Monthly Archives: April 2010

Where I yell a lot about Finals and serve you Pie

Ah, finals week! My favorite time of the semester. Where I get to feel guilty about not blogging, guilty about only logging on for raid, yell at the boyfriend for silly things, and not clean the house.

Oh, and stay up until ungodly hours of the night glueing paper to paper. Thats right, I said it. GLUEING PAPER TO FUCKING PAPER. Poster board projects are not my favorite, especially when my printer breaks and all my pretty fossil pictures have to get printed in the library in black and white, which clashes horribly with the colorful paper I glued to other pieces of paper until 3 am!

>:O

Well, now that I’m done yelling about that…Anyways. There is so much I have floating around in my brain for ideas for posts, and until I have time to write them all down and make them presentable, I will give you the quick and dirty of things to come.

Haste, and why I love it.

Kingslayer 25 man, complete!

Site design changes, or how WordPress is infinitely more infuriating than glueing paper to paper.

Not talking about Cataclysm raid changes*

Not talking about Cataclysm class changes*

What I want from Cataclysm.

Healer weapon options from ICC.

Of course, knowing  how I do things, I’m sure I’ll never actually get around to making those posts and be a lazy cow as soon as finals are over. Well, it’s the thought that counts, right? However, I want to give you my reasons for not blogging about the cataclysm changes, and I shall do so in Pie chart form! Enjoy until after finals when I get down to some real blogging again, heh.

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Filed under >:O, MS Pain Graphics department, My life, OMFG Finals!!, yum pie

Pheadra begins casting Slime Spray!

Ever get that feeling that you’re going to projectile vomit, Rotface style, all over your laptop because you’re so nervous about a raid?

Yeah, well that was me all tonight.

Over the last week, all of our former guild mates from Surge trickled in applications to the best alliance raiding guild on server. It was a strange thing. I’d check the forums and be like “Oh there’s Ominous’s app…and Winters….” [one day later] “Hmmm, Mcginnis applied too.” And so on, and so forth. In a stroke of generosity the Raid leader decided that if he was going to take one of us, he was going to take all of us. He mentioned that we had to fight for raid spots like everyone else, and that we all knew how to fill out an application damn well (Heh, freaking out about poor apps seems to have made an impression on my guild mates), but we’d be in for raids to show we knew what we were doing. We’re playin’ with the big boys now.

The skill level difference is astounding. It’s a bit of a culture shock when your top DPS is suddenly 10th or 11th on meters. There is a reason these players are the best: They don’t put up with shit, and expect you to know what you’re doing before they have to tell you. You’re there on time, or you don’t raid. When forty people are online, there is no “holding a spot.” You better prove you’re worth your raid slot, or you’re not going to raid. So far only three of us have had a chance to show what we’re worth: Myself, a Hunter, and my Druid boyfriend. All of us will get our chance to show what we’re worth, but being better than their current players is going to take a great deal of work.

We went in Tuesday and did Heroic Marrowgar, and Regular Deathwhisper. In typical nervous fashion I managed to overheal like a madman and forget to take the teleporter back to Lady D after a wipe. /facepalm. Then I managed to suffer from a severe case of foot-in-mouth syndrome when I starting being nosy about why the other Holy paladin in the raid wanted Heroic Trauma.

Okay, self. Just because the majority of Holy paladins you’ve run with are complete idiots does not mean you’re queen of the knowledge sphere. He can afford to sacrifice a few points of int and haste because his other gear is awesome (unlike yours, you haste whore) for that chunk of spellpower, and he can do whatever he damn well pleases with that proc. Now stfu and gtfo of your bossy, almighty mood.

I apologized tonight, and I really didn’t mean to offend him. I can be a bit…over enthusiastic…about talking with other people who know what they’re doing, because it’s so rare that I can find someone who does the kind of research I do. Evidence: 

  • 2nd day in guild- noisily asks why in the world a holy paladin would want that proc over a druid or a shaman. Begin offense. 
  • 3rd day in guild – In debate with off spec holy paladin about FoL spec vs HL (thank you Codi for supplying the math to my reasoning), who’s probably been playing MMOs since before I had internet. Thank god he enjoyed the conversation, and the ensuing competition (which we never really got to test, which is a shame), or I’d be pissing off people left and right it seems.

