Wednesday, December 29, 2010

And with Cataclysm New Interest is Piqued

So, I sort of petered out for a while there before Cataclysm was released. I still logged on to play, but mostly just farted around. Nothing particularly interesting done, no great conquests, no wins to speak of.

Let's see in no particular, I created a gnome priest to play with, tried out the horde side again, randomly leveled alt toons no one knows about, fooled with ICC, taking a completely unprepared Paci in to heal, and got her 11 of 12 and even saw the LK before he smooshed us like pancakes a few times. Oh, and I found a new guild. To be fair, I didn't find a new guild, it found me. A friend of mine suggested that I try out the guild he was in one day when I was complaining to him about my guild. I got an alt accepted on a whim, and never went back. In fact, I recently brought Michelinea in, though she has taken a back seat as an alt instead of main.

So, for now Paci is my main, healing primarily with a side of boomkin when damage is needed or I am questing. She's 85, and already has an ilevel of 332. I have spent some time in instances, but not a whole lot. I will put together some of my experiences in a future post, though I don't really want to go down the failpug road that I have seen and ranted on in the past. We'll see what comes of it...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

More on Guild Alliances

When last I left you, dear reader, I believe the folks at Soulbound had entered a guild alliance to attempt to complete the 25 man version of the Ice Crown Citadel. Things had gone very well in the combined group’s foray into the despised home of Arthas, the Lich King. Many bosses were downed (all the way through Professor Putricide in fact), loot had been given out, and people generally seemed happy to be moving forward. There was a feeling by me at least, that maybe this would work.

Fast forward, if you will to the next night, Wednesday. I was actually looking forward to going raiding again, which is not something that I have been able to say in a long time. I wanted to beat more bosses in ICC, and maybe get through Sindragosa finally. If people were on their game as they were the previous night, I fully believed and expected that it was going to happen that day.

I logged on at about the same time as I had the prior night, and was immediately picked up for the raid. All was going as was expected. There were a few less people from Soulbound on, but that wasn’t unexpected since several people said that they could not make it to the night’s raid for multiple different reasons.

Coming up on raid start time, I expected that we would start getting members of the other guild coming into the raid, and one or two had trickled in; just not as many as I expected. At some point during the waiting, we heard that we were waiting on a 10 man to finish their attempt at Arthas. So we waited, and waited, and waited. There were spatterings of discussion about the fact that the 10 man was trying a couple of more times because they were getting so close. On our side, we talked about breaking raid and doing dailies, heroics, etc. At about 35 minutes after raid start I was good and thoroughly annoyed. I told myself if in 10 minutes they were not ready to start pulling I was out of there. The 10 minutes went, and I told the RL at the time that I had waited as long as I was willing to, and was going to call it a night. I then proceeded to drop raid.

About 10 minutes later, they began to get mobilized and offered my spot back, but I had already decided to do something else. Turns out it was a good thing. The raid went well I guess, but there was loot drama for one of our more respected thieves. I am glad I was not there also because I guess there was some…disagreement on handling of different things including communication and the like.

They are trying it again this week. I have decided to bow out and let others who are more annoyance accepting take my spot. Personally I am of the opinion, I would rather fail miserably with people in my guild that I happen to care about than succeed with people in another guild. I guess I now have 2 choices, I can pug (which is at least me being completely mercenary about my gear gathering), or give up on my dreams of taking out Arthas. Who knows which way I’ll go.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Guild Alliance to Complete ICC.

So, I’ve been a member of Soulbound on Malygos for a while now. And if you are a reader of my blog, you probably have noticed that it hasn’t always been the best of trips for me. It started out rocky, and on occasion I have had disagreements with the way things are done. In general though, nothing has ever happened that made me so frustrated that I decided it was time to go. Still hasn’t really, though things seem to be taking a bit of a rough turn. I actually have started playing on a different server most of my time because of this, though I really don’t feel it’s my home. I know I’ll go back to Paci and Michelinea, just not necessarily today.

Now, for a while SB like just about every other guild out there that I have heard of or read about has had some trouble filling their 25 man ICC runs. I have to say I completely understand it. There are many days lately where I know its raiding night but I just don’t want to do it. Dying over and over to Sindragosa just is not fun to me anymore. At this point I feel like I’ve been there, done that, and don’t want to do it anymore. Most weeks, I will raid once or twice out of the three scheduled nights as long as I’m not working. Usually it is a matter of I log on at the appropriate time, get invited to the raid, and wait until 15 minutes after the start time before it is called so we can go do something else. Clearly, this is not what many of our harder core members want.

As an attempt to get things moving again, early last week a post went up on our boards that started a bit of a stir. Another guild posted asking if we were still raiding 25s and did we have trouble filling them. Someone answered yes to both questions, which then caused a post to go up on the member forums asking whether the guild officers were thinking about a guild alliance to get through to the end of content. The answer was yes it was being discussed, but currently was in the very earliest stages.

Tuesday rolls around and I log into guild about a half hour before the first pull time for raid and got invited into raid. As has become the pattern, we were about five or six people short of filling the raid. Suddenly around the first pull time, someone mentioned that we were looking at adding the other alliance people to fill the raid. Being the somewhat patient person that I am not, I decided to hang around and see what happened. So after about forty-five minutes of negotiations, several members of the other guild joined our raid, and we went off into ICC, with a fresh run. It went very well! We did significantly more in less time than we had a history of doing in the past when we filled the raid. In general, just about everyone was on their game and things were going well. In fact when we called it, several people stayed around to do the weekly. Something I had not seen done in a long time.

This assuaged some of the fears that I had about this idea of a guild alliance. The other time I had seen it happen, it completely ripped the guild apart. If only the story remains so good.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

And I thought Leveling was hard

Someone once told me that WoW is 2 games (at least in 1). The first game is the leveling from 1 to 80. This we all know is a mixture of quests, instances, grinding, what have you. I have done this successfully twice now. I did it first by leveling a character to 55, then took Michelinea to 80. Then went on and did other things with her in "Game 2".

After a while I got bored with that and seriously began working on my Alt Toon 1. Paci the stupendous (she's the Night Elf in the banner above). Over time I have slowly but surely gotten her to 80 through a series of fits and starts. Now she is 80 too, which led me into my second foray into Game 2.

Now, when Mich made 80, I didn't know what I was doing, so I really botched up and kicked around working on getting myself going Game 2. Game 2 is really the gearing up of your fresh level 80 out of the mass of random junk gear that you have acquired as you leveled, and begin getting yourself the EPIC gear that comes next making you one of the cool kids in whatever you decide you want to do now that you are 80. Me, I like doing PVE type stuff, so that is where I have focused my efforts both time, any PVP gear that I've picked up along the way has been pure coincidental.

Back when I was doing it with Mich, I had no idea what I was doing to start with, that coupled with the fact that it was much harder to do it back then it took me a very long time to get "epic" gear. I spent months and months attempting to get gear and floundering all over the place.

With the advent of the LFG and LFR tools in their current iteration it is significantly easier to get gear, particularly now where everyone and their sister is so full of gear that they just are willing to let a new 80 need on just about anything that they want. Add to that the fact that you can just queue heroics over and over for triumph badges, and you have a recipe to near immediate Tier 9 gear.

It has taken me to date less than 2 weeks of fooling around to have 3 of my 4 piece bonus in Tier 9. Add to that several purple drops randomly in Heroics and poof, I'm up over 3300 Gear Score. I know that 3300 seems low, I mean Mich is up over 5700 as of last check, but I think it proves that it can be done. New players coming up through the ranks, take heart, your gear will come to you, older players will help you, and keep your chin up when you get that random tool who feels that he should berate you for being new. Put him on /ignore and go on with your life, you too will soon be trying to kill the Lich King and joining the ranks of the uber leet.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

80 Number 2 Woo HOO!

As a few folks on the server can definitely attest, I have had some significant trouble with trying to get Paci up to the 80 level. The run from 1-65 or so was really pretty easy. I had picked Paci as my second character to 80 because I wanted to do something that was really versatile and relevant. Being a Druid, I could play Paci as a tank, a healer, or a DPS.

Since my original main character (Michelinea) is a DPS, I decided to fool around with either the tank or healer route. This also made more sense to me since my entire MMO experience I have been playing as either a tank or healer. This stems from my days playing Final Fantasy XI (FFXI), where I started out as a Paladin (tank) and then later played the White Mage (Healer) for the group of people I played with on a consistent basis.

Thinking that I started as a tank and loved it in FFXI, so I would go that route instead of healer to start. This was awesome during the very early levels (Ragefire, Deadmines, etc), I was an awesome tank, mostly because at that low level you don't need a tank. No one is wimpy enough yet to worry too much about dying as long as everyone is fighting generally the same baddie mob. But then it came. I got to the Sunken Temple or Gnomergan or something. And it happened. I couldn't keep hate, and I needed to. People were dying all around me. People dropped party constantly, the new people kept dying. It was ugly. It was frustrating. It was depressing. Here I was, a guy who prided myself on my tanking ability and here I was failing miserably. Off I went to every website I could find, to read where I was screwing up. I found that for the most part I was doing what the theorycrafters were telling me to do at my level. The problem being that I was too low a level for a lot of the things that were talked about. Few people seemed to try to tank pre-80. Or if they did it, they didn't talk about it. What's the first rule of fight club....

