Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Guildleader Chores - Current guild dynamics and why being underhand never works!

The other day I went to do a Heroic SoO late as a PuG with Tribo, a guild on Blackrock who are 14/14H. Their GM is my friend and I often listen late at night to their raids and watch their Twitch stream as they fight to get ideas on how to do things.  This Flexible and cross server raiding thing is a great thing, and will always be one of the highlights of Mists of Pandaria.  These guys raid after my raid finishes so if I can start playing after everyone has gone to bed and I'm having one of my low sleep days.

They were on a bunch of alts whereas I was on my main and one of the paladins whispered me and said "Long time no chat, Navimie." I looked at his name and tried to remember him - the name was vaguely familiar but nothing was clicking in my memory.  On closer inspection I realised that he was unguilded and he was also from Saurfang - and then the ball dropped.  This guy was one of the paladins I had been trying to recruit months ago but he hadn't taken up my offer.  One thing I do remember was I was chatting to him whilst he stood in Orgrimmar but he didn't reply me - it turned out his wife was on his toon and doing his dailies for him which is why she wasn't answering.

So I chatted with him a bit - my friend was apparently very keen for him to join Tribo - and I was surprised because he was Australian East Coast and Tribo raids at REALLY late times, as they raid Perth/Singapore times. I said to him they were a great guild and he should join and he said that he would rather stay on Saurfang if possible, and I thought well, he could come to us if he liked, but I would feel bad for my friends - I don't want them to think I took their healer!  I told Tribo's GM that I knew this guy and he seemed pleasant enough as I had tried to recruit him some months ago. She was pleased to hear that.

As we healed through SoO I thought his healing was decent and when he asked me if I needed a healer, I said honestly, yes, I did. And I went through "the talk" as we raided, and he seemed to be reasonable, as I had suspected before.  I told him that he was welcome to join, if our times were better, but to make sure he said something to Tribo first that he was coming to Frostwolves because the last thing I need is their GM to think I stole him - though it IS exactly what I did.  I invited him at the end of their raid and I invited his Mrs to the guild as well and I told him to turn up on Monday for Mythic raid because I was short of healers for Iron Juggernaut.

Monday rolled around and I'd seen him online during the day so I was suprised he wasn't online for raid. We managed to muddle through without him but I was a bit irritated.  I had specifically asked him to be online for mythic raiding!  His wife logged on and I asked her where he was and she said he was online.  I went through the guild list and realised that he wasn't on the server anymore...

"Did he leave the guild? I can't see his name..." I said to her.

"One moment let me ask him," she replied.  She returned shortly after to say that he transferred over to Blackrock because they offered him gold!  I laughed.  Oh well, at least it happened before I started relying on him!  But that probably serves me right - I should not try to take things which were going to be taken by others!  Lesson learned!  Even Luxy said to me "What did you expect Navi!  You stole him from another guild, someone like that would be easy to steal away, don't you think?"  And she's right :P  Though, I think his Mrs will stay with us - and that's totally fine, she seems rather feisty and fun.

Guild seems to be rather settled to me, lately.  There were a few farewells - Shiz, Voros and Glow left the other week to go back to Alliance as their old guildies had returned.  I shall still see them on battletag so it's not really good bye, though I shall miss them!  The Caelestrasz guys have settled in well, chatting to everyone, and I don't see any huge cliques or alienisations happening.  Of course everyone has their groups of friends within the guild they prefer to hang around with - I would never expect anyone to make effort to group or chat to EVERYONE in the guild, that's MY job - but what I worried about most was people thinking they were too good to speak to others.  I haven't seen that at all, so far (or perhaps people are just well behaved when I log on).  Speaking of new recruits, I was very happy when when three ex-Scion members joined - after all that asking and eventually resigned to the fact they weren't coming they turned up when I least expected.  Duck, who is good friends with Alca, joined the guild a week or two ago and between him and Alca they convinced Una to come along as well. I've been taking Una and Alca to Mythic raids and I think that's kept them interested for now. All three of them have told me they want to be casual raiders, and that suits me just fine.  However, Drauka and Ravz are both missing - only Haevela is around regularly and I saw Daeneirys pop online for Hallow's End stuff in the last few days.  And speaking of returning, Falln has rejoined the guild on his warrior - adds another raider to the midst.  Falln said he wanted something a bit more casual so we shall see!  Brahski has yet to turn up to a raid - I am still skeptical about him being here, but he assures me he wants to be here.  I find it difficult to believe these ex-hardcore 14/14H people want to be in a guild like Frostwolves.  

There are couple of socials that I think would benefit from coming to some heroic SoO and hopefully I will be able to dig them up during the week (coughs at Bio and Thohand). I hope everyone can get an heirloom to go into WoD with!

