Thursday, October 31, 2013

Minipost: Not quite a mirror image

Lush used Ai-Li Skymirror's mirror on me the other day on his monk, and it seemed strange that the weapon was upside down on him!  Strange!  Or maybe it always does that.  I will have to check when I copy someone with a 2 handed weapon.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Wyvern's Tail Hallow's End Screenshot Competition

Kim at The Wyvern's Tail has made a Hallow's End Competition, and I wanted to join in since I didn't join in her last one.  I cheated and did what I was good at - Children's Verse!  Perhaps I should have stepped outside my comfort zone and done something different, but you know how it is - when you're inspired, you write, and whilst I was at work eating a dreadful diet chocolate with no sugar and carob (HARDLY EVEN CHOCOLATE IMO) this popped into my head.

Enjoy and wish me luck! Or better still, submit an entry as well!  I think the closing date is tomorrow.

Azeroth and Hallow's End

The moonlight cuts through blackened night
Her pale facade, a beacon bright
For Hallow's End has come around
And once again, on hallowed ground
Adventurers will stalk the streets
To visit inns and consume sweets.
A time when ghosts amongst us tread
A time to honour fallen dead.

What fun be had! Costumes galore!
The wands will change your shape and more
And masks to don upon your face
Collect them all from o'er the place!
The Headless Horseman has returned
Was once a knight, now light he's spurned
Acursed he rides in glorious death
Though he believes WE draw no breath.

Save our villages from his wrath!
He burns what lays within his path
As children scream and smoke fumes furl
Great bucketloads of water hurl
Success! The Spectre's kept away
And we have won another day.
We must return him to the ground!
In Scarlet Monastery he'll be found.

The Wickerman stands proud and tall
At night you'll hear Sylvanas call.
The straw man burns, a homage proud
When Forsaken escaped the shroud
Their minds and wills freed of the yoke
The Scourge had pushed upon their folk.
Alliance lack respect and they
Need to be told to STAY AWAY!

So pick your teeth until they shine!
And hope that mount shall soon be thine.
Loot your pumpkins, trade your candy,
Sinister Squashling's mighty dandy!
Jam a pumpkin upon your head
Or throw one on someone instead!
So 1 or 90, red or blue,
Hallow's End's got some fun for you!

New achievements, pets and rares this week

A few achievements this week - and a fair few of them were related to killing Garrosh in LFR.  Though the first one, we shouldn't have gotten... you aren't supposed to get that in LFR!  I wonder if they will take it away...

At least that got my Chapter V of the Legendary done as well.  Wrathion is a turd, btw.

I did my kill trading this week and got to 10 bloody coins.  Yay!

Only two rares this week.  I think Kri'chon is the last of the rares that I needed from the Vale who were part of the "end of the Golden Lotus daily" bosses.

And how often do you see this NOT being attacked?? :D Phew, I had a lucky 5 seconds to take this pic!

I actually forgot to take a pic of Xu-Fu a few weeks ago, so here are my 2 additions from the Celestial Tournament.  Only one more to go!

A gift from a friend yay!  I do this one every day and had never seen it.

It's funny how you can make friends doing ordinary things in game.  Bigcrits (and various other crit variations on the theme) was someone I did enchants for, and because he tipped so generously I told him he no longer needed to tip me for his enchants.  So now I do all his enchants and he gives me all the gems I need (when my guild suppliers are not online).  And when he found out I love pets, he gave me a Gu'chi swarmling.

And after my big WHINGE about Gulp Froglet, here is the one I bought from the auction house.  I wanted to have a pic of me stepping on it, but I decided that the poor innocent little Gulp Froglet didn't do anything to hurt anyone, only his big nasty relatives that I was mindlessly killing just so I could obtain him...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Raiding - ONE short again!

It feels like we're all fired up and ready to go, and we're down by one person.  In this case, it was a healer. But we had enough for Flex so we decided to go do Flex instead.  We did first wing and tried for a few achievement but unfortunately failed so it might be better another time when we have more people to sit around and cc stuff.

We were almost about to kill Spoils and Aza d/c'd and we were short on our side of the room.  It was so close though - right towards the END!! Unfortunately we ran out of time to do it, and had to call it.  I think next week, we might just do Wing 1 for Raked and then Wing 3 again.

I ended up asking Triarchi (the GM of Illidari Remnants) to fill in a spot.  I met him whilst I was considering trolling trade for a healer for Mondays - he was trolling trade chat tryign to recruit a DPS.  We were very similar at the time - 6/14 and when I chatted to him, he was friendly.  After a nice talk, and I found out he was the GM of Illidari Remnants and so I added him to friends so we could chat raid stuff, since we seemed to be quite close in terms of guild progress.

Off topic now, but that a few weeks ago, I was fighting Ordos and someone asked me if I was from Dath'remar.  It was a DK, whose name I didn't recognise.  I said yes, and he said he was from there before, and said I might remember him as Manahungry.  Of course I remember him!  He was one of the winners in the Rojak transmog competition we had on our server.  Manahungry was in Illidari Remnants - but his raiding toon is a hunter.  Alts, they're so confusing!

Anyway, back to what I was talking about.  So Triarchi came along as a filler (they raid Wed/Thurs/Sun) as a DPS since we dropped down to 9 for Spoils.  But, it was a shame we didn't get anywhere.  I felt a little guilty for dragging him along for 30 minutes of nothing.

Right before raid started, I was distracted because I saw someone in trade hocking a Gulp Froglet - he wanted 20 Magnificent hide for it.  I asked Lush if he had it, he said no.  I was going to go to the AH and buy some hide so I could get it, but I ended up getting distracted doing raid setups.  Little did I know that SABRE had heard me asking about it and went in and bought it!  Why that sneaky little bastard!

So I didn't realise until he brought it out for raid, and I was whinging about wanting to get that Froglet.

"You can't get it anymore," said Lush.
"Why?" I asked.
"Didn't you see Sabre saying he was going to get a pet before raid?  I think Sabre now has a Froglet."
I saw someone patting a Gulp Froglet.
"SABRE!" I yelled.  "DID YOU BUY THAT PET? You bastard, I was going to get that!"
I could almost hear him grinning.  Sabre said if he got another he would give it to me.  I wanted to have a pretend tantrum and say "No! I don't want your pity frog, I will get my own frog!" But I was laughing and cursing him at the same time so I couldn't bring myself to say it.
Luxy tried to console me by giving me her one but I refused to take it.  I was just in an I hate Gulp Froglet mood today because I'm sick of my repair bill from Gulp Frogs.

