Monthly Archives: December 2009

I thought you’d be taller.

I did something exciting today– I met a member of my raiding team at the mall. I found out he lives in my home town and we met up at the lamest mall ever. Most of the stores were going out of business and it was permeated with a hill-billy feel. But, my cousin was having his eighth birthday party there so, I figured we could meet while they jumped around in “Tumble Town,” an indoor play place kind of like those McDonald’s playgrounds.

It was a bit weird. I didn’t know what he looked like and all he knew about me was that I was a red head with a Raven’s jersey (We lost the game D:). Giving random people the once over out of the corner of your eye is always awkward when you don’t know what you’re looking for. Finally this guy with black hair sort of met my eyes as I was cautiously looking at him. Turns out it was Lou, we hugged, and walked around the dying mall for a while. We saw the best (and by best I mean we laughed hysterically) tatoo ever. It was on the lower back of the girl who made my Chia tea. In bright pink script it said, when she bent over, “Crack Kills.” Classy.

This brings me to the really point of this article. Have any of you ever met someone you play with outside of WoW? Putting a face to a voice wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, and it was only slightly awkward. I’m a pretty shy person so talking to someone I had never seen before, but had played with nearly every other night for the last year, was an odd paradox. We’re meeting up again next weekend for a movie and some poker with our respective others (Punchileno, my druid boyfriend, was sick and couldn’t come home with me this weekend), which should be fun!

I’m sure there are plenty of awkward stories out there that you guys have about meeting WoW friends in real life. If I get enough of them it might be a fun idea for a weekly column!

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under My life

Your Inner Lore Nerd

I'm slowly finding myself wearing these glassesWandering through the internet today I (somehow I don’t even remember what I was looking at) ended up watching the Wrath Gate video again. That lead to me spending a good hour reading about Varian Wrynn and his struggles with the Horde. I have to say I think Varian is justified in wanting to continue the war against the Horde. Peace doesn’t seem all that likely when the Horde are still enslaving Alliance members, intent on conquering Ashenvale and the Night Elves that reside there, and with Garrosh Hellscream instigating blood lust and hatred around every corner.

Anyway, what I wanted to say in this post is I can’t believe that so many people are missing out on all these awesome stories! The first week I started playing WoW (about a year and a half ago now) I spent a large part of one day reading over all the lore on Blizzard’s website. Unfortunately, most of that has been forgotten in the intervening time, but it makes me want to sneak downstairs and steal Punchileno’s little brother’s huge lore book (Yes, we play WoW with an eight year old sometimes, don’t hate). Lore makes the game much more personal– it gets you attached to characters and events like Wrath Gate mean so much more to a person who understands the hatred the Forsaken feel for all life, the pain of the Alliance and Horde at loosing two great generals, and the bravery of the warriors who fought the Scourge in an attempt to rid the world of the Lich King. I can tell you that going into raid tonight (Woohoo, ICC 10 at 9 pm) I’m going to feel the  presence of the Lich King more so much more. I don’t think that would be possible if I hadn’t just found my inner Lore Nerd.

I hope that we see more of a return of the war between the Alliance and the Horde in Cataclysm. It makes for interesting quests, and adds a feeling of unity with your fellow faction members. This “Well, I really want to kill you but *insert The Lich King/The Burning Legion/Deathwing* is/are trying to kill us and the world will end if we don’t set aside our differences and work together…” is getting kind of old. What I predict will happen is after Cataclysm comes out and they announce the next expansion pack is that it will be about the Maelstrom and the Naga. Some great Old God of the Sea is going to destroy Azeroth and our entire way of life if we don’t…well you get it. Although, the Old God idea is fascinating. Now I know how the Blizz story board writers feel when they’re trying to come up with more story! So many options so little time! Maybe Sylvanas Windrunner and RAS will release their “kill everything” plague and that will spark some more global faction fighting. That would be so interesting…Oh well. I contend myself with catching up on all the WoW books I haven’t read, in between reading Kushiel’s Avatar. So many books, so little time! I seem to be running out of time all over the place, and on that note, I’m going to go get ready for raid. Hopefully a one shot tonight!

Leave a comment

Filed under My life, Raids

Alright, everyone lets flask up and get going.

Hmm, but which flask do you choose? As a Holy Paladin you’ll find yourself with two distinct choices, [Flask of the Frost Wyrm] and [Flask of Distilled Wisdom]. The frost wyrm will give you +125 spell power for one hour, and the Distilled wisdom will give you +65 intellect for one hour. Whichever flask you choose generally depends on what your style of healing is (Flash of Light style versus Holy Light style), what you feel you need more, and also which one you perceive as giving you more benefit.

