Archive for blogging

The Liebster Award comes to Orgrimmar

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

liebsteraward

So this one was a surprise.  Here I was, going through my volumes and volumes of fan mail LIKE I GET ON A DAILY BASIS, and lo and behold, I get a message from someone nominating me for an award.  The someone in question was Myriade, writer of Myriadoscope, and the award in question was something called the Liebster Award, which I didn’t really know anything about at the time but which I could already say with confidence that I DAMN WELL FUCKING DESERVED.

So I did a little looking around to see what the deal was with this award, and what I would need to do to beat out the other nominees to win it, like if there was honorable combat involved because holy crap you know I would be all over that shit, but, come to find out, it doesn’t work that way.  There’s no final WINNER, just a chain of nominees naming other nominees to draw people’s attention to other blogs.  Which is kind of cool, as far as spreading the word about good reads, even if it IS a little hippie for my tastes what with the “we’re all winners!” vibe, which, come on.

Anyway.  Here’s the quasi-official description of the award, which everybody seems to be quoting, because it’s the hip thing to do these days:

Well, it is only an AWESOME award given to up and coming bloggers. Given by other up and coming bloggers. It’s a cool way to find other blogs and feel like you are getting into the blogging stratosphere. It is simple, you get nominated by someone else, mention their page and a link to their blog in your Liebster Award Post, answer the 11 questions they give you, then tag 11 other nominees and give them a new set of 11 questions to answer.

So, as you can see, receiving the nomination means I have some work to do now.  FUCKING AWESOME IDEA FOR AN AWARD, FOLKS, HONOR PEOPLE BY STICKING THEM WITH FUCKING HOMEWORK.  Anyway.  Here are the 11 questions from Myriade:

1.  Favourite race/class in WoW and why?

Quick note on the lingo here: Those of you who aren’t as internet-savvy as yours truly might be a little thrown off by that “WoW” acronym.  Apparently it’s a new thing in online circles to use that as an abbreviation for “Whole of World,” as in, fucking everywhere.  Which, granted, is kind of like how some people will literally say “LOL” now rather than just laughing, which I’ve never really gotten on board with myself, because fuck those assholes.  Anyway.

As for the actual question, I mean, come on, you even need to ask this?  Orc, because what the fuck else would I want to be, and warrior.

2.  Achievement/Title you’re proudest of?

Obviously, the easy answer here is the title of Warchief.  Hard to top that one.  Still, I could probably make a case for Chieftain of the Warsong Clan, since that one came from me pulling my emo head out of my ass to assume my place as leader of our clan and Grom’s successor.

But, nah, I’m still going to go with Warchief.

Although, since I’m probably going to be heading down to Blackrock Mountain soon, I may have to see about picking up [Leeeeeeeeeeeeeroy!] while I’m in the neighborhood.

3.  What’s in your bags (any character, or all of them)?

Huh.  I’m not sure if this is asking about real life, or my Earth Online characters.  I mean, for myself in reality, I don’t really walk around with a whole lot of stuff on me.  (Such as, you know, a shirt.)  I try not to weigh myself down more than I have to, seeing as I need to be ready to leap into action at a moment’s notice, and really, keeping Mannoroth’s tusks balanced on my shoulders can be a tough enough job on its own, without lugging extra crap around with me.

As for my EO toons, hoo boy, they have flat-out TOO MUCH stuff in their bags.  Just tons of random crap, receipts from vendors, little odds and ends that they’ve picked up but aren’t really useful for anything but I still haven’t ever gotten around to tossing.  And by the way, I just have to ask, who the fuck is the psychopath over at Genesis Entertainment who designed the bag system in Earth Online?  Dude, you can’t carry fucking ANYTHING with you!  You pick up like six or seven things, and your bags are full.  Have these game designers never left their houses or something, so they don’t even know about stacks of 20?!

4.  Favourite expansion/instance/boss fight?

Huh.  Another Earth Online question.  Okay.  Well, there’s still plenty of content I’ve never gotten around to, to be honest, but I’m pretty fond of the BlizzCon raid.  It’s always kind of a hoot seeing which random contestant spawns you get in the cosplay gauntlet leading up to the Joker Jay <Host with the Mohr– er, Most> boss.  But I think my favorite encounter is the Lore Panel council fight — you know, the one with the lead quest design guy, and the historian adds, and most of all the council leader guy, Chris what’s-his-face, the dude with the beard who kinda sounds like Varian.  I LOVE getting to run up and smack that guy in the face.  Especially if it’s one of those pulls where he randomly mind controls me for a minute and makes to do some shit that doesn’t make a damn bit of sense.

5.  Pet peeve in WoW?

Wait, you want me to narrow this down to one?  I don’t know about that.  But here’s a few, off the top of my head:

Humans.

Gnomes. OMFG gnomes.

Whoever it is who keeps using the last of the toilet paper in the Grommash Hold outhouse and not putting out a new roll.  (Your Warchief does NOT like having to do the Waddle of Shame over to the storage shed.)

Dontrag.

Utvoch.

“There”/”their”/”they’re”.  Because FUCK YOU, internet:

grammar

Varian, especially the way he keeps breathing.

Being corrected on which one is Dontrag and which one is Utvoch, as if anybody really gives a shit.

6.  What inspired your blog?

I think I mentioned this way back in my first post.  It all got started when Eitrigg recommended I take up blogging.  He said I might find it a helpful outlet, to talk about what’s on my mind, keep a running record of my experiences, all that sort of thing.  I think he figured it would give me a chance to reflect more, and think about situations before acting.  Or some lazy old man shit like that.  Anyway, that’s how it got started, and it’s just been a gravy train of awesome since then.  AREN’T YOU LUCKY.

7.  Favourite blog-related moment?

Umm… Well, considering I detail almost everything that happens to me here, pretty much any moment from the last couple of years would be a blog-related moment, right?  Gotta say, that one mailbag where Windblossom wrote in about clocking Varian still gives me all kinds of happy.  Memory lane:

fyv

I’m sure there others.  I might point out others as I think of them.

8.  One thing you can’t live without?

Okay, okay, go ahead and make your joke about lemon squares.

