Posted by: chablis | June 22, 2009

Usable – Useful – Desirable

Useful to the driver of the motorcycle – yes.  Usable to a wheelchair user in a ramp van – no.  Desirable to risk having your motorcycle towed because you have violated the law and parked in the hash marks – you answer.

Seven months after waking on a stretcher in a trauma recovery unit I sat in a standard rental wheelchair at lunch with my in-laws.  We were on our way to an appointment with my surgeon.  I was anxious for a favorable visit; and permission to drive again.  As we ate lunch; I watched a fit, smart, ex-military paraplegic and envied her wheelchair.  Later I watched as she and her partner left the restaurant and went to load up into their ramp van and leave.  There was another car parked in the hash marks; so the ramp van could not extend it’s wheelchair ramp.  The partner had to back out the van into the drive and then extend the ramp for the quite capable young woman [who rolled herself frontwards up the ramp].  I mused over what I would do if I was out by myself and this happened.  By myself, I would not be able to get into the van to back it out so I could load myself up, what would I do?  Those hash marks for wheelchair van’s are very desirable and useful to wheelchair users.  They are also usable and at times abusable by others.

I took this photo yesterday, a few hours after reading the vitriol in many of the comments to this post at Ablegamers.com.  As I was reading the strikingly derogatory remarks from many of the Halo players, I could not help but to remember a similar outpouring of negativity when this very parking lot was featured in an extensive news article concerning the shortage of handicapped parking spots in the community and the proposed rule changes.  One commenter posted “if you are so disabled that you must have a handicap parking spot then you should not be leaving your home

Excuse me? As I read this, after 8 months of being stuck home-bound; and just starting to drive in the community; I thought of my few trips to this very shopping plaza where I had driven in looking for a parking spot, then gone on to the older, smaller grocery store.  If I could not park in a spot where I could unload my wheelchair, there were no usable parking spots for me.  I liked going to the grocery store, it is desirable to me to get out and about and be active; it’s useful to hubby for me to do what I can for the household.

In my forties, I quickly learned to appreciate the history of ADA and the benefit I was now enjoying. I can go out and about and do so much more than a similar accident victim of say; 30 years ago.

Our community has a sizable retirement population and I watch with mostly amusement as the seniors find many of the accommodations made for the disabled to be useful, usable and desirable.  Just think of the millions of baby boomers as they reach their seventy’s; with life expectancy extended from gains in modern medical practices they will be able to more enjoy their extended life due to changes and improvements brought about by the disability movement.  The concepts of Universal Design are reaching into every facet of daily activity.

My neuro-surgeon is in a group practice with a newer building.  Their parking lot design extols everything that is beneficial about usable, useful and desirable.  There is a covered, flat, curb free loading-unloading zone.  The closest parking spots to the door are regular spots; but, all of the regular parking spots are wider than typically found in commercial shopping plazas.  Wider striped parking spots are desirable to folks who are unloading babies, toddlers, strollers, groceries, mobility aids, and/or passengers needing assistance.  Towards the street side of the parking lot are spaces for motorcycles,  scooters, bicycles and golf carts; towards the back of the parking lot are the wheelchair van accessible spots.  Running along the front of these parking spots is a wide flat curb free sidewalk continuing up to the front door.  Folks who desire or need to walk short distances do not use these parking spots, they prefer [desire] the spots closest to the door.  The spots close to the door are desirable and, due to being a bit wider than the norm, usable for people needing a bit more room to maneuver.  Meanwhile, most wheelchair users don’t mind a bit of distance, they need usable parking spots; with space for unloading wheelchairs,  and find it desirable to be able roll along below the vision of drivers out of the way of the moving vehicles on the building side sidewalk.

Allow me to spell out that last little portion – I about lost my painfully saved life the day I was wheeling along the parking lot heading for the front door of the grocery store and a driver nearly backed me over.  You see, the very same shopping plaza as picture above has no method for wheelchair users, baby buggy pushers, toddlers, seniors with canes or bicycle users to get from one end of the parked cars to the other without moving behind parked cars.  Same said parked cars who may without notice begin backing up into [to them] un-seen-able people.

Thinking about, creating, planning for Universal Design is usable, useful and desirable.  The more something is usable, useful and desirable the more it will have widespread market acceptance and penetration.