Anyway, since I blew large boulder sized chunks as a tank,  I reworked my spec (yes, I did a spec change somewhere between level 30 and 40) and decided to try to heal. *insert choir of angels here* Yes, I healed, and healed, and healed. I was good at it, mostly because it is so easy. I never found myself stressing on whether or not people died, because they rarely did. I went from 30 to 65 without any trouble at all other than the obvious occasional douche who sometimes is in the group trying to make everyone's life miserable. Typically I spent my time ignoring them, first as a person, then if that didn't work as a healer. Its amazing how finding yourself on your back over and over as the rest of the group moves on through the instance works as an attitude changer. If I ran into a particularly ugly douche, I would make them run back. That seemed to be the perfect solution to the people you really want to be rid of.

Yes, after reading that, you have determined I'm an asshat healer. I'm sorry, I try not to be, but if you are rude, obnoxious, or hurtful to the team as a whole or individuals in particular I often take it upon myself to make your life miserable until you a. learn, or b. leave me and the other people around alone. Obviously, if you don't like it, you can leave, and some did. Yes, it sometimes backfired on me, but I don't care that much. I am not perfect, I screwed up too, and I was a jerk too. On those occasions I needed attitude adjustments, and I got them. Still do get them in fact.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated

Thank you Mark Twain for so succinctly saying what I was thinking when I started putting together this post.

Yes, I know you dear reader must have been thinking:

"Bring out your dead!" (including Michelinea)
Well, guess what....
I'm not dead yet. I think I'll go for a walk.

Nor am I hoping to be going away any time soon. I am still alive, and playing. I just have been hammered by a lot of work over the last few months. I only hope that I am coming up at the end of it. I had thought it would have ended last month, but it didn't. I hope again now that it is the end of the time of pain.

I have played a little off and on, mostly leveling Paci up. Hopefully a better post will come soon.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My 50th Post

OK. So I'm currently writing my 50th Post, and I don't really have any cool thing to fill it up with. *big sad face*

As you may have noticed dear reader, I have not posted in a bit. I thought that reading this today summed it up:

Sorry for lacking posting but I’ve been having sex with a llama.

Work continues to keep me on the road traveling to places significantly more often than I have had to in the past. Considering that travel, it causes a significant lack of WoW time. I have gotten a few random things done here and there when I have a moment or two, but they tend to be small things for the most part...Except!

I got FOR THE ALLIANCE! the other night on what has to be the easiest run of it that I ever have had the pleasure to work with on such an undertaking. As most people can attest, getting 40 or so monkeys together to follow the directions of 1 or 2 people is as likely as...well...beating the odds in Vegas. Maybe a bit more likely than Vegas, but not much.

Anyway, here you go. Proof I'm cooler than....well those of you who haven't done it yet.

As you can tell if you play the game, these are in no particular order. The order went: Warchief, Bloodhoof, Dark Lady, then the long trek up to Quel'Thalas. FOR THE ALLIANCE! As soon as we downed the Warchief with 0 deaths (other than the level 40 something we dragged along), I knew we had this in the bag. Thanks to Lilliana and that other guy (sorry forgot your name man) for leading us through it.

What else have I done lately, you ask? Well I finally got:

Since Flame Leviathan came up as a weekly again for about the millionth time.

Enough for now. See you in game....

Monday, May 24, 2010

In which Michelinea speaks of Random Topics

So, I learned a few things recently. Many of them are probably pretty clear to anyone who is smarter than me (which includes about 75% of the known universe, or so I feel some days).

One of the first things I figured out is not to say you are going to post more often and then immediately be asked to travel for work a bunch of times. It really cuts into not only your play time, but your writing time. While I enjoy the challenge that comes along with travel, I certainly would rather be at home. I learned that saying your going to post more often is a lot like the 120 pound man walking into a biker bar looking for a fight, your mouth and body are writing checks you just can't cash.

I also learned that while I like to think I'm ma pretty smart cookie, I really am not that smart. This comes from attempting to get into a VOA run the other night. I saw someone asking for DPS for a run. I figured, what the heck, and let them know I was interested. They responded with the normal question of What's your gear score. For once I was confident that I was OK, and let them know it was 5.1K. To which I was told "Sorry, too low." OK, clearly I'm not nearly as smart as I thought. I figured having ICC gear would over-gear me for such a simple thing as VOA, particularly when I was running it and doing fine in tier 9 (and even lower). Oh well, 2 seconds later another call went out in trade for a VOA run, and I was immediately picked up no questions asked. Smacked it too. While I was out-geared by many, there were others below me too. Guess maybe I know a bit more than I thought.

So, a couple weeks ago I saw the beta-test for the Auction house addition to Wow Armory, and immediately thought how cool that would be, hopped out to see that, yep, my server wasn't included. *alligator tears* Too bad, because it could help in my sales. Last week the thing went out saying that it was open for all servers but I was traveling *long dramatic sigh*. I figured out that it was all servers quite by accident on Friday night. After surfing around it getting the lay of the land I decided I would try posting things. OK, this is easy I thought to myself as I proceeded to post a bunch of different glyphs. Then something happened. Something that proves that I needed to RTFM as opposed to learning by doing. During beta they are allowing only 20 posts a day. Not nearly as cool as I could have hoped. I guess for an additional $3 a month, at some point I will be able to post up to 200 a day. Too bad even that it a limit. I guess they have to put some limit for some reason, so better than nothing right? Not sure I want to pay anything extra a month for it since I don't see it replacing my logging on and just selling, but we'll see.

OK, with Paci, I have gotten to 70, which gets me into the LK instances. I think I've said this before. I also think I've mentioned that it has gotten very hard to heal these instances. I may even have crabbed that healers get blamed for failpugs even if it isn't their fault. Well, last night I proved my point, to myself at least. In 11 attempts, I only had 2 successful runs, and both of those were with the same level 80 tank. I know why too. As a healer, I'm expected to get gear that helps me heal better. As a DPS, I am expected to get gear that helps me hit better. WHY IN GOD'S NAME do people think that they can TANK without getting gear to mitigate damage! I saw all kinds of things as I inspected each of the failtanks I had the displeasure of trying to heal. To be clear, I never dropped party without at least attempting to heal these tanks, even the idiot Paladin who was tanking in a mixture of leather and cloth. Please tanks out there, listen to me. GET GEAR TO TANK!

Now, I understand I'm no tank. I've never picked up a piece of tanking gear for my druid except what fell to me by greed and my paladin is somewhere in the low 20's and not able to keep hate to save my life. Come on people please listen to me. By the time you are level 70+ one would think that you have at least the concept that if the healer is getting hit, and you aren't you screwed up, and it needs to be corrected right away. All you wanna-be tanks out there, a little hint for you, if my rejuv's are pulling hate off of you, you need to stop playing as a tank. You can't do it. Go be a DPS, I'm sure that your sub-par damage will make you the life of many parties.

Monday, May 17, 2010

When real life interjects itself

So lately I have been traveling quite a bit for work. This makes it hard to get in the play time I might want to. Thankfully I don't have too many obligations either.

Over the last week I have been working on getting frost badges on Mich so I could get my second piece of tier 10 (Oh yes, I also got my first piece of tier 10). I took the body first since it was the highest number of pieces. I also wanted to skip the hands/shoulders on the off chance that some VOA run I get lucky and can pick up the pieces from a random drop. That means that legs will be next, though I also have been drooling over the trinkets in the Frost vendor at Dal.

Also, I have been spending time getting Paci to level 70. I finally did it Saturday night, which is a nice thing as well. I may have mentioned this before, but it has REALLY become a challenge for me now that I am in the WoTLK instances. I just cannot seem to keep up with the healing and for a while I couldn't for the life of me figure out why. Someone in guild commented that the issue could be the players I was with particularly the Tanks. I started looking at the gear of the tanks I was running with and it dawned on me. Most of the people trying to tank these instances are using DPS gear at best, spell gear at worst. I really thought that I hit level 69 and forgot how to heal, but considering the amount of damage that is being taken by these tanks, I suspect that it is a mixture of their gear and mine. To be fair, I am using a full set of heirlooms and then whatever spell gear I have been able to pick up. I could probably purchase more gear, but I don't see the value. I'm sure the tanks I'm with probably are thinking the same thing, though I would at least try to get the defensive heirlooms if they really plan on tanking long term.

Hopefully I'll get through these last 10 levels soon so I can move on to the fun of starting to gear up my healer/lightning chicken.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cataclysm Alphagate

At first I wasn’t really going to write about the whole Cataclysm Alphagate affair, but it got me to really thinking about it, which can be a bad thing. At first I was amazed at how long pictures were allowed to be left up as well as how they even seemed to be added to on a couple of occasions. The more I thought about it, the more questions I began to have:
  • Was Blizzard unaware?
  • Did they not care that this unofficial fansite had gotten stuff it wasn’t supposed to?
  • Was their NDA so poorly written that they were stuck?
  • Was it a clever marketing ploy to build interest and demand for a product that in all likelihood was still months away?

