoko.  Standard spam heal here . . . high-cost, fast heal here . . . Insta-cast, always-keep-up heal here (shield in the case of Kaminoko) . . . cleanse here . . . heal which requires some kind of condition be met before you can use it here . . . you get the picture.  Makes sense to me, anyway, which is what counts.

The big difference with pally healing, of course, will be that it has to be reactive, for the most part.  You can't pre-HoT someone.  At my level, you can't pre-shield them, either.  It's an adjustment in thinking.  (I might have to set up some PowerAuras for her . . .)

The fun thing lately, has been watching my little girls play WoW together.  As I'm not quite as savvy as my husband is on the WoW sound stuff, they've been calling to each other between the rooms as they play.  They've been playing their Gorgonnash characters, which means I've dragged them into one of the little guilds I inherited when a friend left the server, to prevent them accepting an invitation to some random guild full of people I do not know.  At least they can sport a guild tabard, even if there really aren't any benefits.  (I hesitate to bring them into Tempest.  Then again, maybe I could just have them leave Guild chat, along with Trade . . . To be frank, the Tempest Guild chat usually wouldn't be a problem for them, especially with the profanity filter on, but I think it might make some of the other guildies uncomfortable if they are always wondering whether or not that particular "Ana's daughter" is one of the elementary kids.)

But having younger daughters keeps the smile on my face.  When things are hard, the hugs and kisses at bedtime help brush away the world's ills.  If the teenagers are there, no matter what has happened that day, they usually want a hug and kiss, as well.  For just a few moments, all is right.

That healing magic is more powerful than anything a Druid or pally can do.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Only One More!

Tuesday was an amazingly good raiding night.

For one thing, we started pretty much on time, because we had enough people to do so.  I suspect this was due, in part, to the fact we had formed a raiding group 20 minutes early with the goal of taking a silly screenshot . . .

The things which bring guilds together . . .

At any rate, by the time the screenshot was finished, we only needed a few more people to complete our raiding group, and off we headed to BWD.

We did have a couple of interesting mispulls . . . hunter's pet . . . stuff like that . . . but by and large, the evening went really smoothly.  By the time we took our midpoint break, all but Nefarian had fallen.

After break, we cracked our knuckles and prepared to face this final encounter.  Many of the raid had been in the guild first kill, but I had been away at the time.

Again, we had some less-than-stellar starts . . . issues in phase 2 with interrupts . . . the moonkin, who always starts the encounter as a stealthed cat, being discovered and killed, thus starting the encounter prematurely and causing a BR to be burned right away . . . But by the time we had an attempt which made it to phase 3 (second attempt?), we got Nefarian all the way down to 6% before wiping.

My jaw dropped.  After all the weeks in which we had tried and failed, suddenly we get him to 6% so easily?  Maybe, just maybe, we were getting the hang of the fight.  Maybe, just maybe, our group was finally prepared to take a look at an Heroic encounter or two.

Nefarian died with an hour left in our raiding schedule (on an attempt which started with a mis-pull, no less.)  We called it early, ending on a positive note.

And I got my tier helm.  Hooray for haste!

Now, there is only Al'akir.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Success In Healing

"How do you define success in healing?"

I asked this question not too long ago of a healing applicant.  What triggered it was his list of addons.  It didn't include an addon raid frame or Clique but did include Recount.  I asked him about his healing style, and then I asked him the above question.  (Had to beat off the peanut gallery, which of course wanted to pipe in with clever remarks.)

To be fair, he was young and probably hadn't had to deal with a serious job interview up to that point, where they asked him open-ended philosophical questions.  (You know, the kind where you have to have enough insight to figure out what the interviewer is really getting at before you open your mouth and let him know your perspective is completely different.)  But his response--bragging about some of the encounters he had healed in non-traditional gear--didn't impress me.

I told him he could tell me he'd healed encounters in a pink dress, and it wouldn't impress me.  (Inside guild joke.)  I could heal a raid encounter naked, and it would not tell anybody anything about my skill, because I was probably carried.  (But it might say a lot about my attitude.)

It's pretty simple to define success as a tank.  If the mobs stay on the tank, and the tank uses his/her abilities properly to help preserve their own life, we'll keep the tank.  It's pretty simple to define success as a dps player.  If the player accomplishes any special assignments they were given (cc, interrupts, focusing on adds, etc.) and manages to toss out large numbers, the dps is pretty successful.

Defining success as a healer is a little more subtle.

You can't rely on the meters.  For instance, there may only be "so much" healing to be done.  Perhaps there is a fight where the tank takes 85% of the damage.  There is only so much of his life bar to refill, and so the potential for healing is limited.  This means that, unlike the dps, the healers may be competing for the opportunity to heal, rather than just competing on how well they can tweak their own stats, rotations, and targeting skill.  Their numbers are dependant on what everyone else does, not just their own skill.  Many times, to increase a player's numbers on the meters, the only way available is to stomp on someone else.  And that is a bad atmosphere to foster in a healing corps.

So how do you define success as a healer?

When I evaluate a healer, I look at a few things.

1.  How are their basic raiding skills?  (Ok, we look at this for everyone.  Do they stand in fires, etc.  Kind of obvious.)

2.  Did they accomplish their assignment?  Did they use their cooldowns when designated?  If the person was assigned to tank healing, did the vast majority of their healing go to the tank or were they so busy trying to snipe heals from the rest of the healing corps that someone else stepped in to keep the tank alive?

3.  Was their healing at a reasonable level for their assignment?  For instance, in a high raid damage fight, someone assigned to tank healing will usually show up lower on the meters.  But if their showing is within a reasonable amount of the other tank healers, especially other tank healers of their class, it is acceptable.  If, however, it is considerably lower than the others, and it cannot be explained by a disconnect, death, or other such reason, I have to wonder if they were giving their best effort.

