Tuesday, March 29, 2011

And Refugees has been born

So, for a while now I have been sort of stressing about guild and guild type stuff. First the break from SB for what I thought to be greener pastures at GIP. For a while that seemed to be going well, until drama that I didn't see coming. That caused a split, and I got to watch the guild essentially die around me. Now even the GL has decided to take a break. Couple with that a good friend joining the game on another server and I find it as time to move on for a bit.

All the time in the back of my mind I am seeing the failures of the guilds around me. I refuse to believe this is how guild must be. Elitest, stressful, angry, and unfair. I tried a guild to see what it was like on an RP server. Elitest, just in a different fashion. Instead of the classic “Your gear isn't cool enough. You can't play with us.” It was more of a quiet indifference. Not much more fun, and it equates to essentially the same thing in my mind.

On a lark, I tried a couple of other guilds on the server, and learned a few things about the seedier side of people's personalities and why some people should not be allowed to procreate. One was nothing more than the porn channel with worse writing and another was just a group of people who combined seemed to have a combined IQ smaller than my son's. Needless to say I didn't hang around either of these guilds for very long.

I ended up spending the 10 silver and buying a guild charter for myself. If what I have seen of guilds is what I have to compete with, I doubt seriously that I will have a hard time succeeding where others have failed. Considering I have no level 85 toons on this server, nor many friends on the server I think my first big hurdle will be getting people to join. We shall see.

My guild bears the moniker of “Refugees”. There are multiple meanings behind it. The most obvious can be attributed to being a refugee of the upheaval of Cataclysm. Less obvious, I am a refugee from another server, and the other founding member is a Refugee of another MMO.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

20 days of WoW blogging Day 05

 This one has been hard for me to really decide upon. I have banged back and forth on it for a while, trying to decide whether I wanted to do something humorous, or to do something serious. Surprisingly, it was a hard for me to decide. I would like to think that I am funny, and some days I even am known to be funny, at least in my own mind.

In the end, I decided to be serious. The item I decided on is part of the reason I originally decided to try to begin to make gold consistently on my original server. I saw some guy riding around on this guy with a couple of his friends. I then later found out that he even had a couple of vendors on his back which was even cooler in my mind. Finally, finding out that he had a repair dude on his back made me giddy with glee. I might even have squee’d a little though don’t tell anyone.

Without further ado: Traveling Tundra Mammoth.

Edit: Thank you to the person who notified me that the picture was not working properly.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Gold Capped. I wish - Update

So, in my first post on Gold Capped, I had said I was going to do updates periodically to show where I stand. Here is my first in these updates.

So, It has not been very successful to start. My purple lotus didn't sell. I have re-listed it a couple times at lower prices keeping in mind how much it cost me so I can at least get my money back. I will be doing another check tonight, but I'm not really positive that I am going to see it sold.

I am actually going to infuse my "goldcapping" character with some money I've made on an alt. I have been pretty consistently using Auctioneer to build my database of what sells and for how much on the server, though of late I have been less than perfect of doing it twice a day as I had originally planned. I am going to take a shot at a few things that I have been watching and well let people know how it goes over the next week or so. maybe I will be able to show I have turned my 1g 1s into some actual gold.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

20 days of WoW blogging Day 04

Day 04 – Your best WoW memory

I am not sure what my best WoW memory. I have had a lot of really good memories as I look back at my time here. I have had the opportunity to do a lot of cool things, met a lot of great people, and even learned a few things about myself. With all of these different things it is hard to come up with one particular thing that I would consider my best WoW memory.

I think I will talk about a memory I remind myself of when I get frustrated with different things in the game. I am not known to be the most outgoing person on the game. You won’t find me talking a lot on chat most days because I don’t go out looking to talk to people. Now this isn’t to say that I want to play a single player game. If someone talks to me I will talk back and from I’m told I can even be pretty interesting and insightful. I don’t know that I necessarily believe that, but hey it made me feel good.

Anyway, Best WoW memory. I am often annoyed by the fact that the guilds I have been in do not often do things together. If you are a special snowflake, you are allowed into runs, or small groups get together and do things consistently on their own. Because of my lack of outgoing nature, I have not really been a special snowflake, nor am I often part of one of the splinter groups.

