Thursday, October 30, 2014

PvP - Buggy achievements, dying fast

I've had some buggy PvP achievements lately.  Probably putting them on my blog is going to make them be taken away but I don't really like getting things that I don't feel I deserve.

We did an EotS the other day and we were winning, it was going reasonably well.  However, when we won the game, this popped up.

The Perfect Storm achievement is for a 0-1500 win.  You can see there that we clearly did not have that.  Strange.

Last night there were server restarts happening as we queued for a BG, and whilst we were in prep we had a few people suddenly leave the BG instance, and it was happening on Alliance side too.  At the time we were 11 or 12 vs 3, and the game said it would close in 5 mins.  So I was running to LM with Raverager and since there were so many there, I thought I'd go for stables since maybe we could get a Perfection if we 5 capped before they capped stables.  I managed to get there and cap it, got killed by a shadow priest and then rezzed and ran back as fast as I could.  By this time the whole team had cottoned on to the quest for Perfection and most of the horde players were up at the alliance starting graveyard, farming them.  I went down to mines to guard it just in case, but there was no need to fear - we 5 capped and then won and then I got my Arathi Basin perfection.

I had felt bad for cheating a bit but Luxy, who is the most fair person in the world, said it was totally legitimate.  Even by the end, you can see there were 13 Alliance players so it probably wasn't that bad.

HK/Aimei decided that he wanted to get Moorc his legendary cloak and so we were up to the BG part of it. It was abyssmal.  Not because Moorc didn't have any gear (though that didn't help) but I really felt like I was made of butter.  Rogues were killing me, warriors were 2 shotting me, and I was in full PvP gear.  Without my instant cyclones and no nature's grasp, my escape tactics were no longer as good as they were and I had to rely on Displacer beasts, Vortexes and Roars to get me out of things, and still I died. It was a bit disheartening but we finally managed to get a Temple of Kotmogu win for him when we were testing out our new latencies and at least he was happy.  That was actually a decent game if not for the Tichondrius warrior yelling at everyone - this time he was actually decent compared to the usual individuals who yell (a typical one in a previous failed game was yelling abuse at everyone but had done the least damage in the whole BG).  I dumped my spirit trinket and used the crit one as mana in BGs is the same as it is in PvE - neverending.

I even tried tanking one but that went poorly as I was tank with no healers and I died as if I was a healer anyway.  Bleh.  I didn't realise that it would force me into the spec  if I chose the wrong one (having not queued as tank before, why I did that time I have no idea - probably something to do with the Headless Horseman instance) and I think I never want to tank a BG EVER AGAIN.

I hope that there will be more PvPers around for Shab when he gets back.  With Rav and Lick around maybe there will be.

OMG is that Ping real???

Servers were up earlier than I thought they were going to be, and I hurried to log on and check it out. I had logged out in Uldum - I was fishing - and when I logged in I had a 5ms latency, which I thought was CRAZY!  I thought maybe it was unnaturally low because when you login sometimes it's low before it starts to climb.  But I hearthed to the shrine to wait it out, and it became lower...

The beauty of being in the Shrine is that I could see trade chat.  It was FULL of people going gaga over their new ping.  It was amazing, it was brilliant!  It was so thrilling to see everyone happy to see how responsive their game was now, how GCD actually means something!  And I couldn't wait to see how it would perform in raids.

Guildies were excitedly comparing their latency and I admit I had the lowest - I'm not sure whether it was because I have NBN because I am not near where the servers are, though I am in the same city. I wondered to myself if the Blizzard engineers were hanging around in trade chat on oceanic servers to see the excitement that everyone had, because even just being a player and seeing everyone's reactions brought a smile to my face.

Tried a BG beforehand and world ping went up to 192 but that was to be expected when playing with americans.  LFR and LFG would probably be the same!

9pm couldn't roll around fast enough and we went to raid.  Oh my gosh, who would think you could notice a difference between 200ms and 1ms??  But you can!

