After my mini-emo rant post a while back, I decided to take some time to myself. I went on a holiday. I was in no rush to do anything that wasn’t necessary. There was no writing unless I was getting paid for it. And, most importantly, absolutely no worrying about the future.
During my four year stint as a guild master in World of Warcraft I attracted my fair share of ‘fun parasites’ — players whose constant need for attention, regardless of what you’re doing, can suck the fun right out of a game.
At the start of my tenure I could simply hide on another toon located on a different server, but then Battlenet came along and the ability to hide like that vanished.
Since Battlenet does not have an ‘Appear Offline’ feature, players like myself who are notoriously afraid of confrontation are left with two options. We either let these kinds of players kill the game for us, or we swig back a nice, big glass of wine, and get ready to handle the problem like the badass adults we are.
Read on to learn more about how I handle parasitic players in Battlenet.
This is a guest post written by the talented TK Dennis
Have you ever met someone that is genuinely awesome; someone who is respectful, fun, polite, positive, generous, and just plain cool to be around? Have you ever found yourself in a position where you don’t have a lot in common with this person, or perhaps truly don’t have time for a friendship with this person? I find myself in this situation all the time. I used to either find myself being depressed that I couldn’t be that friend they wanted me to be, or find myself coming up with every possible excuse as so why I couldn’t spend time with them because I didn’t have any relational energy. All the while feeling guilty because they are seriously awesome people that someone would be proud to know. Then I found my answer in a bag of Legos.
My family and I went to a farewell party over the weekend. It was for some friends who moved here around the same time we did, and we’ve been pretty close ever since. We have watched as our boys went from being stubborn one year old babies who refused to play with each other to bubbly four year old boys who are inseparable. While we were at the party I met plenty of great people, and aside from a very small few, they are all leaving. Throughout the night names would pop up; names of people who have moved back to where they came from. I found myself thinking about how things would be if I moved back home, and it was with a strange sadness that I realised that I’ve been living in some kind of time warp — that while in my head things would be the same if I went back home tomorrow, in reality, things are not the same at all.
Change has been something that I have noticed the last few times I have been over for a visit. It started out as small things: a favourite shop closing, new buildings springing up and things being re-arranged. But it’s the bigger things that have me feeling out of place. Somewhere in there my brother turned 21, my Dad turned 50 and my best friend got engaged and has twins! There are the soap opera dramas that are destroying people I really care about and the epic get togethers that I miss so much. Even with Facebook, World of Warcraft and my phone, I am missing out on so much. Little by little my friends are changing. Perhaps I am as well, but it doesn’t feel like it. I am still here, in my bubble . I go back there expecting things to be the same, but they’re not. They never will be like that again. Much like what is happening here, my friend circle there is shrinking, too. And I feel powerless to do anything about it.
My husband and I have had some heated arguments in the past over where to from here. He wants to move to the bright lights of the city, I just want to go home. My fear is that we move to a city and we have to start this cycle — a cycle that is pretty much failing — all over and once again I will be in a strange place with no support network. He has some sound arguments for Sydney; great career prospects, modern comforts and a vibrant place that couldn’t be any further from where we are now. And he has said that my shitty social skills are what’s holding us back. That as much has he doesn’t want to move back to backwards WA, he knows he’ll end up doing it just that purely to keep me happy.
So here I am, in a place where I know only few people, but the weather is great and nostalgia keeps me warm at night. I’m scared to move forward, to a place where I will be completely alone and waaaaaaay out of my comfort zone. But I’m also scared to move back. What if all the faces are familiar but the people are not? What if my husband grows to hate me because I am holding him back? Why can’t I just break out of my bubble and be as awesome as I am online in the real world?
I suspect that we’ll never leave this place. Husband is happy, he’s found people that enjoy the same hobbies as he does and they are actually reliable. Liam is also happy; even though his best friend is moving away, he has plenty of other friends at school. Am I happy? I don’t know. I think I have reached a point where small talk at the school pick up and kids birthday parties are all the face time I need. Whether or not that’s because I have been a hermit for the last three years or because my meaningful conversations come from the internet, I don’t know. Perhaps this is what it means to be a wife and mother. You make the best of a shitty situation, all for “the greater good”.
Ugh. I really need a beer.
Would you move to greener pastures or head back home?
As I mentioned in my Mothers Day gift ideas post, there are some very exciting things happening around my place in May. The biggest event by far is my son’s fourth birthday. For once, I’m actually quite prepared. The cake theme is decided, the presents have been arranged and the guest list is pretty simple since Liam only has three friends. However, there is one part that I am totally not prepared for and it has me in a spin.