I often am left to pug things like Baradin Hold (BH) or Vault of Archanon (VoA). Back before Wrath died I got frustrated after missing running VoA for several weeks in a row. I got it in my head that I was going to run a VoA raid all on my own. I’d done the fights enough to know what is needed and how to do it. It isn’t like the fight was hot and heavy, and only rarely did I ever see a wipe in it. So I began /2 calls for a VoA run. Surprisingly to me, I got a pretty good number of requests for invites right off the bat. I had my tanks and heals within the first few minutes, which was awesome because of how rare they could be. After filling the DPS with a couple ringer friends, we ran off to Wintergrasp to smack us some bosses (or at least one boss).

As we were getting gathered, I did have to ask some of my friends a couple of questions like how to set a lootmaster, do raid warnings, and the like. Feeling slightly foolish as I asked the questions, I quickly learned what needs to be done and got it all set up. Buffs were done, and off we went. After a mis-cue on the first trash mob that roams around right at the bottom of the stairs I was a getting really nervous. The bodies were rezed, or people ran back in and I waited for people to ragequit /leave party. None did, a few jokes were made and people continued forward. The group was able to get through the trash with no further problems, which bolstered my confidence a bit before we got to the boss that we were going after (it is a bit foggy to me now which it was, but I think it was the fire dude).

Feasts were dropped, buffs were applied, tanks co-ordinated on when the switches in taunts should happen, and off we went. By this point, my heart was pounding blood in my ears, and I could barely keep my calm as it began. Amazingly (to me at least), nothing bad happened. The dude was popped like the big loot piƱata that he was, and the lootmaster tossed out the gear after rolls were made. I even ended up with a piece that I could have disenchanted.

I couldn’t believe it, nothing bad had happened. I had survived my first attempt at a raid run. Now I don’t have any illusions, I have no experience at raid calling, nor do I pretend to think that I am any good at that sort of thing. Having never done it and a bit of a lazy streak, I doubt I ever will, though on occasion after that I have been known to set up and run a VoA here and there. Now that Cata has dropped and been around a while, I will probably someday set up a BH run or two. Hopefully those runs will be added to my memory of the first VoA run I set up.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Gold Capped. I wish

The other night I was in a heroic with my friends Jinsao and Caralee. Cara and I were lamenting how poor we were. I think at the time I was sitting on about 7,000 gold while Cara was a bit below that. We both had gotten there through things that we had done Cara getting the Vial of Sands, and me in a failed attempt to make money at Leatherworking. Jin commented that he was also low, though he was significantly higher than Cara and I put together. He had been making gold selling the epic LW items that I had just gotten done blowing loads of gold trying to get to.

In general I have been frustrated with the small amount of gold that I typically am sitting on across my toons. In general at any given time I am somewhere in the 15,000 - 20,000 gold made through random quests, selling of junk to vendors and the like. I have always wanted to be one of those people who can say they are gold-capped. The problem being I have never really wanted to put the required effort to get there.

With my friend purchasing the game and becoming a full time member of the WoW community and finding a server to be home for us I have decided to put that effort into seeing if I can get myself to gold-capped. As such, I need something to keep me going on that track and not to peter out in boredom, or because it gets hard. I am going to report out my progress on occasion to remind myself that I am doing this and keep me moving forward.

To begin, I have begun using Auctioneer to scan the AH and begin to build a price data base on my new server. I will say it is a big server, and it seems to have a lot of movement on items. I will continue to scan for about a week before I begin trying to sell in earnest. In general I find that if I scan twice a day for about a week, I have enough data to use Auctioneer to begin flipping stuff that people are throwing up on the Auction House to get rid of, and turn it into profit on my own.