Lets take a look at the Nintendo Wii shall we?

As news broke about the design of the new Nintendo gaming console, many gamers wondered if it would be a hit.  Nintendo certainly went out on a limb so far as innovation with the controller; the wiimote, and with innovative new games such as the Wii Fit.  Nintendo has suceeded where Microsoft fails to attract new and diverse users.  As the two linked article examples illustrate; the Wii Fit is useful in physical therapy because it is fun!  Increased market share and user base is always a very good thing.  Leads to more and better platforms and games.  Gamers usually like new games, and spend money on them – which leads to profits for the game developer to continue developing new games that gamers enjoy.  Attracting new users and customers helps speed this process.  It is very desirable for profitability.

And don’t think this is just your grandmother.  Although, I know quite a few grandparents who enjoy playing online games both in genaral groups as well as with their kids and grand kids.  Think about all those baby boomers who grew up on pinball and video games;  gaming is desirable, with a high entertainment factor.

We have the most absolute fantastic game room.  Multi TVs, surround sound; ceiling mounted rear channel speakers, comfortable seating; black out blinds.  Great visibility on a 52″ wide screen HDTV and awesome acoustics.  xBox360, Halo and Oblivion were just fantastic.P6220007

We have 2 xBox; 2 xBox 360 and a Playstation 2.  We play PS2 games quite a bit; and I play xBox 360 with my nephew when he visits.  Otherwise, not so much xBox 360 or the Halo I so loved.

The neuro muscular damage in my hands?  Just doesn’t cut it with the xBox controller.  L2Play – well I can’t, not well.

Now we have added another laptop the the game room; and a chair side table and I play World of Warcraft.

And I want a Wii Fit – physical therapy and working out is so very boring; riding a stationary bike has to be the worst.  Oh please, game systems make it better.

Listen up Microsoft – you have the opportunity to be game console pioneers; you know, sort of like you did with DOS.  Step on up to the plate and give us a home run please.  Halo 4, Project Natal – will I really be able to truly play Halo again?  Or not?  Please Microsoft think about the extended market place as you design and test Usable and Useful.  Include all the demographics of your potential market in your sample set usability testing.

Entertainment by way of video games, gaming consoles – fabulous.  Desirable.

PS – I started this a few months back and then failed to finish and post; so here ’tis.  Still timely me thinks.

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Posted by: chablis | June 22, 2009

UI will show you mine

…   if you show me yours <lol>

Just Kidding!

************

Wowzers, has over 2 weeks gone by?  What a rotten bloggette I am; well in the TL;DR bullet fashion

  1. Doc released me to start strengthening my recently reconstructed PCL on my good leg.  I took it upon myself to graduate from walker to crutches.  Two weeks to the day I tore the calf muscle in my bad leg.  Lost a week; it could have been worse; it could have needed ….  drum roll …. more surgery
  2. Nephew decided he wanted to start playing WoW again; since his dominant hand is broken and he can’t play xBox.
  3. Nephew decided he wanted to join CO, our primarily adult guild;  drama ensued.
  4. 3 days after joining CO, nephews account got hacked; MUCH drama ensued; need to tell the tale some day soon.
  5. If you are max mining skill; make darn sure you have an authenticator; see point previous.
  6. Saw the double specialist Neuro/Ear Doc; can get tube in my ear and FLY away little girl; also going for cat scans and balance tests; surgery is likely in my future; as well as a hearing aid.  Yes, hubby is right; my hearing has deteriorated; ‘very common result of head injuries in high speed motor vehicle collisions and fistula leaks; and if we don’t repair the fistula you will lose the hearing completely’.  Joy.
  7. Bestest Mom-In-Law popped out her hip, and may be coming up for surgery and rehab.  Yippee!  (not the hip part, the visiting part)
  8. I’m hoping to squeeze in a trip to Texas to visit family and bestest nephew after tube.in.my.ear before Mom-in-laws.hip.surgery and before middle.school.starts.  Must tackle my own mother.

************

So, wanna see mine?

That is a screen cap during a 25 man raid; with the section of the screen that I really keep my eye on.  I recently switched to x-Perl from the standard raid frames; and really like it.  Working up the nerve to loose the boss buffs debuffs completely; but i r cluckers.

And, this is the composition.