So Sabre went to bed early because he was Croaking Tired or some other lame frog joke... rubbing it in, what a cheeky little hunter... and I decided to go buy one from the AH instead after raid.  Ouch, well that's a lot of dailies I'll need to put back in to pay that back!  Now I don't ever have to kill any Gulp frogs, ever again.  And No Bufo!  Hey, did you know that NO BUFO is an anagram of BUFOON.  Well, Buffoon has 2 Fs, but the irony of it...

Monday, October 28, 2013

"How do I Hate Thee" - a poem about Gulp Frogs

Based on "How Do I Love Thee" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I hate thee?  Let me count the ways.
Your crappy stacks of poison make me pissed
If Blizz deleted you, you won't be missed.
My damage sucks as heals, try as I may
Hitting you as melee, makes my heart twist.
I hate thee freely, as I nurse my sore wrist
I hate thee purely, for as ranged it's OK
I hate thee with a passion put to use
There's no grief more great when Toxin 10 stacks
Instantly kills me and gives me the POOS.
Celestial Gods! Please grant me their death!
Or let Bufo drop a pet if you choose!
I shall but love thee more upon their last breath.

Gulp Frogs and Kilnmasters have to rate as the most IRRITATING mobs as a melee on the Timeless Isle. Especially as a tank (ie, I kill slowly), since that's the only way I can kill anything around there.  I run through trying to get to the water and have a trail of frogs throwing toxin at me, and displacer beast, nature's grasp, swim form isn't enough to get me far enough away to get away from their attacks.  Well, I lie, it's ok for ONE gulp frog attacking me, but not more than one!  And killing them as a healer?  Well, a typhoon and roots are useful but only against ONE as well.  I swear, the Isle was made for Warlocks...

I have to spend ages sitting there trying to clear room so I can kill Bufo without myself dying (which to this day, I have not done successfully as I have always died when I spend time there alone).  I was feeling frustrated the other day and advertised in trade WTB Gulp Froglet, and someone told me they weren't tradeable... I was sure they were, but I didn't argue with him.  And they ARE tradeable!  Gosh, at least there is hope for me yet.  Thank the Celestials for the Auction House.

PvP - Could warriors please just go away??

Doing games on Wednesdays always seems to yield better results - I swear, on Fridays, every team we face has a warrior in it and they drive Sev crazy.  Warriors seem to be the anti-warlock class and Sev whinges about getting locked out and stunned all the time.  Makes me wonder if he should use a cc pet instead of his Observer, because I am always angry with the observer.

The observer is cool because of the silences, but because Sev also uses Soul Link and killing his pet is bad.  Healers are often the target of the Observer and when they hide behind boxes, I can't heal the pet because of LOS.  Now that I've gotten used to being in protected positions instead of being out in the open, I get really disgruntled when I have to run out and chase the pet to heal it.  Often on the way to healing the pet I get blasted down by casters and stunned by melee which means not only did I NOT get any heals on pet, but I also ended up getting myself killed.  Makes me wonder if he should just bring the Succubus or Shivarra out instead because at least they stand out in the open for me to heal.  Sev does prefer us not to use crowd control (sheep, cyclone) because he likes to dot everything up and that's good for draining the opposite healers's mana.

And I'm sure it's an exaggeration, but it really does feel like spell reflect is up ALL the time.  Shab keeps telling me to fake cast to draw it out, butthen I have to remember to put some crappy spell on... and that's if I remember!  If I'm doing an instant then I can just imagine the other team laughing as I've done a nature-swifted cyclone back on myself... Sev gets really angry when his fears are reflected back on him as well.  I'm not sure if Shab's poly'd himself... but he's probably too embarrassed to tell me if he had anyway. 

On Friday night, Sev wasn't feeling well, and we lost a few games and Sev decided to go lie down.  Shab has been really disillusioned with 2s lately because he is very bursty and once his burst is gone he feels like he can't do very much and we get killed.  However, we did alright on Friday - there were some teams I was worried about like a double DK team, which turned out not too bad as they beat us the first time and we got our revenge back later.  We went and did some bgs afterwards to wind down, but that only got me more wound up!

Shab wanted to bring his healer, and I am wondering if I should make some sort of DPS class, because he and Sev like doing BGs on their alt healers.  Queueing as 3 heals is horrible because inevitably the DPS we end up with are HORRIBLE.  We had a Twin Peaks with an awesome DK tank but the DPS were playing in mid farming kills and not chasing the EFC so we ended up doing really poorly.  Our flag got snatched as we ran back and I chased him down cc'ing and noobfiring and being a pest trying to hold him back so DPS could get him and we got the flag back but couldn't cap because I KNEW the DK was being cc'd by the two rogues that were doing the double gank on me and Shab.  The hunter in our group just let loose yelling and being an idiot about how bad we all were, and the good part was that everyone was on the DK's side.  I said that the DK was an awesome tank and the only reason I was still here was because of the fantastic job he did against 3-4 enemies surviving. The hunter continued to mouth off about how we should just leave group because we are clearly retarded, someone else in the BG piped up saying he should just be quiet, and the DK actually did more damage than he did.  After everyone laughed about that, he went quiet.  Ha to him.

Shab switched to his mage after that and we won a few BGs so I could cap conquest for the week. Strand of the Ancients is hard these days because there is a cast time on placing bombs so I can hardly get a bomb down on a wall anymore!  The tradeoff for that though, is that the bombs now do tons of damage to the walls, compared to previously.

Shab has finally got his own comic - I'm sure he will be shaking his fist at me as I immortalise his famous moments in our arena team's history LOL!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Countdown to Blizzcon - 2 weeks to go!

Just over 2 weeks to go!  I'm so excited, I've been trying to plan what I want to do!

There will be a massive social component - I would love to do RL Navispams of all the people I admire and of anyone who reads my blog (LOL there are only a few of my readers going!) but I am pretty private - I don't have any pics of myself anywhere on the internet and I don't particularly want to be starting now!