Personally, I always choose [Flask of Distilled Wisdom] for several reasons. One, it’s generally less expensive than frost wyrm. Two, in my opinion the +65 int is worth much more than the +125 spell power because the intellect does not only add to your mana pool, but it gives you an increased spell crit chance, and it does give you some spell power. I’m not going to try to lay claim to the excellent mathematics that are about you be brought to you. All the credit goes to Codi at MoarHPS! And their post Intellect– why it’s that good for Healadins. Their post was created for geming, so the numbers won’t be the same, but as a general idea of what ten points of intellect will get you spell power wise:

“10INT = 2.42SP

10INT = 12.1INT with Divine Intellect and Blessing of Kings

12.1 * .2 = 2.42SP with Holy Guidance “

Crit wise:

“10INT = .07259% crit

10INT = 12.1INT with Divine Intellect and Blessing of Kings

12.1 INT / 166.66667 = .07259%

Well after the “Zomg, no math genes!” thought I just had I’ve decided that I’m not going to horribly butcher these lovely formulas with my art student math. You get the idea however: Intellect will give you spell power (2.42 SP for every ten points of int) and crit (.07295% per ten points of int) and with Divine Plea it also increases the amount of mana you regen. All in all the idea that intellect is the best stat for Holy pallies continues into the flask department.

 There are some draw backs to using Distilled Wisdom, however. I find myself having to defend my flask choice a lot in raids that I pug (“No, actually, Mr.Resto Druid, intellect is a better stat for me than spell power because…”) not only because the flask trade-off seems unbalanced (“125 SP for 65 Intellect, pfft you’re out of your mind.”) but it is a Burning Crusade flask, so it seems out of date. They can also be hard to find because the alchemist needs to be exalted with the Cenarion Expedition, the mats are level 70 herbs which are not as frequently farmed, and really only Holy Paladin’s will be using this flask at level 80.

Now, I’m not saying Frost wyrm is the most terrible flask in the world. In a pinch I will take one over not being flasked. However, you do yourself, and your raid, a disservice by not maximizing as many stats you can in one fel swoop. Don’t just take my word for it however, go out and test this! I think you’ll find the switch to be most favorable!

6 Comments

Filed under Raids

ICC: Frostbite? Not really.

     This second week that ICC was available to the raiding masses my guild went back Tuesday night at around 10:30 armed with the experience and knowledge for Lord Marrowgar. Unfortunately last week we had only gotten one chance at the second boss, Lady Deathwhipser, but we had gotten Marrowgar down without too much issue. Walking through pulling the trash (Which my Druid boyfriend bemoans while I maintain that it adds an atmosphere to the raid that ToC severely lacked) we encountered more issues that we had with any of the bosses. Yeah, those big skeletons on the sides of the room that look like statues? Nope, they’re actually humongous adds that kicked our asses around the block several times because they would pull an entire room’s trash with them. Not amusing. But we managed to finally down the big adds and after that strolled into Marrowgar’s icy chamber. And we one shot him. This fight is a piece of cake to heal if you have the gear. They nerfed the tank damage to the ground and the shaman I was healing with had no trouble keeping our tanks up (This had been an issue the last week due to the exorbitant amount of damage incoming and our undergeared pally tank’s health pool. Both of those issues were remedied this week). Kudos to our DPS for the way they took down those spikes. Making macros for /target bone spike is something I recommend.

After handing out loot we ran up the walkway to Lady Deathwhisper. It’s true, after phase one the fight is pretty much over. The adds hit pretty hard and it can get confusing when they only take a specific type of damage (i.e. Magic, or Physical). As we were killing the trash before the fight we had our first epic trash drop! Lo and Behold it was a pally healing belt: Belt of the Lonely Noble! It’s a beautiful, beautiful belt, and with three +20 int gems in those slots (extra slot added with a belt buckle) it helped jump my mana up to +33k buffed.

The Gun ship battle is so AWESOME. Well done Blizzard, well done. This fight is entertaining, fun, involving, has a great story, and the mechanics for it are unique and amusing (Come on, a Bear with a rocket pack on his butt? Priceless). We had a few times where the rockets did glitch, mysteriously only making it half way to the next ship causing people to fall to their deaths. After the Horde ship started to go down we also realized that our Paladin tank hadn’t gotten off of the ship and was flying away from us…and away…and further away until the ship just stopped moving and she had to jump to her death. Except she landed in water. /Facepalm. Fatigue eventually killed her and we got our loot, and moved on to the last boss Deathbringer Saurfang.