That last I thought initially was the most likely, but the more I think about it the more I think I was wrong. This is the conspiracy theorist in me I am sure. While it makes a great image in my head of smoky, dimly lit rooms in the Blizz headquarters with trench coat wearing men and women sitting around a small table lit only by a desk lamps “Bob, here is what you are going to do. You are going to take these pictures and leak them out to MMO-champion. Tell them you are part of the Alpha…” *winkwinknudgenudge*

Now the more I think about the whole situation, I suspect that it wasn’t any of my initial thoughts. More likely, based on my limited experience in the business world there needed to be several meetings to determine if there was a risk, and if there was one, what was the damage caused by it. After that was done, a risk register was needed. From there a Decision tree was followed to decide if it was a high risk/high probability issue (Since it already had happened I bet it was at least a high probability issue). Once that was all decided an email was sent to someone in legal to get their take.

The legal-monkey was in court that day, and his blackberry was turned off, so a paralegal got it, looked at it, yelled “Oh shit, we’ve got problems,” and promptly hid their head in the sane. After the legal-monkey returned he read the email proceeded to in his or her well mannered way yell “Oh shit, we’ve got problems”. From there they decided to send an email to say we need to do something about it, but were in email jail so had to clean out a bunch of things first, at which point a finance-monkey called saying that their foursome for golf had room for one more, and off the legal-monkey went.

At about two in the morning when the legal-monkey remembered what they were doing before hitting 3 hole-in-ones on the links, they are back at their computer cleaning out email so they could get out something saying “Take those pictures down, tell us who gave them to you or risk being dragged through a long and boring, completely counter intuitive back-assward court proceeding that will cost you lots of money and you’ll still pull the pictures down.”

Next thing you know we have Alphagate, and all of us bloggers have something interesting to write about for at least two weeks (which is about what it is now and I’m just getting around to putting fingers-to-keyboard).

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Banner! I have one!

As some of you might know, or might not for that matter I have been trying to make my blog look more...I don't know what the word is, correct.

To that end,  I wanted a banner, but I am picture deficient. Nothing I did looked like something a four old hadn't drawn. To that end, I enlisted the help of my good friend Judd to put together something cool. He did. And it's above. Ogle at it, Oooh at it, Aaaah at it, Come one you know you wanna!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Blog Azeroth Weekly - leveling from 1 - 10 (Continued)

So, I have been kicking around for a while the idea of posting more than once a week. I often have more to talk about in a week than one post, and I on occasion will have drafts backed up that I could use to make my updates more often. To that end, I am going to try to shoot for two to three posts a week and see if I can keep up that schedule. I will see how this goes and decide if this is worth it, or if it is just me and too much hot air.

A while back I started the Blog Azeroth shared topic of leveling from 1-10. you can find it here. I decided to take some time with BlogMonkey and see how it went. I started out by continuing to run around the Draenai starting area. In about a period of forty-five minutes I had gone from 3-10 by only following the quests that I found as I went. I also picked up fishing, mining and tailoring along the way and started on my path to making millions of virtual gold.

I am not really going to go too deep into individual quests, paths to follow, and the what not because I found much better written by others with a simple Google search. What I want to talk about instead is what I think a new person may feel through these beginning stages.

First, I have to make some assumptions. I wanted to try to give myself the closest to "real" feeling. I decided I would try to mimic the feeling of new-ness that people who join WoW without being dragged in by a friend or ten.I did a few things to try to simulate that for myself. While I couldn't get rid of my knowledge of WoW as a game mechanic wise I could "forget" other things to make it more realistic.

I purposely did not tell anyone I was doing this, and did not send any tells to friends (in fact I never even put anyone on my friends list). I also didn't get myself into my guild. I decided that any people I met/talked to for the length of the experiment would be completely new people. Along that line, I didn't really get to meet anyone or talk to anyone until well into level 8. Now, that isn't for lack of trying on my part. Right from level 1 I tried talking to people I ran into around the world. Often I got no response, or if I did get a response it was clipped and short. At level 8 though I did get a hunter to work with me on a couple of quests. Looking at his gear, he clearly is a vet player since he had a full set of BoA's. Either way he was nice enough, and we were able to plow through quite a few quests in a very short time.

I also did not provide BM (eww, she will not be called that ever again) any BoA gear pieces or gold to get herself started. In general I never felt a want for gold as I played, nor did I feel that I was unreasonably rich. I didn't really do anything special other than selling junk I picked up from the quests and mobs and quest rewards. I never asked for a hand out, nor did I ever play on the Auction House at all. This was a balance that I was really impressed by. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to do, considering I always felt poor in my early days in Final Fantasy XI.

I did not use any of the "quest guides" that circulate around the net as addons or specific sites, nor did I read anything ahead of time. I tried hard to go in as blind as I could to the area and the quests. As I went through and ran the quests, I really enjoyed the stories. Many of them are as deep and interesting as I have seen, particularly considering these are starting area quests that often are there mostly to get you started in the game. To expand on that, I have to say Blizzard does a fantastic job with their lore throughout the game. I love doing quests even now that I am level 80 just to read the stories.

But, there is a negative here that I noticed and was sad to me. There really was no challenge in the new "easier" quests. All of the early quests are against non-aggressive mobs that ignored me as I beat up their friends to get whatever it was that I needed. Even once I got into the realm of aggressive monsters after about level 5 or 6, I never really had a fear that anything I was fighting would truly hurt or kill me. A while back, before the dumbing down of quests for new players I had a friend who did the 10 day trial. He did not like that death had no meaning, and in fact that he could use it as a strategy to get some quests done. I can understand his feeling even though I know that death does have a meaning, though it is more monetary and time at higher levels. Now, death has even less meaning, and it isn't needed as a strategy. I didn't die once in the time from 1-10, and never for a second worried that I would die. The quests have become too easy in my eyes. Between the quest helper map, dumbed down quests, lack of aggressiveness, and overall counts of mobs in areas it is very simple for a new player to advance along without any pain.

I actually find that last negative, fairly large from a personal standpoint. I think that if I were a new player plowing through these first 10 levels I would not make it the whole length. I'd get bored and go do something else that was more of a challenge to me. I believe the pendulum has swung too far, making early levels too easy.

The other way the easy 10 levels to start with can be taken is to give a false impression of one's own worth.A new player is just that new. As they fly through the first 10 levels, one could come to believe that the entire length of the game is the same way; as many of us will attest, it is not. Often things are a struggle, and can be a down right bitch. Once a person makes level 11 or so, they may find themselves being smacked around like the proverbial red-headed step gnome, causing dis-satisfaction and a reason to quit.

All in all, I think I learned a good bit as I went through this experiment. I was helped along the way early by a number of people so missed out on some things that I noticed this time around. I also got to see some of the genius of Blizzard as well as at least one place where they can do some more work.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Battleground PvP Sad Times

So I think in my last post I pointed out that I was enjoying PvP again after having done a few battlegrounds because of the Children's Week Achievement. Last night I had some free time so I decided to queue up for some head bashing and see if I can get a few Arena points out of the deal (not that I am really sure what I'm going to do with them). Queue time was pretty quick, I think I got picked up after about twenty seconds of waiting. Arathi Basin. Awesome! Nothing like trying to hold the Lumber Mill from the likes of those stinking Horde!

Off I went, content in my ability if not my gear (I noticed that I hadn't gemmed or enchanted a good part of my gear). That will need fixing, but that's another story for another day. While we waited for the pink hold us back fence to drop I saw someone say in BG "I'm just here for the achievement, will anyone help me?" Feeling a bit sympathetic, I sent him a whisper telling him to follow me to the lumber mill, I'd help him get it. Pink fell, and we were off. He and I ran up the hill and low and behold a single Tauren was there, trying to Cap. How he got there before me I'll never know, but it didn't matter, 1 Death Grip later and the guy was dead, in about 5 seconds. He didn't even seem to fight back. The guy I was helping (I wish I remember his name, If it was you, Send me a note) ran over to the flag capped it and must have spooged all over his monitor. He couldn't stop gushing about how he finally had gotten it. He couldn't believe it. I chuckled, patted him on the head and went on my merry way  to go help out at the farm. Seeing a HUGE number of red names I changed direction and ran to the Horde main building instead where a lone warlock was standing. Immediately I start seeing "xxSepth offers you a truce." spammed in my chat window. Oh god. Another Children's week person.

Feeling remotely sympathetic since clearly some other Hordie had capped this, leaving the poor guy to fend for himself I nodded and capped the flag, then proceeded to let him Cap it back. He emoted a bow and off he went. I capped it a second time and ran off to find some fight. Somewhere. Anywhere. Right now to me even the big mess of a farm looked good. Just as I said that to myself two Horde members came up the hill toward the flag I had just capped. Off I went, ready to kill a few horde members. I landed between the two just as they were reaching the flag and proceeded to pounce on the one that looked like she was wearing cloth. Again, killed her in about 5 seconds. At least this one tried to fight back, I saw a cast bar begin a smite. Umm WTF? SMITE? With me standing on top of you? Ok. You deserve to die. In the mean time the friend had begun to cap the flag. Nope, not happening. Death coil (Have I said lately how much I love death coil?) to the head to stop the cap and I proceed to smack him. Down. Hard.