We called raid on Tuesday two hours early because of the horrible server lag on Gunship and Saurfang. Eight second casts are no fun. Tonight we started at Heroic Saurfang again. We used a rotation of three holy paladins to control the first four marks and tanks, then the priests picked up any extra. My job was to beacon the fourth mark to come out, and keep healing the tanks. Well, lo and behold, guess who blows all her mana trying to raid heal, and when her mark comes out promptly goes oom?

That’s right, this girl.

So as I abandon everything I have ever learned about efficent healing, the mage dies, Deathbringer hops back up to 50%, and we wipe it. UGH. Okay, so just FoL from now on, lightly, let the raid healers cover the damage until all the other paladins are keeping marks up. I manage to stay at relatively full mana until my mark comes out, but, between when my holy lights are landing from my beacon one of the other paladins gets nervous about my target (probably not thinking “OMG Pheadra sucks, must heal before she wipes us,” or at least I hope that’s not what he was thinking) and tries to shock him, and another mark dies. So we wipe it, we run back. Rinse and repeat for the next hour and a half. It was so many things, either a mark would get blood boiled and die from sheer amount of damage, or a tank wouldn’t get a CD off fast enough, or any number of things that caused us to wipe. This hardmode is hard. And I hate warrior tanks spiky damage intake. One moment everything is peachy, the next *BOOMMUTHAFUCKA* says Saurfang, and he’s promptly dead. Give me a prot paladin and feral druid any day.

/sigh

Let the anxious  healer nausea begin. 

I’m putting the pressure on myself not only to perform at my highest level, but because it’s something else to be in a guild based on my merit, not because I was immediately branded with the “girlfriend” label and people assumed I would need to be carried through raids, or that I was a social player. Trust me, I’ve never coasted on that idea through raiding; I’ve proven I’m a good healer in every guild I’ve been in. It just so happens that Punch usually gets in the guild first, or says “Oh, but I’ll only come if my girlfriend can come too.” Example: when I came into Surge they immediately moved me to “non-raider” status, and I had to explain that I was here to raid, not to be a social player. Very frustrating.

I’ve got a lot to prove here, not only for myself, but I feel like for the former members of Surge. I can imagine that it’s easy for all the “old hats” to believe that we’re all really terrible (or at the minimum at least not at their level), and we’re going to take raid spots and gear until it becomes obvious we’re all not good enough for HMs and we should be regulated to alt 25 man runs. Seeing the level of performance, I don’t doubt that some people don’t deserve that main raid spot. However, some of us can perform at that level, and it will be exciting/nauseating to get that chance.

My main goal in the next few weeks is to gain the trust of the other healers. Almost nothing can be more detrimental to a healing team than trust issues. It causes you to stretch yourself thin worrying about assignments that aren’t yours, and all that added stress isn’t good for a raider. There’s a reason that we can’t one heal everything, so I’m not even going to try. I’m definitely guilty of throwing out extra heals to other players when I see their health dropping, but that mainly becomes overhealing anyway, and does nothing for my mana conservation, which leads to my own assignments dying. Hopefully we’ll be singing campfire songs and holding hands in no time. Okay, no, that’d be weird. But at least they’ll know I can keep a target alive. Or, at least, I hope that’s something that proves to be true.

Oh, and on a side note, when we were in vent discussing about joining, one of the holy paladins mentioned that he read my blog.

OMGWTFBBQ.

EMBARESSEDNERDSPAZZ.

…you mean other people who don’t blog read this?! It’s not just some weird person in their basement refreshing my page for some strange reason? I guess it’s just coming face-to-face (or voice-to-voice) with someone who I don’t know, who doesn’t blog who has read some of my stuff that’s tweaking me out. Not in a bad way, just…well, let’s go back to that anxious nausea reason.