We restarted the raid, not extend, because a fair few people still needed gear.  I dreaded Iron Juggernaut and Malkorok, but would you believe we did not wipe to either of those, though some of the fights were MESSY AS.  Iron Juggernaut's king would have been Crooked as he was the LAST PLAYER STANDING when we all died due to a really sloppy siege mode - I am wondering how we need to improve on that because what we do on 10 man doesn't seem to work well in 20. It was haarrowing as we watched it at 50k and it was just Exray and Crooked then Exray died... I was like... no don't let us wipe on 15k.... and then it was dead! Luxy and Crooked pointed out that perhaps it would have been better if Crooked healed, but considering the outcome, perhaps not. We will never know!

Nazgrim was... stupidly easy as well.  I boggled at Alca being 2nd on damage for that boss!  Didn't even get to defensive stance!  Then we were on Malkorok and that turned out rather ugly but we managed to do it, There were hardly any shields up, it felt and people's health was dangerously low CONSTANTLY.  Even with healers in all 4 quadrants, I think I need to fix it up into groups perhaps to improve healing because it really was awful.

There was a LOT of loot taken - I don't know why Duck took every weapon, probably because nobody wanted it, but his EPGP is through the FLOOR.  Una and Swag (now Udderly-something) joined us for the first time and unfortunately had not hit the 5 raid requirement to be able to loot on par with everyone else on EPGP.  But it shouldn't be long, Una will hit that by Monday if she attends on Thursday and Swag will hit it next week.  I think a lot of people got upgrades, and that can only mean good things.

I am hoping Thursday night will go well - Brahski said he would be on in Aza's place, so we shall see!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Changing the Game Part 2: Why I like the Changes to Guild Levelling and Perks

To me, being in a guild is about having a safe place to play. A place where you can find people to play with, with whom you are like minded and can find people with similar goals and ideals.  It should be a place where you can feel free from persecution and somewhere to relax.

Ok. Fluffy softy feely guild talk over.

Guilds have also ideally been a kind of council, or government.  And governments are supposed to pay for things like waste removal, roads and parks maintenance, upkeep of facilities.  Now there are no toilets in WoW that the guild has to keep supplied with toilet paper, but one of the things that guilds typically fund is guild repairs after raids, and some guilds like to supply raiders with food and flasks.

And what is the problem all raiding guilds have?  Gold.  And what is the root of all evil? Money... or gold.

I could see how Blizz was trying to make it work.  Raiding guilds could access raid drop BoEs like recipes and gear that could be sold on the AH.  I could imagine that non raiding guilds complained (eg PvP guilds) as they could not generate gold (though does PvP really cause that much damage to gear?  Hmm), as well as smaller social guilds.  So then Cash Flow was introduced where a percentage of gold looted by guild members was siphoned off by the guild bank, a bit like GST I suppose, except probably more like Employer contribution Superannuation in that it wasn't a tax that the player had to pay and it was mostly invisible and didn't impact on your actual quest earnings.  However, some unscrupulous guilds were run by people who would just selfishly take that gold for themselves and so the guild earnings were an extra source of income for those unsavoury individuals, leaving the hard working levellers who were members of the guild to unwittingly work for those people and probably not even noticing because they were happy to be in a guild where they could ride faster, loot more with their professions and earn reputation quicker.

So, with the latest patch, Cash Flow has been taken away.  Suddenly there will be a lot less people trying to invite your newly minted unguilded alt to a guild because there will be no source of income for them!  Also, Raid drop BoEs are coming back and so raiding guilds will have ways to make gold again.  But there are no raid drops NOW so if you're still raiding and paying for raider repairs, then you need to find another source of income buddy!

Guild levels are gone too.  They were a big disadvantage to smaller guilds, trying to unlock the perks from the later levels. I think that removing them was a good thing - it shouldn't be about the levels of the guild.  Now your guild full of your alts can have all the advantages of a big guild but without the grind.  That's a good move.

I've noticed that a lot of the "personal gain" guild perks have been taken out - the Bountiful Bags perk, which increases the amount of materials you get from your gathering professions, and all the perks that increased honour, reputation or justice points seem to have gone.  So all the things that weren't about "playing with others" seem to be gone.

What has remained are these perks:

To be honest, I'm not sure why Mount up is a guild perk.  I don't think a 10% speed boost offers anything particularly special - maybe a guilded person can get to a farming node faster than an unguilded one, which I don't think is particularly fair.