However, what I said a few months ago has come to bite me in the backside.  I had too many healers a few months ago - and now I seem to have a huge paucity of them.  Initially I thought I had me, Morz, Koda, Amayeti, Asys, Ravz, Glow, Daeneirys, Tensai - that seemed like a lot! But Asys left the guild to go to Blackrock, Glow went back to Alliance, Ravz is on a break, Dae is social only and Ama has not been online yet.  Tensai likes playing his alts and he also has classes till late.  Looks like Luxy may have to heal in WoD after all...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Raiding - A Flexible NORMAL raid (of sorts) and Uq the doorman

Flex, normal blah. I can't say normal without people saying "Do you mean old flex?" So I am going to stick to saying NORMAL from now.  And I mean the easiest flex that is available.  Normal.  NORMAL.

Everyone wanted to bring alts. I couldn't ask our usual tanks to tank. So I went and did the unthinkable, which I had done now for twice in the last few days and I hadn't done it for more than a year.  I went and specced guardian.

Now my gear is not quite right for guardian.  I am wearing my feral clothes for one (and feral tier), and I am wearing a DPS cloak.  The only thing going for me is that I have good gear, thanks to all the leftovers from raid that I pick up.

So I was tanking and I wondered who was going to tank with me.  And guess who I had?  It was Aza on his warrior.  He would have had more experience than me with tanking since had tanked Challenge Modes.  The most I ever do is dungeons.

Obviously one advantage is that there are much fewer abilities to worry about now.  It makes tanking a lot easier, a lot more... Vanilla.  Now I wish I had three specs so I could continue doing kitty as I was just getting used to the whole thing.

Our usual tanks, Aimei and Exray, were on the crappiest alts ever.  And I had to rely on them to tell me what to do.  I had Aimei on Skype and I think Aza had Exray on Skype so we were pretty much hand held the whole way. Exray even did the marking and the pull timers so I didn't have to do much.

Tanking is very different to healing, I must say.  The most running I had to do was for Iron Juggernaut as I frantically searched for the bombs to click on and jump on them when there were a billion bodies in my way.  I didn't get all of them as the DPS were often helping out.

I tanked all the way up to Garrosh and I admit it, I had fun.  I may have taunted at weird times, and I often stood in bad things (but this time they don't kill me!) but it was rather relaxing.

There was one standout moment that I shall immortalise in a Faily Frostwolf Comic at a later stage because to me it has gone down in Frostwolves history as one of those memorable moments.  A memorable Frostwolf moment is usually a totally hilarious face palming stuff (or stuff up) of some sort.  Like Faithless and elevators (yes, would you believe she died in the lift after Nazgrim - Faithy style!).  Or Asys always forgetting to repair and breaking all his gear mid fight.  Or any of the times we forgot to kill the engineers (always blame the ranged!).  Even Sev's bad luck with getting cloaks on bonus rolls in SoO!  Or me and Thok.. to name a few.

So Uq/Eq was afk, and so we started Spoils without him.  It was going well. We were doing great, and I was happy that I was getting the hang of this opening boxes thing and not having to worry about facing mobs with my water spray as a healer.  We were on the second side, and the other half of the raid had finished their half and pulled the lever, they were waiting on us.  We were just killing the last mob, the lever turned all shiny and someone was running over to pull it....

... and suddenly we jumped to the cinematic of running over to Siegecrafter Blackfuse trash.  That was weird.  Is that something new that happens after you complete the spoils encounter?

There were screams and yells of WTF and Nooooo!  I hit escape and sure enough we were standing at Blackfuse trash.  What happened?

"OMG!" exclaimed Exray.  "I think someone opened the door to Blackfuse..."
"Uq did it!  He came back from AFK!"
"Wait did that reset Spoils?"

We all rushed back.  Sure enough, Spoils was reset.  Uq was sheepishly apologetic but I was laughing my ass off.  Some of the others weren't amused, but I thought it was funny.  Not my fault they don't have a sense of humour.  So we did the fight again and I am pleased to say that I learned something.  Now if anyone goes AFK they are NOT to touch any doors.  NO TOUCH!

We finished a bit past 11 and I thought that it went so easily with all those alts that perhaps we should do heroic SoO next week on Saturday.  But we would need some time to clear beforehand!  Maybe do some preclearing?  Or maybe use someone's save?  Either way, I think it would be a good thing and I'm looking forward to giving it a try. Maybe I should start at 8 so we can get some stuff cleared? Just a thought!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The great toy hunt

The toy box is one of those things that, like pets, mounts and achievements, are a visible collection and there are many of us who are compulsive collectors.  I know I am a compulsive collector.  Stickers, stamps, gemstones, trading cards... I used to love collecting things. Now my collections are sitting around collecting dust but I have these new virtual collections to work on now.