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Filed under Guild life, Progression

This is the way a guild ends, not with a bang but a…server transfer?

I’m hysterically laughing while I write this post. Why? Because I’ve just realized that the Run Back Series I put on hold many moons ago is now the perfect set of articles I’m going to write over the next few weeks. “But, Pheadra,” you may ask me, “Arn’t you in a 25 man guild? Arn’t you recruitment leader and guild assist of Surge?” Well darlings, there are simple answers to those very good questions.

1.No

2.Yes

For all intents and purposes Surge has ceased to exist as a 25 man guild as of last night.

Before going into ICC 25 last night, our GM gave the rest of the guild the news that I had known for a few days: He, several of our officers, and a few members were going to server transfer off of Trollbane. He had a guild lined up for himself, and he would speak to the GMs there if anyone else wanted to go with him. He gave a very typical longwinded speech, and gave us the reasons for leaving, chiefly of which was that he didn’t feel Trollbane was a server worth its salt for progression raiders, and that we would all be able to succeed as a guild on Stormrage. I’ve already shared my reasons for not wanting to server transfer at the moment (it’s not a completely eliminated possibility for further down the road), and some other people felt the same. The GM was leaving the guild, with bank, intact for anyone who wanted to continue raiding in it after tonight, and there was some money available if the officers who were staying wanted to create their own guild. Of course, this caught a large portion of people off guard. Questions abounded, and a few people made snap decisions if they were leaving or not.

Honestly, I am green with envy of everyone who has a stable guild and/or raiding environment. I was sorely tempted to apply to the top Alliance guild on TB and try to get as many of my friends to app with me so we could continue raiding 25s together in a progressing environment. I was not interested in trying to rebuild for the third time in my fairly short raiding career. It is hard, so hard, to rebuild on a server like Trollbane. That is one point I agree with my ex-GM on– the proportion of casual raiders is vastly larger than the “hard-core” raiders we want to be. It’s hard, but not impossible.

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Ye old code of Ventralry

Since Ventrillio is a nessicity of progression raiding I figured there must be some code of conduct I can pass around to my blog readers! All social situations have unwritten codes of conduct everyone should follow (or mostly unwritten, sororities tend to write theirs down). Luckily I found this gem while digging through my collection of medieval raiding paraphernalia (You think they conquered each other without use of a voice program? Ha, newb.):

I) Ye shall not bombard ye fellows with thy political, nor religious, beliefs

2) Thy voice shall not decibly offend ye comrade eardrums

3) Nor shall thy voice be unintelligible to all but the most sensitive microphones

4) Ye shall not be a bully to any guildie of ours

5) If thy is not the Commander, than thy shall shut thy face pertaining to the slaying of beasts

6) Ye shall mute upon thine own peril

 

Wow, such a brilliant and polite mind to have committed to words the traditionally accepted Vent  procedures. Now, we can all bask in their glorious use of medieval “thys” and wonder at our own vile rudeness if we should break these most sacred of oaths. Since many of you may not be familiar with medieval speak, I’ll clue you in on the meanings of these rules of ventrillio.

1) Just like you wouldn’t want to be yelled at for your sexuality, skin tone, or sex, many people do not want to have to defend their political views in an open vent channel in the middle of a raid. Not only are politics and religion harshly debated topics that get peoples blood pumping, but most importantly WoW is a source of entertainment people play to get away from the stresses of day-to-day occurences. Politics and religion are intensely personal, and attacking someone for what they believe is one surefire way to create an unpleasant raid environment, and possibly receive a /gkick in the deal.

2)Yelling into a microphone not only hurts peoples ears, it gets real annoyingg real fast. People can always turn you down, but that puts you at risk for normal volume comments not being heard because your volume is adjusted for you being super loud that normal volume suggestion that could have saved the raid from a wipe won’t be heard. Also, don’t sneeze with your vent on either (I’ve done that one before…) If you’re not actually yelling but it seems like it to the people clutching their ears and trying to stem the bleeding, try turning your outbound down. Sometimes laptop mics can be extra sensitive and very loud.

