Welp, things kinda took a different (and in many ways BETTER) turn regarding my brother.
Originally the intent was to, um, get Robert to bring Kiros (or any of his level 100 alts really) to the EoTT OpenRaid events.
Except lately our raid composition has been rather odd in Lazy Peons, Horde-side. Because we’ve had to compensate for not having Sarah and Suzi, and also my having to swap in Cow!Phil in case one of our other normal healers is absent, we miss out on some pretty critical raid buffs. And as the Peons progress further into HFC (and start poking around in Heroic mode), we’re going to need an additional healer that can also Lust. Something like… a shaman.
…which Robert has, if you recall. (Mr. Cloudshatter up there, that sexy orc)
Boss-man Char asked me, ever so subtly (not), to “work my Annoying Little Sister magic” and prod Robert into levelling said shaman so he can raid with us. And so I pitched the request, fulling expecting my brother to say no (because, really, that IS asking a lot).
But… he said yes?! GASP.
I think it’s part-“Robert gets to play his favorite class” (he’s never OUTRIGHT said it, but the dude loves shammy-ness) and part “okay, there isn’t much more to do aside from farming gold/oil/achievements.” And he did say quite awhile ago that he missed raiding and wanted a consistent group to run with. So, wish granted, in a manner of speaking!
And he’s been levelling like a fiend, getting from 52 to, as of this writing, 97. From what I understand, he’s going Resto/Enhancement (where Akaycia is Resto/Elemental). I would honestly be surprised if he was not level-capped and raid-viable as of Tuesday, just in time for the next guild raid. I have done my part in helping him along, as much as he would allow me to (mostly in the capacity of Shaman glyphs), as well as introducing him to others in the guild (who all get to see first-hand how terrible he is at asking for/accepting help). He seems to get along rather well with Cy, Broc and Schado, and while he hasn’t gotten to really talk with Char and Alex yet, the epic meeting’s going to happen eventually! One way or another, either sometime before or on the day of Robert’s first attendance, they will meet, and it will be both scary and awesome.
(Hell yeah, I’m recording that raid session. Bonus points if I can record Vent on a separate audio track. I need to preserve such a thing, it’s that much a big deal.)
It’s… a little funny, in a way. Officially, cow!Phil is Sarah’s substitute (as well as the sub-of-the-day for whoever of our 3 healers is absent) but it seems Robert may be more appropriate, since it’d be a Shaman replacing a Shaman. Well, it’s not like this arrangement eliminates me from healing, it just pushes me to Absolute Last Resort territory, like if we’re missing TWO healers. Which HAS happened, by the way. I mean, we have Paladin healers (Cy, Cowgath and I think Cathari?) but… Paladin healers don’t have AoE healing cooldowns, which are kind of a necessary thing, you know? And the few AoE heals they have are best used in melee range, so… yeah.
Shorter version: Robert is joining the Lazy Peons raiding team and we are all very happy and thankful for it (especially me, because oh my god I have wanted to raid current content with him FOR-FREAKING-EVER). Just one more thing, he says he’s going to be listen-only on Vent if only because he can’t be bothered to get a headset or pick a hotkey. We’ll have to sell him on actually talking, because if you know my brother, he’s pretty much prime voice actor material and the potential for badassery is too great. We can’t have him being a permanent non-talker! It’s bad enough I don’t get to hear Alex on Vent! :P
Other stuff of less import: I’ve been in the hospital twice, again, because of UTIs and intestinal wonkiness and… yeah, that was a thing that happened. See my Facebook timeline if you want that story. Blah.
So, that totally just happened. As of two weeks ago, after six months of being MIA, my brother finally took my offer (of taking Yggdrasil) and has returned to the game! It has also been decided that I am to permanently retain the guild boss-pants, so now I am Boss-lady Supreme of Shattered Knights. (As if this was the first guild I “inherited.” Hi, Across!) I gave him a spare Coalfist Gronnling mount as well as other extra battle pets I got from garrison missions; bro is very much a mount collector so he was pretty happy about that. We also got him Draenor Pathfinder so now he can fly, and I’m just about to sell him on coming to raid with EoTT. :D
Horde-side, he also joined Lazy Peons as an orc resto shammy. While bro has yet to meet Char… oh jeebus, that’s going to be something to remember. (He did meet George/Ninigi, one of our tanks, so that’s a thing.)