Real answer?  Sappy as it sounds, Gorehowl.  Not even for what an awesome weapon it is, either.  Having it with me is like a constant, living (but not) reminder of where I’ve come from, of the legacy of my father and the resilience of the Horde, of everything our people have endured and overcome.  Having it with me is like a validation of our kind.  Like a little part of Grom is still here, watching what he enabled us to become.

9.  Place you’d most like to visit?

Hmm.  You know, I’ve gotten around a whole lot the last few years, between the Northrend campaign, and all my inspection visits around Azeroth, and now all our work in Pandaria…  I’m not sure if there’s really anywhere I haven’t gotten to see at this point, other than, like, other planets and shit.  Or, say, getting to see places I know, like back home on Draenor, back before things got all fucked up.  But that would be changing WHERE I’d most like to visit to WHEN I’d most like to visit, which is cheating, for one thing, and also, FUCKING TIME TRAVEL.

10.  Favourite fictional character?

At the risk of being repetitive, this guy:

metzen

I mean, can you imagine if someone like that actually existed?

11.  Soundtrack to your life?

Well, most days, when things are going fairly well, it’s pretty much this:

 

 

But there’s also this:

 

 

And this:

 

 

(Also, in that one, note the Mortimer cameo at 3:24!)

And, let’s face it, given the clowns I usually have surrounding me, some days I feel like it might as well be this:

 

 

And last but not least, if I’m honest, when I’m in one of my more puckish moods, this:

 

 

Also, the kazzoo?  That’s totally me.

 

So, next up.  This is the part where I’m supposed to link 11 more blogs, and give those bloggers 11 questions of their own to answer.  One problem, though — I was going back through some blogs to tag, and while there are a few that still haven’t gotten a nomination already, for every one I found that no one had gotten to, there were like 10 would-be nominees that were already off the table.  So, you know, if you do the math there, that means that in order to pull together my 11, I would have to rifle through something like 110 blogs, and, I mean…I’m just way too lazy for that shit.  I mean really.

SO.  Here’s where I cheat a little and change things up, so I can still do some tagging and point some attention to some worthy bloggers, while also indulging my laziness.  STAND BACK, BITCHES, because your Warchief is about to flip the script like Lor’themar flips benches.

SO, here’s the deal.  I’m still going to toss out 11 questions to be answered, but instead of scraping together a blog list to tag, I am tagging…YOU.  That’s right, you — if you’re reading this post, consider yourself tagged, so you scroll your ass right down to the comments and post a reply with your 11 answers.  NO DUCKING OUT ON THIS COMMAND FROM YOUR WARCHIEF, PEOPLE.  Especially if you’re one of my regular readers and commenters — I know you’re out there, and I know who you are, and most importantly I KNOW WHERE MANY OF YOU LIVE.

And now, the questions.  READ ’EM AND WEEP.

  1. Do you write a blog?  Link it here if so!
  2. What was the first Azerothian blog you ever read?  Was there an early memorable post that hooked you?
  3. Recommended reading, part one!  Link and endorse three bloggers that you’d encourage your fellow readers and minions should check out.
  4. Recommended reading, part two — link one single post, from wherever, that makes you think “OMG, people HAVE to read this.”
  5. How long have you been reading the Command Board?  What post or storyline was your jumping-on point?
  6. One more chance for shameless self-promotion: Are you on Twitter?  Give yourself a non-Friday #FF here if so.  Also feel free to recommend a few accounts worth following.
  7. What class do you play on Earth Online?  (Don’t try to deny that you play.  I know my readers.)
  8. What real-life ability to do you wish your Earth Online character could use?
  9. Here, I’ll throw a bone to Utvoch.  The age-old hoof question: Fem-taur or draenei girls?
  10. Whose head would you rather have on a pike, Varian’s or Magatha’s?
  11. If the world were going to end (or change substantially) in, say, oh, six months or so, what would be your bucket list of things you’d want to get done first?

There, you have your assignment.  Get to it!  YOUR WARCHIEF HAS SPOKEN.

Coming Attractions

Posted in Words from Behind the Curtain with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

warcrimes

Hi, everyone.  Averry here — no, I haven’t been kidnapped or brutally murdered.  (Yet.)

It’s been a busy few weeks for me off on Earth Online, so I’ve been mostly focusing on that while allowing myself a needed breather from working on the blog.  (Along those lines, I may try to build in a few scheduled “breaks” so that I can sneak in a little down time without making everyone wonder where Garrosh has vanished off to.  Updates as needed.)

That said, I’m ready to start rolling out some new material, and I have quite a bit in the pipeline for the next few weeks.  So, just to whet everyone’s appetite, I thought I’d make a quick post, grab everyone’s attention, and tease a glimpse at what you can expect to see coming your way in the days ahead.

First and foremost: this being the tail end of Darkmoon week, tomorrow night (Saturday, April 12) we’ll be meeting up for this month’s meta raid.  As always, everyone is invited to join in for Siege of Orgrimmar — Flex if possible, if we enough people and the appropriate roles covered; LFR (with vent snarking sure to follow) if need be.  Feel free to add me on RealID (Averry#1116) if you haven’t already, and hit me up for an invite!  We’ll plan to get things rolling around 8:00 PM EDT.

So, what else do we have coming up?  Well, mark your blog-reading calender…

This coming week:

  • Monday (4/14) — Garrosh responds (graciously, no doubt) to his Liebster nomination, courtesy of Myraide.
  • Wednesday (4/16) — New web comic: “Moving Day”
  • Saturday (4/19) — A new 30 Days of Character Development installment.  But who from among our cast will it be?  Let’s just say it’s a she…and a nut case.

Coming the following week-plus:

  • Another new comic: “The Secret Life of Spazzle Fizzletrinket”
  • New Earth Online guild chat log!  Can Bob be far behind?
  • Garrosh journeys to the Burning Steppes, Eitrigg’s son Ariok makes his WCB debut, and the hunt for Ji Firepaw begins!

Also, lest we forget, we’re just a few weeks away from the release of World of Warcraft: War Crimes by Christie Golden on May 6.  Obviously, there’s a ways to go before the blog will catch up to the events of the novel, but it’ll still be plenty interesting to get a fuller picture of where we’re all heading (as well as, um, just how much retconning I’ll need to start doing!).