  1. Player Targets – part of ora Main Tank Windows; on Chablis I only use these if Main Tanks are not set
  2. Omen – Really don’t use it much anymore with built in threat and threat indicators in xPerl; so long as I’m not pulling aggro I don’t much care what position I’m in on threat; unless of course it’s Patchwerk or something similar.  x-Perl does a great job of aggro warning and monitoring; so Omen just turned into noise.
  3. DeadlyBossMod’s Timers – essential IMO (in my opinion)
  4. Grid – OK; so I installed this so I could get use to it before I started raiding with Vineyard; who prefers it more centralized and prominent; Chablis has learned to like being able to glance over and get the pulse of the raid
  5. Bartender4 – bar mods FTW – how did I ever survive without one?  Pick your flavor of the bar and do such neat things as conditionally display or not; position; size; arrange; bind keys and fade buttons
  6. Power Aura’s – lets me see at a glance when I’ve gained or lost something very important to the success of a battle and to my improved damage dealing.  Lots have been written about Power Aura’s in the last several months since WotLK released.
  7. Debuff Filter; or dfilter – I’ve been reading about using debuff’s on the boss to time when to put up my dots for the greatest DPS effect; watching the debuff’s on a boss fight is just insane crazy for me; so I’m trying this to see if I can improve my DPS
  8. Coolline – love it; does just what you need in a simple low footprint manner
  9. ora2 Tank Windows – fellow guild member hunter is responsible for me finding this jewel; I don’t know how I lived without.  It lets me do and see something at a glance.  Quickly, Timely.  Improved DPS uptime, improved target accuracy.  No more mousing around the UI trying to find my intended target.  Who needs a Misdirect, who needs a shield.  I noticed ora2 running on virtually all of the Ensidia UI’s.
  10. MiniMap – I used Chinchilla for a long time and loved it; until it got buggy prone in the last patch
  11. Activity Dependent Area – during battle; fight key binds – between battles; recount – general; quests
  12. zHunter – my very first addon; ahhhhh.

When I’m testing an addon; I look for both functionality to improve my game, as well as flexibility to configure the way I want.  I try to minimize the noise on my screen at any time, and have learned to love and utilize conditional operatives to hide different things under different circumstances.  Generally, I have slighly different UI’s for: (a) just running around, (b) fighting solo or in small parties; (c) raid time battle and (d) raid time between battles.

I still think my UI is too *busy* during a boss fight; other than the slew of target/self/pet/focus buffs & debuffs I can’t really figure out what to do without.  What I have done is to move the absolute essentials to the foreground or focus zone so to speak.  And, I really like having my *stuff* at the bottom of my UI; makes movement intensive fights oh so much easier.

Getting into time with a boss fight; the normal tone areas are my focus zone:

During a boss fight; I find that Coolline is somewhat like a metronome and stanza to a musician; keeping time with the team, dancing on the beat and Power Aura’s provide the masterpiece dynamics while debuff filter is the accent marks.

And, just like learning a new piece of music; changing your WoW User Interface requires a ton of practice.  Practice on the target dummies, solo, small parties; PVP and then expect your DPS to go down for a time when you take your new ensemble into a 25 man raid.  Oh, and review your work.  Take tons of screen captures and go back after or between battles and take the time to look closely at a moment of frozen time.  Also, I’m going to try FRAPs’ing; as I think that would be a good way to review.

Practice makes Perfect Harmony.

Oh, and I can tell at a glance that some other hunter has overwritten my Improved Aspect of the Hawk and is costing me plus every other hunter in the raid 150 AP.

Posted by: chablis | June 1, 2009

The Week in WoW

The sun has finally made an appearance; the rain has finally stopped for a bit.  I’m going adventuring; no need to worry about crutches slipping on wet pavement or getting drenched in the wheelchair.  Off for great things; well groceries and supplies but I am enjoying do my own errand running.

During the raining drearies last week ….

WoWScrnShot_052409_004636

Merryvale spent some time leveling; she is an elemental shaman closing in on 40.  Leveling is going really fast with rest bonus plus the bind on account items she’s decked out with.  I’m enjoying elemental; look forward to hitting close to 70 and doing the northrend trek with Insignia.

