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Caterpillar aOur cross-server IOOM team took Bronze in Challenge Mode Scarlet Halls this afternoon, and came within about a minute of taking Silver. We'll be back for more next week. If you'd like to be involved, let me know - we'll be starting a "pinch hitter" list for each weeks' runs, hoping to give more people a chance to participate. Congratulations, adventurers!
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Caterpillar a  I've added a calendar event and will be pushing for everyone to sign up on the calendar if they are interested in attending. This makes it easier for me to administer the event, and we may be able to get more people involved / form a second group as necessary. Thanks - Cat
Caterpillar aSo - I've gotten a foot in the door with latest round of Beta invites and put some time into getting a feel for the lay of the land in WoD this evening. I'll have a forum post soon - in the meantime, Caterpillar's plastic surgery is somewhat unnerving! :o
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Ysulde a  Much like the Mists beta, I will be leaving my Warlords beta invite untouched in my account. I was glad I did for the Mists beta. Knowing that I would have been absolutely overjoyed playing an actual tanking warlock with actual crit immunity, only to have it basically taken away later, it was probably for the best that I stayed out of it.

I would be curious to hear what you think of the Garrisons feature and how it compares with Sunsong Ranch, if you'd get the time.
Caterpillar a  I spent way too much time in the Mists Beta - I've gotten up to the earliest stages of the Garrison-building and suddenly feel like I don't want to go any further -- not until release, anyway.

I have to be honest that I've been completely underwhelmed by the xpac beta so far. And I'm the kind of guy who's generally enthused about everything. It's still beta, various pieces are missing and/or incomplete, but so far there has been ZERO sense of grandeur - I mean, you're running around with Thrall and Khadgar, for pity's sake. Why do I have to kill 12 orcs, burn three huts and free two cages of prisoners? /sadface
Ysulde a  We have to bail out Thrall some more? Yikes.

I can see the lackluster-ness of questing in the beta just to do all of the quests over in release.

I have high hopes for Warlords so far. The only major "unknown" is the Garrisons. In Mists, Sunsong Ranch felt almost mandatory for all of my alts. I am a bit worried that Garrisons will be just as bad and most of my nights could turn into doing Garrison stuff over and over again.
Caterpillar a  added 90 Advanced days to ... Is Out of Mana
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The Tao of Kindness

Caterpillar aa posted Feb 17, 14


Over the past several days, I've been presented with a number of life lessons that I've not wanted to learn. I've fought these lessons bitterly, finding myself much more at home wallowing in feelings of self-pity, anger, and wounded indignation. Those are familiar friends, an emotional bed of nails that seems, somehow, to fit my inner contours perfectly.

As I reflect on my unhappiness, I find myself imagining an alternate timeline: one in which, at every twist and turn, the involved parties had simply given one another the benefit of the doubt. It's a much happier story, with better outcomes for everyone involved.

It's not coincidence, I am certain, that many of these lessons have come through the experience of leading our guild. We play an online game wherein we often come to know one another in part, over time. From our limited observations of one another in a limited set of circumstances, we try to know and understand one another. Using the (very!) few pieces we are given, we rough out the edges of very complex puzzles. We then fill in the blanks as well as we can from what we've observed: if we're building out the sky, or the water, we guess that some more blue or gray pieces might fit. In time, we feel that we have a reasonably complete picture, and that picture shapes our interaction with those people in-game.

What we sometimes fail to recognize is that there is a real person, and often real suffering, behind each avatar. We don't know, for instance, that one of us is struggling with cancer. Another has just lost a partner of 8 years. Some of us have lost our jobs, or are living a half-life, crushed in a press of worry over employment and finances. Some may be struggling with the never-ending stress of parenting, fearful about the future, and living with constant guilt that our time spent in this game comes at a cost to our children and spouses that can never be repaid. Some may live daily in a cocoon of paralyzing shyness, and may find that their only opportunity for meaningful interaction lies here, within our guild. Mental illness. Infidelity and divorce. Health issues. 

When a guildmate overreacts to a situation, or behaves in way that is inconsistent with the extrapolated picture we hold of that person, we wonder: what's *his* problem? Or: why is she overreacting to something so trivial? Or even: I don't appreciate being spoken to like this!

How much happier could we be - how much more harmonious as a guild - if we were to approach every situation by extending the benefit of the doubt, and working backward from there? This, instead of reacting to every word, action and reaction as a personal injury, inflicted on us by uncaring guildmates?

What if we were to assume, in every instance, that we're dealing with good, kind human beings, whose behavior may be out of character due to factors unrelated to the game? Maybe that player is pressuring us to join his group because he'd really like to hang out with us, and is maybe even feeling lonely. Maybe that player doesn't want to join our group because she has to pick up her daughter in a half-hour and knows that she'll be miserable, watching the clock the whole time? Maybe that other player snapped at me because he had a terrible day at work and ran over a squirrel on the way home and his wife is mad because he's sitting down to play WoW again.

Maybe they were trying to help. Maybe he is fearful. Maybe she is having trouble expressing herself clearly. Maybe they are hung over. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.

The lesson that I'm struggling to learn this week is one that I've been struggling to learn for years. Since I began attempting to climb this particular rung of my life ladder, I've noticed that I'm in good company, struggling alongside many others who could also be a lot happier, if they could simply wrap their fingers around the rung and pull themselves up.

You cannot control what others do or say, but you *can* control how you respond to it.

Be kind. Give others the benefit of the doubt. Always.

Odds are, they are suffering, too.

-Cat


Shoutbox
The Curse of Naxxramas is a bit laggy at times, but so far I am impressed.
Happy Father's Day wishes to all of the dads out there!!
Quick, everyone - put some BoE cloth up on the Alliance AH and see if Demi buys it in his sleep!
You know how some people walk in their sleep and do things without remembering? I just saw that I won some BoE cloth pants on my Warrior. I don't remember buying those at all!
Belated Mother's Day wishes to all the moms out there!
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