Hasty Hearth, Mobile Banking and Guild Mail are all good guild perks to have, and I wouldn't argue those.  Mass Ressurection is great for raids and certainly saves time.

But we still have these:
  • 1 x raid - 1000g
  • 7 x dungeons - 7 x 250g
  • 3 x rated BGs - 3 x 500g
  • 3 x challenge mode dungeons - 3 x 500g
So that's 4250g a week just doing what I term the guild "chores".  However, I think a full guild group for arenas would be a great additional way to earn additional gold.  For PvP guilds only rated BGs are listed as a gold earner, but arenas are like mini dungeons I guess for a PvPer.  I would think that it would have to be 3v3 or 5v5 arenas that earn the gold (since scenarios used to be a gold earner and they only had 3 people).  I think it would be nice to add that in - maybe 5 x arenas or something for 150g each.  Actually, maybe that should be 5 arena WINS because you could just get a group of 5 and just stand around doing nothing and lose just to earn money, and that seems wrong. Hey, it might inject more new blood into the arena market adding that as a way to earn guild money.

One GM friend of mine is brilliant at making money.  She regularly injects 50k gold into the guild bank.  50k!!! OMG that's like half my current gold total on my toons collectively!  I wish I could do that, and if I was good at the AH, then maybe I would.  But I think a good guild with good members have people who are happy to contribute gold to the guild bank because that's who they are, and it's great to have a guild with people in it who are like that.  A happy guild makes a rich guild, I guess!

(Though, I don't have a rich guild...does this mean they're not happy?  And before you say it, NO, I do not help myself to guild funds inappropriately!)

I think another way to generate money that does not involve money being donated by people (because you will inevitably end up with inequality complains such as "Player Z doesn't donate, and I have been, so I don't want to donate anymore") would be a daily guild quest/dungeon/task, much like how Garrisons works.  It would have to be something that's done as a group (at least 10 people) or contributed to by at least 10 people, and would have to have some small gain for each person who did this daily as well.

So, what is left that separates my guild from a bunch of people who don't even talk or interact with each other?  What is there to show guild pride?

Achievements remain.  Guilds of friends with 5 people will not be able to get raid achievements because you need at least 8 for that.  So there is some incentive there still for you to play with others, with a LOT of others because of those guild achievements.  Rewards like mounts, pets, titles, tabards... I like those things and I think they're great for showing off our guild achievements.  And I think that it's enough.

As a vanity feature, think it would be cool to have a Guild Feat of Strength added like "Your guild is x years old" or have a guild birthday feature added to the Guild for when it was formed and have something fun happen on the guild's anniversary - such as a mask or party hat that can be worn for one day to celebrate it.  Or maybe even one of those cakes you can lay out as a feast and we can all have a silly buff come up after we're well fed from cake.  But that's really flavour text and not something that makes a significant difference to guild management.  But sometimes, it's those little things that make the game that little bit  more fun.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Raiding - Am I REALLY looking at Mythic Garrosh?

I feel like I'm cheating, doing mythic Garrosh when it's been nerfed so much.  I've watched videos done by my friends and I feel like what I'm doing now is nothing like what it is supposed to be.

But of course, perhaps this is my reward, for continuing to play and raid all the way to the end of the expansion, and for not giving up.  Maybe this is Blizz's way of saying "Hey, here you guys, have a free Mythic Garrosh kill!"  Well, not really free.  We haven't killed it yet.

Felt like I was scraping around for people and even had some of my battletag friends on standby. CT even sat in Vent listening - he told me I sounded stressed!  He'd better not listen to me PvP then...

Jazz and Nath were playing off 4g because they just moved house, and their connection was so poor that they couldn't even get on Vent. We managed to scrape together 20 and off we went.  We were progressing well. You still have to pay attention to things.  People can't move the wrong way, people can't be DYING on the dream phases.  Haevela died twice from a FPS drop and I told him no more dying or I have to sub him - Luxy whispered me and reminded me that I was to be MORE SUBTLE, and do it in whispers. Shamefacedly I apologised to him, and reminded myself that we are not here to yell at people, we are here to have fun. I went again my better judgement and allowed poor Duck to be replaced by one of Exray's friends - I think just so we could see what it was like if we pushed it.  The transitions were faster, yes, but inside I was disappointed in myself for wanting progress more then unity.  Come Wednesday, I won't be doing that again. Guild > Progress, I have to not lose sight of that.  If we can't do it with our guild then we shouldn't be doing it. Poor Duck.