People ask me if I'm going to the WoWinsider/WoWhead party on Thursday - I am pretty sure I won't be!  That stuff is for A-listers and I would be too scared to talk to any of them!  Apple Cider Mage will be there, and it would be nice to meet her in person too - I admit I am a little nervous because she can be rather fierce when she's fired up!

I would like to attend the Twisted Nether Blogcast meetup - I can meet some of the people whose podcasts I follow, or whose blogs I read.  I think I would like to go to that, but I am still a little shy!  I did email TNB today to ask if I can attend - and they said yes!

World of Podcasts will be having their do in our hotel (The Red Lion) and there are a few there that I listen to, so I would like to go down there and say hello - especially to Rho and Hasteur.  I'd be pretty awed to see Apsana and Skolnick from Darkmoon Herald but I'd be too shy to say anything to them. I want to get them to write something for Moogyver's young kids who listen to his podcast (though he could just get that done himself since he's a podcaster!)

Arv and Matty will be at Blizzcon, so I want to hang out with them, of course.  Xarek and Pell will be there, and I would like to spend time with our dear guildies from Dath'remar who haven't come across - after all, we wouldn't be at Blizzcon if it wasn't for them getting our tickets!

Shawndra (Escapist Crawl) and Katherinne (WoW Is in the Details) are also there and I would love to see them as well.

I even have some autographs to get!  Shab wants me to get a pic with Venruki - I will be watching some e-sports (ie arena tournament and SC2 if I get the chance) and Sodah said he would be at Blizzcon (he is playing in the tournament for Skill Banner)- gee, I wonder what they will think if I get them to sign the pic that I had commissioned of Shab, Sev and me?  Well, there is a meet the teams thing

Apple Cider mage has written a great survival guide - for a first (and probably ONLY) timer like me I want to try to do EVERYTHING so I can remember it all.  It's a long way to travel!

I will have to make a packing list like Shawndra has next!

Friday, October 25, 2013

4 new pets from Recruit a friend on PTR - but you can only pick ONE!

I read on Wowhead today that they are releasing the pets that were only available to Asian servers as rewards for Recruit-A-Friend in Patch 5.4.1 on PTR.  I saw the same thing being said on Warcraft Pets as well!

These include (images courtesy of Warcraft Pets):
Golden Pig and Silver Pig

Jade Tiger and Zipao Tiger

It looks like you can only get one per friend you recruit.. and I know what this means.  This means I will probably have to recruit FOUR friends to WoW, which will probably be me making 4 new accounts JUST to get pets!

LOL, well I always thought my sister, dad, mum and daughter always needed their own WoW accounts.. >.> gosh, 3 months of subs for four accounts?  That's going to be an expensive venture indeed for four pets (not that it's anything NEW to me about spending lots of money on pets).

So, anyone out there need a second account? :D

Raiding - Ironing out that Juggernaut

On Wednesday, I was having cranky pants because somehow Asys had managed to "lose" his Guardian druid. What does that mean, I hear you wonder?  Well, Asys has now switched to playing his shaman as his main.  Lazy old me didn't bother changing his officer note on Cranked to his EPGP numbers from Asys, I just left his officer note as Asys so that he would still have the EPGP numbers from there.  The main reason I did that was because I didn't know how to type the funny A so I couldn't edit Asys's officer note to say Cranked.  So when we started raid, I didn't realise that Asys wasn't on the EPGP loot table because his druid, Asys had gone missing, and the addon was looking for him.  Which mean that Asys had no EPGP, so he was starting from zero.  Which, as you will see later, doesn't mean a thing anyway!

(It turns out his druid Asys is somehow "accidentally" transferred off the server... don't ask!)

Tal told me that he doesn't want to raid anymore as a regular, but is happy to help out when able.  that was a bit of a loss, so I was sad, because his heals are amazing.We were having issues with Galakras on Wednesday - I think we were doing the ball wrong.  On Thursday with everyone lined up and it was a lot better, but still messy towards the end!  However, the kill was slightly better than our first kill, and loot was taken!  I was lucky and rolled the Drakebinder Greatstaff - because the loots that dropped were the Drakebinder Greatstaff and Swiftserpent Signet, Asys took the staff that dropped and Sabre took the ring - I think that was his first loot! That knocked him back down the Priority Loot ladder :)

Wednesday raiding wasn't as slick as previously because of the healer switchover - Lush was a bit rusty with his druid but he soon got back in the swing of healing.  We got through the first 4 nicely with lots of loot taken - I did an awesome cleanup as well, rolling a warforged Necklace of Fading Light, and getting Prismatic Prison of Pride from Sha of Pride.  That was in addition to getting Tier legs from Celestials earlier and Zoo-Per's Superior Chestguard from Ordos!  Kyxyn got warforged Darkfallen Shoulderplates, Luxy got the Tier chest, and Asys got Seal of Eternal Sorrow.  Kyxyn was having an awesome lucky week - picking up 6 secrets in one day of LFR runs (compared to poor Lush's monk only getting 1 from the same lot), getting his legendary cloak done, AND getting some sweet loot!

After Galakras we went onto Iron Juggernaut which went down in 2 goes which seemed so much easier than Galakras. The one thing I did notice is that Asys' heals were down a lot then, probably because people were more spread out.  With Galakras, everyone is bunched up so shamans can do a lot more, I suppose.  There was also a lot of movement and knockbacks which probably made him hurt more.  Lushnek passed on the Laser -Slice Signet ring so I could have it, and that was a wonderful upgrade!  The plate belt was disenchanted. And we FORGOT to take a picture :*( *waaaah*

On to Dark Shaman, and we got to 35% or so on our first attempt, which was very encouraging!  The healing cloak dropped on the trash, and Asys took it since he is nowhere near doing his legendary.  I did wonder if I should bother charging him for that - Luxy said I shouldn't - but Asys was getting geared up anyway despite not having any EPGP, so really it didn't matter if he was charged GP for getting stuff LOL! The next few attempts were similar or slightly worse, but it wasn't as bad as the first time we did it on Flex.  Poor Raked had no idea which way to face the "wall" so we ended up with elementals through the middle all the time.  On Monday, Raked won't be here and they want to try doing it with 3 tanks - I have no idea where they will FIND these tanks, and if they take Asys and Lush, then who is going to heal with me??  I might have to beg Taloski to raid on Monday, and see if Priestie wants to raid - she hasn't been logging on to see if we need help with raiding and I'm not sure if I should be ringing her to pester her either.