I did see what I consider to be my first purchase. I have noticed that herbs on the server seem to be pretty high priced in general compared to the server my old main was on. Noticing that trend I happened to look at one of my old standby’s to sell, Black Lotus. It happened that there was a couple of bits on the AH for 50g a stack, and then there was a single one selling for 54s. I also noticed a couple of bundles of just 2 for about 2-3 gold. On a lark I invested the 54s into buying the 1 piece to flip. Now understand 54 silver is more than half of all of the gold I have on that server right now. Prior to the purchase I had 1g 1s 1c. I have posted that 1 Black Lotus at 4g to see if it gets picked up by someone who needs an even five to mill for ink but doesn’t want to pay the 50g for a stack. When I get home I will check it and see if I have started my way to a flipping business, or do I still have more questing to do to make enough money to truly get into the business.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

20 days of WoW blogging Day 03

20 days of wow blogging day 3 – First day in WoW
Ok, my first day in WoW was kind of a long time ago. Also, I have started and stopped a couple of times before I ever really hit my stride in WoW. I am pretty sure my first character ever was Skerril the Human Rogue. I remember thinking Holy Crap this is hard right at level 1. I was able to level my way out to about Westfall at level 12, before giving it up as a lost cause. I also know I tried a Warlock, and Paci my druid who persists to today.

Instead of trying to remember my first day in WoW, I am going to talk a little bit about early impressions of WoW from the standpoint of looking back and remembering what it was like. I cannot say that these memories are not warped by time, some may be completely inaccurate, but I leave it to you, dear reader to determine reality vs. fantasy.

Things I remember that actually almost kept me from ever really getting anywhere was WoW was how absolutely difficult it was to get started. Back in the early days of Wrath when I started, the beginning area still had mobs that aggroed you and would beat you to a pulp because they would gang up on you; man were there a lot of them too. I ended up learning some very hard lessons, like dying over and over is a part of the game, and I even used a technique that had me run as far into an area toward a quest goal as I could before I died, and then ran back and continued my run trying to get as far as I could before I was killed again by the hordes of troggs, defias thieves, or rat dudes that filled the area I was questing in.

I also remember thinking how the game was essentially solo content. Or at least to me it was. I knew a couple of people on the server, but they were already max level and were busy, so only popped by to see me for a few minutes, throw a buff my way, pat me on the head and send me on my way to certain death. One of these times I remember my friend running me through the stockades instance in Stormwind. As we ran through it, her destroying everything in sight and me staying behind just collecting all the stuff and meager xp all I could think was this could not be the way that Blizzard intended these instances to be. Why would the developers put so much work into creating these instances if you couldn’t run them when you were at the level where they were relevant? I knew that some people had friends that were of equal level and played together, but I didn’t see how two people could master one of these instances on their own, they were made for five people to run, not two or three.

Eventually I gave up on Alliance for a while and went over to the Horde side where I found my home for a while.Before making my way back to the Alliance.

Friday, March 11, 2011

If only everything could be so easily dispelled

I knew it. I just knew it. I was burnt out. I had been going through the motions for a while and not really enjoying anything that I was doing the way I used to when it came down to it. First it was the end of Wrath, and no one was really interested in doing anything. Then Cataclysm came out and I was rejuvenated for a bit, but the drama of the guild I had joined got in the way of any real enjoyment. I was left tired, frustrated, doing the things I had always done without any real enjoyment.

Log on, do the cooking/fishing daily; struggle through a dungeon or two. Talk to a couple of guild mates or a friend or two. I never really did anything new or different. Sure, once in a while I’d hop on one alt or another and bang through a level or two, but that really isn’t much fun when you are doing it by yourself. I can’t say it was work, since work is well….work.

Along comes a friend of mine and mentions that he might be interested in giving WoW another try. He’s played before at least once that I know of, but was turned off back before Blizzard did a lot of the updates to the leveling experience. I didn’t really think he was serious about it because I had pushed him a couple of times to load it up and play, but he never did for a number of reasons.

Out of the blue the other day I get an email from him saying “…do you have any advice for a WoW Noob?” DO I EVER! After going through the basics of what server are you on, what race/character did you create, I created one in the same starting area on the same server so we could bang around together. I was able to provide a few pointers to get started and then we just started to quest together. It was fun, lots of fun.

We started out as Dwarves, he a Hunter, and I started a Paladin since I had never really played one. It took a little bit to catch up to him as far as level goes in those early days it is extremely easy to catch up. And off we went, creating havoc for all of the troggs that normally live their quiet lives until some new WoW player destroys their lives and livelihood.

It didn’t take long to start enjoying WoW again, not only playing with my friend, but also on my old main characters. It is nice to see that WoW is still fresh enough for me that can dispel burn out with merely an occasional change of scenery.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

20 days of WoW blogging Day 02

Why did I decide to blog?