Isn't this like shooting fish in a barrel? No, I don't think so, I am definitely not geared and strong enough to be winning these fights so quickly. Either way, just as I finish mounting up and deciding where to go next, these two come waltzing back to the flag. And then I see it. Something I now have learned to dread "Blahblah offers you a truce." UH HUH! I may be slow and dim, but I can figure this out. More people looking for the achievement. *sigh* I did just kill these two. I might as well help them. Yes, I am too nice, but I really feel bad for these people who clearly don't want to be here, and is it really fun to kill people who so seriously don't want to be here? I am really not that big an ass, though some days I want to be. A bow emote later, and a cap/recap and they are on their way.

Just as that was finishing, a Horde Death Knight comes waltzing up. The other two mount up and run away. "I'matotaldouche offers you a truce." *shrug* I bow to him showing he can cap it too, at which point he totally beats the everliving crap out of me. One second I am bowing and stepping away the next I am looking at the gray screen asking me to release. I had been snookered, clearly that guy was just out for beating the crap out of me, never wanting to do the achievement. (Yes, I is smart and junk). Just as I am waiting for the last 8 seconds to elapse in the graveyard so I can go find Mr. Douche the win splash screen popped up. I guess that'll have to be good enough for me, Mr. Douche, whoever you are I hope that you get your ass handed to you by every single alliance player out there until you are so black and blue you never, ever, ever want to do another battleground again.

The rest of the Battle Grounds I did last night were much of the same. I was not going to let I'matotaldouche ruin it for all of the other hordies out there. Anytime anyone offered a truce I provided them with what ever it was they needed to get the achievement. Through it all though, I died a little inside. I couldn't wait until today so Children's Week would end and I could actually have fun playing in BGs again without having to feel bad for all the people out there who wouldn't enter one if it wasn't for the event.

In which I talk about PVP and Continuing on my way to the elusive Proto-Drake

So while I hemmed and hawed, bitched and complained about the Battleground achievement in the For the Children Meta-Achievement, I still went out and did it.

I have to say,  I was annoyed that I had to do it, and I didn't really want to. I hadn't done battlegrounds in a long time. I was crabby about it. I admit it. I did some of the standard bitching on guild chat about it, and even stormed off in a huff a  couple times. But, I did it. I finished it.

Somewhere along the line I even started to enjoy it. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed some battlegrounds and it got me to want to do them again. With a stipulation. I really didn't like doing battlegrounds where my goal is to not win, but instead meat some weird criteria (cap a tower, capture a flag instead of a base, etc). I even found myself doing some battlegrounds yesterday after I had completed the Achievement, just for the fun of trying to punk some Horde. Coming from a MMO that had little to no PvP in it, I didn't think I would ever get into it. The only other MMO experience I had ever had that included PvP was Eve online, which consisted of dying to people so far beyond my level of equipment that I never had a chance. With WoW, that really isn't the case, gear is important, but dying doesn't cause me to lose everything I have worked hard to gather. Instead it is more a pasttime of fun, not work.

Now, I will never be a PvP god/whore/monger, but it definitely is a bit of fun to do when I get tired of leveling, questing, cooking, raiding, exploring, crafting, playing the Auction House, or just chatting with whomever is around.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Heroics, Have we come so far

So recently I was in a random heroic with a couple of guild mates. We were all trying to get our Frost Emblems for the day so it didn't really matter to us what we got. Now, as a bit of background, of the DPS (which was the three guild members) I was the lowest GS with 5104. I was also the newest to WoW, and the least experienced in general though I have been playing and doing heroics for well over a year. The other two folks I see doing ICC runs all the time, and when I glanced at their gear I could only drool at the amount of 264 and 277 stuff they were wearing. It makes my 232 and 254 stuff look sad.

Anyway, we didn't get one of the new WotLK heroics, we got Gundrak. A quick buff up and we were on our way. The tank began by taking a few seconds to mark the first mob to attack with a Skull. No big deal I thought and for the first couple I tried to kill that one first, but unfortunately I would get there just in time for it to die. The one time that I got there first I three-shot the skull and happily moved on to whatever monster was closest to me, never thinking anything of it.

After a few pulls in party the tank made a comment that took me at least by surprise. I am taking the time to marking mobs, DPS please take the time to kill them first. Wow. Umm, I thought we were. One of the other DPS made the comment quickly after this stating that the things were dying too quickly for him to hit the skull first. Anyway, I can understand why the tank wants us to kill what he says first, I suspect that he probably comes from a group of players not quite at the level of experience/gear that we are used to. Looking at his gear, I felt somewhat affirmed in my feeling. First his GS just barely broke 4100, and looking at it, the gear mostly comes from heroics, no raids or tier gear.

This got me to thinking, have some of us gone too far. With the obvious exception of the WotLK heroics (most notably the Halls of Reflection) just about every person I play with is hugely over geared and over experienced for the instances. Things that I have seen in other MMO's don't really apply right now.

As an example of things that don't apply. I don't think I've seen a Mage sheep a mob, a priest shackle a mob, a hunter trap a mob in a heroic in just about forever. The general process for heroics for me, and likely many others is tank grabs aggro in one of a couple of ways (run in the middle of a group of mobs, deathgrip a mob to bring him over, or charge a group of mobs, then dropping AOE as fast as possible). Then the DPS haul off with whatever they have at hand. Typically the highest AOEs that they have, or at least things that will cause the most damage. From there we burn everything down as fast as we can paying little to no attention to anything other than the amount of DPS being done. In fact, it's not unusual to see healers dropping Starfall, lightning totems, Smite, Wrath, Holy Nova or whatever offense they have (As a Resto-Druid, I know this is because it is a way for us to stay away from passing out from sheer boredom). This is then a rinse and repeat process with almost no interaction from the players running the instance until the end where the obligatory "ty for the run" party message as you hit the leave group option from the drop down.

Is this the way the game is going? No interaction required, just run and gun as fast as possible for anything other than the most end-game content? I hope not, and in fact I don't think it is. If you look at the WotLK heroics that were added with one of the 3.x patches they require something more than go kill junk fast. Particularly I point to things like the PoS hill of hell that has rows of casters behind rows of melee. Go ahead, next time you are in that instance and try to just burn those suckers down without paying attention to who is killing who/what. I suspect you will find you and your party dead, and probably not pleased with you. It is probably the first time I saw some serious thought and discussion on how to get through a heroic. Similar with other places such as the Halls of Reflection first room. The first few times I did it it with a random heroic group at least one person didn't believe or understand the idea of line of sighting that junk so they don't tool on the group. In fact it seemed to take about two months to really get the hardest of the hard heads to understand and not just wholesale kill us right off the bat.

That being said, it makes me wonder what is really in store for us with the Cataclysm roll out. All these things about class changes, pretty pictures of new zones, etc don't really tell me what the game will really play like. Maybe we will get more of the new WotLK type game, or maybe we will get more of the old WotLK game. either way I look forward to seeing what Blizz has in mind for us next.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Terror of ICC

This is the post I interrupted for yesterdays breaking news:

Sunday night I got the chance to raid with the guild in 25 man ICC. They are currently working on Sindragosa. off I go, totally prepared, food, flasks etc to spend a wonderful three hours wiping to that bad ass Undead Dragon. Now, I had watched the video of the battle on youtube a while back, so had some clue of the fight, even if I didn't really know that much about it. The rest of the guild has been dying on this guy for at least a couple of days, so had a definite advantage over me. When it comes right down to it, I knew the first two phases, but had no clue of the third.

Anyway, once I got up to the room I started looking around at the others in the raid. Man, was I out of my class. First thing I notice, even the priests had more hit points than me. Second thing I notice, I am seriously under-geared. I know that to be true based on the fact that people standing around me are in i264 and i277 gear while I'm sporting i232 and i245 gear. First thought that goes through my head, "I hope I can at least hit this thing". Turns out I can hit it, though not nearly as often as I'd like. Being at hit cap just isn't enough. The good thing about not being able to hit that often is that I don't really often have to worry about getting too many stacks of the debuff, if I can't hit Sin, I don't get debuff, and not attacking scrubs the debuff stacks off so when I do hit the dragon and get the debuff my misses remove it!

I also noticed that even though I "know" the fight, I really don't KNOW the fight. the first couple of battles I died at the first Blistering Cold attack. Sad when you think that a DK who has things like Anti-Magic Shell (which I forgot I had until someone whispered to me I had it) dies to a magic attack you can run away from.

I also noticed I was terrified. I knew that with all the trouble I have had with the guild leadership and their lack of belief in my abilities that I really needed to wow them (which I didn't) if I want to be invited again. There was some discussion a couple of days prior about what it would take to get out of the trial phase since I've been in the guild since last November. That's another story for another day, but truly it is clear to me that I will never get out of the "acolyte" trial status that I am in. I've come to grips with it, and will just find my fun in my own time.

I also realized I was terrified because people were counting on me. Not only were they counting on me, I was in a place where I didn't really belong. I've never done any of the plagueworks, Crimson Hall or Frostwing halls at all. I have only done the Lower Spire on the 10 man setting with the buff on. These people were playing on 25 man had done all those things and had the buff off. They knew where it was and what was going on. They had all worked together in the past many, many times. I had worked with a few of them on rare occassions. They didn't know me, I didn't know them.