Looking forward to some relaxed raiding on Sunday, and whatever happens on Monday, it will be a good end to the week, I'm sure.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Moving from T15 to T16, and being a Soul of the Forest convert

Icaruss whispered me at the start of 5.4, telling me that I should be running heroic Throne of Thunder, because the 4 set bonus is really strong with the new talents that 5.4 brought for druids (namely Glyph of Efflo).

I did tell him that I hadn't killed Lei Shen yet on normal, so there was no chance of me getting any heroic tier!  And the thought of Tier seemed so far away.  At the end of 5.4 I only had 3 pieces of Tier - Shoulders, Legs and Gloves.

The T15 set bonuses are:
2 set bonus: Swiftmend's ground effect can now heal up to 4 targets each time it heals
4 set bonus: The healing done by your rejuvenation increases by 6% each time it causes healing.

The T16 set bonuses are:
2 set bonus: Rejuvenation ticks have a 12% chance to grant a Sage Mender, reducing the mana cost and cast time of your next Healing Touch by 20%, stacking up to 5 times.
4 set bonus: Targets of your Wild Growth spell are instantly healed for (Spell power * 0.25).

You can see that they are very different in terms of the way you heal.  For T15 it looks like you'd be blanketing rejuv a lot, whereas with T16 it's trying to make you use direct heals a lot more..

As I don't have the 4 set T15 bonus anyway, it seems logical to move to the new T16.  It's the T15 4 set bonus that really edges out in heals, and I've noticed that many high end druids are using heroic T15 (Beru, Jasyla, Juvenate, as well as the resto druids in the top guilds on our server).  But remember though, I am only a normal druid doing normal raids, so it's a little bit different!

I may actually have more luck getting the 4 set bonus with us running Flex and normals.  I think in a 10 man raid, you don't miss the extra efflorescence target as much because you really don't have that much melee or people stacking in the Efflo, compared to 25.

But this week has only had 2 days and I managed to get 6 upgrades - I got my first drop from Ordos, I got Tier from a Celestial, and I rolled a warforged neck and got a new trinket in raid on Wednesday.  Tonight I upgraded my weapon from a roll, and also won the ring!  Where 2 weeks ago I was having difficulty reaching the 13163 haste break point, and just reforged and regemmed everything for mastery with a haste of 3042, now I have suddenly shot way over it, and have to go reforge and regem AGAIN!

Why am I trying to reach that crazy haste anyway?  At 13163 I get a second extra tick of Tranquility.  At 3043, I get one extra tick.  There are a lot of extra Wild Growths, Lifeblooms and Rejuvenations in the in-between haste break points but they're not really very exciting compared to another tick of Tranquility.

I was never a big fan of Soul of the Forest, as it was a mana chewer, but I have really loved it in 5.4.  With the new glyph of Efflorescence, I can have that going somewhere and also have my hyper hasty wild growths or lifeblooms on raid or tanks and it's quite fun.  Sev has been trying to make me do the swiftmend + rejuv + genesis for a fast heal but I've found genesis much more useful for charging up mushrooms for big AOE heals for stacked groups. However, I have NOT found Soul of the Forest to be as wonderful for Arena.  I feel like I lack the bursty heals that come from tree form glyphed regrowths - 4 regrowths in tree form seem to feel more satisfying than casting a rejuv + swiftmend (IF it's up!) + rejuv + genesis.  So, I run around doing Soul of the Forest in PvE, and Incarnation:Tree for Arena and PvP.  I know there are people out there using SotF for arena and doing well at it, but I just don't find it that wonderful against a triple DPS or strong burst team.  It is however great against a dot team constaining a combination of afflock/boomkin/shadowpriest.

I am eager to try out the 2 set bonus in Proving Grounds.  Anything that conserves mana there should be rather useful - especially if it makes my Healing Touches faster.  It will change the way I've been healing (I was a little more rejuv heavy but this may make me do directs more, which is rather weird) but as with all things, there is more than one way to heal, and having these two very different Tier bonuses demonstrates just that.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fix those Bloody $%#@ing coins!

This Bloody Coin debacle from the Timeless Isle just does my head in.  You may be forgiven if you DON'T know what they are because you have to go to find Speaker Gulan who stands around on the Eastern side of the Isle, looking out over the sea from a clifftop.

There is only one thing he sells that I'm really interested in - Vengeful Porcupette.  For an avid pet collector, you will do just about anything to get certain pets.

It doesn't SEEM that hard superficially.  Get 50 bloody coins, and you can buy it.  To get bloody coins, you flag yourself with the Censer of Eternal Agony and go out and kill people.  Each kill you get a coin.

But there are SO many catches here.  Things which make it ridiculous for someone like me.

You have to actually have the KILLING blow to get the coin.  Now how ridiculous is that as a healer!  Go DPS I hear you say.  Well... that's not very nice - how would you like it if I told you that you have to go tank to go get some special drop?  I can imagine DPS wouldn't be happy to hear that!

You can't go farming the same person for the coin kill.  They get debuffed for about 10 minutes which at least gives the poor person a break from being killed as it's an honourless kill.  Of course, if you are a person without honour and just want to be a bully you can keep killing them... but that's not particularly nice.

And on a PvE server, you won't have much luck finding flagged people. And if you're on a PvP server - well, then you have to contend with faction imbalances too.  However, one of the good things about the Censer is that you can kill your own faction as well (since essentially you are now aligned with Ordos and so EVERYONE is an enemy).  But, as I saw on my own server, one of my own guildies was attacking a flagged Horde person while my guildie had the Censer on and he was trashed and abused in general chat for doing that. So even then, you can't seem to cut a break - people are happy to gang up when they are the dominant faction but if you turn the tables and they get targetted, then you have sulky people.  Because nobody likes to be part of a minority, do they!

Typhoon Andrew mentioned on his blog yesterday that he saw people kill trading - he wondered if it was a rort.  However, that's how I have to resort to getting my kills - because there really isn't much hope for me any other way!  I just have to remind myself to trade at least one or two kills a day - maybe I will get there in another 2 months or so!

