Tag Archives: World of Warcraft

Life After World Of Warcraft

World of Warcraft Cosplay Girls
World of Warcraft Cosplay Girls (Photo credit: swanky)

Four years ago I started a journey I had put off for quite some time. A few months before Cataclysm shipped, I bought and downloaded World of Warcraft and rolled my first toon. I had played Warcraft II back in the day and had at least some familiarity with the story. As Brainmuffin is my main nickname, I called the Orc Hunter I rolled the same. I joined through an invite from a co-worker (my boss’s boss) and became a member of his guild.

It wasn’t long before my OCD fears took over and I played way, way too much. Not long after buying, I had reached the level cap of the Vanilla content that was still there and bought the Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King expansions. I was at least committed to going that far, though I still wasn’t sure if I would continue into Cataclysm when it came out.

I downloaded various add-ons and used Zygor guides to level quicker. Along the way, I did various reputation challenges to get mounts and other items. When I was in Lich King content, I rolled some alts using other races to learn other parts of the game. An Undead Shadow Priest (Kleftogna) and Blood Elf Paladin (Zarania). Once I reached the required level on my main, I also rolled a Blood Elf Death Knight (Blutfleck). My obsession had moved into alt land.

In the beginning, things were great. Several other co-workers joined and rolled and we would run instances together. One by one, they dropped out and I had to run more PUGs.  The guild was small, but it was nice and we played on Runetotem. One day, the co-worker who got me started on this journey quit over things Blizzard changed that he didn’t like. The last co-worker went back to running toons in her main guild. I was mostly on my own and played that way for many months.

Eventually, I switched from the guild “For the Horde” to “Cryptic Blessings” as I knew a player there. I was well into Catalcysm content and had level capped a few toons. They ran raids and I had time to do some. Soon came purple gear for my Hunter Brainmuffin and grinding for mats became easier.

Some people I knew returned before Mists of Pandaria came out. I moved a few toons back to “For the Horde”, but it wouldn’t last long and I’d soon be back in “Cryptic Blessings” full time. I went through the MoP content, did pet battles, leveled archeology, and was having fun leveling by various methods. Scenarios and LFR gave new experiences and loot.

Over the last few months though, it slowly became boring. I couldn’t make guild raid night and was on my own most of the time. I still did pet battles and archeology. As new content for MoP came out, I ran it. I leveled 5 toons to 90 by various methods and LFR-ed with each. I went a week without WOW and had some withdrawal symptoms. This was not good.

I also grew tired of the cost each month. Spending $70 every 6 months to play a game that was becoming a chore was no longer in the cards. By mid-May, I had made my decision and turned off auto resubscribe on my account with Blizzard. The morning of May 31st it became final. My paid time had run out.

It has been less than a week since I last logged into and played WOW. I must say I really don’t miss World of Warcraft that much. I’ve turned my attention to other pursuits, mostly getting back to filming beer reviews and other videos for my YouTube channel. I’ve also pulled up old photos and have started making adjustments in Lightroom. My daughter and I even finally did a small photo shoot in Harbin Park. I have much to learn when it comes to photographing people and I am looking forward to the journey.

Each passing day brings me further from World of Warcraft. When the new expansion drops later this year, I have no idea if I will buy it or not. I am quite tired of all the continuous grinding. Perhaps by then I’ll have a clearer purpose.

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Who Is Hayden Hawke?

A treant from World of Warcraft
A treant from World of Warcraft (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


You see her image on nearly every site dealing with World of Warcraft. There are many videos on YouTube with her voice over. They are all to sell the same thing: Hayden Hawke’s gold guide for WOW.


Who is Hayden Hawke?


Sure, there is an image of a cute, young woman. Her blonde and silvery blue eyes. But is she a real person? After all, the name choice is interesting in that she hawks her guide. Hayden is also a name that could be either a man or a woman. Looking at slightly older images used in the adverts shows she has either bloomed well or is making some much real money with her guide she could afford an upgrade.


Is she real?


I’ve seen it speculated that she is a Photoshop creation. Her voice is someone’s girlfriend and that there real isn’t a Hayden Hawke. She has the correct amount of gamer nerd appeal, without being ridiculously hot that people ignore her. Yet, she is easy to ignore. Just like Zygor Guides, Hayden Hawke is now a synonym for site WOW spam. It’s all just noise anyway.


And what’s the secret guide have? Ways to use some addons to turn the AH into a commodities exchange. Buy low, sell high. That’s the ticket to more gold in WOW. Oh sorry, Hayden.



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A Journey Back Into Reality

WIP v2: Xerr
WIP v2: Xerr (Photo credit: BrainMuffin)

My self-imposed exile from the world of 3D computer generated graphics is finally coming to an end. Years ago I became upset when I entered a contest for renderings done in DAZ Studio. While the winning entries where good, I felt that several that ranked above mine were crap. I rarely got a mention. I worked for days on that render, poses people to see how the hands and feet should be. I was hurt.

A few years later, along came Paolo Ciccone and his Reality plugin for DAZ Studio. It let a user connect to the rendering engine called LuxRender. Unlike ray tracing, the engine dealt with light and materials more similar to what humans experience in the world. Light would now bounce off of services. Cameras worked like real world cameras. Light could be changed on the fly. ISO could be updated. Film effects. YES!

Being a photographer by nature and training, I was hooked. I bought it straight away and started to render. I made all kinds of stuff. Then…well, I burned out. Tried to reorganize my content. Started over. Switched computers…on and on. I went into exile.

The time has finally come to start again. DAZ has created a content manager to help with downloading all the content. Reality has moved to version 2. LuxRender has matured. Studio now runs in 64bit mode on a Mac. The materials plugin works on a 64bit Mac. Awesome.

My son wants to learn how to render. My daughter wants to make Anime characters. It is time to again start on the journey. It is time to return to doing something I love. It is time to stop playing World of Warcraft so much. It is time to make our own Reality and share it with others. It is time.

Paolo, I am ready. The technology is here. The children want to learn. There are now more computers on the network. A Journey back to Reality will now start.

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