3) If you’re whispering into vent I can only think of a few reasons that would be nessicary: a) Your house has been invaded by zombies that can’t hear whispers, so you can finish your guilds HM Lich King kill if you’re really, really quiet…But in that case you probably should go find a shot gun and run! or b) You’re a kiddie and your parents will ground you if they hear you on vent at 11 PM…but, again, in that case you probably shouldn’t be online so late, and did you do your homework? Anyway, the point is, you’re not saying sweet nothings to your lover, and I doubt anyone if your raid wants to hear you say breathily “I’ve got an ooze on me, come get it off.”

4) Bullying, like trolling, isn’t useful at all. It goes back to the whole cohesive raid thing– upset people make unhappy raiders, unhappy raiders make for poor progression nights, poor progression nights breeds resentment, and resentment leads to angry healer channels (or DPS, or Tank) and poor attendance. Especially if you’re bullying over vent; you’re throwing them into the fire in front of everyone, and you’re going to upset their friends as well as them. Also, not only does being a bully show that you’ve got some serious team-work issues, but it’s a form of criticism that doesn’t get taken constructively. What would you rather hear: “God, [x], you must be sitting there with your thumb in your butt instead of healing because you’re fucking sucking tonight”  or “Hey, [x], I’ve noticed you’re having some issues tonight, are you having an issue with the mechanics of the fight?” Most people won’t resent an honest question; it gives them an opportunity to explain why their heals/dps/survivability is lower in this fight, and to ask any questions.

5) A clear vent channel is helpful when working on progression. Everyone is sure that the only ones giving direction are those in charge: class leaders, or just raid leaders. When the call for heroism on Saurfang comes from BillyBob Jenkins 15% to early instead of Raid Leader Nelson people get confused and then heroism gets blown because the shaman are always jumpy about it (We have a policy where no one but the raid leader even mentions the “H” word because even a question about it always results in it being blown). If you have ideas, mention them after a fight. The ability to guide the unwashed masses is give to the raid leaders because they’re experienced, people respect them (hopefully), and they know what they’re doing. When every Tom, Dick, and Harry are all yelling differnt things over top of the raid leader angry wipes are sure to ensue.

6) Muting is something I am uncomfortable with, because I’m afraid I’ll miss something important. The esteemed person who wrote these rules obviously felt that way to. They’re a guild mate, you’re  supposed to respect them, and receive respect in turn. However, if you’ve got to mute someone for legit reasons they are probably breaking any, or many, of the aforementioned vent guidlines.

What a crazy useful thing to find in my random collection of medieval raiding artifacts (What don’t believe me? Type “medieval artifacts” in google and the first one you see is mine)! Maybe it will save us all some grief in the future, because the people who repeatedly ignore these guidelines and the guilde lines of social acceptability are probably going to cause a great deal of problems in the future.

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Have a cow, why don’t you?

Me: No you can’t write about that, you’re going to sound like a bitch.

Myself: However, I like to be honest with my readers, and it’s my blog, I can write about what I want.

I: And I don’t want to write about Cataclysm, atleast until I can /cry or /dance about the paladin changes.

Me: Still, everyone is going to think you’re the angry-est healer and your blog is going to lose all meaning except as a place to QQ.

Myself: You know what, Me? Shut up, I and Myself can write about whatever me want, you can go think about how you’re going to figure out a paladin topic that hasn’t been done to death.

Me: *huff* Fine!

 

As you can see, I’ve been having sever internal arguments with myself over what to write about. However, I’m in full have-a-cow mode (besides all the stuff below, I came home from a weekend trip to find a hung over friend of my roommate’s in my bed–no one gets in my bed but me–, and all 30 of my semi-expensive fruit rolls decimated by said drunken friends) and I’d like to get some stuff out. Judging by the posts of fellow bloggers I’ve been reading this morning, everyone else is pretty unhappy too.