We’ve already seen excerpts from War Crimes, which brings me to one last item for now.  After this first excerpt was released — Garrosh facing the charges against him and entering his non-plea — I saw several forum poster noting that Garrosh reminded them of the Joker, between his sarcastic applause and general attitude toward the proceedings.  And, well, once they went and planted that idea in my head…

srsbznss

Yeah, yeah, I know.  Still.

See you all soon,

 

Averry

Contest! Transmogs for Shay

Posted in Words from Behind the Curtain with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

shayari1

Hi, everyone.  Averry here with a reminder and an announcement.

First, the obligatory reminder – tonight at 8:00 PM EST, we’ll be having our second Friends-of-WCB Meta raid of Siege of Orgrimmar.  All are welcome to join in (well, unless we fill up…).  You can always find me on RealID as Averry#1116.

Now for the real announcement!

I’ve been happy to see that people seem to be embracing the character of Shayari since her debut a few days ago.  We’ll be seeing plenty more of her (not in the Gurtash sense), and I’d like her to be a departure from the one conspicuous Warcraft norm: People who, apparently, wear the same outfit every single day.  Clearly, Shay is a little more fashionable and stylish than that.

So, to that end, I’m announcing a TRANSMOGS FOR SHAYARI contest!  The basic gist: All you transmog fanatics (I know you’re out there!) are invited to put together an outfit for Shay to wear in at least one – likely multiple – upcoming comics.

A few notes and caveats as you consider the possibilities:

  • Shayari is a mage in training, so your transmog should consist solely of items that a clothie can wear.
  • When in doubt, let “Averry/Gurtash actually has to draw this” be your guide – i.e., try to avoid looks that are excessively elaborate or overwrought.
  • Try to have mercy on poor Gurtash.  (Translation: Let’s try to keep the poor girl fully dressed!)
  • Alternative for would-be fashion designers: You also have the option of designing your outfit from the ground up!  You’re welcome to come up with your own original gear design and draw it up yourself, then submit your sketches.  (Please try not to show up my own middling artistic skills too badly.)

Please e-mail your entries to me (garrosh1337@gmail.com) by SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27.  If at all possible, try to model your transmogs on a female draenei character, or save them as WoWhead outfits and share the link.  (Being able to refer to the outfit on a draenei model will just make it easier for me to translate it into comic form.)

I’ll choose my three favorites, and incorporate them into future comics as opportunity allows over the weeks that follow.  In addition to their own personal satisfaction, and boundless blogosphere fame (cough), winners will be able to pick one of the following prizes:

  • A comic-style portrait of your character from Gurtash!
  • An original EPIC VERSE from the Warchief on the topic of your choosing!
  • An in-blog (comic or transcript) cameo for your character – you too can rub elbows with the likes of Faranell, Liadrin, Dontrag and Utvoch, and the DPS!  (And hey, who knows?  That’s how Taktani got started…)
  • A ride on Mortimer!  (Not really.)
  • A hug from Mylune!*  (Only possibly.)
  • A highly coveted “Get Out of Conversation with Tirion Free” card.**
  • Something else that we mutually come up with, on the off chance one of us has a brainstorm!

Well, what are you still doing here?  Get transmogging!  Shayari has a wardrobe to fill!

* The Warchief’s Command Board makes no guarantee that Mylune will not have another episode in mid-embrace.  Hug at your own risk.

** May be exchanged for a “Get Out of Conversation with Dontrag and/or Utvoch” card.  (Likelihood of Garrosh personally entering the contest has now increased 400%.)

[A quick update -- I need to correct an error in this announcement: I listed the deadline for the contest as Saturday, February 27.  This is problematic, in that February 27 is not a Saturday.  Don’t ask me what happened there.  I was probably having another one of my many episodes.  At any rate, I figure I may as well err on the side of giving people more time rather than less, so let’s revise the due date to the next Saturday after the 27th, which would be March 1.

I think.  Hang on.

<checks calendar all paranoid-like>

Yes, there we go.  So, officially: the deadline for the Transmogs for Shay contest is SATURDAY, MARCH 1!  Get back to mogging!]

Return of the Meta Raid

Posted in Words from Behind the Curtain with tags , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

siegelogo

Hi, folks.  Averry here.

I’d originally wanted to save this announcement until after I’d posted the rest of the Paternity story (or, maybe more accurately, “Can of Worms, Part 1: Lid Be Gone!”).  The comic is taking longer than I’d planned to finish, though (I had a grade-A “back to the drawing board” moment with the artwork this week) (hey, literally! I didn’t even plan that!) (yes, I do like parentheses, thank you very much), and I want to make sure I give people enough lead time.

So, the point: I’d like to revisit the Friends-of-WCB Meta Raid, and see about turning it into a regular thing!

So, here’s the plan.  Readers, bloggers, lurkers, and various and sundry others are invited to a Flex raid of Siege of Orgrimmar, the closing weekend of each Darkmoon Faire.  I figure that once a month is often enough to make it a fun ongoing event, without being so frequent that it becomes a burden on people’s schedules.  I’d like to shoot for Saturday nights, with Sunday possibly being a backup and/or spillover date if we ever decide to be ambitious and continue on the next night.  Same as the original raid, we can plan on starting around 8:00 PM Eastern time, and go until…well…until we fall asleep or get sick of each other.

Since this weekend marks the beginning of February’s Darkmoon Faire, that means we would be shooting for Saturday, February 8 as our next raid night.  And then, if all goes well, continue on each month as the faire comes to a close.

Thanks as always for reading, commenting, and generally coming along for the ride.  More from the Warchief soon…as soon as Gurtash stops messing up this drawing of…erm…oops.  Spoilers.  Never mind.

Be seeing you,

Averry

30 Days of Character Development #1: Spazzle

Posted in 30 Days of Character Development with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2014 by Garrosh Hellscream

[A few weeks ago, Rades and Vidyala over at From Draenor With Love came up with a pretty neat use of the “30 Days of Character Development” meme that’s been floating around.  Rades and Vid answered a selection of the questions, in character, in a pair of posts that offered a look at their Azerothian namesakes.

I loved this idea, and so, with a grateful nod and salute to Rades and Vid, I’m going to kick off my own variation.  My take is going to be spread the original 30 days over 30 weeks, with one post per week.  Each post will highlight one of the supporting (or not-so-supporting) characters in the blog.  I’ll include a selection of the original 30 questions, answered, a la R&V, in character, plus an assortment of additional information.  Those among you who, like me, grew up poring over comic book compendia like the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe may see a definite influence.