WoWScrnShot_052509_230037

Chablis discovers the Spark of Imagination; what a cool-cool travel method and destination.  I can’t wait to go with Hubby; we honeymooned at Florida Disney and Figment has long been a favorite of us both.  What can I say, we are kids at heart!

We had a load of in guild drama the past week; grrr, groups, teams and drama – seems you can’t have one without the other.  It’s all good now, and some things got better but not fun while it went on.  Did give me a chance to get Vineyard out and work on her gear.  I accidently discovered some nice upgrade possibilities from Wintergrasp Marks; which just might deserve a post of its own.  Long story shorter – Vineyard got new shoes – and we all know how us girls like our new shoes.  A wand upgrade alludes us though.

Posted by: chablis | May 24, 2009

Kologarn

This guy is HUGE, humongous even. Reaching out with those arms to grab you and glaring with the icy blue eyes. The icy blue eyes that find someone, converge in and womp your health.

Ouch.

Kologarn Eye Beams

Yup, ima dead. All sorts of things going on in this fight. Those evil Eye Beams you see above, Stone Grip and squeezed in his grip; rubble adds; arm sweeps and all sorts of activity designed the keep the unwary out of the realms beyond.

Kologarn guards the entrance to the next section of Ulduar, when he dies, not only does he drop a nice hunter gun, his corpse forms the access bridge – to the crazy cat lady; who has the bow I want.

This is a fun fight; we’ve got it down on 10 man; but we are struggling a bit with a 25 man strategy. There is a lot of activity and different things going on in this fight that require everybody on the team to fully understand and have their A game going.

The greatest problem we are having is kiting the eye beams; this Bosskillers diagram seems like a good choice for us; as we run with 5 or so hunters and a whole bunch of other ranged.

credit - Bosskillers.com

credit - Bosskillers.com

At the time of this writing, it can not be determined who the eye beams are after. They shoot out from each eye left and right and move inwards and converge on the (un)lucky player. Then the eye beam starts dealing damage to anybody within a 3 yard radius. Once the damage starts, then and only then, can Deadly Boss Mods tell you anything.

We have been spreading out in a single line, and I’ve found it tough to determine if the eye beams are heading for me, or someone to either side of me. What I like about the bosskillers diagram is the staggering, which should make it easier to decide if it is me or somebody else those beams are going to converge upon.

If enough raid members are online, we go back tonight. Here’s hoping.

Cheers! Hope your holiday weekend is going great!

Posted by: chablis | May 22, 2009

Taming the Equipment Manager

Patch Day 3.1.2 saw the release of the (delayed) Blizzard Equipment Manager.  While I’ve heard that folks using Outfitter and such don’t plan to change, for me the Equipment Manager does just what I need.  Once I finally figured out how to use the darn thing.

Start by going to Interface, Controls, and activating Equipment Manager by putting a check mark in Use Equipment Manager.

eqmgr1Next, open your Character Panel and you will note a new Icon stashed in an awkward looking spot in the upper right hand corner;

eqmgr2

Click the new Equipment Manager Icon and you will see the Equipment Manager.

Next, counter to anything you might think otherwise, you now click “Save”.  I finally figured it out; you are saving into the Equipment Manager the items that you currently have equipped.

Ergh; but not your ammunition.  Why oh why is the ammunition excluded?

Finally, (1.) choose and enter a name for the Equipment Manager to identify this set, (2.) pick an Icon for it, and (3.) click Okay.

eqmgr3 As you are picking out your Icon; you might notice that Blizzard has been so kind as to automatically place at the top of the selection window icons representing the items you currently have equipped.

This comes in kind of handy for a visual for things such as fishing, or hanging around in Dalaran in your fine go to town dress.  Hmm, must go find the sexy purple dress and some nice dress sandals to go with it.  Night out on the town.

eqmgr4Rinse and repeat for each of the sets of equipment you want to create; remembering that step one is to equip the equipment you are creating a set for.

Afterwards, changing gear is as simple as opening your character pane, then the equipment manager, then click.  I imagine that one could keybind these also.

Hmmm, must investigate.

Posted by: chablis | May 21, 2009

Ignis the Furnace Master’s Brittle Adds

Shatter the Brittles – A job for the Marksman Hunter

I wrote about busting the brittles in ten man Ulduar, and after doing this fight several times in 25 man I thought I would revisit the subject.  Who knows, some other Marksman hunter might find this useful and interesting.