We actually made progress during the night.  Our Jade Temple transition was better, esp after the warrior subbed in, and getting to Phase 4 and being able to see it ourselves and what it's like was really amazing.  To faceroll it a bit more we would need everyone to put out a little bit more damage overall - and Exray asked me if I thought we could 2 heal it.  I already struggle during the standing in weapon with 3 healers and also with the whirling corruptions (I AM REALLY MISSING MY SHROOM BLOOM).  So I said no.  I wish I was a shaman, I think that the healing would be even more amazing if I had been.

I felt bad because I had to tell people to be quiet.  Our regular 10 don't need to talk much except to say when we're using cooldowns and we don't have everyone yelling raid instructions because we're used to just listening.  However, I had to rein in a few excitable people who wanted to make comments or give instructions which was confusing to other people.  This 20 people thing is hard stuff!

Our best attempt was Garrosh to 7% in phase 4. Everyone was really excited.  I keep thinking about what I need to do better - I have difficulty trying to see who doesn't have the buff from the bubbles in the dream phase and I want to know so I can keep lifebloom on those people, though those phases are a lot better now, as the last few we didn't have anyone dying. Also, would you believe I am throwing mana around like you would not believe - I am actually going down to 8k or so and that worried me because I can't run around healing like that when I'm level 100 where mana is a precious commodity. The malice mechanic is being done differently to how I have watched my friends do it - our malice person stands still and everyone ELSE runs in and out of it, which is really interesting.  And then we got thrashed by iron star on our final attempt for the night but really that was the first time we saw that, so hopefully it will be better after that as we figure out what we're doing.  The last half hour seemed to be solid progress with each go, from my point of view and I hope that Wednesday will bear some fruit of our small labours.  It would be exciting to finish off the expansion with a kill. Some have said to me that there are too many people who are not ready for mythic raiding in this raid, and yes gear-wise they are behind.  But if you look at each fight, I think that everyone was listening, learning and improving, which seems to me that they ARE able to do it.  I will be smiling that secret smile to myself if we do get it, because to me it will feel a little bit like 2 healing Thok with no paladins - everyone saying we can't do it and we showed them that we can.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Changing the game Part 1: Why I like the "dumbing down" - pruning, removal of reforging and stat squish

You must be blind or deaf not to hear the outcries from the current active World of Warcraft players complaining about the changes.  The game has been "dumbed down" or they're "taking the fun out of our class" are some of the most common complaints.  There was a lot of complexity to the game as it stands currently, and for those of us who have played for a while, we didn't really bat an eyelid over things like using Ask Mr Robot to max our gear stats, or read Icy Veins to figure out our hit and expertise caps or haste break points, but for the uninitiated, it can be SO difficult especially when you're just learning the game and everyone is telling you how stupid you are because you aren't hit capped.

But don't you think it's funny that some of the same people complaining about the changes are also some of the same people who say that Vanilla was amazing.  Where back in Vanilla we had less abilities, very few of these extra stats, and you just ran around hitting things and having fun.  Of course, there was skill to being good at what you did, and you could still do amazing things with those few abilities we did have if you knew your class well.

With each expansion Blizz added more.  More abilities. They changed the talent tree - a few times. They changed our specs.  They put in new abilities and rarely took old ones away.  They gave other classes HoTs and AoE heals, and my class more direct heals.  The distinction between healing classes seemed to blur a little, and I was happy when I finally got some damage mitigation spells in my arsenal so that I could have a bubble type effect like a paladin or a disc priest.

Before you knew it, my bar was full.  In fact, my secondary bar is full.  And my third. And my sidebars (yes I use a standard UI).  And I don't like remembering a zillion keybinds - I want my daughter to be able to get onto my character and have a little bit of fun about it without having to remember that you have to do 1, 2 and 3 and if then hit [ and then 8 and 4 if you're taking lots of damage and sometimes you may have to use 7.  In fact, I tried to make it just 1,2 and 3 for her and if she's dying too much she can just run away.  THAT is dumbing down. But the extra things, still have a bit of depth to them.