Raiding has hit a lull. This is the first expansion I’ve raided in, and I can tell you, the end of WotLK has not impressed me. ICC graphically is very dull. There is no rule that when Arthas became Lich King the only colors he could see were blue and black. You can only stare at so much black and blue pixels before your eyes start to glaze over. To give the Blizzard designers credit, the Blood Queen’s room has the potential to look very cool. They didn’t take it far enough in my opinion. She’s a Queen, and a Vampire for goodness sakes, give her more…oh I don’t know…oomph!

Apart from that, attendance has hit an all time low for us. We’re loosing more players to silly things faster that I can recruit. Last night I spent an hour arguing about -one stupid trinket- with a, now former, ret paladin guildie, because he felt that it should have gone to him over our other ret paladin because he had a Greatness card versus the other paladin’s  264 trinket, despite the fact that we had only killed the boss 3 times and only seen it drop once. Besides the fact that I believe whining about loot weeks after it happened, or even days after, is completely pointless, to me raiding isn’t about the loot anymore.

You could say that’s because I have what I want out of ICC–which isn’t true– and that because of that I am selfishly protecting a system that gave me my gear. No, it’s not that, but because I’ve found that the cohesiveness of my raid group is worth more to me than pixels on my laptop. People, the people I spent four or five nights a week talking too, are more important to me than getting that small increase in healing, or some cool proc. I can still heal as well as some of the better paladins on my server without that heroic Solace of the Defeated that went to a paladin that left two days later. Yes, it sucks, it stung my pride, but I believe in the integrity of our loot system and the fairness of spreading the gear around. Keeping the guild together is worth more than rage logging and pitching a fit about it. The drama isn’t worth it to me. I’d rather log slightly sad about a lost trinket or bracers, than flaming pissed about the fact that we didn’t even have a raid tonight because no one logged on and we lost guildies because of it.

I love raiding. Thats what I play WoW to do. The officers have been bouncing around ideas about how to fix our situation. Our GM is pushing pretty hard to server transfer the guild and rebuild on a new server. Admittedly, Trollbane is not the best. We’re marked as a “new player server” (ouch) and the best Alliance guild has only just killed Lich King on 25 man regular (double ouch). However, for me server transferring is looking like a no-no. I like the idea of having greener raiding pastures, but several things are holding me back:

1. I’m a poor college student, and money is veeeery tight. Although I have only one character, my boyfriend has three eighties, two of which he raids on. It would be expensive for us to continue raiding together on another server the way we currently do on Trollbane. I can sacrifice my monthly dinner out for WoW, but not rent money, heh.

2. I’ve got a great many friends on Trollbane, who I know wouldn’t come with me. I could make new friends, and I’m sure I will, but people like Ominous, other members of the old Roxbury gang, and McGinnis are irreplaceable, and I know they wouldn’t come with us. Thinking about it now, I can count tens of people I would miss greatly. I almost feel like it would be a bad break up situation– You don’t like the relationship but you love your significant others family, so you stick it out to get to see them.

 

The best option I’ve seen presented so far is a merger with a guild that will remain unnamed. They’re full of great raiders who are having some of the same attendance issues we are. I doubt it would so much as a merger, because I don’t think anyone who is leading the guild now would want to continue raid or guild leading, but more of a “we will absorb you guys and anyone who doesn’t make it into raids can still chill out and do alternate runs.” Which would also stink, because some of the players I enjoy playing with aren’t the best raiders. But, watching the raiders I’m trying to encourage and help enjoy raids make excuses and slip though my fingers is getting very old.

Somethings gotta give. We’ve got a f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c prot paladin coming over hopefully tonight, which would give us the second main spec tank we’d need. Healing is still some what of an issue– I’m going to have to have those hard talks with underperforming healers that I hate to do. A full raid Tuesday night would make me very happy, but if it’s not full I’m sure it’s going to be another tough night for everyone. I love nothing more than introducing promising recruits to a bitter, half full raid group. Whoopie.