This for me is a very interesting question. Why did I start to blog? I have long professed that I am not a writer. In fact, some of you readers may agree with that statement. I have no training as a writer, I have spent very little of my time writing anything at all other than the required papers, documents, letters, emails and the like that any person is forced to write as a part of living.

I decided to begin WoW, Am I Lost not long after I left my last MMO Final Fantasy XI. I am very good friends with person who played FFXI with me, and we spend many an occasion having long and deep conversations about the game, its mechanics, lore, economy, other players, events, what have you. When I eventually got to the point in FFXI that it was no longer fun, and was more a chore to do than anything else I talked to him at length about hanging it up.

In the end, while I did hang it up from a FFXI standpoint, I found that I really couldn't or didn't want to hang it up from an MMO standpoint. I had some other friends who played WoW, so decided to try there again. I had tried a couple times in the past, but not found the right combination of game and people to get me clicked in WoW over other MMOs. This time I did. I joined a guild that my friends were in, got into some friendly competition over over leveling with another person who played with me, and found a home. In vain I attempted to convert my FFXI friend to WoW but couldn't do it. Too many disparaging remarks had been made about WoW, mechanics, graphics, and player base. I had found none of them to be true in the long run, but he was not so easily swayed.

So I found myself playing a game with a great group of people all around the country, but none close enough to talk to that had an inclination to talk about the game and their thoughts about playing. I looked around at the people I knew and was with on a daily basis. There just wasn't the interest in the game that I had, co-workers, friends, my wife, all sort of looked at me askance when I began to pontificate on a zone, the mechanics of fishing, or how there is a cost to gathering that some people who play the auction house just do not seem to understand.

After a while I got tired of the funny looks and out right running away when I began to talk about WoW so I stopped voicing my thoughts. But they continued to bubble inside. I even found myself having conversations in my head when driving home from work about some of these very topics. I knew I had to do something or I was going to start talking in my sleep about WoW which probably would frighten my wife into leaving me once and for all.

Then one day I was searching for information on something and I came across a blog. I don't remember who's it was, but as I read it I thought to myself, "What a great idea! I can write a blog that will let me get my thoughts out without being put in a loony bin." And so WoW, Am I Lost? was born. Actually, the original name was WoW I am Lost, but when a friend created my banner, he changed the name and I liked it better than what I had come up with so it stuck. The rest is history.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

20 days of WoW blogging Day 01

So while trolling around other blogs I click here and I click there, usually looking at what other people are writing and saying. Often times I get to a point where I have no idea what path I took to get to the blog I am on now. The other night I was on one of these kicks. I was looking for information on my DPS as a DK, but then saw something that led me to something else that led me to a blog about Warlocks. I decided to look a bit more at it because I had been leveling a Warlock a bit and was curious what there was to be said about them.

That is how I found myself on Spellbound, a blog written by Saga who has been playing a very, long time (in my eyes at least). At first I was interested in the information posted about the Warlocks, but quickly became captivated by the different subjects that she hits on in her posting. I actually have even gone so far as to add her to my ongoing blogs to look at daily. I will link her in my side bar with this post so you too can enjoy her writing.

Why do you care about this? What got me writing about it? Well, it all comes down to this one post. About a month ago Saga posted a 20 Days of WoW blogging thread that has been picked up by a number of people. I like the idea and have decided to do it myself.

Without Further ado:

Day 01 – Introduce yourself

My name is Chris, and I play World of Warcraft on the Malygos server. Depending on who you talk to, my main would either be Michelinea, my Death Knight or Paci my Druid. I do not isolate myself to just two characters though, and am known by many names on many alts. For whatever reason, I find that I enjoy trying out and banging around on many of the different classes to see how they work, what they can do and what not.

As far as faction/race, I originally started WoW on the Alliance side, but didn’t stick. In fact I tried it two or three times before moving over to Horde and finding a home for a long time there as a Tauren. Only when friends moved on to other things and games did I come back to the Alliance where I make my home today.