This fight was frustrating, required great coordination, high raid awareness, and in the end was challenging enough to be more entertaining than any ToC fight even while we were wiping. It took us several tried to get the add control down pat (Our ranged were a Survival Hunter, an Elemental Shaman, a Frost Mage, and an Arcane mage), and it is very important to make sure you have a lot of CC for the adds. I spent a lot of time Hammering adds to stun them when they missed traps or broke out of other CC. The great amount of DPS needed for this fight required us to only use two healers: Me, and my druid boyfriend who has a set for everything druid except for Balance DPS. I stayed on the tanks (with some shocks ready for the DPS) and Punchileno put HOT’s on everything that moved. As a side note, it’s totally lame that druid’s will kick my meters around the block when I heal with them. Sigh, oh well. After we got the adds down we easily killed him with only one Mark of the Fallen Champion coming out.

So congratulations Knight at the Roxbury  for our first full clear of the Lower Spire!

Our group make up was: Prot Paladin, A Prot Warrior, A feral/resto druid, Ele Shaman, Holy Pally, Survival/Marksman Hunter, Arcane Mage, Fire/Frost mage, and two Unholy DK’s (but one that would rather be a DW Frost DK).

Well, those are my impressions on the raid. These fights are easier that I would have liked, but they provided a reason for our raid group to become much more coordinated that we previously were. The mechanics of these fights will ensure that I will stay excited about this part of ICC until the next wing comes out! Good luck to all my raiding readers, go forth and conquer! Arthas a true death a waits you!

Wow, the massive amount of snow is causing me to nerd out. o.O

Leave a comment

Filed under Progression, Raids

Returned from the Exam Crypt

I’m back! Sorry for the long break between posts, as I said in my last post between finals and ICC I’ve only been on my computer long enough to raid. My last exam was cancelled due to the massive amount of snow (!) we’re supposed to get tonight and tomorrow morning. (Finally, we’ve has such crappy, snow-free winters for the last decade that a blizzard is a wonderful early Christmas present!) Anyway, on to today’s topic:

Raider Responsibilities

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Everyone has obligations to be there, to have flasks and food, and to come with the gear you need (an obvious statement, I know, but you’d be surprised). However, everyone has other things that raiders depend on you to execute by way of attitude. You’re going to spend several hours a week with your raid group and things can build up if the expectations aren’t met because of the way the group is handled, or because someone keeps screaming at people because they wiped again.

One of the most important things to realize is that your attitude effects everyone else in the raid group, and this is especially true if you’re doing ten man content. Progression takes time, and effort, and you’re going to wipe. If you’re the type of person who cannot deal with repeated wipes while you’re scoping out a fight then a progression guild is probably not where you want to be. An angry player rage logging leaves everyone else in a lurch and most likely will not get you invited back again.

 Attitude is not just relevant when you’re wiping, it rears it’s head when you’re receiving criticism. Criticism is part of a raid. If your e-peen is so inflated that you can’t stand to hear people tell you, of all people, that you didn’t get on that add fast enough then, again, a progression guild is probably not for you. Trying to improve the groups performance to get that last boss down, or snag that achievement, is most likely the ultimate goal if you’re in a raiding guild. This takes time (and wipes), and it takes members being humble enough to accept that they did something wrong and to work on changing the problem in the next attempt. Raid leaders and guild masters, in my humble opinion, should be the ones to be taking the most criticism. You’re trusting the health of your raid group in their hands, and unless your guild is a monarchy and you’re all the serfs (in which case you need to get a Magna Carta signed a.s.a.p.…err, History joke, just for me) your after-wipe chats shouldn’t be limited to those raiders that are not in the upper echelons of the guild structure. As a raid leader you’re responsible for directing between 9 and 24 other people and you’re not immune from mistakes. People have a right to ask why you take talent A over talent B, or why you didn’t get agro/DPS on that add ,or why you didn’t heal that guy fast enough. Excluding people from the chopping block, and ignoring their mistakes, breeds discontent and bitterness in those players that are taking their criticism lumps. The criticism that you’re giving to other players helps them understand their strength’s and weaknesses better, which in turn leads to a better raid group. You shouldn’t slack on your insight or issues just because it turns in. If you find that you can dish it out, but can’t take it, you may want to reevaluate the benefit of you leading the raid. Is it benefiting the group that you’re not letting anyone tell you if you do something wrong, or you brush it off or get upset when people do? If the answer is yes, then by all means continue doing what you do, but if it is no (and I would assume that is the honest answer) you either need to change your attitude or appoint someone else to lead while you deal with those issues.