As we went through it, I followd directions and did everything I could to be successful, and make the group as a larger whole successful. I will tell you honestly, as the directions got more complex I became more worried that I was causing some of the failures. I even began hoping and praying I died early in the battle so I didn't cause the team to fail. Thankfully, I never did, and I did all the things I was supposed to when I was supposed to, but there were times there where I thought it may be better for me to die so that the bigger whole didn't have to deal with me.

Over-all it was a good night, once I got past the initial fears, and later fears, and end fears, it all went OK I guess. Sin didn't die, but the group seemed to feel they did very well.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

We Interrupt this Post...

So, if you could see my drafts, you'd see that I actually was in the process of putting together a post on my recent first ICC 25 experience, and the terror that is involved in running with a group of out geared out experienced people. But, last night something so unusual happened that I just felt the need to write about it.

As a few people know I have kicked back and forth at trying DK tanking for a while. I never have seriously done much with it other than buying 4 pieces of the tier 9 tank set since I had a plethora of Triumph badges and have a deep seated need to not have any badges hanging around since they could be gear that fill up my bank.

Anyway, last night one of the guild members was lamenting that he couldn't get an ICC 10 run together because of a shortage of tanks, and how he was working on getting himself to a point where he could tank, building a tank set and what not. This got me to thinking, I have a tank set, I could work on leveling Paci, or I could see what I have. So off I went to the bank to look at what I had. Seeing that I had most of the slots filled with purple, I decided why not, and pulled it out, switched spec and took a look at what I look like. Notice that I didn't say I switched to Frost Aspect, because you know, I didn't.

Anyway, liking what I see (504 DEF, 26K HP) I decided that I was good enough to try tanking non-heroic dungeons, so queued up and got the insta-pop. OK, this is awesome I said to myself. Tanks really do get instant invites. Halls of Lightning. It started off OK, going through the first few batches of trash mobs (yes still without Frost Aspect turned on), and we came to the first boss, and almost instantly wipe. WTF? Oh, the Healer had to go AFK, but she/he didn't tell us. OK, well that happens it is a PuG. Back in we go, back to the boss, Wipe again! What? Ok I feel the need to tell people I'm new and do so. The group seems amenable and in fact the Warrior who is DPSing sends me a whisper pointing out my error of Frost Aspect ( at which point I realize I'm good an truly a Noob), and offers a couple of suggestions on tanking that I immediately put into practice. He also pointed out that both times the wipe was not me, it was the healer not healing. We get through the first boss (though I was down to 800 HP at the end. I swear the healer was AFK most of that fight too) and continue on our way, and die at the very next trash pack. OK this is getting annoying, maybe I shouldn't be tanking. At this point I see a thing flash across Party from the healer "Sorry guys, I have to go. Too much to do to heal this instance". Healer drops party. At which point the DPS all say, "Too much to do? you mean like heal?". So we waited a few minutes for a new healer who actually healed. We were able to fly through the rest of the instance without a single death, including an occasion where I went the wrong way and pulled a bunch of crap. You'd think that after the thousands of times that I have run these instances I'd know my way through them. Sheesh.

Feeling good at not totally sucking (and having gotten another piece of gear for tanking) I did it again. This time Culling of Strat came up. Sweet! easy one. This time I pointed out right away that I was new at tanking. We flew through it with almost no issue. A couple of times people died because I am still not quite up to snuff on tanking, but I definitely have it getting down.

Anyway, two PuGs successful in a row when we were not ridiculously over-powered for the content is a great thing. Hopefully there are more, we'll see soon because I plan on doing more of these for the heck of it. One thing I do need to do is figure out the rotation if there is one. I was just button mashing through most of my tanking experiences.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Musings of my first real Ice Crown Citadel run (Part 2)

Ok, there was a delay in getting this posted because I forgot that I have to hit the "Publish Post" button if I want people to see it, not the "Save Now" button which only puts it in my drafts.

When last we left off, Michelinea was on her way to the Gunship battle. Now, before ever getting here I have read a ton and watched at least three or four videos about this battle. I felt completely confident that I knew what needed to be done and how to do it it. So Mich gets to the gunship, and I start looking for the guy to give me the jump pack. While everyone else hides him because they are clustering around the little bastard, I completely cannot find that goblin anywhere. Finally everyone moves off and starts getting in position and I stumble into him. Why couldn't they make him a Tauren or something so I could see it over the nine other people who are going to the same place?

Anyway Jump-pack achieved, added to my bar so I could use it when needed. Now I know the theory of the fight, When the mage dude spawns, engage my jump pack to get to his ship and kill him, then run back to the edge and jump back to my ship, kill any adds that show up and don't get hit by the flying axes. Cake right? Right. UMM NO! Call me a special snowflake, call me a genius, call me whatever, but I cannot seem to make the jump pack work on command like I expect. Even in practicing I seemed to be full of fail.

The Gunship battle for me? Run over to the edge of the ship  and wait for the spawn. Mage pops. I hit the button, point out where I want to land, in super-slow motion I jump over to the other ship, land in the wrong place so run over just in time to see the mage die, Turn around run back to the edge of the ship, hit the button to get back on mine and ... WTF? I'm dead? What the hell! Stupid Gunship fight. Anyway I did get to watch the rest of the battle from a wonderful position as a beautiful floor rug on the bad ship. I can see it now:

A deckhand says, "Bob, that's a nice new rug over on the deck there. Where'd you get it?"
Uber-asskicker Mage Bob, "Oh that old thing I don't know I got it when some idiot decided to attack the ship. Look at the tag, its a Michelinea the Death Knight creation."
Deckhand wanders over, walks on Mich's head and checks the tag,"Too bad they are so common around the citadel these days. It would be better if you got a Jinsao or a Caralee, but for some reason those two never seem to be lying around."
Uber-asskicker Mage Bob proceeds to knock the deckhand off the ship and out into air above Icecrown.

Anyway, I was raised, buffed, ate, drank, was merry and waited to go on to the next boss, Saurfang on the stairs. This should have been another one shot for us except... Right at the very beginning of the fight the biggest DPS went a little too much to town before the tanks had full control. Oops. He died at the very beginning of the fight. There was also a bit of confusion in the ranged DPS with killing off the adds, but they seemed to clear it up. I died about halfway through the battle due to everything deciding to munch my face at once. I don't know what I did, but I made the adds REAL mad. Even with all that, we got the jerk down to about 3% before he enraged and we wiped. Again we re-grouped (Yes, I used the teleport this time. Go Me!), and went at it again. This time, no problem he died.

On to the Stinky and Precious. OK, this battle I don't remember that much from any videos. It probably was there, but I just didn't pay attention or something. Anyway we went at Precious first. All seemed to be going OK, except for some dissension among the MT and OT. I was busy trying to beat the crap out of the puppy while not being scared when the decimates brought my HP down from 32K to the couple of hundred. I don't know what exactly transpired, but something about the Pugged tank got upset that the guild tank (we picked one up after the gunship battle) was somehow creating so much threat that the pugged taunts weren't working. All I know is the tanks both ended up dead and Puppy 1 went on a rampage. He had the smallest sliver of life left so I kept chasing him hitting with everything I had, blowing cooldowns to try to get him down. I was watching my threat climb, 53%, 60%, 84%, 92%, and BAM. Someone killed him. Phew cause that thing would have made dog food out of me if I ended up getting the full hate.

Raises occurred, rebuffing occurred, Tanking strats were discussed and we went at Stinky. I guess whatever was wrong with Precious wasn't worked out and the tanks wiped out, quickly followed by the rest of the raid. While we were all dying the Pug tank sent a message to raid to the effect of OK, I've had enough thanks for the time. Bye. He then proceeded to drop party. So ending my first foray into end game content.

Over all, it was a good time, and I learned a good bit. Got a piece of gear too. An axe of choppy choppy. Very exciting times for me.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Musings of my first real Ice Crown Citadel run (Part 1)

So, I did it. I went out and just started raiding. Easier than I thought, after Cara's little push I decided that I couldn't suck that bad if no one summarily kicked me out of that raid group for utter idiocy. At this point I've done a few raids both in guild and out, and plan on continuing to hop on whenever I can.

So far, there hasn't been anything that interesting or crazy, though last night I got into a mostly guild run of ICC 10. The plan was to do the first 6 to 7 bosses depending on how things went. The guy putting it together was having a nightmare of a time getting tanks from in the guild, so in the end we had to PuG the two tanks. This didn't seem too bad at first, we got through the trash in front of Marrowgar no problem even downed Marrowgar.

Aside here, thank you Jenn for figuring out how to get a new computer in the budget for my Christmas present this year. There is no way I could have even dreamed of running that with the old one. Even with the new computer I saw definite slow downs when I was fighting.

Also, where the hell is Marrowgar's ass? the RL kept saying everyone but the tanks on Marrowgar's ass. All I could think is I think I'm humping him as hard as I can thank you very much. He certainly is screaming like I am. I also thought some stuff about the white crap he spits out but we won't go there. Though, on the subject of white crap spitting, I'd like to say, I didn't die in it! As we got started on that fight I was terrified that I was going to end up dead because of it. I didn't. that's a win for me, even though most of you real raiders out there are laughing at me.