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Hodgepodge Post

Well, my healing team is slowly coming back to life. We’ve had the addition of a resto shaman who is hard working, dedicated, and asks me the questions I wish every healer would ask me! Asking questions is always better than not knowing : ]

And my Priest friend has greatly stepped up to the plate to help me get my footing as a Healing lead. Which is much, much harder than I thought it would be. It’s amusing to get whispers from her like:

Gwena: Wait, what did you just say, don’t we usually [insert how we usually do it]?

Me: Omg, you’re right, I totally read that wrong. Dammit!

The fact that I know nothing (well, next to nothing) about Priests makes her help invaluable. Being a new healing lead has pushed me to learn to accept that I am often times wrong, and to learn to correct myself quickly. Hopefully my healers don’t mind.

We’ve made a lot of changes in how things are done since I took over, like actually doing healing assignments. Without them we couldn’t identify who was messing up when tanks were dying, or how to improve ourselves. Now, I can say “X more healing on Y target, because their HP dropping is making me nervous” and if it doesn’t happen I know that the healing assignments need to change-up.

I’m having a blast healing BQL and giving out assignments for that. It’s a very difficult fight for the DPS (especially when the get mindcontrolled…three times *happythoughtshappythoughtshappythoughts*) but with a short-staffed healing team we’re all having to put in extra oomph to keep everyone alive. I took Matt Low’s suggestion from WoW.com and had Gwena as disc healing the people affected by pack of the darkfallen, and the bite targets.  We’ve still got some work filling out our team, and getting people to step up to the plate healing wise. If not, well, I’ve got to make some tough decisions : /

Currently I’m heavily recruiting…well every thing except Rogues. So HA!

No, just kidding. The stresses of raiding become all that more stressful when you only have 23 people for a progression night. But, we’re working through it, like everything else. Although, I’d do a great deal for a happy officer chat and for people to show up on time for raids.

Now, back to recruitment, and to ignore my homework somemore.

Oh, but I do have an excuse for why I haven’t been posting! I worked on this last week:

That’s right, it’s a pufferfish. /Win

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Filed under Guild life, My life, Raids

Happy Easter!

Happy whatever-easter-is-to-you-day. Enjoy the reasons to eat chocolate and get money from your grandparents. My easters are spent with both parts of my family, and I’m happy to say that this year my cousins on my mothers side were incredibly pleasant. We (the elven of us– all girls except for my little brother and step cousin Trevor) reminisced about playing dress up, sneaking out to swim at night when we spent the night at my Grandparents in the summer, and how my younger cousins Marie and Sierra always ended up fighting with each other for some toy or another. One time at Christmas, Marie smacked Sierra with the 1980s inspired, bright pink barbie phone because Sierra wanted to play with it. Strange thing was, it was actually my sisters phone…we’re a strange bunch. However, the sign that hangs in front of my Nana’s house couldn’t be more true:

Nana’s  House: where cousins go to become friends.

Ah, family.

Also, I made more money today from finding eggs than I would have if I worked all day. Think I can get a job as a professional easter-egg finder with a finders fee for each egg? I don’t think that would require me to go to college either…

Back to the original reason for posting this–

I know I’ve been rather absent these last few weeks, and I do apologize for that! You’re going to hear excuses from me every time exams roll around, and with all the crazy guildness lately I haven’t really been able to focus on blogging, although I do still read  A LOT of blogs. Hopefully I’ll be back soon with some more interesting posts. My significant other is going out-of-town ( to Disney World, lucky sonofabitch!) so I’ll have more time to myself in the next week or so in which I can blog in between feeling guilty about not blogging and catching up on homework.

So, go and enjoy Noblegarden, the most frustrating holiday (who wants to camp eggs for goodness sake! And there isn’t even gold in them!) in my opinion. Besides, now I need to find my authenticator. It’s amazing how many things you lose when you clean your room. Hey, it was messy, but I knew where everything was, damn it!

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