So with the toybox actually SHOWING me what I am missing, I have this urge to go and collect those things that I can actually get, or used to have. In my last post I saw that there were a few items that I knew I used to have, but had thrown out.  I thought I would go get them again.

I decided to start with the Faded Wizard Hat, a quest reward from Azshara.  I couldn't remember who had done the quests, but I was 100% sure that my level 20 goblin had not done them.  Azshara should be about right for her. So off I went.

I had done a couple of Azshara quests it seemed, and soon I saw the quests were leading me to where Wowhead said the quest for the Faded Wizard Hat was.  As I did the quests I did remember these quests - there were achievements tied to them and did them a long time ago.

Running around without a flying mount was difficult, especially when I got knocked off stuff and died and had to run back. Just going anywhere was slow on the slow mount speed!  And, I saw plenty of people doing the same quests I was doing.  Level 90s.  There were at least 4 of them.  I whispered one.  "Are you trying to get a Faded Wizard Hat, by any chance?"  He answered in the affirmative.

When I was on the achievement part of the wizard quests where I had to run around getting stacks without getting injured there was a level 90 there doing it as well on their flying mount. Ugh, that really stuffed me up, how I wished it was phased! I was pleased to say that I finally got through my challenges and quests and finally got my hat - THREE HOURS LATER.  I was never the fastest leveller or quester, and in that time I got three levels.  But, I got my hat.  I saw tons of people hanging around at the end part of the quest, and I wondered if they had started from the beginning of that quest chain - I THINK it starts when you first talk to Kalecgos, but I'm not sure.

The other thing I noticed was a flurry of activity around the Argent Tournament.  Considering there are 11 toys that come from there (all the banners) it wasn't surprising to see people doing their dailies again. Lately when I pick up the Kraken quest, I've noticed it's been dying after 3 hits with the spear, which is annoying as I have to wait for it to respawn again (and often means I have to do another flight).  But NOW, with a few people out there, I've noticed that we're having the tagged Kraken problem again so that even if I DO hit it, it doesn't count towards the quest completion, which is the same problem I had back in WotLK when the Argent Tournament was current.  But it doesn't take long to get all the toys - a week if you do all the dailies daily (heh) - so hopefully these people will be gone soon enough.

I also went around collecting all the toys that I could - the toys that drop from rare spawns are not things I will probably get any time soon, but I went and bought all the purchasable items that were available. Phew, that was a bit of a spend!  That one for 5k in Azshara was crazy expensive last expansion and I still think it is now. There goes all my money from Justice points and Conquest points.

I wish I had been as organised as Luxy.  She has all the toys - she did item restorations months ago in anticipation of the toybox for items she had thrown away or lost, and also had been spending her time getting the other toys.  I have seen her in Scholo trying to get Krastinov's Bag of Horrors and so far she has had little success.

I have to thank Arvash for all those toys he gave me ages ago from the TCG.  I was complaining about the bag space but now I can happily put all those things in my toy box. /hug Arvash

Friday, October 17, 2014

Capturing the 6.0 reaction - looking back at the past few days

The excitement builds as you watch that little bar moving slowly along the screen, patching away.  My battletag was going crazy with people asking me when I was going to login.

"Nav!" said Sev.  ":("
"What's wrong?" I said.
"My face... it's all wrong!  I look... OLD."
"Wait till you see me," I said.  "Party up with me when I login, and we can go to the barber shop together.  We have to do a before makeover shot."

"You're looking too cheerful there, Nav," said Sev.
"I look a bit goofy," I said, abashedly.
I think the constant showing of teeth bothers me.  When Navi looks around to the sides, she closes her mouth.  I wish she would have a closed mouth all the time. And I don't mean that in the "Hey, shut up" way either :P

LOL and you gotta love the low res clothes with a high res face :D

Fix-it Felix jr says dreamily to Calhoun: "Look at that high definition! Your face.... it's amazing!" - From Wreck-it Ralph
Sev and I both went to the barber but I sat in the chair looking at the different faces but I didn't want to change her face too  much.  I liked the green eyes.  So I ended up not doing anything.

Oh and there is my new Stormwing.  A reward for 600 pets.  You can see it up there in the top picture with me and Sev.

Things are still a little buggy.  Everyone has been trying out old raids, and some things seem easy to faceroll, others are still hard - apparently Exray was doing ToC 25 man and died because the kobolds still do 100k dmg on our squished down health!