After Marrowgar who was a crappy loot pinata since he didn't drop anything that anyone wanted we went up the hills to begin again. Again, were able to clear out the junk in front of the door with no real problem. Then on to the next boss. Ok, the deal was a couple of ranged DPS go hit the boss to trigger the adds coming out of the bays. DPS and the tank I was paying attention to was supposed to start at the back left and move forward bay by bay. This all started out well, and we got through the first round no problem we cleared everything on the left, hit the boss for a couple seconds and then went to go fight the ones in the right side. Uh oh, someone forgot to point out some of these bastards raise themselves to fight again. Next thing we know we're all dead and the boss is laughing her fool head off at our utter noobishness. Ok, Regroup time. Hmm. Someone forgot to tell me that the warpy thing is there. So here I go running all the way back, thank you to whoever that nice person who whispered me (I forget their name) and told me that I could just warp next time.

Anyway, we were ready for the adds coming back from the great abyss this time, and while it got a bit dirty there, we killed them. I do admit I hated having to stop hitting the boss with 1% left to go kill adds yet again, but I understood why even if it was stinky. Again, no cool loot for me. In fact I think they disenchanted the stuff again.

I'll talk more about the run in my next post. I have some stuff to say at length about gunships, jump packs, getting bosses to 3% before wiping, large dogs, and tank crabbiness and this post is getting long and rambling.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Yes, the design is different, again. Yes it will possibly be different again tomorrow, Yes I am still trying to figure out what I want the blog to look like. I think this way is cleaner, but I haven't decided yet. I will probably mess around with it more.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Blog Azeroth Weekly - leveling from 1 - 10

For a while now I have been a lurker on Blog Azeroth. Typically I don't do much other than read the posts that other people put up and just sort of surf around, but this week's shared topic was too much to pass up. The suggestion is to talk about leveling from 1 to 10. Considering my interest in leveling alts, I decided that it'd be fun to do this particular topic.

Say hello to my test subject for this little game:

Welcome to the land of Azeroth Blogmonkey.  Yes, I named an alt Blogmonkey. Why not?

I decided that my new character would be a class that I haven't any real experience with, so went with Priest. I also decided to try my hand at leveling in an area I didn't know that well, so chose Exodar. I have a lot of experience with the Human, Dwarf, and Nelf areas, so figured that the area with the most mystery to me would be the land of the space goats. To make it as close to a new player as I possibly could, I turned off all of my add ons other than the one I use to screen shot. Prepared to do battle against whatever comes my way, I logged in for the first time and saw the Draenei cut scene. Pretty cool scene, I'm glad I finally watched it.

Once the scene ended I was dropped onto a little pad in the middle of the Exodar crash site ready to do battle. A nice quest giver pointed me in the direction of some people in need of help behind him and off I went. Kill some mutated blobby things they told me. Kill some mothy guys and steal their antennae. Sure I can do that. I opened my map, and since all of my add-ons were turned off I got to see the new and improved WoW map. I must say, it's pretty good! I liked how it directed me to the next quest, though it would be nice if it grouped them a bit better. I suspect as things get farther away from each other there will be some times where I want to re-order them. Not sure I can do that, I haven't gotten to a point where it was really needed yet.

Anyway, I was off killing things using my 1 button Smite when I leveled up the first time, and then again the second time before I ever had to turn in a quest or sell junk off. I don't remember going that fast when I started my character the last time, but that could be because I just sort of go with the flow and don't always pay attention to my level ups as I should.

All in all it took me 21 minutes to go from level 1-3, and that included a couple of minutes where I went to take the dog out, remembered to turn off add-ons, and a break for a drink. That really is a quick start up in a game, which is probably intended by the good folks at Blizz.

Since I was late seeing the topic, I didn't get the change to go the full 1-10 that the suggested post was supposed to be. I will do more and update it soon.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Big Secret

Dear Readers,

I’m about to let you in on a secret. One that I don’t think anyone in WoW knows. Back when I first started playing WoW the third or fourth time, I rushed to get to 80 as fast as I could. This is no secret, I’ve told people this before. I did quest after quest, spent time grinding when I couldn’t find quests, pushed through everything I could because I wanted to be 80. Still, no secret here. You are just going to have to wait. There were a couple of reasons I did this, I had a few friends who were 80 and talked about who cool stuff was when you are 80. Also, they wanted to PvP, and needed extra body to pile up in front of them. That’d be me. Again, no secret, hold your horses, it is coming soon enough.

There was a secret inner goal for me at 80 too that I didn’t tell anyone about. OK, this is a little secret, not the BIG secret later. I wanted to Raid, bad. I had gone to my friend Stacey’s server a few times on trials in WoW before really getting into it, and she was a…RAIDER ™ dun dun duh! I had even played on her server for a while, leveling up a couple of characters into the 20’s or 30’s before wandering off to whatever was shiny elsewhere. In the end, my other friends, the ones who got me to stick to WoW were PvPers, and I played on their server mostly because they pushed me much harder to get to 80 than Stacey ever did. I knew they weren’t Raiders, and wasn’t really sure if that bothered me or not. Well, we fell into a raiding guild called Off The Team over on Durotan, so I knew I had an outlet when I got to 80.

A quick note about OTT, they are now defunct unfortunately, and me and my friends are probably part of the reason for that. I do feel bad about the whole thing looking back, I would have chosen my method to complain differently, but I stand by the point that I had back then. I will also say that their falling apart was also the end of my very short lived raiding career.

Back when I was a new 80 in blue crafted gear I went on my first raid with OTT. They were doing Ulduar every week with the bigger guild group and did a “progression” TotC run with an elite group. Anyway I got myself into the twenty-five man run of Ulduar. Consistently the guild beat the snot out of Flame Leviathan and moved on to XT, and beat him, usually after 1-2 wipes. Then either it would be called by the raid leader or we’d go and wipe once on the dragon in the instance the name of which I cannot remember before the raid leader would say that was enough for the week and call the raid.

During that time, I consistently found my self in the bottom end of the DPS group, never once breaking the top 10 DPS on recount (which was in that guild a measure of an OK DPS). I tended to be in the bottom 4 or 5, and often heard how I was sub-par and shouldn’t really be raiding. No one back then told me what I should be doing though, other than vague things like get gear, learn my job, or look at my rotation. For the record, I was doing all of those things. I trolled Elitest Jerks, MMO-Champion, Wowhead, the official forums, everything. I tried different specs, I learned my rotation, I ran the heroic daily every day, you name it I did it.

Anyway, somewhere along the way I became really depressed about the whole raiding thing. I wanted to do more of it, but I got it in my head that I didn’t belong there.

A long time has passed and a lot has changed. I am still low end geared since I haven’t raided since Ulduar, but I do have myself a 4 piece tier 9 bonus and could buy the fifth piece if it was better than what I had. I know how to gem my gear (which is totally different than what I was told by OTT members), I am enchanted, and I still regularly troll EJ, and any other site that has raid strats, suggestions, or info about raiding.

Now is time for the big secret, I’m afraid to go raiding again. I still see myself as being that new 80 in a place where I didn’t belong. Granted, joining SoulBound didn’t really help my self confidence, but really there is no one there to blame but me. On the couple of occasions where they were desperate for a warm body Caralee asked me if I wanted to see if I could get in. Both times I can remember I told her no, giving her the equivalent of “I need to wash my hair” as an excuse. I think I told her once that I wasn’t going to be on long and proceeded to stay on the entire raid time, and the other time I told her that I hadn’t watched the raid strats though I remember having done it just that day (I’m sorry Stacey, it was really just a little white lie).

To this day since OTT, I have not joined a single raid other than when the weekly raid comes up that I absolutely without a doubt know like Flame Levi or XT. If I remember correctly Malygos must die is the quest this week, and I have always wanted to do that one, but couldn’t bring myself to answer the call of any of the different groups trying to form and in need of DPS.

Much love,
The Scardi-raider.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Oh and

I forgot to mention in my other post, my goal to get the all holiday's achievement remains intact through Noble Garden. I picked up the Noble Gardener achievement before the holiday ended. Cool Purple Drake, here I come.

What to do, What to do...

Dear Readers,

I was struggling last night to come up with something to write about today. I couldn’t for the life of me figure it out. Usually I have something, but as you can see from my last post that this is a bit of a challenge to me right now. In fact it seems to be that way in WoW in general right now for me. I actually can’t decide what to do anywhere.

So I seem to have picked up a normal pattern for my play time: Log on Mich on Malygos, do the cooking daily. Cooking Hat, {Can I have it?} (Bonus points if you get the FFXI reference here). Then I look at my 6 sad Frost Emblems, think how I’ve gotten the low hanging fruit, and I have a long way to go for my next piece, talk to Caralee for a few minutes if she’s on, then decide that I am not up for a heroic to get a lousy 2 Frosts and log off and go over to SAN for a night of trying to decide what I’m going to do there, which typically turns into random runs on one alt or another.

Last night the pattern started up like normal. I did the cooking daily, including forgetting to make the cheese and wine platter and grumbling that I did something wrong before realizing I had more to do than just gather the stuff and go find the big yellow ?. Looked at my 6 Frosts and decided I didn’t want to try to get 2 more since my next piece is 80+ emblems away. Started talking to Cara, and didn’t feel like going away. It was raid night for SoulBound so Cara was busy wiping left and right. During raid nights, some good conversations can and have been had by Cara and I during the times where I assume she is dead and watching the rest of the raid getting munched on whatever it is they are fighting. Last night the muncher in question was the Blood Queen. Anyway, I sat on Michelinea for a while trying to get the push up to doing something, but couldn’t. In the end I switched to Paci. Don’t know why, just did.

