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!