And no more Wintersgrasp or Tol Barad queuing, it seems.  Damn, I still need my 100 wins in Wintersgrasp and it had been fun doing it with Tacky, Crooked, Kahrax and Luxy.  I'll miss that.

Oh, I do miss my 45g from handing in Lesser charm of Good Fortune for 3 Warforged seals - now you can hand it in as much as you want.  Damn!  I was secretly hoping to make lots of gold with my lesser coins - guess THAT idea got thrown out the window!  Looks like I wasn't the only one to miss it either!

I do like the autosorting of bags.  I also love all my bankspace now that there is new tab of void storage, a professions tab where stuff stacks to 200, and a toybox.  I lament the fact I threw out half my toys  because of bag space and now I have to go collect them again.  Things like the Golden Banana, Brazier of Dancing Flames, Darkmoon Whistle, Eternal Kiln, Faded Wizard Hat, Elune's Lantern, Power Converter... I never collected toys before because they wasted room!  But now since I like collecting things, it's something new to do again.  Oh and thank goodness all those Archaeology things I threw away are now back in the toy tab.  Phew!

Druid travel form is now nice and tidy too! It does automatically put you into the fastest form possible for wherever you are (so even if you want to run on the ground it puts you in flight form in some places), but the BEST thing about it is when swimming.  How many druids out there have accidentally popped out of the water when in swim form and it puts you in caster and you have to go back to swim form?  Well no longer! Now when you're swimming and you pop out of the water you go into stag/cheetah but as soon as you submerge you go back into swim form.  SUPER cool.

Group finder button is great now because everything is in there - PvE and PvP, under little tabs. Someone had to tell me because I was looking for my PvP button but couldn't find it to queue for stuff.

UBRS has been ok, kinda forget you can't faceroll it - well not exactly.  I hear lots of pugs having trouble and because I haven't pugged it, it's not been that bad.  I went with PlaidElf today and my guildies, Aurii, Brae and Boozington, and we had a few wipes (because I was not paying attention - bad Navi!) but it was good because Boozington got some upgrades.  That may have been why we had wipes... :D but I'll happily take the blame for now.  And also, I am sure, like everyone else, we've been wondering how to get to the other 2 bosses, having only done 3 in the level 90 version. And wasn't it cool to see Awbee all grown up and ALIVE!

If Awbee is of the blue Dragonflight... is her real name Awbeegosa?
It was long ago, but Awbee was one of the whelps taken and her brothers and sisters experimented on to create the Chromatic dragonflight.  In the old UBRS she was outside the Beasts room and used to give a quest (long since removed).  Here is a transcript of what she used to say (taken from Wowhead):

Image from Wowhead

Awbee: I... I am badly injured...

Us: You will be ok, Awbee. Your assailants have been terminated.

Awbee: Listen, Tauren. Listen well...  The dragon riders came in the night, mounted atop the black flight. They struck fast and with deadly precision, taking young whelps - such as me - and escaping under the veil of darkness.I watched in horror as they used my brothers and sisters in their experiments. From our essence would be created the chromatic flight.

Us: Continue please...

Awbee: Nefarian had ordered that unsuitable subjects be destroyed immediately, but these wretched beasts would not do so without first inflicting an 'ample' amount of torture.
When we were thoroughly 'broken,' they would round up what remained and throw us to these thugs. Our bodies were used as instruments in their sick game: thrown into the lava or worse; to the open and waiting arms of the bloodthirsty legion below.


Awbee: You came along just as they were about to throw me to the fiends below - for that, I thank you. Perhaps, I - rather - we, of the blue flight, can assist you further? You have come this far, Tauren, risked much. Will you go a ways further to battle Nefarian and his legion of Blackrock?

Us: Absolutely.

And I like Zaela. I look forward to fighting her in Draenor!

Moving right along... trade chat has been full of complaining!  "Where is this ability?  This sucks!" seems to be the common theme.  "It's too simple now!" say others.  Geez, who needs a zillion abilities anyway!  Not enough hotkeys IMO!  I have to say I am rather pleased with the changes, although SotF is not really working well for me and I seemed to do better with Treants last night in raid.  But I am feeling it for the hunters, wow are they hating it at the bottom of the damage!  Warriors seem to be immensely amazing at the moment, with Kahrax doing very impressive damage in some fights in Mythic.  That should make Moopie happy when he comes back - he said he'd be back in December.

The quest lines to get The Iron Invasion wasn't too bad, and I think that the Iron Starlette is a cool pet. Luxy tells me that is a very POWERFUL pet, much like how Fluxfire Feline used to be!  I shall level it soon and see how it is.  The Bronze Whelpling has a dreadful drop rate and I got one thanks to Nokturn.