It has also come out that our original Shattered Knights boss-man, Karlia, is probably going to return for the next expansion! Well… if we have three people, it does mean we can get the guild achievements for 5-man dungeon completion, so that’s something to look forward to. :)
As for me, both of my mages have finished their legendary rings! For the Alliance version of Yoshi, I tried to bring my brother along for the LEGENDARY KARABOR DANCE PARTY (since, um, he was able to observe my getting Dragonwrath, we figured he would be able to see the ceremony for the final ring upgrade) but, alas, damn you phasing! While he could see the transcript of the voiced dialog, all of the NPCs and such were invisible to him. :( Well, now I know, because I was about to invite Cal (EoTT boss-man) to observe when Phil finishes his ring.
Cow!Phil has been taking a more active role in Lazy Peons’s raiding, though depending on raid composition it is also a possibility that I may be asked to switch between him and the other Yoshi as needed. This is something I am completely okay with, since I keep both characters geared because of such a possible scenario.
“What IS it like to be in a guild with your sibling, anyway?” I imagine the answer is going to be different for everyone (Lazy Peons has among them twin sisters). For me, it was an attempt to find an alternate means of connecting with my brother. It is, unfortunately, not really possible to hang out with him in person (less because of time and distance, but more like… complicated family drama and infrastructure problems) and on the rare situations it is, it ends up being horribly awkward because I have to deal with trying to keep my depression and anxiety stuffed in a corner to not make other people uncomfortable. /facepalm
But within WoW, it’s a different story. It’s kinda like… the “sibling” part gets partially-suspended in favor of “guild buddies.” Like he’s a friend first and brother (marginally) second. I have been able to find so much more about him this way than I ever would have in person, and remembered a bunch of other things, like how he’s the original Voice Actor Nerd between us, or how I totally got him into Gurren Lagann. :D (The whole “bro” thing comes from that, by the way. Also he is totally Kittan. Oh jeebus bro is so freaking Kittan.) We have this unspoken agreement to not bring up the above-mentioned real-world stuff unless it’s absolutely necessary, because it kinda negates this being a safe space.
I’ve been, admittedly, a LITTLE aggressive in trying to introduce bro to the friends I’ve made since his machine went down. I think it comes from wanting to stitch my friend groups together where possible, it just feels less disjointed that way. That and I have this dumb curiosity about what would happen if he met certain people (Char, Alex and Cyril from Lazy Peons, Cal and Andro from EoTT, Frailin, Brenna and Vely from Critically Insane). As I said earlier, bro meeting Char would be something to remember. Scary but too awesome not to do. XD
Today, my awesome old man priest Philionel stomped on Imperator Mar’gok’s dumb ogre face. >:D Not only is it my first end boss kill (on a difficulty harder than LFR) of this expansion, but my first end boss kill in current content, ever, as a healer. (And as Alliance, too!)
Considering how all my previous raid full clears was as DPS and as a Horde character, yeah, this is a big freaking deal. :D Though, as you can see, Kopii Yoshi is clearly quite capable of pewpewing her way to Mar’gok’s doorstep, it’s just that the way her guild’s raid scheduling and team assignments worked out is that she didn’t get to participate in their first Mar’gok kill. Oh well. I imagine she’ll stomp on his face eventually.
But, yes. First end boss kill of WoD, first one EVER as a healer and as Alliance. It’s hard to imagine I used to be such a giant chicken about raid healing. :P
“But Yoshi, you’re in that tiny-ass Alliance guild with your big brother, did you REALLY PuG raid that stuff? Aren’t PuG raid leaders predominantly impatient jerks?” Only if you count OpenRaid as PuG. Which… I kinda don’t anymore. My Alliance characters raid with EOTT (Elder of the Thing), which is supposed to be a portmanteau/cross-server coalition of two guilds (Elderwind and Fellowship of the Thing) but in practice is actually a three-way alliance between those two and and a third guild Havoc, plus whatever scragglers and free agents we pick up along the way (like me :P). As soon as my brother gets his machine back up (or gets a new one), I hope to introduce him to EOTT as well, since it’d definitely scratch his itch to get back into raiding.