Outside of WoW, I am a project manager by trade. If you watch American sports, you probably have seen commercials for my Company, but it isn’t for me to say. My main job is spent slowly herding all the cats that work on our software in the right direction. Not a bad job to have most days. When nothing goes wrong, I have a pretty boring job in fact. Sadly, that isn’t really my lot in life. Things go bump in the night all to often.

I also am a father and a husband. I am extremely lucky having my family put up with all of the crap that goes along with being a slightly middle aged gamer with entirely to many issues for his own good. My wife is an amazing cook and baker who has the goal to make as many great tasting things as she can to help fatten me up.

My wife  and I love to watch movies together. While we both love horror movies, we are also known to watch action, drama, many different foreign movies as well as the occasional comedy. Also, we’ve been known to lose whole weekends to television shows like the Big Bang Theory, Doctor Who, Criminal Minds, Red Dwarf, or Fawlty Towers.

We have 3 children, 2 teenagers and a little guy. The teens are both pretty typical kids, loud, boisterous and generally insane. Our middle child, a girl is especially good at making me furious and insane at the drop of a hat. I have never been as mad as I have with her. At the same time, she is amazing at making me smile at the oddest times. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. The youngest is a lot like his mother, cute, entirely too smart, and quirky. It is amazing to see where his mind wanders, which is really anywhere and everywhere.

Ok, I think that’s enough of an introduction. Day 01 down

Friday, March 4, 2011

Call To Action: Bloggers Please Read

I do have another post that I am just about to post, but while reading blogs earlier today I ran across something that I think is a good idea and wanted to get out.

The link comes from MMO Melting Pot, a blog I've only been to a couple of times, but I found it in one of my click new blogs on the sides of people's blogs runs.  Some bloggers are trying to put together a map of bloggers. I think it is a pretty neat idea, and would love to see where in the world other people are writing. I think it is particularly interesting as I have noticed lately that the more I look at the data behind who its my blog, the more I notice that my blog seems to be read by an international audience. I like the idea that people in Germany, Poland, England, and Australia are reading me as well as the two to three dedicated readers here in the US.

Anyway, if you are a  WoW blogger...go...check it out. Join if you are interested.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

DK Healing is beginning!

Copied off of the battle.net PTR blog:

Raise Ally has been redesigned to be a battle resurrection, analogous to Rebirth. It is instant cast, but costs 50 Runic Power to use, and has a 10-minute cooldown. It shares the same global battle resurrection cap with Rebirth and Soulstone.

You can read the full text here

We knew it was coming. I have long thought Michelinea should be able to do all the things that every other job could. Let's face it, we can already tank in blood spec, we can DPS with the best of them in either the dual wield frost spec or the two handed Unholy spec. Why wouldn't we be able to heal like a druid or a priest?

Apparently, the folks at Blizzard agree.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

And so I still can not raid

So, I think it is over now, so I can talk about it a bit in my blog.

What it really comes down to for me is late last year I joined a new guild in an attempt to get myself more in the way of raiding experience. It started out pretty well, getting into raids pretty quickly and consistently with the end of Wrath. I even got 11/12 in ICC just before Cataclysm dropped. Now it has fallen apart.

With Cata's drop, initially there was a huge push to get people ready to raid, but quickly there was a break where 4-5 people really had it down and were getting ready to raid quickly. Others, like me either didn't have the knowledge or opportunity to keep up with these 4-5 people. On occasion the more prepared would drag one or another of us through an instance. I was one of those recipients. At the time I thought that people were being helpful and wanted to do this to help fellow guild members. Later, I found out that I was wrong. People resented taking me with them, though it wasn't mentioned to me until other personal infighting occurred. Infighting that circled around me, and caused our original raid leader and one of our high DPS to decide not to raid with the group.

Then, the first raid night came, last Friday night. I was psyched and ready. Very ready for it. I went out bought myself down to almost 0 gold making sure my DPS gear was up as high as possible, fully enchanted and gemmed. I also bought food and flasks for both DPS and heals just in case I needed to jump in and heal a battle or two. The time came, things were ready, people got there on time. We started out with the trash for Blackwing Descent (BWD).