4.  Are they a functioning team member?  Is their focus on competing against the rest of the healing corps, or do they work together in a give and take situation?  Do they have thoughtful suggestions when we have trouble or will we hear nothing but complaints when there are setbacks?

The healing applicant obviously had not understood my question in the spirit it was asked.  He apparently thought I was looking for proof of great deeds, but I was after basic understanding of teamwork.  I finally had to spell it out for him:

What I'm really getting at is this: are you going to accomplish your assignment or fail to do so because you're too busy tossing around random heals to pad the meters? Are you going to view the raid as a team venture, where everyone wins if the boss goes down, regardless who came out on top of Recount and who had the most overheal, or are you going to spend your time telling everyone in healer chat how good you are and causing discontent in the ranks? Are you going to accept assignments and follow through or are you going to pout if you are assigned something which will naturally make your showing on Recount lower?

Do you view healing success as accomplishing your assignment so the raid can down the boss, or do you view success as stomping everyone else on the meter for the bragging rights?
At that point, his answer didn't matter, because I had told him the "right" answer.  What mattered then was that he knew what my expectations were.

We recruited him on a trial basis.  So far, he seems to be measuring up all right.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Leveling at Light Speed

. . . even without trying.

Hikarinoko is now level 31 and dual-specc'd.  Wow, that was fast.

Now, for my purposes, it's not a problem that she is leveling fast.  Finally I have her dual-specc'd, so I can start to run instances as a healer, despite my lack of good healing gear.  (I've picked up what I can, but a good deal of her "healing" gear will still be Ret.  At lower levels, I don't think it matters quite as much.)  I never did pick up heirlooms, so I can only imagine how fast the process would be with them, as well.

But it set off another set of grumblings from my husband. Not that my husband was in any danger of returning to WoW, but when he heard about my paladin adventures, it clinched it. He told me he has absolutely no interest whatsoever in the game.  (Note to self: must cancel the billing on his account. The girls haven't been playing it for a while.)

"They've made it too easy," he groused. "There's no requirement to really meet and surpass a challenge when you are leveling. It makes lazy players."

It is true that I have not had any real difficulty playing Hikarinoko, although I have to wonder how much of that is due to the nature of the Ret pally, how much of that is due to the general ease of the encounters, and how much of that is due to the fact I've played this game for a while and so can figure things out more quickly.  I've been able to establish a reasonably effective rotation for her purposes, although it may not be the most efficient.  I've even hotkeyed her Ret abilities and am not clicking!  (I know there will be some people who will be utterly astounded.  Well, don't be too astounded.  Her heals are still bound in Vuhdo, so I'm clicking there.)  She kills things quickly, and she doesn't really even break a sweat if she gets a couple of adds.

That said, the redesign really has made some circumstances simpler.  For example, I find that some areas which used to be swarming with mobs, to the point where you just took a deep breath and started plowing through, now frequently have mobs spaced much farther apart, so if you're clever, you may be able to simply mount and with a little clever navigating, cross the area without having to kill your way across.  And several of the Duskwood quests have been redesigned so the player doesn't have to run back and forthe between the western part of the zone and Darkshire repeatedly.  Most quests are generally localized.  ("What?!" my husband said when I told him about this.  "That was part of what made it so epic--having to go back and forth.  They're catering to the lazy."  I didn't bother to remind him that when we used to do this zone, we had to run, as well, instead of riding mounts or even using cheetah form.)

And having a lot of what used to be strictly addon abilities built into the game also makes it simpler.  Want to know in what direction you need to travel to find your objective?  Check your map.  Unsure if the gnoll you're facing will count in your quest?  Mouse hover over and check the notes.  Are you getting close to an individual who is a quest objective?  It will show up on your mini-map as a skull.  Where are those fox droppings, anyway?  They're sparkling.  (Gotta wonder what those foxes were eating . . .)  None of this, of course, was included in the original game.  You had to search for the quest objectives, ask for help, look it up on Thottbot where others had posted notes about their experiences, and so forth.  (Can't begin to count the number of times I told people to look things up on Thottbot.)

The quest with which I have had the most trouble to date was the one in Redridge where she was required to plant charges in the towers, along with a member of Bravo Company.  One building was simple enough (distract guards, plant charges on ground floor), but no matter what she tried, she got killed at the other tower, which required her to climb the ramp to the top before placing the charges.  She finally overcame the situation by cheating . . . well, by using the mechanics of the game.  (She died, then she rezzed on the second floor of the tower, then she planted the charge behind the shelter at the top, where the guards could not see her, then returned to the second floor and jumped off where there were no guards.)

At any rate, it's pretty much smooth sailing.  And at least the story lines are interesting and still relatively new.

A newcomer to the game would most likely not realize or appreciate how easy leveling has become.  But a newcomer to the game is facing not 60 levels, but 85, so I can understand that having a slow, difficult leveling process could make the venture seem very daunting.  They'll get a bit of a skill check later in the game.  The trouble is that by then, they may have developed bad habits and simply expect everything to be easy . . . even when they finally decide to start raiding.  And that could cause problems for the rest of us.

But as I am leveling a paladin for the education and not necessarily for the challenge of it, I am glad I do not have to go through the long, horrible grinding process which was what Redridge or Duskwood used to be. I am glad I can see quick results. I tend to think the people who benefit most by this new leveling arrangement are those of us who have already suffered through Redridge three, four, or more times, and to whom the very idea of leveling a new character left a feeling like a rock in the stomach.

Now Hikarinoko will sit at 31 for a bit.  Tonight, I plan on finally taking a look at the new Troll 5-mans on Anachan, and then we'll be starting our raiding for the week.  I'm sure she'll be glad for the rest before starting to queue for healing roles.