Busting the brittles in a timely manner is a big part of successfully downing Ignis.  A ‘brittle’ starts as one of the Iron Construct adds that Ignis calls thru out the fight.  The OT, or in the case of 25 man OT’s, drag the adds into the scorched zones and hold them until they become molten.  When they are molten, they can be brought over to one of the water pools and contact with the water stuns them and they become brittle.  To remove the buff on Ignis, the brittle must be shattered within 15 seconds with an attack of 5,000 or more.

The brittle buffs an attackers Crit Chance by 50%.  My paper doll armory shows me 37.81% Crit Chance.  Fully raid buffed, I’m approaching 48%.  I use the same strategy in 25 mans as I described in my first 10 man post:  Hunters Mark + Serpent Sting + Chimera = Shatter

Beware the Shatter

Make sure the OT and anybody else in the raid knows to stay 10 yards away from the Brittle, they deal 20,000 damage when shattered.  Big Ouch.

Construct Squad

A squad is a team of an  OT and a ranged DPS that can deal 5000 damage in one attack in less than 15 seconds.  (note:  I’ve read a few sources that say 20 seconds); one squad for 10 man, two for 25 man.  Healers need to keep these folks alive.  OT’s can take some hurting standing around in the scorched zones with a couple of adds banging on them; or dragging one molten and one not yet molten add into the water with a quick trigger DPS partner.  Which brings me to; OT’s get thyself away from the brittle promptly.  Ranged DPS, give your OT a tick to get out of the way.  I don’t much worry about anybody else being in the range of the water; if they are they won’t live long and it will (hopefully) be a lesson to them.

Keeping up the Pew Pew

A bit more detail on how I (attempt) to keep up the DPS during this fight.  Before the fight; I’ve determined my OT squad member and which side we will favor.  I’ve marked my OT as my focus; made sure I’m all buffed and my wolf is; and lastly zoomed my camera view out a bit so I can see the MT pathing square by just moving my camera around a bit.

I’ve checked out the healers and replaced by Mirror of Truth trinket with the Mighty Alchemist’s Stone if it looks as if healing might be tight.  I’ve got Fel Blossom keybound to X; BandAid bound to B and either Fel Healthstone or Health Potion bound to Shift + Spacebar.  Oh, and I’m an Herbalist; so have LifeBlood bound to Shift + B.  A Dead Chablis does no PewPew and fails her job of shattering brittles.  As we are learning this fight; and dragging new people in every week it seems; it is as much my job as our healers to keep myself alive.  And that means not being a stupid fool and running into the, or the soon to be; scorched zone. /FailChablis

Let the Best Man Win

Once the fight starts and the main tank has aggro; I put my pet on Ignis, dot up Ignis and let loose with a Rapid Fire and hope to build up some bleeds; all the while keeping an eye over my shoulder on my OT and his adds.  When I see an add go molten; I switch to the add, mark him with Hunter’s Mark and Serpent Sting; wait for the OT to get him in the water, brittle and (OT) get away; then I land a Chimera Shot.  Watch the explosion, switch back to Ignis; rinse and repeat.

As the fight goes on; I put as much damage on Ignis as I can while keeping my Readiness and Misdirect cool down’s available.  I can generally get several Chimera shots on Ignis while waiting for moltens on my side.  If adds start piling up; or if the brittle buster on the other side needs some help; then I’ve got a Misdirect available to help the OT get an add; or pull a molten into the water.  I’ve also got Readiness available in case I can’t bust two brittles in a row without immediately needing another Chimera.  I leave the wolf on Ignis; unless I need him to round up a loose add for me.

If the other OT or brittle buster gets pulled into the slag pot and/or die; add action can get quite hectic.  One of my OMG, I did what? moments occurred when I looked over to the other side to watch a molten turn towards the raid.  I dashed over, landed a concussive shot; dotted him up and kept going towards the water.  Once I  reached the water fall, he was just in the water so I hit him with a Chimera and held my breath.  The molten hit the water, went brittle and busted all in a heartbeat.  And Chablis actually lived.  I could not believe I pulled that one off.

I’ll never top the damage charts in our raids; but I like to think I pull my weight in the utility hunter department; and my DPS is getting better as I keep a closer watch on my cool downs.