This is how I would fix the damn thing!

  1. Turn the coin into a loot like timeless coins, so that everyone in the GROUP can get one from a kill.
  2. Fix Fire-watcher's Oath so that we can use it in BGs and get a chance to get coins as a loot for kills that count as honour kills (NOT killing blows)
That's easier but still by no means EASY.  I understand that Blizz want to make it hard and it still is hard - but impossible is just that little bit too hard for even the most determined of players, even me!

New achievements and rares this week

The only day I got any achievements was the day we did our Shado-pan Monastery silver run, and not only did I get all those silver achievements, I also snagged this 100,000 valor points one too!  Sev got it after we did a dungeon afterwards, so I'm not the only one! (APPARENTLY anyone who has alts and runs regular LFR has this one...)

Only one new pet this week - I bought this one from trade channel.  He wanted to sell me more pets but I did say that there were very few pets I didn't have - but I would be happy to buy any others for the right price!

And I was surprised I don't have these rares in my collection.  I've seen them heaps of times!

Woot, got a picture of Garnia before she was killed!  A shame she was in the water, it looks kinda... red.

And a RARE picture of Guchi NOT being killed!  So hard to get this one!

And Stinkbraid is hard to take a pic of with all his minions around.  This is the best I could do, and the damned marker wouldn't go off his head!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ordos and his loot

I have never seen loot from Ordos!  Some people are pretty lucky and have quite a few drops for their alts for him even!  Which is why I was so slow to realise that a lot of the Ordos loot was named after a lot of people I recognise from the WoW community!

Aladya's Spiritfire Greathelm
Named after one of Methods paladin healers, Aladya.  Method is current #1 raiding guild in the world, and is on Twisting Nether, EU.

Anafielle's Spiked Choker
Anafielle is one of the three authors of the prot pally blog Sacred Duty, and is a member of the guild Something Wicked.

Arielle's Ancient Legwraps
Yay for druid love!  This one I know - Arielle is from Team Waffle Podcast and writes on the Inconspicuous Bear (well, because they're the bear LOL).  I thought Arielle's tweet was pretty cool
"I'm pretty sure there's a rule somewhere that if you get an item named after you in @Warcraft you get to call in sick the next day." - @riftmaker
Binkenstein's Burnished Belt
Someone whose name I recognise from Twitter, Binkenstein is plays an ele shaman and theorycrafts a lot at Elitist Jerks and Totem Spot.  And apparently he's a kiwi!  His tweets are now protected, so I wonder when I saw his tweets.. maybe a log time ago but the name and avatar are very familiar :)

Damien's Icy-Vein Mask
Who doesn't know that site, Icy-Veins?  I'm there all the time! A fantastic site for raid info as well as world faction stuff, it's such a great site, and Damien is one of the co-owners of the site.  Kudos to him!

Derevka's Gleaming Girdle
Another person from the guild Something Wicked!  I have seen Derevka on twitter, and he writes at Tales of a Priest (and also contributes to How To priest), and apparently was Totally Debuffed with Humbled when he heard the news of his tribute.  Aww, that's just too awesome!

Hamlet's Wind-Whipped Leggings
Named for Hamlet from Elitist Jerks - need I say anymore :P  I watched some of his Challenge Mode videos!  A very helpful guy indeed!

Hoodrych's Bloodied Chestplate
A warrior PvP live streamer from the #1PvP guild on Tichondrius "Hey I'm MVP", Hoodrych is one of those scary bloody warriors that I don't want anywhere near me!

Magdalena's Murderous Crown
Another Something Wicked member and EJ theorycrafter - Magdalena, who plays a DK, was "floored and honoured" to have something named after her!

Olivia's Graceful Gaze
I love the play on this name :)  Olivia Grace from WoWInsider (she writes the PvP column) who also features on's Legendary podcast - she is one busy lady playing her Shay-man!

Omegal's Crushing Carapace
I didn't know this but Omegal is one of the tanks for Something Wicked, and also one of the developers of Deadly Boss Mods!

Paululum's Doodled Wraps
Paululum does so many cutesy doodles - I think you would have to read forums to understand the jokes - but they are hugely popular :D
Ghostcrawler and Zarrhym's baby
Rossi's Rosin-Soaked Shoulderplates
Matthew Rossi, has a lovely voice!  My tiny brush with fame with him is that you can hear his voice introducing TNB right before my interview on it (he was on it the week before me!).  Matthew Rossi is from WoWInsider and plays a warrior.

Stickney's Grey-Shade Hood
Anne Stickney (@ShadesoGrey - no not that book!) is the Lorewriter for WoWInsider. I had some articles from my blog linked by her ages ago, and it was a massive honour I can tell you that!   Apparently this item had a typo on the PTR!  Lucky it's fixed so now she can marry it :P

Venruki's Venerable Sash
Shabahdu's HERO!  He goes on and on at me about Venruki who plays with Sodah sometimes and livesteams .  Venruki is another member from Tichondrius' Hey I'm MVP and is an AMAZING mage.  I wish Shab could get the belt so he could be a total fanboy.  I should drag him to Ordos sometime.

Zoo-per's Superior Chestguard
Zoopercat is the CEO of Ask Mr Robot, which I use to help with reforges and regems for your gear.  Lush has full membership so he tells me what to do most of the time!

I wish I could collect all these to be a total fanboy :D Gotta love Blizz getting down in there with the community!

Challenge Mode Noobs - Shado-pan Monastery silver

These time differences are a killer!  With Daylight Savings, Arv is now another hour out and by the time he's finished doing work on Saturday night (his Saturday morning), Lush is fast fading and zombiefying. We had a few good goes the previous weekend as we tried to work out our silver strategy and we were pretty close - we had a bad wipe on the last boss and that stuffed us up!

So Saturday, we were determined to get this Shado-pan Monastery.  It was all serious biz!  We logged on, we weren't our usual silly selves, we were "Yep, let's do this!" and off we went to Shado-pan.

It was a relatively smooth run.  A few deaths but nothing you couldn't rez from.  Lush was on his monk DPSing and Arv was tanking with Luxy, Sev and myself rounding out the CMNs.