In the process, I think I may be able to give a few entertaining tidbits on some familiar faces, provide new readers (and old) an additional shortcut for getting a sense of who’s who, and also compile a sort of “blog bible” of character information (something I’ve been wanting to get around to for a while, for my own reference).

Every week (I hope!), you can expect to see one of these profiles.  While it’s possible that they may end up with a set day, I don’t plan to lock it in quite so tightly; much more likely, I’ll use the profiles to fill out the week’s posts without (hopefully) breaking up the main continuity too much.  Feel free to chime in with whom you’d like to see featured!  (Yes, Repgrind, I know.  We’ll get to Faranell eventually, I promise.)]

 

spazzle_profileName:  Spazzle Fizzletrinket

Occupation:  Tech consultant to the Warchief, part-time blogger, Earth Online guild leader

Class:  Shaman (enhancement)

Age:  27

Group affiliations:  Horde (citizen), Bilgewater Cartel (member), Fizzletrinket Technologies (a tech startup that, admittedly, hasn’t been particularly active since the development of the TranslationMaster2000; owner)

Known relatives:  Khizzara Whizzingcrank (cousin and blogger namesake)

Earth Online notes:  Current guild leader of <Warchief>, appointed by Garrosh while the Warchief is stuck with an unreliable wireless connection in Pandaria.  Also administers <Warchief> guild web site.  Main toon MrBadCrumble (class unknown).  Had attended three straight EarthCons until missing this past year’s, due to being too busy freaking out over one of his friends being killed (this one didn’t take), charged with treason, banished from the Horde, and killed again (this one evidently did).

First appearance:  “LOK’TAR OGAR!” (first mention); “Spazzle Speaks” (first guest post)

Key posts and plot points:

  • Spazzle first introduced Garrosh to online gaming in “Earth Online”, set him up with a wireless network (which Garrosh historically calls “why fly”) in Grommash Hold in “Doing some gaming…”, and brought him along for a trip to EarthCon (at which Genesis Entertainment revealed their plans for the “Land Down Under” expansion) in “EarthCon.”
  • After Garrosh created the Earth Online guild <Warchief>, Spazzle set him up with an addon to save a record of guild chat in “Welcome to [Warchief]”, the blog’s first guild chat log.
  • In “Spazzle Speaks: Shamans United!”, Spazzle encounters Thrall on the way to the Echo Isles, where they discover the Kor’kron occupation.  After the Echo Isles are freed, Spazzle maintained secret contact with Thrall and Vol’jin, as revealed in “Spazzle Speaks: The Gobin is Always Greener on the Other Side of Guild Chat” and “Spazzle Speaks: Tours of Duty.”
  • After being banished from the Horde, but before disappearing to locations unknown, Mokvar met with Spazzle in “Spazzle Speaks: Parting Gifts” to entrust him with custody of his recall totem, a shaman relic connected to the Astral Recall spell.  While Spazzle was holding the totem, its elemental energy fizzled out – something that would normally only occur as a result of a shaman’s permanent death.  This development is first covered in “The Goblin is Always Greener” and further explored in “Spazzle Speaks: Dead End.”
  • As shown in several of the guild chat logs, Spazzle has become one of Ji Firepaw’s closest friends in the Horde since the disappearance of Mokvar.

garroshgurtashIn His Own Words:

Describe your relationship with your mother or your father, or both.  Was it good?  Bad?  Were you spoiled rotten, ignored?  Do you still get along now, or no?

My father and uncle both died when I was little, in a freak giant-rampaging-robot-gorilla accident.  I won’t bore you with the details, we all know how those go.  My mom and aunt split a two-family duplex-in-a-box and raised me and my cousin Khizzara together.  We weren’t rich, but we weren’t exactly hurting for money after the robot gorilla settlement.  So I guess Zzara and I got pretty accustomed to getting the toys we wanted.  Maybe spoiled, a little?  I didn’t really learn to be too independent until I had to.  Mom didn’t make it out of Kezan when the Cataclysm hit.

Who do you trust?

Khizzara – she’s more like a sister to me than a cousin.  Mokvar, despite everything.  Ji.  Thrall.  I trust Garrosh and Vol’jin both, in their way, but I think they both have some serious blinders on.

Can you define a turning point in your life?  Multiples are acceptable.

Definitely the Cataclysm.  I lost my mom, as well as my home back on Kezan.  It led to me meeting Thrall, becoming a (fairly crappy) shaman, joining the Horde.  And then of course there’s everything that’s come with moving to Orgrimmar and starting to work for Garrosh.  So it’s really easy to divide my life into two periods, B.C. (Before Cataclysm) and A.D. (After Deathwing).

How are you with technology?  Super savvy, or way behind the times?  Letters or e-mail?

Oh man!  I’m all about the newest tech.  Some days I’ll burn up a whole afternoon, just tinkering around, trying to come up with my own advances.  They…usually don’t go completely to spec, but still!  I’m generally a lot better with electronics than with machinery – if you’re building a robot, I’m totally the guy to design its brain, but you probably shouldn’t come to me first if you need to install a new arm.  E-mail, definitely.  My handwriting is pretty terrible because I type so much more than I write by hand.

C18sampWhat’s your desk/workspace look like?  Are you neat or messy?

Organized chaos.  It looks like a giant mess, with piles of stuff on top of piles of other stuff, but I know what’s in all of the piles.

What would your cutie mark be?

Um… Am I supposed to know what that means?

What’s your favorite comfort food, favorite vice, favorite outfit, favorite hot drink, favorite time of year, and favorite holiday?

The pandaren have these noodles that are really great comfort food, plus they only cost…like…five copper a pack.  I don’t know how they turn a profit on them.  Favorite vice is probably…I don’t know…wasting waaaaaaaay too much time screwing around on the internet.  There isn’t one outfit that I like best, but I’m pretty fond of a bunch of the t-shirts I have.  Earl grey tea.  Autumn, right when the leaves are starting to turn.  Hallow’s End.

If your life were a genre, what would it be?

Definitely a comic book.  And that’s even before you figure in the Gurtash factor.