The first mob or two was fine, then we came to the double trash mob that is in the same room with Magmaw. We wiped. Then we wiped again. We wiped a third time. The GL/RL asked me to switch from DPS to try three-healing to see if we could cover the damage. Like a good raider wannabe I switched and readied to heal. We went at it again. We wiped. then we wiped again. For a change we wiped again. At about this time, grumblings began, why was one tank getting Mis-directed onto, and not the other, why was the heals not keeping up. That went back and forth a bit, and we went at it again. We wiped again. At this point a couple of DPS started being very vocal about how things in the heal core was failing. I had recount on, so I started looking at it to see if I could figure out what was happening.

It was taking me some time to look through the data; I noticed one of the healers was really low and was trying to go through the data to see what she was doing. While I was doing that, some of the DPS were jumping on the top healer, though from everything I could see, she was doing great. I hadn't even had a chance to get through the other healer or myself when I saw the top heals make a statement saying she was done, and drop raid. Then she logged off. Her husband/boyfriend (not sure) carried on an argument for a couple of seconds before dropping raid and logging off himself.

Unfortunately, I am not really aware of what totally happened other than there was a fight between DPS and heals. Later I heard that the GL/RL didn't step in and should have. I also heard that it got pretty ugly. At the time I didn't think to look at the scroll back and see what had transpired. Regardless, it was ugly.

On Saturday the guild boards had a note from the GL stating that raiding was closed indefinitely. Then Yesterday a note was added that the old RL would be setting something up for some people. Then last night I watched as the old RL left the guild with a number of other folks because they wanted to raid and the guild would not be raiding in the foreseeable future. I would not be welcome there because of a perceived insult by me to one of the people leaving. That's a story for another day.

I am frustrated. I just want to raid. I am not sure if I am good or bad at it. When I DPS things like Baradin Hold, I am typically in the top 3 for 10 man runs. Also I have healed trash runs of BoT without issue, so I probably don't suck.

I guess it is time to find a new guild. I am starting to feel like a guild jumper.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

While digging through my screen shots this morning from my favorite add on Multishot I found the below achievement that I hadn't realized that I had gotten.

Ready to Raid? Really, cause I certainly don't feel it. The achievement is gotten from not getting hit by the swirly fire things during the Glubtok battle in Heroic Deadmines. Some developer at WoW seems to have made a play on the “don't stand in the crap” mantra of raiders out there everywhere. In fact lately I have actually had to yell at people to stand in the crap on the floor when using effloresence. I guess that is merely another of Blizzard's sick jokes. I can see it now “Hey guys, for years now we have been hearing 'Stay out of the shit on the floor'. Let's give all of the healers a shit on the floor to confuse and frustrate!” This was very quickly followed by “Yeah Bob, good idea!” The Champagne was passed around and there was much slapping of Bob on the back as he laughed maniacally.

I digress. My real point here is how you determine that you are ready to raid. I know WoW gives us ilevel to make that determination and the lovers of Gearscore are out there too. I think it's more than that, and I'm not going to put out the standard “experience over gear” conversation. That's annoying and isn't helpful to anyone, particularly idiots like me who have some gear, but no experience in Cataclysm raids. After running a heroic Throne of Tides last night and healing it without issue, I begin to think that maybe it can be done, but I know that 1 Heroic does not make a raider. Maybe If I can pull off healing a Heroic Stonecore then I know I'm ready to raid.

How do others decide they are ready to raid. From an argument that went on in front of me the other night, I don't even think the leadership of GIP has a good way of determining whether or not someone is ready to raid. That friends and neighbors is a story for another day, once a few things happen, including tempers cool and I decide if GIP is the place to stay.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Pit Lord Argaloth....Dead

Ok, if you were a member of my guild the other night, and online about 9PM EST, you would have seen ten of us very, very ecstatic. There was much jubilation over our downing of the Tol Barad Raid boss. Now, we have beaten him before but this is the first time that we have one shot him. The other two occasions that I have the pleasure of facing off against this guy ended up in 2-3 wipes before actually beating him down before his enrage counter ticked down. I never realized how fast 5 minutes was until I was racing against a clock.

This guy has 2 sets of phases. The way we did it was pretty simple, we broke the group up into two groups with tank, heals, and DPS in each. We line up on the left and right side of him and the tanks taunt back and forth between him while the DPS go to town doing as much damage as they possibly can. The healers are kept busy with the big bursts of damage he does as well as something that needs to be dispelled quickly other wise bad junk happens.

