Category Archives: Progression

Updates on current guild progression and exciting firsts!

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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I’ll have the sweet and sour raid chicken with a side of the egg rolls of disappointment.

I know I’ve been absent for a few days (or weeks, I’m not sure at the moment) and I apologize for that. Between raiding, school, work and recruitment I haven’t had any time, or anything to write about actually. I was going to write about how a healing style can change over time, to adapt to a changing healing team, or a lacking one. However, I have been greeted with several metaphorical “kicks in the nuts” in the past few days. So, in the interest of an article that isn’t distracted and sloppy because of my current mental state I abandoned that idea and decided to write about something that’s been bugging me for the last few weeks.

As most of you know, I’m the recruitment officer for my guild. At the end of an expansion pack like WoTK recruitment is difficult– good players are either sticking with their guilds or looking for Hard modes already, and the lack luster players won’t cut it in a progression guild. The lack of difficult raiding content in the Trial of the Crusader period has left many raiders with an instant-gratification attitude. ToC was a raid that was not difficult; it was quick, easy, and allowed sub-par players to skip over Ulduar and all the trouble with Yogg, and jump to breaking open loot pinatas in ToC. With several months of that type of raiding we all got used to getting every piece we wanted weeks sooner than we would have dreamed possible in the days of Ulduar and as far back as vanilla.

Now we come to Ice Crown Citadale. It does not require the skill that Ulduar required (although I could be looking through rose-colored glasses), and with the backing of the ToC attitude, people want their content down and they want it now. Wiping for days on a boss is un acceptable, and it makes everyone much more angry than it would have in the past.

To top it all off, I’ve just had the very face smacking realization that selfishness wins out in most cases in WoW, especially among players of my generation. As always, there are exceptions. My personal opinion is because, in a large percentage of cases, we never see the people behind the screen. Through immaturity, delusion, and self-absorption it is easy to ignore the feelings and desires of someone whose face you don’t know, whose lives you don’t have to know anything about beyond their prefered class in WoW.

We liken a raiding group to a sports team, and on the surface it is. But underneath the surface the biggest differences between the two are that you often live very near your team mates, you know their families, their schools, you have infinitely more access to an understanding of the personal feelings of a soccer team-mate than a fellow raider who can be just pixels to you without any trouble.

It is not specifically among raiders that we find this attitude, but amongst all of us at one point or another. Recently, a lot of hate has been spilling out of the holy paladin corner of the blog-o-sphere. Warm fuzzies are not to be found seemingly anywhere in the WoW-o-sphere. To me, this is one of the most disappointing things I have seen in my WoW career. The reason I began blogging was because I wanted to practice my writing, I love playing my class, and I found a community that was laid back, honest, and had players that inspired me with their funny writing style, and extreme understanding of what they are talking about. The pen has been exercising its might in the last few weeks, and bloggers have been forcefully speared upon its ink spattered tip. This pompous warring has brought about the end one of my favorite blogs from one of the most helpful woman I have ever met in the blog-o-sphere. I’m not going to tell anyone how to write, but it goes back to the pixels-versus-person attitude. It is so disappointing to see the effects of  such angry blogging, and commenting, between all of us.

However, I’m getting off topic here.

My point (since I do eventually have to get to it) is that players are not colorful dots on your screen–They are people who work, have families, want to succeed, and in some cases, actually want to help other people succeed. I know I’m up here on my soap box condemning everyone–including myself– but I’m doing it because I do not want to see the feeling of the pre-Toc Wow community vanish in favor of a group of short-tempered, self-involved, angry people.

…I suppose I owe an explanation for the spark that set this grumpy fire.

In the last 48 hours my two resto shaman healing partners left the guild. I understand that not every place is the right place for everyone, but it’s not like a band-aid– the faster you do it does not make it better for all involved. As all of you know, having a stable healing team is a huge bonus for a raid group, and now I am the only healer left over from what I’ll term the “sundering” of Surge. I enjoy the three healers who are left, but the only one I know slightly well is out-of-town. Not to mention the lack of resto shaman’s abilities will be a sever detriment to our raid group.

I suppose there isn’t anything I can do about it now. We’ve been thrown a curve ball and I suppose we’ll have to deal.