 

[One last OOC note: The sharp-eyed among you may have noticed that the comic panel excerpted above (featuring Spazzle with Garrosh and Liadrin) doesn't look familiar.  Consider it a preview -- Gurtash strikes again in another day or two!]

Reminder: SoO “Meta” Raid Tonight

Posted in Words from Behind the Curtain with tags , , , , , , , on November 23, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

siegelogo

Hi everyone — this is just a quick OOC reminder that we’ll be having our friends-of-WCB Siege of Orgrimmar raid (Horde-side) tonight at 8:00 PM EST.  Or, as I like to think of it, the “Meta” raid (what else would you call OOC Garrosh killing IC Garrosh?).

We’ll be running the raid on Flex, so if you’re not able to be there for the start of the raid, you’re more than welcome to join us in progress.  Many of you have already added me on RealID; for anyone else who might be interested in joining us, feel free to add Battletag Averry#1116.  Even if, for whatever reason, you’re not able to participate in the actual raid, you’re still welcome to come join us in raid chat and/or vent.  (Once again, I am only too happy to generously dispense invitations to a vent server that isn’t mine.)

Also, seeing as I haven’t done any non-LFR raiding since Deathwing, I will apologize in advance for what will very likely be my profound mediocrity.

On that note…hope to see many of you tonight!

 

Averry

Ready Check

Posted in Words from Behind the Curtain with tags , , , , , , on November 14, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

siegelogo

Averry here with one last out-of-character item before I disappear behind the curtain again for (I hope) a long, long time.

Back before I went on my recent, unplanned hiatus, I’d written about my interest in setting up a Friends-of-WCB shits-and-giggles raid for Siege of Orgrimmar.  Based on the response I got, both in blog comments and in individual messages, it looked like there was a fair bit of interest at the time.  Hopefully that’s still the case, because now that life has become somewhat less hectic, I’d very much like to finally get the ball rolling.

So, here’s the pseudo-quasi-plan: I’d like to set up a Horde-side SoO group for next weekend – i.e., the weekend of November 23 and 24.  In a perfect world, if we have enough people and the right combination of roles, I’d love to do this as Flex, but if not, we can always go in and take over some poor, unsuspecting LFR.  This would be a one-night deal; I don’t have a strong preference for that Saturday or Sunday, so I’d prefer to leave that open and see when people are available.  I would be looking to start somewhere in the vicinity of 8:00-9:00 PM EST, and run until…well…until we all get sick of each other, I suppose.

If you’re still interested in coming along, please let me know – either through a comment here, or by contacting me directly – what your availability is and whether you have a preference between Saturday and Sunday.  (Also, please be sure to let me know if either day would be possible for you, even if you have a definite preference.)  If you haven’t already, feel free to add me on RealID: Averry#1116.

Even if you aren’t able to participate in the raid itself (say your Flex lockout is already committed, or you don’t have a max-level Horde toon*), you’re more than welcome to come join the party, whether that be hanging out in raid chat or popping into vent with us.  (Speaking of which, LF generous benefactor with a vent server we can use for the shindig!**  I promise this won’t be one of those cases like when you host a party the weekend your parents are away, and a bunch of strangers come over, and they end up wrecking the place, and then they take off and stick you with the mess, and so now you’ve got to clean it all up before Mom and Dad get home or oh boy are you going to be in trouble, which sounds pretty awful and stressful but really isn’t all that bad once you realize you can just cleaning-montage your way over it.  Although you never could figure out how the wombat got in the guest bathroom, because who the hell brings a wombat to a party?  They’re notoriously bad minglers.  So no, it won’t be like that.***)

So, there you have it – clear your (social) (HA!) (raid) calendars!

Be seeing you,

Averry

 

* Although, seriously, you don’t?  What’s wrong with you?

** I say “shindig,” because yes, gentle readers, I am old.

*** Disclaimer: It will totally be like that.

Cheat Sheet

Posted in Words from Behind the Curtain with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

quillandpaper

As promised in my last post, here’s an overview of the state of the blog.  I realize that after two years of accumulated in-jokes and storylines, the Command Board may be a bit disorienting to a newcomer (or, for that matter, to a long-time reader who blinked at the wrong time), so I’ve tried to break this down into a semi-sorta-kinda FAQ.  Most of this will be familiar to long-time readers (though I’ve also included a few behind-the-scenes notes that some of you might find interesting), but I hope it’ll explain a few things for new arrivals.

 

I hate Garrosh!  Why does Garrosh seem so sympathetic in this blog?  Are you one of those Garrosh apologists/fanboys?

Comically enough, I originally started the blog because I really didn’t like Garrosh either, and saw the blog as a way to have a few chuckles mocking him.  It wasn’t long, though, before I decided that I would get sick of the outright-mockery approach pretty quickly, so I started branching out.  Part of the result was letting blog-Garrosh become (I hope) a bit more multifaceted, while still remaining true to his temperamental self.  Including the LOLs.

Ultimately, I don’t set out to justify anything Garrosh does, just to present it in a way that makes sense in light of the character, and if that pushes a black-and-white scenario into some shade of gray, well, that makes for a more interesting story anyway.  And, keep in mind, the story here is being told, generally, from Garrosh’s point of view, so I don’t know how that perspective wouldn’t be sympathetic.  Everyone is the hero of their own story, after all, and nobody thinks they’re a bad person.

 

Why isn’t there anything here about the siege of Orgrimmar?

What are you talking about?  There was a post titled “The siege of Orgrimmar” a good solid year ago – if anything, shouldn’t you be asking why Blizzard is coming so late to the party?  (By the way, I didn’t realize until just now that patch 5.4 was released almost exactly on the one-year anniversary of the “Siege or Orgrimmar” post.  How awesomely freaky is that?)

Anyway, to give a real answer: Time-wise, the blog has not yet reached the events of patch 5.4.  The storyline is currently playing out the midst of 5.2; Lor’themar Theron and Jaina Proudmoore have recently set up shop on the Isle of Thunder, while Vol’jin is still recovering from his injuries at Shado-Pan Monastery.