I had a surprise in store for me when the log in screen cleared. Paci had been kicked from her guild. I had joined a leveling guild a while back with her and probably was one of the more active people on the guild except for in the last 3-4 weeks where I have been doing other things. Going out to the guild site, I guess it has been decided that the guild is moving in a different direction. What that direction is beyond me. My guess considering the utter and total lack of people on whenever I have logged in is in the direction of the nearest toilet. Good luck to those who still are a member of Atlantis, hope shit don't stick.. Either way, if anyone needs/wants a level 60 druid healer in full heirloom gear in their guild on Malygos, hit me up. I really am nice, I think.

Friday, April 9, 2010

OK, I know, I missed my normal timeline for posting. The reason is good. I got stuck going on a whirlwind trip for work down to the magical land of New Jersey. While down there I contracted the New Jerseyian Death Flu, which kicked me in the head a few dozen times before finally pretending to leave me alone, though it hasn't really gotten done with me yet. I feel a few more kicks to the 'nads coming before I'm all done with this stupid thing.

Anyway, you all don't give a crap about me being sick, you want to hear me randomly pontificate on things that are meaningless to anyone but me, and maybe a few of you others out there. For today's post, I wasn't really sure what I wanted to talk about. At first I thought I'd talk about all the stuff coming out about cata-who. Actually I was going to talk about how little I care. Is the expansion out yet? No? Well then why the hell am I wasting time reading about all the new things that I may or may not get? Oh yeah, I don't.

Then I decided I could talk about how frustrating it is to be a pure DPS class (hunter) and have to wait for up to thirty plus minutes on the whim of a tank who may or many not really care enough to run the entire random with me. And, if they do deem themselves available enough to be able to run a whole instance then they obviously get to tell me exactly how to play my class. Since being a level 34 Paladin obviously gives you the ability to know everything there is to know about the other nine classes that are out there currently.

Instead, I think I might just do this. I did the Noblegarden achievements for Michelinea. It's awesome, I'm still on target for getting my cool year achievement this year. Also, in frustration of long wait times on Waterlemon, I created a Paladin and have leveled her to 15. I've now done 3 instances as a tank, but haven't once told someone how to their job (even the melee hunter who didn't have a pet). I also have learned that people don't really want tanks, they just don't want to die, they seem to like tanking themselves as long as the healer can keep them alive. More power to them.

Who knows what next week will bring, maybe something more interesting.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Noblegarden Egg Hunt

Hello, I thought it would be fun to begin to join in some of the fun other blogs put together. To that end, I have joined Revive and Rejuvenate's  Easter Egg Hunt. Somewhere on my page, you will find an egg. I admit it's not that well hidden, and given a few minutes of careful perusal of my pages I am sure you will find it. Enjoy!

P.S. Thank you to Angelya for putting this together and having me.

P.P.S. This doesn't count as my normal weekly post, you can still expect some new ramblings from me today or tomorrow, as usual.

Happy Hunting!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hunters are hard.

Dear WoW,

As you know, I love playing very much and often that enjoyment leads me to enlightenment in ways other than one might originally think. This weekend was one of those times.

As the observant reader of WoW, I am lost may have noticed I have been leveling a hunter lately (She's made the top of the list of achievements over on the side here). *points right*

Yes, I admit it, for just about the whole time I have played WoW I have thought of hunters as jerks who are just out there to make life harder for those of us who aren't so annoying enough to lower themselves to play a hunter. Now I know there is the occasional person who is a good hunter, but they really are few and far between.

So, I'm up to 29 with my hunting, and have found that it is WAY harder than it looks. OK, rotation is easy, I am playing as a BM spec, so: Hunter's mark-Serpent Shot-Arcane Shot. Rinse repeat. The hard part is everything else!

First for some reason tabbing  targets for Hunters does not work like it did on my DK. Instead it seems that it randomly goes to some other pack of mobs that is just at the edge of my freaking range that will bring that group in to freaking wipe the party. So, I have that down. I know it happens now. The Paladin tank no longer needs to yell "Fucktard...I mean Hunter stop pulling things that I didn't pull, or I'll let them kill you."

So, I stopped using tab to find the next mob to attack, and instead I am click picking my targets, causing a small delay in my attack time, lowering my DPS number just a slight bit, causing the Healer to say "Fucktard....I mean Hunter! Pick it up, your DPS sucks!"

After reading that, remember my hunter is level 29!!!! 29 people. How the hell do I know if my DPS sucks or not at level 29? Is there a graph on a website somewhere that says if you are level 29 you should be doing XX DPS? If so where the hell is it? Who's hiding it from me?

Next, handling my pet. Developers of WoW are you telling me that with all the things you can do you can't figure out how to make my pet actually follow directions? I mean I put Fred (my wolf) on defensive, and instead of always attacking the things we are fighting, (not even just the thing I'm attacking) he randomly runs off and attacks that random pack of mobs just at the edge of my freaking range. This tends to incite the Pally tank to say "Fucktard...I mean Hunter! Control your pet!" Like I am not freaking trying to! I have any clue how the hell to stop my pet from doing stupid shit.

Someone told me to set my pet on passive to handle this issue. OK, is it just me, or am I the only idiot hunter player who set it on passive and then never remembers to have him attack anything ever again, inciting the healer to say "Fucktard...I mean Hunter! Control your pet!."

Other mistakes I have made, Growl is not for instances, Cower is. Never let your pet get ahead of your group. Disengage is a tool, use it. What is Scorpid sting for? I don't know, do you? HAVE A FREAKING AURA ON! Viper aura is good for mana regen, bad for fighting if you can help it. Hawk Aura is good for fighting, not for mana regen.

This all brings me to my point, Huntards out there that have been given shit in my mind and sometimes even out loud by me, I am sorry, I assumed you had it easy. You didn't.

Love always,
Michilenea, Michelenea, Waterlemon

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Save the Whale...I mean Murlocs!

Ok,  I am sure many of you out there are like me and just feel guilty as you eradicate another camp of Murlocs on Azuremyst Island, or just outside of Goldshire. Let's face it, who doesn't feel a horrible at destroying a few of these face munchers for their eyes, hides, or the occasional chest that they hide in the village.

As you decimate the next village of Murlocs, think about what you are doing. Who will half digest all the fish in the lake for that alchemist in Stormwind? Who will keep the bear, sheep, deer, rabbit, and gnome populations in check? Who will take care of all the baby face munchers...I mean baby Murlocs!

For those of you who don't yet feel as I do, think about it this way, how would you like it if you were at your house on the lake, minding your own business walking back and for along the beach, stopping here and there to stare aimlessly into the middle distance, and BAM! You get shot by an arrow from some little bugger hunter who wants to pluck one of your eyes out (because god forbid you take both and save a few people) for some quest to make a potion that will get sold to a vendor anyway.

Now that you see my way of thinking and are ready to stop the Mucloc atrocities, take a look at this website, a foundation has been set up to help protect these poor, disheartened face munchers.

Save the Murlocs

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What do you during down time?

OK, typically during the down times for WoW I am at work so never even notice that I cannot get my fix right when I want it, but while on vacation, I did the thing I am known to do on occasion when I have some free time and logged onto WoW. Only it didn't really work. Server is down. I never bother to read the notes telling me it's going to be down since it doesn't typically affect me. So, to those of you out there who actually normally play WoW during the day, what do you do on those Tuesdays that it is down?

Me? I actually just caught up on some podcast episodes at Call to Auction.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Last night, while chasing a super annoying way over-powered Hunter on Michelenea in Wailing Caverns I got to thinking about etiquette and the rules we as players seem to agree on. Once in a while there is always someone who will wholeheartedly ignore these rules, and there is an uproar amongst some people because of it.

Instead of going through the "rules" as we understand them, I got to thinking about do they really matter and why do they matter.

One of those rules that I think people seem to all agree on is gatherers in instances. I'm talking about those of us who mine, herb, or skin. In a recent SFK run I was in for example, I noticed that the first time a wolf was killed one of the members of the group said "Any other skinners?" and proceeded to skin the corpse before anyone else said anything. When someone responded, "Yes, I'm one." they worked out between them to go back and forth between the kills so they both came out even, or as close to even as you can come. In fact I also noticed that they congratulated each other when they got something unsual or cool. Great camraderie between the two people which was nice.

This is the opposite of something I experienced myself in BFD. In thost first few rooms there are a lot of skinning that can be done, and on my skinner another person in the group was also a skinner who immediately been skinning everything in sight without asking. Being a bit outspoken I pointed out that I am also a skinner and would like some. This fell on deaf ears, and it became a contest to skin as many as fast as possible. It got kind of annoying to a point where even other members of the group were purposely not looting the the corpses until I got over to be prepared to skin. Eventually the other skinner got annoyed enough and left, allowing us to finish the instance without skin stress.

Why do we have unspoken niceties like the one I outline above? Why isn't it just a matter of every man/woman for himself/herself?