I haven’t even texted him yet, to gloat. I could so easily do that. He probably wouldn’t believe me, either, or say I got carried (which I most definitely did not) since he’s used to me being a dumb, unskilled pocket healer during transmog runs. Once he sees that “1 Imperator Mar’gok kills (Normal Highmaul)” notation in my record (and that Phil’s caught up to Yoshi‘s ilvl) he’ll rocket to the moon. Hah! I think I’ll just keep quiet until he shows up and be all “oh, I already stomped on Mar’gok’s face, what” and see what happens. XD
In other news, Yoshi Day Episode 31 is incoming. HOPEFULLY the parental management doesn’t ruin it like they did last year’s with their drama, because I would really like to enjoy my birthday this time. I don’t want to become one of those cranky people who hates their birthdays because of stupid stuff. Birthdays are about leveling up in real life and getting awesome food and CAKE. Who doesn’t like cake?! (well, aside from those with diabetes)
When I raid (well, more like LFR) that day, I’m totally going to plop cakes alongside the feasts. ;D
I’m also going to buy a level 90 boost for my recently-dusted-off Tauren priest because circumstances have suggested that we are going to need additional raid healers in my Horde guild and FAST, and it coincides well with my having facepunched my Healer Performance Anxiety.
Having had a chance to play with Painter 2015 for a week, I think I can talk a little more about how it’s working out for me.
It would seem having to redo the settings on my brushes isn’t enough anymore. I’ve found that a couple of the subtools I’ve relied on over the years are no longer adequate for the things I need to do.
First, the Cover Pencil, which has been my go-to for any kind of line work, is being retired (as a line work subtool anyway). Even if I boost the size, I’m just not getting the solid-but-just-soft-enough line quality without having to go back over the same line several times over, not without getting these little knots and blips along the way that I have to go shave off later. It’s like a piece of yarn that gets pills and tufts because of friction. This is something that’s been happening since 12, although there it was slightly less of a problem, but the 2015 update more or less forced the issue.
I found, entirely by experimentation, that the Acrylic Opaque Detail Brush 3 works much, MUCH better for laying down lines (in addition to its existing role as laying down flat medium colors in small spaces). At normal pressure, I’m getting the line quality I need at just the right opacity, and if I can’t nail it the first time, I only have to make at most two additional passes, and I don’t have to resort to short strokes as I did with the Cover Pencil. And while I previously thought I was okay with having to press harder to get the opacity I wanted… I like this method much better!
I’ll keep the Cover Pencil around for the super-fine details (like individual beard hairs or tiny highlights on small objects), but it looks like the Acrylic Detail Brush will get top billing at the line art phase from hereon.
Next, the Acrylic Drybrush sets. This is where it gets a little complicated. The drybrush subtools have been my staples for nearly all of my blending because that’s how I worked with real paints and it transferred well to digital. I liked the drybrush also because it left a sort of “indicator” that while this was digital, a human hand controlled the stylus. Something about the drybrush’s mark feels “imperfect” in an endearing way.
Unfortunately, the 2015 update altered the drybrush set in a way that reduces their appeal to me in that regard. They’re still very useful for blending, but I’m just not seeing much of the bristly-brushiness anymore. I’ll need to dig through the Acyrlics subtool list (or perhaps other painterly brushes) to find something similar. I liked that effect!
Overall, I’ve noticed I’ve had to use the next brush size up, sometimes even two sizes up, to get a sufficient stroke size. This is, again, the end result of enhanced pressure level control.
In other news, I guess tonight I’ll find out whether or not my Diamond Time post gets read on Night Attack. It’s basically a plug for my portfolio (and commissions!). Since I recently did that painting, I’d like to think I’m a shoo-in, but I don’t want to jump to conclusions.
So the Painter 2015 update dropped literally in the middle of this painting, which kinda put things back a bit. What else set me back? Oh, losing two hours worth of work yesterday, when I was doing final cleanup on this thing! I am normally super-diligent about saving, but I guess I was a bit lax because I was near the end. The price of my arrogance is that not only did I have to restart from having two of the face panels painted, I missed a chance to possibly get this mentioned on the Morning Stream. D’oh!
This turned out to be more of a collection of face studies rather than a full-blown epic scene, but… Painter update. New software kinda demands I ratchet back a bit until I feel like I got a grip on things… but that didn’t take long.
With this done, I can now open back up for Gourmet Ramen commissions! I may nibble on some other things on the side, but I am at your beck and call. Click that Gourmet Ramen link there to see the details and pricing!