At 75% fel fire gets cast all over the place. I lovingly call this the chicken with no head phase. During this phase everyone needs to run around the room and avoid the fel fire trails that are being created behind you as you run. In general, I try to run out to the edge of the room and around the back corner, timing myself to get back in place just as the fire ends. If you are ranged during this phase and have cast on the run spells, we try to use them, but other than that it is mostly a bunch of people running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

Then, rinse and repeat occurs. Taunt back and forth while DPS do as much damage as possible until 25% when the second fel fire phase occurs. Again nothing different to this part.

We do all of this while trying ot ensure that we are complete and done before the 5 minute enrage timer ticks down.

Over all, I would consider this one of the easier raid bosses that I have done, but fun none the less. It drops the same sort of stuff as Vault of Archenon did, so PVP stuff and some tier gear. In general though I do it for the practice of raiding.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Healing Heroics as a Tree

I've been trying to heal heroics lately on Paci in my spare time. Interestingly, I find that they seem to consistently fall into one of a couple of different experiences. Either I have am able to do it, and do it pretty well, and other times I can't seem to do it and either get frustrated and leave, or get kicked out. Reading other blogs, talking to other people, and just sort of ruminating I find that I am pretty much alone in this aspect. Either you can do it, or you can't.

To try to figure out why I am bouncing back and forth I spent some time in the land of Elitist Jerks Druid forum. I've read their resto guide along with a number of post Q&A's. Gear: Check, got it. Gems: Check, got it. Spells: Check, got it. Enchants: Check, got it, though they could use some work. I've never really thought that enchants will be the game changer that goes from making things hard to easy, but it is an interesting thought that I will need to explore further at some point.

Also, I took some time to review the different instances to see if there was anything I was missing in the way of mechanics. Do certain bosses mess me up? Am I standing in the stupid? Is there something I can do that will make it all go away? Nothing immediately pops out there, but it doesn't hurt to do some research now and again. Also it's kind of need to see how people do different things. I have seen in the past raid videos and I think it might be nice to actually get similar for heroics.

Interestingly, thus far I have not found the "magic bullet" that will help me turn the corner on healing, so for now my search continues.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Thoughts on Tanking as a Bear

So, after a couple of discussions with different members of GIP I decided to take up feral on my druid to offer tanking as well as healing. In general, it just seemed that it would be nice to be able to give a bit more in the way of utility to the guild as well as give me something to do different. Also, a nice added benefit was that I found a hybrid kitty/bear spec that looked pretty promising. This way I could fit any need in any situation. I like the ranged DPS of the Moonkin but the guild as a whole seems heavy on ranged DPS, and I could really just push one of my other toons (Crabby or Orkette) the rest of the way to 85 if I really wanted to have a ranged DPS toon to add to the stable of things I can do.

Anyway, I have taken a couple of shots at tanking so far and I've learned quite a bit. First, as always gear is important. Also, paying attention is important. I took some of the info from Elitest Jerks to make sure that I wasn't doing everything wrong. From there I read some stuff on WoW Insider to get some more details. To be fair I think the Insider author was the same as the EJ author or one read the other because there wasn't much different between the two.

As I have been working up on gearing I've noticed something I haven't been able to figure out yet, and haven't found the answer to anywhere. How in the hell do I pick up groups of mobs and keep hate on all of them. I mark each pull, use Faerie Fire to pull 1 then use other abilities to pick up the second, but after that if there are more than 2, I'm screwed. Without fail, they will run by me and attack someone mushy in the back field somewhere. I turn and run to pick them up only to lose the aggro of at least one if not both of the mobs that I already had aggro on me. This then leads to a wonderful job of running back and forth like a chicken with no head (or is it bear?) trying to keep up hate on everything.

I have tried using Thrash/Swipe to help this but it does not give the huge boost of hate that I think I need to keep the things squarely on me. I have also tried the whole tab method of picking things up, but I am missing something because without fail someone is always getting their face beat in by the time I have tabbed back to whatever mob they were fighting (often the one I have marked appropriately).