This time lag between the game and the blog, by the way, is partly by design.  I’d always intended the blog to run a bit behind the game; coming into MoP, I realized that if I tried to follow in-game events too closely, I wouldn’t have time to adapt my own ideas to fit Blizzard’s story.  There have already been a few instances in which Blizzard’s story has taken a turn that’s forced me to change gears in a way that would have been disastrous if I didn’t have a month or two of lead time.  Of course, I’m clearly more than a month or two behind – that’s been a result of various real-life circumstances slowing down my output over the last few months.  I’m working on it!

 

So the blog basically retells in-game events, from Garrosh’s point of view?

Yes and no.  The blog operates within Blizzard’s continuity (with the aforementioned time delay), but also weaves additional storylines in and around the canonical Blizzard plots.  Anything that happens or is stated explicitly in-game is canon, obviously, and the blog is bound by it.*  That said, I sometimes like to put other stories around Blizzard’s, to give them context that might change the way those events are perceived.  (This was a large part of my motivation for the Timequake story leading into Theramore, or, more recently, the blog events surrounding the Divine Bell / Domination Offensive storyline.)

Also, while the point of view is mostly Garrosh’s, there are some posts that present events from other perspectives.  Most notable are the “guest” posts by Spazzle (Garrosh’s tech goblin), which help fill in story details that Garrosh wouldn’t necessarily be privy to.  You can always identify a post written by someone other than Garrosh by the color of the text – Spazzle’s posts, for instance, are always written in green text, and almost always include the phrase “Spazzle Speaks” in the title.  Also, as a rule of thumb, when Spazzle et al post, Garrosh remains oblivious to anything that might be revealed; the conceit at work here is that Garrosh doesn’t really care what anyone else is writing, so he doesn’t bother reading it.

* The one instance that I’ve flat-out fudged in-game details is the way I’ve chosen to incorporate the events of “A Little Patience.”  From the Alliance point of view, that scenario takes place almost immediately after Varian arrives in Pandaria; in the blog, I’ve pushed those events a bit later in the story.  This was largely a matter of convenience: I knew that I wanted there to be a military operation in Krasarang in which Garrosh’s trainees went missing, and I realized fairly late in the going that “A Little Patience” lent itself to that story pretty readily.  Hopefully those Alliance-side readers out there will be willing to turn a blind eye to my blatant and shameless revision.  (Horde bias rears its ugly head again!  GRR!)

 

Garrosh has trainees?  When did that happen?

Right here!  As part of the escalation of the war effort, the Kor’kron started a training program to prepare orc teenagers for eventual military service.  When Garrosh learned that Gurtash – an orc boy from the Orgrimmar orphanage whom Garrosh had taken under his wing – had been conscripted, Garrosh volunteered to take Gurtash’s trainee group under his own supervision.  (Side note: In my head-canon, Garrosh has a bit of a soft spot for the orphans, being as he is one himself.)  The trainees, who have nicknamed themselves the Dead Peons Society (DPS for short) have accompanied Garrosh to Pandaria and joined him on a few adventures.  Fairly recently, they went missing after the Horde loss in the “A Little Patience” scenario, and were eventually found by Garrosh, hiding away in an underground system of caves.  That’s brought us up to the point where we are now, story-wise: Garrosh and the trainees underground, looking for a way out.

 

Is the entire supporting cast from within the game?

Mostly, but not entirely.  I’ve invented a few characters for the blog – Spazzle being the highest-profile – but I’ve tried to keep it limited, and tried to restrict those characters to fairly peripheral positions in the lore.  The one glaring exception was the storyline involving Garrosh’s mother, Lakkara, who isn’t mentioned anywhere in the actual lore.  It just struck me as odd that there’s no record of who she was, or what happened to her, and besides, in a mythology packed to capacity with father/son relationships, I thought it was about time somebody’s mom got a little screen time.

Otherwise, when a character turns up who doesn’t exist in-game, that character was often inspired by a reader and/or based on someone’s game character.  For instance, both Gurtash and Mortimer (Garrosh’s personal wyvern) became blog characters thanks to mailbag letters from Khizzara from Blog of the Treant; Khizzara’s own namesake has made a few appearances as Spazzle’s cousin; doodle-prone kitty druid Taktani became a full-fledged character (and boy, is she ever a character) after making several mailbag contributions; and many of the DPS trainees are modeled on the baby orc alts of friends.

In general, though, if you see a supporting character turn up whose name you don’t recognize, the smartest first guess is that he or she is based on a questgiver or other NPC somewhere in-game.  (Wowpedia is your friend!)  I deliberately picked a lot of relatively minor NPCs – people like Mokvar, Elder Cloudfall, and Dontrag and Utvoch – to use as supporting characters because I figured their relatively peripheral status gave me more latitude to work with them, give them backstories, etc.  After all, what are the odds that Blizzard would actually do something with one of these people to contradict my own concoctions?

(Either way, if you’re not sure who someone is, I’ve also maintained a partial list of supporting players on the About the Blog page, including some of the more pertinent information about them.)

 

Speaking of which – in the SoO raid, Mokvar is a mini-boss!  Isn’t he missing?  How are you going to deal with that?

First… um, yeah, that whole “no way they’re gonna do something with this guy” really blew up in my face on this one, huh?

And second… So, everyone who thought I was going to lay out this big storyline for Mokvar, and make such a production out of his disappearance…and then have it turn out that he really is dead…step forward.

Didn’t think so.

For those of you unclear on Mokvar’s whole story, which has been unfolding gradually for quite a while, you can check here for a brief overview and links to the relevant posts.  Very short version: After becoming the victim of a mysterious attack, Mokvar sets out to track down a powerful relic from his warlock days, with the aid of a human named Deliana (who was Mokvar’s Alliance equivalent in the old dungeon set quests); over the course of his quest, he starts to behave increasingly strangely, culminating in his eventual flight from arrest in Orgrimmar.  His whereabouts are now unknown.

Stay tuned.  You’ll see where this is going!

 

With Mokvar gone, how are you handling the transcripts?

Prelinimary: The blog contains several transcripts of conversations that Garrosh has engaged in.  The premise from the outset has been that Mokvar is (or was) Garrosh’s personal scribe, and records all these conversations for posting.  This explains, by the way, a number of occasions when Garrosh mentions summoning Mokvar to an event, or otherwise noting Mokvar’s presence, as a way of leading in to a transcript.