Posted by: chablis | May 19, 2009

Happy Days

Celebrate every day as though you mean it.  Live each and every day to the max of your joy and pleasure.  Even, and especially birthdays.  When you start approaching my age, you want to joke about not wanting anymore birthdays.  Thank you Mr CuteTush Highway Patrol for squatting there in such a position and keeping me awake and alive for two hours.  Thank you to all of the emergency medical services for keeping me alive the first day.  And thank you to Dr. Dean Cole for all of the surgeries over the past three years that result in my (usually) upright mobility these days.

Most of all; love, hugs and kisses to my most (usually) wonderful husband and the rest of the family.

Moving right along to patch 3.1.2 and buffs for hunters with ilevel 226 ranged weapons.  Flappy birfday Chablis!  And may we have tons of fun and luck of the RNG in 10 man Ulduar tonight.

Finding joy and pleasure teaming up with my online friends and very real world hubby!

Posted by: chablis | May 12, 2009

Where is that Spur?

Spur of the Moment

12 Years ago my brother called me at work, ‘Call M. right away; and you need to get out there as quick as you can’.  Our mother, who for ten years had chose to estrange herself from all family; including children, had taped a suicide note to our youngest sisters door.  I flew out the next morning and stayed for two weeks.

4 Years ago my sister called, Mom was in the hospital, senile, incoherent and acting out.  M. needed help; I flew out the next day and took on the battle of the medical care; for two weeks.

Now, Where did that Spur go?

P5200049_webIt must be lost in the debris of May 20, 2006. There is no more spur of the moment, that is beat out of you in rehab.  Rehab drills and drills on think, plan, act.  Think, plan then act is how you achieve safe movement.

It goes beyond just safe movement and preventing avoidable injuries.  I learned you have to plan for all sorts of contingencies not normally given a passing thought.  For example, what are you going to do if you arrive at the medical center of the hospital for your monthly appointment with the trauma surgeon only to find no wheelchair accessible parking?  And you are by yourself.  Do you know if there is valet parking?  Do you know where it is?

Traveling with a friend you check into a hotel for the night and find a child height to the floor toilet crammed into a small closet next to a step over tub.  No grab bars and no room for your walker.

You can finally navigate stairs a bit without needing to go up backwards on your bum with help from hubby.  This stair stuff requires one crutch and one very securely attached stair rail; preferably splinter free.  Pop-in-law can give you the details of how he repaired our stair rail after I pulled it out of the wall.  You think of this as you stand looking at the stair rail of your friends three story walk up.

Plan

M. called yesterday.  Mom has cancer, she is senile, can not hear and apparently can not understand.  She seems mentally inert as well as physically inert.  She is not a good patient, in fact, she is quite horrible.  I can not let my sister carry this burden alone.  Time to plan.  How am I going to get myself and all my associated mobility gear from Central Florida to South Texas?  When I get there, where am I going to sleep,  and how am I going to get to and from said bed?  Or in and out of it.  Am I going to be able to get myself off the toilet, or should I ask my brother and sister to install grab bars?  And bathing; bathrooms and water scare me silly.  Wet slippery floors and can’t step into tubs.  Bah – who needs universal design anyway; oh wait, that might be me.  Or, I can send my poor overburdened sis off to the thrift store to buy a standard hospital issue walker; mom-in-law picked up several for me.  I’ve got one whose sole purpose is to assist my navigation to and from the upstairs bathroom.

Worry.

Posted by: chablis | May 1, 2009

Purple Pixel Syndrome

All too often the lure of the shiny pixels and the purple loot drives people to a place best avoided.

We are human beings with feelings, thoughts and emotions behind the purple pixels, bits and bytes of the video terminal. In our electronic anonymity it is too easy for folks to spout out the mouth without thinking or caring that it is another human being across the interwebs. I can metaphysically slap someone up side the head with no consequence to myself.

Or, I can chose fun and friendship over the lure of the shiny purple pixel.

Posted by: chablis | April 29, 2009

What to tell the Guild?

Centurian Order is one of the longest running guilds on Baelgun; and while hubby dearest has been with them forever, and came over with them from Blackhand; I’ve only been in the guild for about a year.