So, I suppose I’m just going to sulk, eat chinese food, and ponder the state of the WoW world in a grumpy and sullen manner.

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Filed under Guild life, Guild recruitment, Progression, Raids, Soap box

Healer Experiments: Mouse over Macros

I’m starting an experiment for myself. A while back I posted about the addons that I use, and mentioned how I don’t use mouse over macros or clique, etc. Well I think the time has come to chance that.

On sunday we ran Putricide 25 for four hours. The wiping wasn’t terrible– we had a semi-new group and we were getting the mechanics down slowly but surely. However, our healing make-up was very strange. We’re still in the stages of finding a good holy priest to accompany us, so we ran with 3 Healadins, 2 Resto druids, and 1 Resto Shammy. Sunday nights are always a catch and grab for players. Throughout the course of the fight I found I was fighting to even stay above last or second to last on the meters. Not for lack of trying I might add. I’m still trying to sort out why, and short of my judgement of light constantly getting over written, and all of us beaconing the tank and raid healing, I can’t really account for my super low healing. It could also be that I spent a majority of the fight running out of goo, into players targeted by the green ooze, and away from puddles. Give me a Festergut, give me a Blood Queen, and I’ll rip the roof off the raid. Put me in a Putricide and you might as well tie my hands and have me faceroll, apparently.

Well, after talking to my Resto Shaman officer I’ve decided that my healing style isn’t fast enough. After watching him do an astonishing 28k on Dreamwalker 25 the other night I asked him his secret. He uses a combination of mouse-over macros and Vuhdo, while I use grid and my basic key bindings.

First questions: What the heck is a mouse over macro?

Second question: How do I write them?

Third Question: Are they useable with raidframes?

I’m off to do research on all these topics, and hopefully I’ll have them ready for tonight’s raid. Farm night seems to be to be a good chance to test these out!

The goal of these experiments will be to test my boundries as a healer and to find the most successful way to heal, at least for myself. I don’t like getting so comfortable with my healing that I start seeing my performance go down. When I’m falling behind other healers I out gear, and when I understand more about my class, it’s definitely time to chance. I can’t be the foremost authority on Healadin’s in my guild if I’m stuck in an outdated healing style!

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Filed under Healing Expriments, Progression, Raids

Oh fine, the Resto Druid is the hero.

First Dreamwalker...healing...on ten man
We finally got the Dreamwalker fight down last night! After only three more attempts we managed to heal her to full and get our ten man to 10/12 ICC progression. Although I would love to take credit for this, I can’t. I managed to lose my stacks (only time all night, bummer it had to be the one we downed her on, heh) on the second to last portal. I think playing with the other portal healer in the same room really helped us recover from that. As soon as I started yelling profanities to the sky because I’d lost my stacks, Punch told me to stay out and raid heal while he went in the next portal and finished the boss off because she was at 90% to full. It worked really well, she was up in few seconds after he jumped out of the last portal, and no raid members died (I like to think because I helped, but our new resto druid was really amazing as well. Talk about feeling useless!) unfortunately nothing good for me dropped and we actually had the loot going to offsepcs. Sigh, oh ten man you are a cruel mistress of the loots.

 

We gave Sindy a shot, but I don’t think most peoples hearts were in it. For it being a “progression” group a lot of people certainly wanted to go farm Festergut and Rotface for badges. We had the cleanest Rotface kill I think I’ve ever seen, and then moved on to Putricide. We had two new recruits, a hunter and resto druid, who had never done the fight before, but for all that we managed to get him to 4% (!) before people had to leave at 11. I hate that alchemical bastard.

 

I want to say thanks to everyone involved in the Dreamwalker fight, congratulations to us! Especially thanks to our two new recruits Zald the resto druid, which is spelled incorrectly because his “a” has an accent over it (if anyone can tell me how to make an accent over an “a” in WordPress that would be great), and Caliberr the hunter who did their first 10-man with us! Thanks for joining us guys!

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Dreamwalking in a Nightmare

I never thought I’d say this but…I hate the Dreamwalker fight! Not because of mechanics or anything, I love those. But those stupid orbs are so aggravating it makes me want to pull my hair out. We spent a good 2 ½ hours in there last night and didn’t down her. We had a resto shaman healing outside the portal, Punchileno with his resto set going in the portals, and myself also going in the portals. It would work pretty well until the adds starting going nuts. We were consistently wiping around 5 minutes, except for one time we got her to 97%. And then we died. AHHRG!!