The ability pruning is actually a really GOOD change, and I don't think it's dumbed down at all. My class has gone back to what it used to be - a HoT class - where burst healing was not it's strength but overall raid damage counteracting was what druids used to do best.  It was the Priests and Shamans who used to get the fast big heals out.

My husband used to play a lot of WoW with me in Vanilla and BC, and then he took a break.  He has found it hard to get back into the game because learning it was not as easy as it was - the game was no longer intuitive, he had to read outside World of Warcraft to actually learn how to play his class again, and he didn't enjoy nor find that particularly fun.  And of course he would come back for brief periods and I'd try to get him geared up a little bit so he could have fun, but inevitably he found himself unsubbing again because he didn't enjoy it.  I've been excitedly telling him about how he would enjoy Warlords of Draenor because the class is simpler without all those hit and expertise things he didn't quite understand and couldn't be bothered with, and all the extra stats are now more FUN because they make your class better not hinder or handicap your class if you had too much of one and not enough of another.

Now, my challenge is to find where I sit in terms of raid functionality.  In times of big AOE damage I still find myself struggling to get out a fast AoE heal (there's my bloom shroom nostalgia again!) that ISN'T tranquility but blanketing rejuvenation is something I have to get used to again.  Not something I really did in 10 mans as I tended a bit towards a few rejuvs with swiftmends and Wild Growth but I am slowly finding my feet.  I feel like Haste is the most yummy stat I could lust for come WoD so I can get more Healing Touch and Regrowths out!

Reforging for those stupid caps was also a nightmare.  One piece of gear and you had to redo all your gems and enchants - OK maybe a slight exaggeration, but it would be expensive.  And it was definitely NOT FUN. I hated doing it.  I hated that I had to have an outside application to do it and sometimes I would sit down with paper and pen and write it all down to try do it myself.

And it is SO strange looking at gems that have +10 or +20 to a stat.  It's good though - at least this is one part of inflation that can easily be uninflated.  A shame that can't be done for the economy :D

And so, now we are going back to a version similar to Vanilla WoW.  Let's see if those Vanilla was better people still are saying the same thing NOW... but I think that complainers will always be complainers. I am excited for WoD because now my husband can come back and enjoy some of the game that he used to love to play because the whole thing is so much friendlier to a new or returning player than it used to be, and I can't wait to show him some raids in the new Raids when he's ready for it.  And I think that Blizz is on the right track with this if they want to keep players or encourage players to return (even for a short while) - making an easy learning curve and be able to play the game for fun without it turning into some kind of ... homework... for the more casual player.

Learning faster, means you get to have fun faster!

Raiding - Now's the time for cakewalking!

I know it's fun to have an easy time but Crooked said to me once that sometimes nerfs can be depressing.  That boss we were struggling was no longer a struggle.

We started with Blackfuse and Exray said he wanted to try something but I wouldn't like it.  I could only assume that it was a one healer strat.  Yes, I was right, he wanted to do a one tank one healer strat.

Fortunately this week we are down a healer so having less healers was good for once.  I told Morz he could log in later but he logged in on time so off we went with me and Morz with Aimei tanking.  Morz went DPS and we told everyone we were going to try Zerg strat.  We were one over and Alca sat out so Duck could go.  There are some youtube videos of people killing it in 30-40 seconds.  We had our first attempt and we wiped with 3million left.  Even I was doing some DPS with Heart of the Wild.

We had a couple more goes and got it down at 1min 20 seconds.  I had to stop and start tranquility and actually HEALING, and do a Battle Rez.  I could not believe that it could be done that way!

Then it was onto Paragons, what we had been bashing our head on for ages. And they melted like ice cream on a warm day.  Only a few attempts and we had it down.  People were still moving with their red lines which was ugly the first time and also the Paragon who does the wind spinning thing (haha my wonderful descriptive language and epic boss fight explaining skills are showing!) took out a LOT of people.

I am feeling a little weak without some major burst healing in bad times - shrooms used to fill that nicely and I notice it a lot now without my bloom during things like Whirling corruption or standing in the weapon and people are slow to smash it down.