It is actually pretty interesting to tank though, as it gives me a new perspective of the game. I grew up in FFXI as a tank, and the world of tanking in WoW is just entirely different. In FFXI I had to worry about keeping one thing focused on me while everyone else was doing their best to pull it off of me. This does me some good when I am doing single mob tanking, but lets face it there just isn't all that much single mob tanking out there.

Suggestions are appreciated to help my fail tanking stop.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Will the last one out....

In the few years that I have been playing World of Warcraft I have been a member of quite a few guilds. In my time I have ended up out of a guild for a number of reasons. I've been merged into another guild, been kicked out because of guild drama that I made the mistake of getting involved in, I've left on my own for what I thought was greener pastures, I've left for actual greener pastures, and I've watched a guild die.

While I was trolling Blog Azeroth for the firs time in a few months the other day I stumbled across the shared topic for this week, and it called out to me. What happened when a guild dies? What do you do?

They say that hindsight is 20/20. Looking back, I find in this case it really is true. At the time I didn't see many of the signs that would have alerted a more observant man than me that not all was well in the world. The first rumbling of the end came months before the true end. The guild had been spending its raid time running twenty-five man Ulduar. Running is a nice way of saying we were killing 1-2 bosses consistently and then wiping over and over. The guild was not well geared, people weren't great listeners, and only a few of us were doing things outside of the raid night to make ourselves better.

A few of the higher end members began running a ten man Trial of Champions on the night prior to our Ulduar run. They were becoming more and more geared while others, like me were falling further and further behind even though we had behind. Comments began to be made about members in the Ulduar run. Some were fair, others not so fair. The guild became more and more split. The split continued to grow as more and more people got tired of being harassed by the "elite ten" as they came to be known. People began to leave the guild for places where they would be more respected, others just stopped logging in. Soon it was hard to fill the Ulduar raid. Tempers flared. More frustration built. The "elite ten" split off and raided more nights, including our original night for Ulduar. The end had come, I just didn't know it.

Then, one day I logged in to a mail from the guild leader to the entire guild, telling us we had twenty - four hours to fnd a new home because the guild was closing. This was the first time I had ever heard of the command /gdisband. I dropped guild immediately and began to look for a new home, but learned a valuables lesson.

From this I learned that respect is the most important part of a guild. It doesn't matter whether you always agree with the other members of a guild. It does matter that you show respect to the people of your guild, and you help them as opposed to attacking those below you. This is a lesson I have taken into every guild I have gone into since, and has helped me to avoid many a guild, and even leave a guild.

Respect, it isn't just a song by Aretha Franklin.

Monday, January 3, 2011

With the coming of a new year

So with 2010 officially over and 2011 just beginning, I think it is time to begin to look forward to what I want to do in the new year. With Cataclysm having been ou for almost a month, I think it is a good place to start.

I, like many others, have already sped through leveling a chracter to 85. I have even begun to gear herup to run heroics and eventually raid. Our guild is looking to be able to attack rais by the end of January. I think its a plausible goal, and I want to make sure I am one of those ready to do it.

With Paci's race to 85, I feel that I probably missed out a lot in the rush, particualarly in the way of quest lines. This isn't to say that I am one of those people who didn't read the quests, but sometimes I find that I don't remember part of the story after I've gone through it. One thing I thing can give the folks at Blizz without fear a doubt is their ability to spin a great story through their quest lines. One example in cataclysm is the Naga quest line in the new aria Vash'jir. With out giving away any spoilers, the game developers have out done themselves on capturing the feel of a good war story. Usually I don't think much of the quest lines that don't have me play the character that I have put my blood, sweat, and tears into, but this time I just didn't mind.

World of Warcraft wasn't the first MMO I played, Prior to WoW I spent my time playing Final Fantasy XI. I can safely say that the quest lines in FFXI were often to disjointed to make sense, or if they were clear, they quickly became so absurd that I didn't want to bother doing them.

On to other things to do in 2011:
1. Bring my professions up to max. This was on my list in 2010, but just never got done.
2. Get in and do some old Raids. I know this is lame to some, but I had a great time plowing through Naxx a bit back, and would like to do some of the others.
3. Work on the blog to bring it up to date. Too much has gotten old, stale, and just out right wrong.
4. Try my hand at a guide. We'll see. I don't know if this will go anywhere, but we will see.
5. Be more consistent with my posting. Again, we shall see.