It was a bit unfair as it was Luxy, Arv and I who only needed Shadopan Monastery for our last silver - the other two still need a few, but I really wanted to get it finished with Arv because it wouldn't be hard to organise guild runs for challenge modes, but being able to play with Arv meant we only had one or two opportunities to do it.

I was panicking a bit during Taran Zhu because I hate being dragged from Orb to Orb and I was worried that while I was meditating to get rid of the Hate of Hatred someone would die.  But it went well!  And we had plenty of time to spare!

And with silvers, you get to choose one of four different colours.  I took emerald, Luxy and Arv took crimson.  Sev said he would get Ashen when he got his silvers!  It would be good to line them all up.

I don't know if these pictures do it justice.  It's a really nice looking mount!  Kyxyn said grats on another mount that is wasted on someone who will never use it LOL.  I guess I might take this one out to look at every now and then!

And yay for the guild achievement too!  Now we can start working on guildies and medals!  Man, the only rewards are from guild golds though... might take me ages before that happens (probably won't happen with me in a group!)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Raiding - New guildies in Sunday Flex

The next month is going to be a challenge!  Moo had family business to attend to and had to go back overseas for a few weeks, and in 2 weeks, Lush and I will be heading off to Blizzcon, effectively wiping out 2 weeks of raiding.

I was looking forward to having Fue raid with us on Sunday Flex but he couldn't make it, which was a shame.  However, we had two NEW guildies (though not really new accounts) join our raid - Cptsars, who was one of Priestietute's friends from Blackrock transferred his shaman over (he already had a mage alt here), and Skreedle faction changed her hunter to be horde, and now I have to get used to calling her Jez!

I was a little late to logon (child issues as usual) and the raid was pushing 20 people.  Exray and Lushen from our Dath'remar Frostwolves side brought various alts in at different times, Arvash was there on his paladin, and Edsee (Taloski's mate) was there too.  Faith even joined in!

I was fully expecting to have to kick people out from Norushen, but we managed to get that down - in fact, we got everything down until Nazgrim.  We struggled there, and we probably will have to make lower geared DPS sit for that, but it was rather fantastic that we got that far in the first place!  I still rememebr struggling to get Norushen down on Flex.

Voros turned up in time to be able to get a tier chest from Sha, and Moo logged on as well.  However, laptop WoW with no addons and no Vent/mic is the suck and they were not playing  as well as they normally were due to the whole overseas thing.

Faith was a real sweetie - she kept asking me when she needed to drop so she wasn't being carried to heavily, and it turned out we got her all the way to Nazgrim before I had to ask her to drop!  Even then, we were tired and the attempts on Nazgrim got worse (our first attempt got ot 4%) and there were some issues about when to bloodlust for that boss.  We'll work it out by tonight, I'm sure.

Nok was healing, and the poor guy was lagging coz he died like anything! Priestie said she would raid normals, so I'm pretty pleased that the raids will go on whilst I'm away - hell, I might even have to fight for my spot LOL!

In total, there were 18 epics looted during those 2 flex runs (1st and mostof 2nd wings).  I had 2 of them but I sharded mine, but hopefully some people got some upgrades.  Voros won't be back for another week, but at least Sars is here so there's another filler.  Oh my gosh, we went from no shamans for a year to 3 shamans.  Who knows, next year we might have 3 monks!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Minipost: Guess who's baaaaack!

Our missing in action former GM has decided to play again.  The funny thing was that I had decided to send him a random text, asking him why wasn't he back, since it was already mid October.  He replied me saying that he was actually about to surprise everyone with a comeback and I was quite thrilled!

At the time of me writing this he hadn't transferred over yet as he had to figure out how to get all his gold across.  Somehow he didn't seem particularly happy to just give me all his leftover gold to mind on Dath'remar....

We asked about his wrist, and he said he has been using a vertical mouse. Kyxyn and I echoed each other's question:

"What the hell is that?"

Kyxyn thought it might be something to do with hickory clocks...

Hickory dickory dock...

... it turns out it's something like this:

I tried to imagine it, and it seemed rather strange!  But hey, whatever works, right??

At this stage, Fue said he'd like to be casual, and we will be running our first Flex with him on Sunday night, so that's pretty exciting.  I'm pleased he's back - do you think I get him to fix guild finances??? :D

I had to put some sickly sweet happy face in there somewhere!  Welcome back Fue :)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Guildleader chores - Maintaining the cashflow

Lissanna of Restokin was writing on her blog the other day about "Where have all the guild funds gone?" and before I even clicked to read it, I kind of knew what she was talking about.

Back in Cataclysm, there used to be recipes and BOEs that we could sell on the auction house and we used to make a lot of money that way.  Guild coffers were full and we had all the repair money we needed.

However, in Pandaria, there weren't as many of those opportunities.  There were still BOEs but they didn't sell as well, and the guild funds dwindled, and we didn't have enough money to repair - we had to repair ourselves.  In fact, we all got so used to it that even now, I still use my own money to repair.  There were no guild donations, and we used to give DKP for people donating herbs and stuff for flasks.

Since we moved to Saurfang, guild money has been better.  Probably because I had been lazy and forgot to fix the repair allowances until Lushnek pointed it out to me the other day.  I will do that - on raid days, repair allowances will go up to 300g instead of the piddly amount it is at the moment! (There was also a strange bug with the guild repairs when we first moved, people seemed to be able to repair non stop even though I set a limit on repairs, which was weird, so I lowered the repair threshold).  And, when Fallnapart left the server to go with Gutsy to Jubei'thos, he left a whole heap of gold in the guild bank because he couldn't take it with him, that boosted the funds a bit.

Now, for a 25 man guild like Lissanna's, their weekly expenditure is massive compared to ours.
"we’ve netted an approximate loss of 250,000 gold in the first few weeks after the start of 5.4"
I can't even imagine how much money that is.  It makes me cringe because unlike Fue, who was quite the gold maker, I can't make gold to save my life!  And now I have to help balance the guild bank cashflow too??  I realised now that our guild bank cash has been sitting steady because of the limits on repairs that I hadn't fixed, but as of next week, I will fix that, since donations have started.