 Sunday night we’re going back in there and I want to kill this bitch! Oh, wait, excuse me HEAL her. That’s confusing. It seems to less angry when you say “Man! I really want to heal this dragon!” I’m going to be equipped with a Glyph of Seal of Light and possibly some other different ones and a Holy/ret spec to see if that works any better.

 I’ve learned several things in this fight, chief of which is that I don’t know how the DPS takes the verbal beating we give them. I almost wanted to cry when we wiped on 97% because I knew if I hadn’t lost my stacks on the second portal we would have gotten it *sniff*. For your sanity guys don’t beat yourself up to much if you lose your stacks. Yes, that is the most important mechanic you need to master, but mastering things takes practice and losing your stacks when you’re just beginning isn’t something to berate yourself over. It’s like a DPS not getting inoculated on Festergut—yeah it may wipe us if you die, but yelling at everyone like a hooligan doesn’t help anything.

 Also, mad props to our outside healer. He was getting almost zero help from Punch and myself and still managed to keep everyone alive until people started taking stupid damage.

 Speaking of stupid damage, do everything in your power to avoid taking damage. Your outside healer is going to rip your face off if you stand in a circle that blasts you into the air, or if you are on interrupts and you don’t catch those frost bolts because you’re off doing something else. Each one of those frost bolts is a huge amount of damage and a slow, which will cause your portal healers to lose their stacks if it doesn’t get dispelled before they go into the portal. Incidentally, Holy Paladins don’t for get about Hand of Freedom. Cast it on yourself when she finishes her speech about the portals spawning and you should be good until the portals open. That has saved my stacks many a time.

 If you guys have the resources I suggest going and gemming up a full spell power set for this fight. Gosh, I’d never thought I’d say that. A holy light set will work okay, but the fight is going to be so much faster with huge amounts of spell power. No matter what you are wearing gear wise always pop a Flask of the Frost wyrm. You want throughput on this fight not mana regen.

 My highest HPS for all of our attempts last night was 17k. I’m only mildly pleased with that, because I feel I should be doing at least 20k. When I can do that easily I will be happy. Until then, it’s off to go watch more strats and read about how other Holy Paladins succeeded in this fight.

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Filed under Holy Paladin Specifics, Progression, Raids

Surge >Ice Crown Citadale (Mostly)

Here’s an update on 25 man raiding in my new guild:

Marrowgar–Down

Lady Deathwhisper– Down

Gun Ship Battle–Down (Duh)

Saurfang–Down

Rotface–Down

Festergut–Down

Blood council– Down

Professor Putricide– Going Down soon

Blood Queen– Haven’t attempted

 

We did all this in one night, with one shots on everything except Rotface. I cannot belive that 25 people can so seamlessly execute something so complicated! Plus, I pretty much had no idea what I was doing for Council. Putricide is really difficult, especially getting him down while killing the adds in a timely fashion. I believe we have 12 attempts left for both him and the Blood Queen.

For me the toughest boss we downed was the Blood Council. Admittedly, I hadn’t watched the videos for the fight, and I don’t do well just from hearing it recited over vent (I tune out, and go AFK and look at my facebook or WoW.com. It’s a terrible habit, I know!). Everyone in the raid spends a lot of time running from target to target, trying to get away from people who are targeted by that huge fireball attack, and something about adds…not really sure because I spent that entire fight going “OMFG where is the tank!?!” and “Get away from that fireball you idiot!” in my head.

No paladin drops as of yet, but when I do the weekly raid I’ll have enough emblems to buy Meteor Chaser’s Raiment! I’m picking that one because it is BiS, and I am not afraid to admit that I like it more than the Tier 10 headpiece because it’s a dress and it looks great on my character. Come on, I’ve got one bright blue chest piece and everything else is the weird purple /gold/brown colors of the ICC ten loot. I look like I got lost in the costuming room of my old highschool.

Next official raid night is Sunday, and hopefully we’ll get that silly Professor deaded. Not really sure about Blood Queen– only one guild on the entire server has beaten her.

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