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.

So, Why Blog

Note: This has been written in several versions over the last few days, so if it's disjointed, oh well.

OK, last week I joined a group for WoW bloggers at the suggestion of another blogger that  I happen to read. I thought it would help give me ideas to write about, and just help me feel better about the product I am putting out.

It didn't.

In fact, it made me feel worse. I read all these testimonials about how people started blogging and poof immediate readership. Poof, people were coming out of the woodwork to comment. Poof, wild women throwing themselves at the blogger's feet (OK, no one said that, but you get the idea).

That got me to thinking. My blog here doesn't seem to have a real focus or direction. I tend to pratter on about whatever comes to mind, making me just one more of the nameless unwashed masses of bloggers out there. Nothing makes me different. I'm a slightly boring, middle aged man playing a video game, and writing about it.

The more I thought on it, the more depressed I got. Then, this morning as I seriously thought about writing my goodbye post I remembered something. When I started this whole blog thing I did it for me. I wanted somewhere to write down my opinions, my thoughts, my suggestions, my ideas. I didn't write this for the fortune and fame it would bring me. Sheesh!

So you know what, I found my voice, I found the direction of my blog! WoW I am lost is a blog about World of Warcraft from a slightly boring, middle aged  gamer.

More later...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Update Leveling Via LFG Only

Just a quick update on my self appointed task of leveling via LFG entirely. I made level 46 last night. Things have definitely slowed down considerably as I have gone along. It is still completely viable  in my opinion, it just runs slower that planned as I get higher in level.

My thought is that it may be a better method to begin to intersperse quests in between my instances, but to this point I have spent my time leveling up Leatherworking, Cooking, and First Aid. For Paci's second skill I chose Skinning, so I can often also be found in the newbie areas around Darnassus killing low level bears and skinning them to build up the leather I need for my higher level synths.

Once Paci gets to 80, I may actually begin this process again with another one of my alts and this time add the questing in the down time to see if it speeds my way through.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Who ever thought....

I would have so many ideas to write about that I would not write any of them down? Since Saturday I've been getting ideas to talk about on my blog, but each time I start to write them down I get side tracked and that means I ended up with 5 or 6 post starts and nothing actually published.

I am determined now though. I will post. It will rock. Well maybe not, but I'll like it and maybe you, my 3 faithful readers scattered out among the servers of the internet. Which reminds me, to that person out in Alaska who is reading to me, I have no idea how you find me, but thank you for reading. I know I don't know anyone in Alaska, and yet you are my highest hit person. Thank you.

On to the post!

One of my favorite parts of WoW started up on Sunday at 3AM server time. Another holiday has begun in the world of Azeroth. I am not going to post a guide, since sites like Wowhead write very good ones and I would be merely copying from them or another site that provides such good details on the holiday.

Back a year or so ago when I started playing WoW seriously I skipped on the holidays in my huge rush to try to get to be one of the cool kids at 80. I've since learned the error of my ways. I didn't realize how much I liked the holiday events until last thanksgiving when I happened to run by the thanksgiving vendor outside of Stormwind. Since then, I have tried to do as many events as I can. I down right love them and eat them up. They are great. I started last night and did the 2 dailies I am allowed and advanced the main questline about as far as I can go on my own (destroying the cart and the sprayers). I need to do some research on it before moving forward from there.

What else is going on in WoW? Let's see, still doing Heroics with Alydar, I bought my first piece of Frost emblem gear, the back piece. I'm still battling with deciding whether I should have Mich leave Soulbound and join Atlantis. I don't know what to do here. I don't really get anything out of Soulbound other than the companionship of Cara and Jisao, but I wouldn't really get anything out of Atlantis either.

I begin to think that Atlantis is a dying guild. The GM is doing a semester abroad so is rarely if ever on. In addition, I rarely see anyone online other than Alydar and myself. Every once in a while I'll see another person online. I don't know if people are logging in, seeing no one so logging off, or they just aren't active anymore.

I started thinking about it, and I noticed that I can set up events on the calendar (I think anyone in the guild can). I was thinking I might set up an event and see if I  get any acceptances. I was thinking of maybe a 10 man Naxx run, something easy like that to see if I can get some 80's interest. To do this though, I really should move Mich since she's my only 80, and she's in another guild. Oops! Circular argument. Round and round we go!

Also, I am a bit nervous. I don't want to update Alyx (our GM), or any of the other Guild officers (there are a few). It wouldn't be good for me to take initiative and find out that in fact I was rocking the boat. Problem being though, I never see any officers other than Alydar. I have mentioned my ideas to Alydar, and he hasn't really said anything positive or negative on the subject. Maybe I'll do it, what's the worst thing that can happen? I get thrown out of Atlantis? Oh no. It isn't like there aren't other guilds out there that people are always shouting for membership on trade.

I'll do it tonight. If you happen to read this and have an opinion, please comment!

Friday, February 5, 2010

All Good at the end...