 Another responsibility of a raider is to know the fight before the fight begins. Obviously in the case of Ice Crown Citadel, a new raid is not going to have detailed strats available on patch night. In that case turn to the PTR where you’ll at least understand the bones of the fight and their won’t be to many “WTF, How did I die?!” moments. But, if you are going into a run that has video’s available watch them, and then watch them again. Knowledge is power, and less wipes, which means more gold, and less down time. A video may not be a substitute for the actual fight, but it helps to know that those adds are resistant to AoE damage, or if you stand in that puddle you will die.

Listening is the most important skill a person can have, as I’m sure everyone’s kindergarten teacher reminded us while we were chewing on blocks and beating our classmates with stuffed animals. Listening during a raid is important for correcting on the fly. If you use Ventrilo, which my raid group does, then keeping vent clear during a fight is a necessity. Of course you raid with these people because you like them, and talking to your fellow raiders helps to bond the group together, but if the tanks can’t hear the “Okay, Taunt now” over “So, how do you guys feel about all the gnome killing in this patch?” then you’re going to find yourself wiping a lot, and tempers are going to flare. Having a quiet vent also allows raiders to adjust to new content and say strategies over their mic’s that could save a raid.

The final responsibility on my “Raider’s responsibilities” list is raid awareness. Healers need to work on not getting tunnel vision (A problem many beginning healers have, and which I catch myself still doing on a particularly tough fight), DPS need to know which target to be on without getting in fire, or whatever the mechanic is for your fight (Fire seems a safe bet for WoTLK), and tanks need to know which way to turn the boss so the raid isn’t lit on fire, or poisoned (oh Acidmaw and Dreadscale, how I loath your spit), and who is on adds and who isn’t. By constantly watching around your character you can catch that fire falling on your head and move before it hits, or frost nova that add so it won’t hit you. I find this is something that develops with practice. A fresh 80 isn’t going to have raid awareness like someone in ToC hard modes.

In my opinion these traits in a raider are more important that who’s flasked and who brought the fish. The best geared raider, the highest DPS, or that ballin’ tank healer may be a necessary part of your raid because of what they do, but if what they do stops at moving out of fire, receiving criticism with humility, or having a calm demeanor on your fourth wipe on Deathbringer Saurfang, then they’re not as useful and they’re probably breeding malcontent and frustration in raiders who are doing everything they need to be doing. Sometimes the best solution to this problem is just to remove the player. If that does have to happen the one can only hope that it will serve as a wake up call to that person, and improve the moral of your raid group.

4 Comments

Filed under Guild life, Progression

You are disoriented!

Well, as the title says, it’s been a really crazy week! Don’t worry I’m not gone completely. These next two weeks just happen to be my first exam weeks in college and I’m being overwhelmed with projects, and studying, and papers. I’m a little frazzled now (if you can’t tell) and with ICC dropping last night I barely have time to take showers (though I do) or remember to eat (which sometimes I forget…hey I just ate a fish feast, I can’t be hungry! Look it says “Well fed”!). I wanted to give you all an update on guild relations, and my impressions on ICC before I have to go off and do another thirty 20 minute drawings for art. Sigh.

Guild Relations:

We’re proud to welcome back Andraia, Gutz, Alyska, and Praxya members who took breaks to deal with real life situations (example: Getting married, congratulations Alyska and Gutz, I wish you both great Happiness!).

I’d also like to welcome our two newest raiders, just recruited today, Ilunae and Inkyna. A Prot/Holy paladin and a Mage, you’re both very welcome to our raid group!

We also downed Sarth 3D! So now I’m Pheadra of the Nightfall, which is accurate seeing how late we raid.

Ice Crown Citadale:

Alas, we only got about an hour and a half in ICC last night before “Additional instances cannot be launched.” Come on Blizz, you make more money than I’ll ever see in my life, fifty times over, and even I know it’s a bad idea to not be prepared for the amount of people who want to play your game. Well, one can only hope that they’ll fix this soon. As for Marrowgar he’s an interesting fight. Getting used to him dropped our DPS down to about half of what it usually is because of the amount of movement this fight required. His whirlwind is eatable, and we found it simpler to group the ranged and the healers up so that if someone gets impaled they are never out of range of heals or DPS. Our raid group consisted of One holy pally, one resto druid, one resto shammy, one feral (tank) druid, one prot pally, two DK’s (frost 1 hand and Unholy), a survival hunter, an arcane mage, and one Enh shammy. The fires were what was really hurting us on his WW phase. As he does his first spin he spits fire out everywhere which can be hard to avoid. Hopefully, we’ll be able to down him tomorrow!