There are other ways for the guild to make money, that we don't use to our full capacity.  Weekly guild challenges are one thing - you can get

Raiding challenge x 1 = 1000g
Dungeon challenge x 7 = 250 x 7 = 1750g
Scenario x 15 = 250 x 15 = 3750g
Challenge mode x 3 = 500 x 3 = 1500g
Rated Battlegrounds x 3 = 500 x 3 = 1500g

Rated BGs are not something we're going to do, but if we completed all the others, that would be 8000g a week.  Repairs for raiders if I set it up properly will be 300g per person a night over 3 nights which is 9000g a week.  And of course there is Cash Flow, so there will be trickles of gold coming in from there too, with many people still questing, and farming stuff for food and crafting items.  The Timeless Isle is awful in that you don't get gold from any of the loots there, so Cash Flow suffers because a lot of people are spending time on the Timeless Isle instead of the Isle of Thunder (where gold still did drop from mobs).

Lissanna had a list of things that she thought Blizzard should implement to help raiding guilds with their cashflow problems.  They included:

  • Turning spirits of war into a valued currency
    It is a pretty useless currency IMO.  I think at least with Haunting Spirits people needed to buy them to craft, but these ones aren't REALLY required to make items, just helps to make items faster.  So bring back the hard to get items so you can craft the high end gear. I know that the casual players didn't like that because it meant that only guilds could access the gear (unless you bought the currencies for super high prices) so I am unsure how Blizz would go with this direction.
  • Adding back BOE raiding items
    I'm not sure why they took them away in the first place.  I would have to get one of the other officers to sell these things because I totally would forget to sell it or I'd end up giving it away.
  • Increase guild raiding challenge rewards
    I like this idea.  At least putting it to 3 per week instead of one would put us to 3000g.  I think it would be better done as a per day thing, for those guilds that put more days into raiding, making their repairs overall more than those who clear everything quickly in 2 days (since those people probably don't need to repair much anyway since they're not dying, right?)
  • Bring back guild cauldrons
    A brilliant way to get flasks.  Heaps cheaper too!  I miss those cauldrons.  We have noodle carts, why can't we have cauldrons again?
There are things that I would add that would help guilds - not just raiding guilds
  • Add arena challenge rewards
    Scenarios are there, why aren't arenas?  Now that they aren't done as teams anymore and can be done via Battletags and RealID, it would be nice to have guild groups going to get some cash flowing. Of course, I'm saying that because I arena and we would easily hit the weekly cap for some cash for the guild.  I'm thinking 4 games at 250g each maybe?
  • Alter Cash flow to include quests
    Cash flow works to give the guild bank 10% of gold looted from kills, but if dailies and quests were included in that as well, that would be a nice little gold siphon!
Lissanna also put out there the obvious question - why not just have everyone pay it themselves?

...why not have raiders pay for their own repairs and provide everything for themselves? Why do we even need a Guild Bank? That question can continue sofar as to: why do we even need guilds? Especially true with both LFR & Flex. The simple answer is we want to be able to create our own communities with our friends, we want to be able to craft our own collective narrative and history within the game, not just as individual players but as a broader guild...
It's a matter of what you're used to, I guess.  As a guild we got used to being poor and providing for ourselves.  However, it was the goodwill of guild members that kept us up for food and flasks when needed, but now I'm trying to formalise that process so that the goodwill is recognised and encouraged.  I'm hoping as our guild economy improves, we will be able to be comfortable with having all our raiding needs supplied for us by the guild - the danger of that is that when you get too comfortable, there is a great load of disgruntlement when those benefits are taken away.
The answer to a vibrant community is not simply connecting realms or removing barriers to raiding, it also includes making “Guilds” fun and interesting, making them a network of micro communities across realms that forms the backbone of the broader macro community in WoW.
Well said, Lissanna.  I couldn't agree more.

Guildleader chores - Leaving guilds, realID and what to tell people

Last weekend, Souglyy left the guild and joined Gutsy's guild on Jubei'thos.  She didn't make a big deal out of it (and did it rather quietly), but she told me her intentions and though I was sad to lose a regular raider, I could understand why she wanted to leave.  There are things she wanted that our guild could not offer her, and they weren't likely to change in the near future.

One of the things was our rotating roster of players, where we have more raiders than raid spots, and people have to sit out.  I realise that everyone likes to play every raid, but in a tight guild roster you can't really have everyone play, and there has to be a little bit of give and take.  I brought this topic up ages ago and one of the suggestions was to have a roster of when people would sit out so that they could organise those days to do something else and not have to worry about turning up to raid.  However, unforseen circumstances such as bad internet connections, RL dramas or being held back at work can drop a raider out at last minute and they may not be able to login to let anyone know what is happening.

One of the ways I have used to try to counter any negativity from this is to advise all new members joining the guild as casuals but would like to raid, about the way our raiding will work.  Even current raiders know that they have to take a turn to sit out, and some tend to sit out more than others, but I try to make it as fair as possible.  Nobody, not even tanks or healers are exempt from being benched when we have extras!

Another thing she was unhappy with was that we had no raid leader.   I know this is an issue, as we have had difficulty finding an appropriate person to lead the raid.  I am hopeless at raid leading, as I tend to be very tunnelled into a healer perspective, and though I read the strategies and watch the videos, I find it hard to explain anything to anyone else that I haven't tried for myself in practice.  Lushnek knows the strats but is very shy with speaking and doesn't want to raid lead (though it doesn't stop him from commenting if you do something WRONG LOL), and Moo is to gruff and grumpy to raid lead (he would probably scare everyone), Sev will complain loudly about having to do it as he would rather snipe smart remarks from the back of the room (lol like any ranged DPS would do!), and Bish doesn't have a mic (nor has he logged in for ages).  The person that I was looking to was Kyxyn, who has now stepped up to tank, and was happy to lead a raid as he was a former GM of a top raiding guild on another oceanic server some years back. He is clear and concise, patient but will be admonishing when people continue to make mistakes on the same things that they should have known, but he had come back from a break and was a bit behind in the tier to be able to catch up during 5.3, but in 5.4 he is up there with the rest of us, allowing him to be able to speak and lead with confidence. Now that he's stepped up, raiding is a lot easier, but it did take some time for that to happen.

Either way, I took on her comments and tried to see what I could do, or if I could improve them.  However, Souglyy is rather quiet in guild, speaking only during raids when needed, and it didn't surprise me that she one day just left the guild without a word.  She had already said goodbye to me, and I could still chat to her on realID so it wasn't a total loss of contact, but to some of the other guildies it was a surprise.