So, last night ended up being more enjoyable than it started by a long shot. Getting Caralee and Jisao into heroics to help Alydar and myself was a stroke of pure luck. There is nothing like discussing whether or not an asshat is a tiny top hat that you put on your bum, or how Jisao likes it when boss mobs give him oral sex. Don’t ask me, I don’t know how he knows either. I think the best part is the reminder that Alydar and I don’t totally suck, because I was starting to feel that way.

The night started out rough, with Alydar and me queuing into the LFD for some heroics. First one we get Pit of Saron, in my opinion the hardest Heroic out there. In my mind, PoS is truly a POS. In fact it is worst than a POS, it’s a whole shit sandwich forced down your throat while you are held down by four big burly guys who want to shove other things in your mouth when you are done with your sandwich. Get a visual yet? Good.

So we start clearing our way to the first boss with no major problem other than me forgetting that Aly is still new so I can’t open up right away until he establishes the hate. Then we come to the first boss, the guy that throws the rocks? Well yeah. We got our asses handed to us. The craziest thing I’ve ever seen happened, the rock that you are supposed to hide behind when he goes crazy disappeared right at the beginning of the hide your pansy ass phase. Result? Dead Party, Laughing Boss.

Ok, we zone back in to do it again. Same result, though this time the rock was there, we just died. At this point the finger pointing began. While there was no one who was awesome, it seemed that someone decided that Aly couldn’t tank this. No reason, just decided and dropped after telling us so. This leads to mass exodus with Aly and I sitting in PoS wondering WTF…

Next we go to Hall of Stone. OK, another sucktastic Heroic. We were just on a roll last night. It went well and we got through the first boss easy as pie. We drop down and head out to the hall to begin moving forward again. The healer walks out into the middle of the hallway and starts drinking. Well all the mobs turn, see her and think “MMMmmmm Fresh Meat!” and proceed to start gnawing on her face. Being the gallant Death Knight that I am, I jump out and Taunt, Death Grip, DnD them all onto me good and hard because Aly was drinking to fill Mana. Here I made my fatal mistake. I assumed the healer would, you know. Heal me. WRONG! She proceeds to start bitching out Aly while I die, then she dies, then Aly…well you get the idea. End of it all, She drops party, and then her buddy DPS drops party leaving Aly, Me, and a rogue in greens trying to decide what to do next. Instead of queuing to fill the party we drop party and start again.

Culling of Stratholme. Finally! Something I can get behind, and we proceed to beat it to submission with minimal issue other than some carping from the way over-geared super uber cool healer. About half way through Cara came on and I got talking to her, and she threatened to withhold sex from Jisao if he didn’t come help us too.

Not to say that the heroics were perfect from here on out, but it didn’t feel like work. Also, I know I felt better going through with friends who could provide good offering of advice to me as well as Aly.

Note to self: Grip the casters in BEFORE Jisao charges. He gets crabby otherwise.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Who Makes out from the LFD...

So I was listening to a WoW podcast this afternoon at work and I came across a question that intrigued me. One of the caster's asked does the new LFD system help to train a new group of Tanks, Healers, and DPS become better skilled for raids before they reach level 80.

Now, officially I know the casters talked about their opinions a while, but I haven't a clue what they said because I got a phone call and it threw me off but the question stuck with me. Driving home I had time to ruminate on the subject some more, and I decided the answer is sort of, and it depends on job.

Tanks, probably get the best deal of training for their future lives. They get the opportunity to learn all of their skills as they come up so are not overwhelmed early. They get to practice with all kinds of different play styles from the excellent to the oxygen thief. They learn threat management, how to keep an eye on the mana bars of the folks, how to keep an eye on the mobs around the dungeon, etc.

Healers come in next in the training for their future lives. They too learn their skills as they come along. They also get to practice with lots of different play styles. The place where they fall down is they don't get to practice stay away from random stupid. They don't have to deal with avoiding the bad color (tm) on the floor, the boss eating your face because his aggro resets, and dealing with the DPS who tells you how to heal even though they have never healed a single person in their WoW life.

DPS really don't get much for their future lives. No practice dealing with the dumb color on the floor. No worrying about getting hate since the decision is if you get hate, it can't be your fault. If you die it's not your fault. Essentially, DPS are screwed when they reach 80, they get none of the advantages of the players above. I guess maybe their 15 minute wait times for LFD is punishment for the fact that they don't get the benefits of training that the quicker LFD members get.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Good news, and Good news (OK, Sorta)

Well last night started off good, and ended good, with lots of good in the middle.

I logged in and put in my authenticator code and came to the character choice screen. I realized bit at a loss of what to do. I could log in on Mich and get her some more Frost badges, I could log in to Paci and work more toward 41, I could log in to Orkette and figure out what I need to do next for her.... In the end I decided 41 was probably the closest goal, so I jumped in and hopped into the LFG. Moments later I am in a party and buffing people as I prepare to heal through Uldamann, which in my opinion is Raiders of the Lost Ark on drugs.