Since Mokvar is off the grid, Garrosh has passed transcription duties to two people: Gurtash, who records his transcripts in the form of comics; and Taktani, a friend of Dontrag and Utvoch and long-time mailbag contributor, who’s started to (and will continue to) write a few transcripts, laden with her own unassuming brand of commentary.

 

What are these guild chat logs that keep cropping up?

Garrosh and several of the supporting characters play an MMORPG called Earth Online – the basic premise being that, to these characters, Azeroth is reality, and our real world is actually the game world of the MMO.  Garrosh started his own guild, called <Warchief>, and several familiar faces (including Spazzle, Sylvanas, Lor’themar, Faranell, Garona, and Dontrag and Utvoch) are members.  Also worth noting is that Jaina Proudmoore is a member of the guild…although she doesn’t realize (yet?) who her guildmates are in “real life.”

The guild chat logs recreate some of the exchanges that the members of <Warchief> have within their game, usually including regular guild chat, officer chat, and, in some cases, whispers.  I make no pretense about the fact that some aspects of these logs are based on my own guild-chat expeiences, especially officer chat.  The transcripts are always presented from the point of view of whoever posted them – usually Garrosh, but occasionally Spazzle.

 

Where did this whole thing about lemon squares come from?

Garrosh loves lemon squares.  Don’t you?

Real explanation: Very early in the blog, Edenvale of The Gamer’s Fridge posted a recipe for Garrosh Hellscream’s lemon squares, and pointed me to her post with a comment on the Command Board.  Since then, it’s become a bit of a running gag – the recipe, according to Garrosh, was his greatmother’s secret family recipe, and he was most perturbed that this random night elf had apparently gotten ahold of it.

 

What does “FYV” mean?

An abbreviation of one of Garrosh’s favorite turns of phrase, of course: “Fuck you, Varian!”  Among other things, Garrosh often finds a way to slip that phrase into his EPIC VERSE compositions.

 

Speaking of which, what’s this “EPIC VERSE”?  Garrosh writes poetry?

You sound surprised.  Garrosh is an orc of many interests.  What, do you think he’s some kind of one-note caricature or something?

Okay, fine, game-Garrosh kind of is.

Honestly, I just got a kick out of the obvious dichotomy of Garrosh Hellscream, gruffest of the gruff, also writing poetry on the side.  True to form, Garrosh doesn’t view his compositions as just any poetry, so he prefers to call them EPIC VERSE.  In caps.  Always.  It’s sprinkled throughout the blog – almost always in purple text, to stress its epic-ness – and ranges from limericks, to parodies of other famous poems, to reader requests, to epic rap battles.

 

So, that’s as much as I can think to cover.  Other gaps can probably be filled in through the Major Storylines page, but if there are questions that anyone still has, in terms of getting caught up or clarified, by all means toss them into a comment and I’ll make sure it’s answered.  And so, on that note, I’ll sigh off with the promise – unconditional promise! – that before the week is out, you’ll have the continuation of the actual STORY part of the story!  Which left off, as you might recall, right here:

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And So It Begins

Posted in Words from Behind the Curtain with tags , , , , on September 10, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

siegelogo

Greetings once again from behind the curtain, everyone.  Averry here with another pseudo-kinda-public service announcement.  (No, not another one about Google search terms.  That one was all Garrosh.)  (Kind of.)

First of all, yes, I know, I’m woefully behind on actual story updates on the blog, and I’ve left you all hanging on that last semi-cliffhanger for far too long.  As I’ve hinted at elsewhere, I’ve had a convergence of real-life work and – ever so conveniently – a (minor but annoying) hand injury which has made it rather difficult to work on new comics for more than short periods at a time.  And, of course, this happened just at a point when I’d committed the story to a string of comic installments that really need to stay in place.

Rest assured, I’m working on getting the next installment together as quickly as possible.  Since starting the blog, I’ve always truly hated letting more than a couple days go by without a new post, so believe me when I say that the slow output I’ve had the last several weeks has grated on me to no end.  With any luck, you’ll find this upcoming stretch worth the wait, between (in the immediate-term) some face time between Garrosh and Varian, and (in the slightly longer-term) a few plot twists that I’m hoping will draw some pronounced reactions.  (Yep, there I go teasing again.)

In the meantime, though, I wanted to touch on two other items, since – have you heard about this? – today marks the moment we’ve all been anticipating for quite a while: the release of the Siege of Orgrimmar raid, and the downfall of Garrosh Hellscream.

Well, in-game, at least.  Blog-Garrosh still has a ways to go before he bids us a fond farewell.

Granted, as I’ve mentioned before, I do have the major plotlines mapped out for the blog from here to the grand finale, and I’m admittedly not in any great hurry to close up shop just yet, but nevertheless, the gap between what’s happening in the blog and what’s happening in-game does highlight one issue that probably deserves to be addressed.  Which leads us to…

ITEM THE FIRST!

That being, the timeline of the blog, and all the convoluted storylines swirling around it.

Over the last year or so, a number of readers have given the Command Board plugs and shout-outs on various other blogs and forums – for which I always feel grateful and flattered – and on more than one occasion, their endorsements have included the recommendation that new readers go back and read the blog from the beginning, since it’s not exactly newcomer-friendly.  That’s a fair criticism, even if it’s not really meant to be critical; while building up these ongoing storylines and running jokes/themes is one of the things I enjoy most about writing the blog, I also understand that it probably makes it difficult to jump in mid-stream.  And while I’d certainly love for people to go back to read it all from the beginning (ARTIFICIALLY INFLATE MY PAGEVIEWS, BWAHA!), at this point, well past the 300-post mark, I don’t think I can fairly expect every new arrival to commit to such a bear of an undertaking.

And, with the release of Siege of Orgrimmar, I should probably brace myself for a few new folks to start finding their way here.  (It’s already started on Twitter, by the way.  Not to mention the beginning of what I’m sure will be a minor whirlwind of trash-talking tweets.  Stay tuned; I may share some here soon.)  While I try to link back to earlier posts when relevant, and hope that the About the Blog and Major Storylines pages help fill in a bit, I’m sure the blog can be a little confusing to a new reader for a number of reasons.  So, to help any of you who just arrived – or not-so-new readers whom I’ve managed to confuse with some of my byzantine plotting – I’m going to be putting up a bit of a crib sheet in the next couple days to help account for where we are and how we got here.  Hopefully, if you just found your way to the Command Board and are having a WTF response, that will help a bit.