My Mum and Dad are coming to visit.
There is one thing I need to get out of the way before I continue; I absolutely love my parents and am BEYOND excited that they are making the journey over for Liam’s big day. I miss them both so much and really wish that I could live closer and/or it not cost us $2,000 return to fly over for a visit.
My reason for panic comes down to one simple thing: my mother is like a 1950’s domestic goddess (With better cooking) and I am most definitely not. I want very much for my home and my skills as a housewife to impress her, but I’m afraid that I’ll let her down yet again.
We come from two different schools of thought: I believe that life is meant to be lived, not spent chained to a kitchen; whereas mum cannot handle mess and will not relax until it is defeated. We certainly don’t wallow around in filth at my place, but I would never dream of stripping and polishing my floors for fun. Unfortunately she can sometimes misconstrue my cavalier attitude towards house pride as laziness, and that cuts me deep. Why bust my arse off obsessing over the most minuscule of details when no-one but me is going to appreciate it anyhow? It seems like a waste of time.
Since my husband has started inviting people around on the weekend, our home is starting to look a lot better. There’s no more racing around like a headless chook trying to cram a week’s worth of cleaning into the 40 minute window between Liam’s bed time and the arrival of his mates. Now it’s just the usual after dinner routine with a bit of extra tidying thrown in if needed. It hurts to think that before we suddenly had a social life, the house must have been gross. No visitors meant no threat of surprise guests seeing the toys scattered all over the house or the benches covered in junk.
It’s like someone who uses a milk crate as a TV stand “just while we get settled” but it’s still there a year later. I got used to not having people over and, therefore, not really caring about the presentation of our home. Now that mum is coming, all of a sudden I am acutely aware of every imperfection. What if she thinks my skills as a homemaker have gotten worse since she came to visit three years ago? Aaahh!
While not ideal, I won’t have a meltdown if the bloke with the worst BO I have ever had the misfortune to smell sees that I haven’t folded the laundry yet. If my mother, the Queen of Clean, were to see Mount Folding Up in it’s current state, though? The floor opening up and swallowing me whole wouldn’t be enough to rid me of my embarrassment. Folding may be low on the priority list, but somehow it becomes incredibly important when someone I love (and who thinks quite highly of such things) may discover my dirty little secret.
I guess, at the end of the day, I am a shallow person. If my house looks bad, then I look bad. Not cool! If my home is about to be on display, I want it to look good. Having people come over is the motivation to keep it looking that way. Take away the people — the threat of mum just randomly dropping in for a visit — and that motivation starts to dry up. I never realised just how powerful that motivation was until I started cleaning out our walk-in closet yesterday…
Hopefully I will have this chaos tamed before judgement day arrives!
Are you a house proud kind of person? Do you think it matters how well presented someone’s home is when you visit them? Share your opinions in the comments below.
Real life has been a major drag this past fortnight, and it could quite possibly get a lot worse before it gets better. The pressure is on and stress is running at a all time high at Mama Needs Mana HQ, but rather than fighting with each other or being sad sacks, my husband and I are simply making the most of our free time. It’s been wonderful spending a few evenings together instead of lurking in our respective lairs.
Saturday was one such night. I had fired up TERA after my 10/10 experiment with Aion left me missing the game, and Disconcur came in to see what exactly I was making such a racket about (The combat gets me a little bit excitable…). It took about 15 seconds of him watching me play before he started copying over the game so he could join me.
Back in the saddle
My husband and I haven’t played TERA since the release date for Mists of Panaria was announced, and so we found ourselves having to re-learn everything. If you have never played TERA before, the controls are very different to World of Warcraft. For example, you control camera view just by moving your mouse, F is your loot key and you cannot click to target — you have to be sure you are facing your enemy otherwise you will miss them entirely. Like Guild Wars 2, you can also dodge attacks. It makes for a very involving experience, and when you’re in a group, it’s a lot of fun indeed.
It didn’t take Disconcur long to re-familiarise himself with his character, and soon we were cruising around gathering up as many mobs as we could to mow them down. It was a great stress reliever and we had a lot of fun together. The best part is that TERA is now free to play, so there is no ‘wasting’ money if we choose not to log in again for a while. Gotta love it when a date doesn’t cost a cent!
It was a great escape from our usual diet of video games and the uncertainty of real life. Things may be crazy, but as long as we can laugh and have fun together, we will be just fine…
…and we can always count on TERA to provide a laugh at the expense of my character’s outfits.
Do you and your significant other ever have date nights that involve video games? Share your favourite titles to play together in the comments below.