I explained her leaving to them, and they were mollified.  There were other internal guild issues that they thought might have been the cause of her leaving, but she did not say to me that any of those issues were the reason, so I dismissed them.

Today I read on Ysera's Daughter about how she was sad when a guildie she thought of as a friend transferred off server and removed her from realID.  Her anxiety disorder kicked in as she felt like this person left because of her, and had now also removed her as a friend.  Removing people from RealID is a bit funny like that.  People take great offence to it, when if you think about it, there maybe all sorts of reasons other than "I don't like you so I'm removing you from realID".  Sometimes, you just want some alone time, after an in game drama, and seeing people in game who ask you if everything is ok just sets you off. For her guildie, he said
I removed you from Realid due to the fact that I didn’t want to hurt your feelings by telling you when you logged on as I thought that would have lead to more issues rather then resolution.
So is there a proper way to do things?  It depends on why you're leaving, I guess.  If you're not on good terms with your guild, then sure, you can go without a word.  If you're a valued raid member, then at least tell someone who is also a raider or an officer.

I remember when a good friend of mine removed all friends from realID after a depressing guild collapse.  I wasn't particularly worried about it, but others were very upset about being removed from realID.  But I can imagine that after a bad loss, you feel bad and don't want to hang around with other people, or really just talk to others.  And, if you want to play WoW, you just want to totally immerse yourself in the game and pretend it's all new again, where you don't know anyone and can just hide in the anonymity of a large MMO, and remember why you loved the game without constant reminders from your friends that things were not great.

On the flipside, for the unfriended friend who has no idea what happened, you shouldn't be upset that, when things are over, they don't want to be realID friends with you again.  No doubt they feel like they don't have your trust, as you didn't explain to them what happened - so why would they want to be friends with you again as you don't treat them like one?

But back to our guild, what response did we have?  Life has gone on, and now I am wondering if I need to recruit more casual raiders again.  But really, how many people out there would be willing to be on a rotating roster to sit out?  If Bish came back, or Voros was here or if Evea wanted to step up and raid... so many if's!  Man, the thought of trolling trade... sigh, but you never know, we might get someone who would be a real asset!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Raiding - Galakras's ASS is GRASS

It was the first day of guild donations so I was busy sorting that out before raid. Lucky I had done my food farming earlier in the week!

We had made some good progress last Monday on Galakras, getting the towers down and everyone at the bottom was surviving and we had to practice catching the ball.  It's still pretty horrible, to tell you the truth.  I am not sure what we aren't doing right except maybe people aren't running to catch the ball and it's hitting its target at full.  Of course, stacks are high too, so people die from the damage taken.  Melee are always dying first.

Our best attempt was 22%.  10 minutes to go, last go.  Well whaddaya know!

Galakras was dead and the only people left standing were the tanks.  That ball thing is just crap, and I am sure we're not doing it properly, and it was messy as hell, but next week we shall practice again!  But for this week yay!  New boss kill!

Throughout the night we had people taking loot, so it was great to see.  I tell you what's hax - WHAT IS WITH THE CONSTANT WARFORGED CLOTH THAT DROPS???  Aza and Sev said jokingly "What, you mean there is some other loot OTHER than warforged?"  Those two are all nicely decked out with 3 pieces of warforged each I think!

Taloski scored a warforged leg from Galakras, and Moo some offspec bracers.  I think Blizz is trying to tell him to tank because he took an offspec shield earlier.

I see now what Beru was talking about when you heal with a paladin.  Seriously, I cannot get a heal in.  At all!  Bloody pallies LOL!

Tanks: Raked + Kyjenn ~ DPS: Aimei (Lushnek), Moopiex, Azadelta, Sevrus, Sabrehawk ~ Heals: Navimie, Taloski, Cranked (Asys)

Poor Luxy had issues logging in so I sat her out and she missed out on the kill.  I felt sad because she was a little sad IRL too, and I promised that she could come Thursday night.

I begged Zwingli to make me a belt, as every other leatherworker had been spoken for, so yay I got a new belt which means I have to spend a zillion gold reforging and regemming again.  Ugh!

Asys has said that he enjoyed healing so much that he would like to make it his main.  So now we are back to 3 heals again!  Which means Aimei is tanking on Mondays. Fun fun!

Which reminds me, I am going to make a gem list for donations!  That will make reforging and redoing gear less painful.  Off to look at all the raiders to see what gems they use.  And good work Frostwolves!

Navispam - Far out Brussel Sprowt!

For those non Australians, "Far out Brussel Sprout" is a collection or children's rhymes from my childhood days with other rhyme books in the series "Unreal, Banana Peel!" and "All right, Vegemite!
I always tease Sprowt of Sprowting Words about being a lazy blogger :)  She's pretty busy though - she is the guild leader of Dark Wolves, a mother of two children - I know how busy that can get!

My EU sub had run out for the last month, so I hadn't popped over to say hello to anyone for a while.  And the Isle is starting to bore me, so I would use any excuse to get out of doing dailies or farming for pets.

But, inspired by Starre's visit, I decided to go and look for her again.  I hadn't had much luck previously and the times she would be on, I would be at work, and the EU WoW is only on my home computer so I'm limited in the days that I can go over to see her.  However, I was really lucky - she was online but she was in Siege of Orgrimmar, and I thought I would just say a quick hello and wait it out for a while to see if she would be out.  However, she very rapidly finished and she left her LFR and came to see me in Orgrimmar. Little did I know that she had left her LFR to come say hi - it had been not going well.

I said that I'd hoped that she wasn't abandoning her guildies, and she said no, just her OH.  I thought she meant OffHand, but she actually meant Other Half and we had a good giggle about that.

She made a grand entrance on a Heart of the Aspects mount, and then we started chatting about blogging, raiding, guildies, pets...

I might have nagged her about updating her blog... just a little.

And we danced with her new pet!

I noticed that Sprowt wrote a little about my visit - but I was very impressed with her vegetables and all the activities she was up to!  This year is the first year I've tried growing stuff from seed, and it's been rather fun and the kids like to see growing things.  Thanks Sprowt for letting me visit and Navispam you!