Well that’s all for now, I’m off to go do more art journals…sigh.

Good luck in ICC!

Leave a comment

Filed under Guild life

A Storm on the Horizon

This article’s title may be a tad nerdy, but it’s how I feel about patch 3.3 (More commonly called ICC–ice crown citadel). You know the feeling before the big ice storm of the year; everyone is stocking up on toilet paper, water, and food. Except in the case of my guild its enchanting mats, gems, and PTR news. The generally accepted knowledge is that patch 3.3 will drop next Tuesday. I am half looking forward to patch day, half dreading it. For one, it will completely decimate all my addons (or so I fear) and I won’t be able to play for the greater part of the day. However, new gear, new content, and a chance to reinvigorate the raiding experience with some trash (that I did miss, but not to terribly) will certainly be worth whatever wait ensues.

 In answer to A touch of Arcane’s writer Dreaming: yes I am getting ready for ICC money wise–by being completely broke. My guild has asked all of us to be prepared for upgrades with all the mats needed for enchants and gems ready. As one of our DK’s is practically a walking walmart (Seriously, she has ever kind of gem and flask in her bags ever raid, and usually has some spare enchanting mats. There are two differences between her and walmart: I can’t see her being four hundred pounds and wearing booty shorts that say “Juicy,” and she nearly always refuses to let anyone pay her for her items. Sweet girl.) I don’t think we’ll be having a huge amount of trouble with people being like “Oh can you guys just port me back, I want to get this one thing enchanted/gemed…”

That being said, I pity anyone without the foresight to buy their mats now. The after-patch economy is always over-inflated with people trying to scalp others for the most needed items. Flasks, gems, and enchanting mats are going to be terrible. Anyone with half a brain should run to their local auction house now(!) and get whatever they’ll need for the first few weeks of Ice crown raiding.

I feel that another big issue many guilds will be facing is the strat issue that everyone faces when a new raid comes out. One of my fellow raiders nearly refused to come into ToC when it debuted, saying “We should wait for someone else to write the strats so we can read about the fights first.” I’m all for reading about fights before attempting them, but on patch day I just wanna get in the raid and experiment. Nothing is more hilarious then running into a room to discover that the adds you thought were going to be cake actually did something crazy like throw “puppy chow” zombies at you…oh wait that is supposed to be happening in Icecrown. Yup our loveable puppy chow zombies are back in full swing on some of the adds in Icecrown, “Gluth 2.0” as WoW.com’s Matt Low christened the adds. They also do decimate, bringing the health of the raid down to 10%. Wow.com has done an excellent job writing about and organizing a guide for raiders to read. After looking over the authors impressions of the fights and his details about the special abilities that the bosses have, I feel much more prepared for venturing into Ice Crown. Sure, things change from the PTR to the actual game, but it’s nice to know something about the raid I’ll be spending the next several months dying too. I’m going to give you a quick quip about each fight (based off the WoW.com postings) and I’ll link their articles if you’d like to read the whole thing!

Deathbringer Saurfang— He’s going to bleed all over you. And not because you killed him either. He has skills that reduce AoEing, and also he has some large AoE’s. And according to Matt Low he “hate hate hates” this fight. Hopefully Blizz will work on this one before next Tuesday.

Festergut–This guy is hideous and he also smells bad. He releases several phases of gases throughout the raid, and in come cases causing your character to vomit all over your buddies. Yick.

Gun Ship Battle— I can honestly say that I’m really excited about this fight! You’re on a boat, in the sky, with a jet pack shooting cannons at the opposing factions ship and guess who is back to bring the fight some nostalgia? Muradin Bronzebeard!

Lord Marrowgar— Pretty much your basic tank and spank, except he wirlwinds…and a fifty foot high skeleton whirl-winding is a sight to behold.

Queen Lana’thel— Vampire fans around the globe shall rejoice. She puts a debuff on you that requires you to bite other raid members and turn them into vampires. This acts as a soft enrage timer as well, because you can only be bitten one time.

Valithria Dreamwalker— A dragon from the green dragon flight who is trapped in ICC. The only way to free her? Heal her to full health while the DPS battles incoming adds! Finally a fight where it’s up to we healers to save the day!

These are all the bosses Wow.com has written in their Guide to patch 3.3. Another good place to go for up coming information for ICC is the oldie-but-goodie Tankspot.com. They have a Pre-release guide to Ice Crown citadel up which I haven’t looked through yet, but I’ll be sure to read soon and update anything on this article.

Well, I hope you’re stocking up on your toilet paper for this ice storm.

Leave a comment

Filed under Raids