When I first started playing; I played by myself, or grouped up with hubby.  He created a new toon that he leveled with me.  I never grouped with anyone else, we didn’t do instances, and I never used chat.

Hubby had been an officer in the guild,  prior to my accident and our life altering circumstances; so I knew alot about the different active players in the guild; and I didn’t think I would fit in.  He finally prevailed in talking Chablis into trying the guild when she was around 60;  and there I’ve been since.

A few times I’ve thought about other guilds; one was a family who themselves had some physical and developmental issues; another was a guild that I pugged with a few times that were just a ton of fun to be around.  The chicken in me hesitated, and the first imploded within months and the second, post WoTLK; has splintered, and splintered again.

I believe that Centurian Order continues, as a functional guild,  although not a top rated progression guild;  because the guild members are friendly, engaging, thoughtful and tolerant.  During the dramatics of the past several months across all guilds and realms; I’ve decided that tolerance is probably one of the most important criteria to determine the longevity of a guild.

Recently I’ve read lileia discussing what to tell your guild concerning your playing circumstances, and then Carol.  Then Carol wrote this thought provoking post; which, made me think.  U thunk?

As CO has struggled moving into 25 man heroic Ulduar, tension and stress has been high.  Vent is mostly quiet.  After a round of spectacular wipes, a conversation was started on our guild forums about how to ask, and answer questions.  I seized the moment, wrote; and clicked Post.

Chablis <– hardcore casual

As a few of you know, I struggle with; complain about, err, am challenged by a few different than the standard deviation normal physical. If only I was a guy I could keep a bottle by my game chair; and I’m just too casual to haul out the bed side commode and use it for a game chair.

Some of you know that in addition to being slow as molasses going on bio break; I’ve got neuro/muscular issues in both hands; significantly bad in my dominant hand. I tried really hard to train myself to be a left hand mouser; but my brain would just not buy into the concept. I’ve got quite the collection of different types of pointing devices; but the bottom line is — I suck at mouse clicking and mouse moving. I have never asked for helpful suggestions publicly in guild because I’m too fracking chicken; proud; heck I don’t even know what or why.

Malygos stage 3; I’ve joked in vent that I’m spatially challenged. Actually, it’s not a joke; I could rattle off the latin medicalese behind it all; but I’ll spare you the boredom. True story; I was once snorkeling in the Keys and dove down to check out a coral head close up and lost up. I did not know which way was up to get my head out of the water to breath. Surprising enough, I’ve got some of that spatial problem in Malygos stage 3, probably something about a lack of horizon; who knows; who cares. One night I was so frustrated and mad at myself I whispered Speaksoft. Low and behold; the sky did not fall and he did not bite my head off. He was actually quite helpful. In fact, he stumbled across a big chunk of my problem; for which I was truly appreciative and actually did much better. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll ever be good at fighting on dragon back so I guess there will be no Occulus in my future so no nice titles.

There is also the time that Ironside and Kailan came to Malygos 10 with us to coach, train and educate us. That was awesome!

As much as I appreciate, and use the training dummies; they just don’t do it all. They can not replicate the intensity of a boss fight. Things like constantly moving, flashing lights; avoiding bad stuff; what flashing lights are bad stuff to avoid or our stuff that I don’t need to move; finding the correct target; all these things can’t be practiced and perfected on a training dummy. Yet, they can’t be practiced and perfected in 25 mans either.

Some of the most educational, and beneficial learning experiences for me have been in 5 man heroics where I’ve been able to freely ask questions and then practice with constructive feedback. If you are wanting to improve something; learn an off spec; or whatever; seek out a 5 man and go at it.

Oh, and as far as new 25 mans, strats and debriefings – In the world of adult education, getting people to ask clarification questions is tough. Don’t wait until the end of the chapter to ask for questions; stop every few ticks and ask for questions; come up with different ways to draw questions out of people. If you think something might have been less than clear; ask your own questions of the audience and ask somebody to answer it for you. Pass the explaining the fight around to different people; (1) teaching something aids in learning it; (2) audience gets an alternative teaching method/style; and (3) spreads the load of explaining boss fights around.

/exit soap box

-C

PS – don’t forget the extra heaping of fun and chocolate cake biggrin.gif

Lo and behold; indeed the sky did not fall.  Chicken little continues her occaissonal journies into Ulduar.

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