(Super-short version: Right now the events of the blog are taking place in the midst of patch 5.2 – the Divine Bell is still a recent memory, Lor’themar and Jaina have recently arrived on the Isle of Thunder, and Vol’jin is still recuperating at Shado-Pan Monastery.)

With that said, let’s more on to the much more pressing…

ITEM THE SECOND!

Raiding your Warchief.  With your Warchief.  Kind of.

True story: Coming into MoP, I retired from raiding.  I had raided pretty much all the way through TBC, Wrath, and Cata…and it just wasn’t fun anymore.  This, by the way, was a reflection of my own shifting priorities and interests, not some tired, stale WoW-veteran gripe about Blizzard somehow doing me wrong.  And I’ve absolutely loved MoP – in no small part, I think, because I’ve spent the entirety of it doing solely what I felt like doing, when I felt like doing it, having stepped away from the gear grind and raiding scene.  Not a criticism of those who enjoy that scene, mind you; it’s just not where I am anymore.

That said…well, this is something different.  This new raid isn’t just any other raid.  The Siege of Orgrimmar carries with it a personal connection unlike anything before, and unlike anything WoW will ever offer again.  And while I definitely don’t have any interest in committing myself to full-on progression raiding, I feel like this is a raid that I need to sample.  Not “need” in the sense of the joyless gear grind that many of us let ourselves be sucked into – “need” in the sense of “Oh, man, I’ve been living with this story for years now; I’ve got to experience the end first-hand.”

More importantly, I’d like to experience it with people who share some of that personal connection.  People who have been along for the long, crazy, oftentimes ridiculous ride, and have context for these events and these characters that your average WoW player doesn’t have.  People who think of Lor’themar as “Ponytail” even more than as “that blood elf guy”…who find it odd that Orgrimmar has no vendor selling lemon squares or goblin NPC named Spazzle…who understand why it’s a BIG EFFING DEAL that there’s a mini-boss named Mokvar the Treasurer lurking in the Valley of Strength bank.  (Yes, really.)

So, consider this an invitation.

At some point in the next week or two, I’d like to try to assemble a group of readers, fellow bloggers, and all-around friends of the Command Board to stroll into Orgrimmar together and see what there is to see.  In a perfect world, if there are enough people interested and we can cover the necessary roles, we could use the new Flex setting; worst-case scenario, we could group up, hop into LFR, and take over the whole operation Garrosh-style.  I definitely wouldn’t want to ask anyone to commit their normal-difficulty lockout – not least of all because I want this to be a purely for-kicks endeavor, not about progression or gear.  Just good fun in good company, and if we happen to stumble into a ridiculous wipe or two on trash, I hope it would be a source of amusement, not angst.

So, if you have a level 90 Horde character and think you’d like to join the party, give me a shout.  Feel free to e-mail me at garrosh1337@gmail.com, send a tweet to @GarroshHllscrm, leave a comment here on the blog, or contact me in-game (RealID Averry#1116).  Give me an idea of what days and times might be possible for you, and what role(s) you might be able to fill.  With any luck, I’ll be able to get something together sooner rather than later, and then, with even more luck, you might have a chance to be there when I come face-to-face with…well…myself.  And kill him.  Me.  Kind of.  Unless we don’t.  (AT LONG LAST, AVERRY’S NEUROTIC SELF-LOATHING FINDS ITS ULTIMATE EXPRESSION!)

Thanks for wading through all my babble here.  And thanks, as always, for reading and hanging in there with me.  I hope to hear from many of you soon.

 

Be seeing you,

Averry

TWO YEARS OF THOUGHTS AND MUSINGS

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2013 by Garrosh Hellscream

commandboard8

Yeah, yeah, I know the blog’s been kind of quiet lately.  Lots of stuff going on, so my schedule’s been a little too packed with round-the-clock BEING AWESOME to have as much time for blogging as I might like.  Plus, where we left things, there’s still a story to finish that’s probably better told visually, and of course – timing being everything – Gurtash is having a flare-up from a hand injury, so that’s cut his doodle output WAY down.  And yes, I know what you’re thinking, fourteen-year-old boy hurts his hand, huh?  But no, this is pretty legit.  See, he was— you know what, screw it, you’ll see for yourselves soon enough.

Anyhow.  I wanted to break the silence today in order to recognize a milestone – the two-year anniversary of YOUR WARCHIEF’S COMMAND BOARD.  The blog, I mean.  The command boards around town have been up for, like, I don’t know, longer.  But who cares about those, really, other than noobs.  And people looking for guitar lessons, seeing as how half the time most of the boards are just covered with those ads with the little rip-off contact addresses.  BUT I DIGRESS.

Point is, it was two years ago today that I made my first-ever blog post, and began to forever change the lives of YOU, MY LOYAL READERS AND MINIONS.

So, in light of the occasion today, and the big-fucking-deal it commemorates, I think we all know what this calls for.  Yep, you guessed it, it’s time for all of you out there in Blog-Reading-Ville (no, Dontrag, that’s not a real place) to SEND YOUR WARCHIEF A PRESENT TO SHOW YOUR DAMN APPRECIATION.  What, you think this thing doesn’t take time and effort?  FUCK THAT.  Don’t panic TOO much, though – I know I’m just springing this on you, so I won’t go sending the Kor’kron after any gift-deficient slackers until at least, like, Friday.

Hell, one of your peers has already gone ahead and beaten you to the punch.  Check out what yours truly received in the mail just today as a blogiversary gift.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

HOW’S THAT FOR FUCKING AWESOME, HUH?  My very own badass action figure of my very own badass self!  And let me tell you, they did NOT scrimp on the plastic on this thing.  It seriously weighs like five pounds.

On the down side, this person also sent me one of these:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Yeah, terrific, get her going again.  Super.

Still, they’re pretty cool.  Maybe I should check with Spazzle about putting out an actual line of Command Board action figures.  You can’t tell me THOSE wouldn’t fly off the shelves like hotcakes.  If hotcakes were kept on shelves.  But still.  MERCHANDIZING, BITCHES.

More from me soon, once Gurtash’s damn hand finishes doing its best Lor’themar’s-Eye impression.

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