Let's face it, some developer must have been sitting at home one night drinking a beer saying to himself "OK, I need to build a new instance, it's gotta be cool, but I just have no ideas." Looking around the room, he sees a Big Mac box, "HEY! Maybe you can have to enter the golden arches...No. lame." (Though doesn't the entrance to the dig sort of look like it to you, or is it just me?). The plants on his desk, "Nah, we have to save that for the BC with Zagamarsh." Continues scanning the room. Eyes fall on the DVD shelf for inspiration..."Hmm Monster's Inc. it can be all doors! No, Disney'd crucify us. HEY! Raiders of the Lost Ark! Yeah! We can have them kill stuff or a staff, hide a amulet in a box...Yeah! That's the Ticket! Yeah!" (extra points to the person who gets the reference at the end there).

Anyway, I have digressed far and wide. I was talking about this group. First, I realized that I'd gotten hooked up with a tank from one of the South American servers, and everyone else was US. Not a big deal, I've done it before. Second I realize he's a Warrior. Again, not a big deal. Being bored because one of the DPS went AFK for a second I looked at his spec. Arms. Uh OH! I've never seen anyone tank that way before. He then proceeds to provide a soliloquy in spanish, of which I got 3 words that were tacked to the end. No. Hablo. English. I said a quick prayer to the LFG gods that this guy was saying that he is in the process of changing his spec, and he's a great tank, don't worry and we were off.

Apparently my prayer fell on deaf ears. 7 DPS changes later, not even half way through the instance my gear had taken a 45% beating from deaths, and the Tank finally left, which caused the rest of the party to fall apart. The only thing I salvaged from it was I had gotten myself to a point where a few kills outside got me to 41.

After that, I saw Alydar had logged in. For most of the afternoon I had been sort of feeling uncomfortable about posting about him earlier in the day, so I immediately sent him a tell to explain and let him read. I also told him that I'd delete it if he wanted. He went off and read, and came back in a bit that he wasn't upset, which was a huge weight off my mind. We then talked some more and agreed to do a non-heroic together to see how things went for him. We end up with Halls of Lightning. Which turned out to be a good instance. The party was good, and with the exception of a single wipe in the stupid hallway where fear can cause tons of adds it went well.  We talked about it after as well,

Things I noticed:
  1. Alydar is a good tank, he works hard, and knows his job and tries to do it. 
  2. He uses his abilities well, is cognizant of what is going on around him and takes good steps to make sure all is going well.
  3. Even in PVP/DPS gear, he held hate well and didn't get massacred causing lots of healer drain.
  4. He goes slower than many tanks I have seen in Heroics. I actually like this, though it takes a bit to get used to not having the "GOGOGOGO" feel that some people seem to want.
  5. I continue to believe that he is able to and prepared to do Heroics now, particularly after going through gear with him some at the end. I did explain that Resil is a PVP only stat. Also he doing some shopping for badge gear and gems. A few more enchants and he'll hit the def max. At which point its all a matter of replacing some of those PVP gear items.
After, I hopped off for a minute to fix something and found that I suddenly lost internet connection. It's back this morning. I don't know what happened. I just hope it doesn't happen again. Alydar, if you read this, sorry for ditching you last night. I didn't mean to.

Monday, February 1, 2010

OK, something's eating me....

Note, this post was started and stopped a few times over the last week or so.

So, Paci and Orkette are in the guild Atlantis on Malygos, a fairly small guild that doesn't seem to have many active players currently. I've met a couple that do seem to be around and they are really great. I enjoy talking to them, and I like the fact that the group as a whole seems to want to help each other. I also enjoy that I can help them out a little by providing a little of the knowledge that I have to some of the other players in the guild.

Now, I have been talking to one of the Co-GMs Alydar about beginning to do some events with the guild. There are a bunch of 80's in the guild that I see pop on and off fairly often, and many of them are in heroics and 10 and 25 man runs. Now, his concern (validly) is that he is not ready to be a tank for a heroic yet. And though he often talks about how he is out DPSing the DPS players in the non-heroic runs he is doing, he is also uncomfortable as a DPS. He says he isn't up to par there either. If you look at the link you'll see he's not specced for DPS, but that is changeable, or he can heal too.

Now, I've tanked Heroics on Mich successfully, and can get up to the defense max with a potion, so I want to try running them with him. I admit that some of my success may have been because of my healer (I had Caralee for one set of runs, and then another healer who was very good that I can't remember for the second) but I think we can do it. He plows through non-heroics now, I plow through them as well, and do well on heroics also. I just don't know how to get him to do them with me.

Why am I doing this you ask? Well, I think Atlantis has the potential to be a guild that raids at least 10 man content, but I feel the GMs are a bit nervous about doing it. I'd like to help them see that it can be done, jsut as I've seen it can be done with sub-par people. Part of me has even thought about setting up a 10 man Naxx run and seeing if we can get the people for that, but I am guessing many won't want to do that since its a step back.

Anyone have any ideas?

I has Healz

So, continuing on my path of getting to 80 through LFG only, I have come to a major marker in my mind.

I am half way to 80!

It has been a bit of a challenge at times with some groups. I got to experience the "I need on everything" player the other night, and also the "I'm going to zone in and go AFK without telling anyone to see how much XP people will let me milk" and my all time favorite, "I hit the wrong button, I'm not really a tank, I'll DPS only."

Oh well, I continue on.