I know some people say that we have it because it allows us to have a more enjoyable experience. I don't know about that though. If you think about it, and there were no rules, wouldn't it be enjoyable to that guy who hauls ass and beats the rest of the party and get everything you want and need. For the record I tend to be the first guy in my example, not the second, but think about it for a minute or two. Wouldn't it be fun just for a day or two to truly be an anarchist and make it all for me?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Blogger Guild

So, if you read WoW blogs, you probably have heard about . I won't go into the details, if you are interested in it, you can find it either here: Tamarind or here: Miss Medicina.

Anyway, last night after logging onto my normal server to find that there is no raiding spots available I went over to AD and Michelenea was born. Mich is a Draenei Shaman after Kattastrophe who totally turned me on to the idea of being a cool wolfy shaman. I entered the chat channel and said "hello?" Next thing I know I'm receive a guild invite.

I wasn't on long, as I promised to watch Boondock Saints with the wife, but I did notice that the group is clearly a talkative and happy group. That is something I have missed in my current guilds. I will definitely be back again, probably today for a while when I have some time to play.

Monday, March 8, 2010

I'm not gone, I swear

OK, So I disappeared unexpectedly. To those deidcated readers out there (I think there are at leat), I am sorry. I went on vacation and didn't really tell anyone. I'm back though. I swear I'm back.

Last week was a week of fits and starts for me, but I did get a few levels of LFD on Paci. I finally got out to Outlands, and realized immediately that I hate the Outlands :) . I also did some stuff with Mich, though for the life of me can't remember what. I guess I can look up the achievements, but so can you since they are in the right column now.

I did see a thing on another blog about a bloggers guild that is starting up on another server. I think I might start a Shaman Michelinea and see if the folks there are as cool as they seem on their individual blogs.

More later, just wanted to prove I'm not dead yet....I think I'll go for a walk.

Friday, February 26, 2010

What a wild week it's been...

What a week it has been. Work has kept me from posting anything with all of it's craziness. By the time I get done working, then stressing about the work I should be doing, I'm too exhausted to even think about posting.

Good news? After today I'm on vacation for a whole week....
Bad news? I had a few different ideas for posts during the week and forgot them. Some day I need to, you know buy a pencil and write things down.

Oh well, what have I learned this week.

First, on the LFD Leveling thing: Holy crap does it slow down around 50 and not really very much fun. I get the choice of either BFD in some form, or Sunkent Temple. Most people don't know how to handle either of these and I find that it usually means frustration, and lots of dropped parties, deaths and pain. Also, no one seems to know how to get back to them after they die. This stinks because I can't lead them back. Frustrating. On the good side, I got TREE! Yes, I am now a healing tree. The animations for the tree are completely hilarious to me. Every time I stand around for a couple second and he looks around turning one way and the other I start to laugh. Ok, yes, I admit it, I am easily amused.

Second, Mich: So, Jin found out for me why the folks in her guild seem to hate me. Seems that when I was guilded, the officer who guilded me thought I was Jin. Odd, since Jin was online when I was guilded and welcomed me. Then when it came clear I wasn't, hard feelings abounded. Hard feelings equal bad treatment for Mich. Would have been nice if someone had told me this months ago so it could have been cleared up. But it wasn't, now I have to "prove" myself. Annoying in and of itself, since most people who are guilded don't have to do that, but whatever. I want to play with Jin and Cara, so I will do it. Good side to it all? At least now I know and don't feel like I'm being punsihed without a reason. The reason was dumb, but now I know.

Third, Paci: OK, so because of my LFD leveling project I have been more visible online with the guild that she's in. I've been vocal, well cause I am. I have an opinion on occasion, and I don't fear telling what it is. Anyway, I have been trying to help out with the guild and the GM has sort of noticed, and made me a general officer. Holy crap, I have power. Don't know what being a general office really means, but for now I will ask some questions and answer them if I get asked them.

Last? Umm. I don't know what to say for last. I'm done.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Another Major Milestone

So last night, even with multiple cruddy parties I got:

One thing that does not make sense to me, but I am seeing more and more is people wanting to haul ass all the way to the end of the instance while leveling. Why? We are there to get XP. If I fly through to the end skipping bosses, avoiding fights and running to the end, you are not really maximizing your end goal of getting the XP. I feel like some tanks are trying to get me naked in bed without so much as a dinner and drinks. How about slowing down a bit and smelling the blood and gore your blade and watching all the XP pile up instead of seeing if you can get to the end in less time than you did it last time.

Also, I have learned a something new along the way. Lots of those old instances suck. They are cool the first time through, but after a while they get really annoying. Perfect example being Sunken Temple.

So, yes, I've completed it, even done the optional boss in the basement  once though I couldn't get anyone to do it after that run because "it takes too long". Rather simply there are some cool things about this, but come on, doesn't it feel like its long and drawn out for no reason other than to annoy players. Kind of like BFD. Though I haven't even gotten to the end of that one successfully.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

OK, I'm disappointed

I meant to post this last night or this morning...


I got my first profession to 450 last night (well secondary profession, it was First Aid), but nothing happened!

No achievement, no cheering, no cool sound effect, nothing. nada, noca.

What the heck? You put in an achievement if I beat the end boss of Gundrak with Eck gook on me, but nothing if I get First Aid to 450? I feel cheated.

Get on that blizzard. Put something in. I want fireworks. I want achievements. I want dancing girls. I want something!

Meta-Achievements, here I come!

So, when the Valentine's Day holiday time came up in Azeroth I made a conscious decision to go after the all holiday meta achievement. To that end, I went at Love is in the Air like gang busters. At first, I thought I'd screenshot every achievement I got to post for posterity. Very quickly that fell by the way side. I get really excited when I get a new achievement so I forget fairly often. Actually I get too excited. Sometimes I cheer or do something foolish like spin around in my chair. These kind of things are the reason my wife and kids think I'm crazy.

Anyway, there was one that really cracked me up. It reminded me entirely too much of some Friday night's while I was in college. I swear I must have done this at some point on a college campus in northern New Hampshire.


Side note, I love how when you get drunk in WoW the screen gets fuzzy and it's hard to move. That just makes me laugh every time I do it. The thing I don't get is how people are able to continue running things like instances while drunk. I just can't see enough to know I'm hitting the right thing.
Last night I got both the Elder and Love is in the Air Meta's giving me a good start toward my goal. This is all thanks to a guildie who got a bunch of her friends to help me get through the Northerend instances. 

Note to everyone out there who want to do these 
1. Not soloable, not duoable with a DK and a Priest.
2. You don't actually have to do it on Heroic mode.
3. If you have alt toons that need to get the achievement, you can do it. You just need a couple things:
a. A group that is willing to let you do this.
b. A warlock in the party
All you need to do is have the party get to the elder, get the achievement, leave party with your current character, log onto the other character, have the warlock summon you and get the achievement for the other character.
c. Poof, 2 alts with the elder complete.
While I personally didn't try it, I hear it works well.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Trials and Tribulations of Guild life.

Considering a week break from writing I have a good bit to talk about. I think I may end up breaking this into a few different posts, because I did a lot and got to thinking a lot.

First, the whole idea with trying to get something going with Atlantis died. I decided to try talking to some of the people in the guild before I posted anything. So randomly, I talked to what ever guild members happened to log in. First, there were a grand total of 5 people who logged in when I was on. And I'm pretty sure that 1 of them logged in on 2 different alt toons. Second, of those 5 people 3 said they were not really able to commit, 1 didn't respond, and 1 thought it was a good idea.

With sterling results like that, I know its pretty much a dead end chance for me to get anything going with this guild right now. I talked a bit to Alydar the other night about Atlantis and where it stood. He asked some about Soulbound, so I think he's kind of lonely there too. I actually have been playing Mich a lot again, but I'll talk more about that in a later post.

OK, personal gut feel, Atlantis is going to die. I have 3 options left to me.

1. I can leave Atlantis for greener grasses that are elsewhere. I don't know how to find that, I sort of fell into Atlantis (blind invite), and I don't think people are going to really want Paci anyway. Not only that though, I happen to really like Alydar, I don't want to lose that friendship that is building up. I suppose the friendship will continue to grow regardless, but there is a part of me that feels like I'd be a deserter if I left Atlantis.

2. I could try to build up Atlantis. I have built guilds before, I know how it is done, and technically every person as a part of Atlantis can add new members, though we can't change what they are ranked as initially. That requires a real officer. I could still do it, but what if I go through the trouble, build up a thriving guild and the real management comes back out of the woodworks and decides they aren't happy with what I've done. All that effort for essentially no gain, and maybe a lot of hurt.

3. I could do nothing, let it die when the time comes and decide what to do there. Ah the greatness of apathy. I love it.

OH! 4 I could create my own guild. Maybe figure out how to drag Alydar over, and start to build it up myself.

Lots of work, but it could be fun. Then I too could give myself loads of headaches and I too can be one of those guild leaders that I am always bitching about. That could be fun. Can you say sarcasm? I bet you can...

Oh yes, there is also Soulbound, I don't know what to say there. I am playing Mich more, and when people are asking for things I am saying memememememe. And even getting invited a bit here. Did a late night Heroic the other night, and yesterday I tanked the Valentine's day boss for a few folks. Little things I know, but better than nothing, right? I figure if people see me around and doing things, maybe I'll get asked to more.