People are excited for Monday. Exray says we need to do the Jade Temple transition better, because we are too slow.  Getting the buff thing is annoying as well!  You can actually live without the buff with some healing, but if you're not geared well it hurts still.  Anyway, 2 hours to bash at it on Monday.  We shall see!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Sydney WoD Prelaunch Celebration - The Low down

I had been excited ALL DAY thinking about this event as it was THE DAY!  I had organised someone to cover me at work, I had worn what I was going to wear to the event TO work... I was set! I hadn't thought about dinner, but I would have been too excited to eat anyway.

So, at 4pm I left work, after handing over my patient to my friend to finish for me, and headed home to get the train in.  I met up with Aimei/HK and then we hopped on the train.  Neri was already in the city, Exray was making his way in with Lushen and Consti, and Cymre was also heading in.  Moo and Natanie were already there!  Lacrox was slowly dragging himself in, and he asked us to save him a seat.

We headed straight into the cinema and ran into Neri, so we went and lined up on the stairs - there weren't that many people, fortunately.  I expected more!  I guess that's the good thing about limited tickets.  I felt guilty for not talking to people around me, so I decided to be friendly and chat to random people around me.  Luxy would probably laugh at me, because next thing you know I'd be inviting them to flex or to the guild.... 

But I finally met Natanie and Moogyver in the line!  Lots of squeals and hugs!  I heard that Dayani of Heliocentric was around - Neri pointed her out to me but I was too chicken to go say hi in the big queue, I thought I'd try and grab her later.

And how cool was this, they had a DARK PORTAL to walk through to enter the cinema!  Off we go to Draenor!  I didn't get any good pics but here's one HK took.

Then there was some massive artworks being displayed around.  I should have taken more photos. Got to meet @Msmiggy as well, who was responsible for getting us our tickets.  I had to make a note to take a pic with her later in the evening.

And once we went into the cinema, the walls had the Warlords looking down at us from the sides, looked pretty neat.

And there were surprises on the seat!  Each seat had a drink, small popcorn and a mini figurine!  I got a Murky, but there was also Murkimus and Fishy toys as well!  Lucky I didn't buy popcorn outside.

So we watched the cinematic of the original World of Warcraft on the BIG screen and we then got to meet Ion Hazzikostas himself.

And he talked a lot about the game, and the 10 years of the game.  About the mistakes they had made and what they learned, and why they changed things the way they did.  It was a good explanation - they said that the game had stopped being fun because it was too hard to pick up, with so many abilities that it was super hard to learn to play it well.  And I'm thinking that maybe that chased away a lot of casual players from the game - because it was too hard to learn how to play a character.  It was a good explanation.  Ion also talked about how they were trying to configure things to please a certain group of players but at the expense of a different group of players.  And the solution to raiding was their current model - which I think has made the game so brilliant. People were being shut out of content because they could not access it, but now with LFR and also Flexible sized raids and difficulties, the raids cater to all player types and player skills.

"Accessibility is not the enemy of depth," he said, and now, I can what he was trying to say.  Many elite players said that the classes were dumbed down with the ability pruning - but Ion said that the classes were easy to learn, but more difficult to master.

Another thing he talked about was removing of some of the secondary stats, namely hit and expertise. The game was not fun if you didn't reach those caps, and then also became less fun when you went over the caps. The caps were not intuitive - you had to go look it up elsewhere to find what you needed. He said it was more fun to get more of a stat and see the benefit, like haste, where you get more haste and you cast your spells faster.  THAT was fun. 

It was a good interview.  And then @Blizzard_ANZ got deep and personal with Ion and there was so much stuff about him which I didn't know.  That he was a lawyer and he gave up law to do Game Design.  And what did his parents think of that?

"They thought I was completely insane."

And that his favourite raid encounter is Lei Shen.


You heard it.  Next week we have super extended maintenance and maybe after that... our new Australian servers will be LIVE.
Q: When will local game servers be available?
A: We’re aiming to have the new local World of Warcraft game servers available ahead of the release of the upcoming expansion, Warlords of Draenor, which will go on sale in Australia and New Zealand on November 13, 2014. An extended maintenance to the current Oceanic realms will be required in order to migrate player data to the new hardware. Servers will be taken offline on Tuesday October 28 with normal scheduled maintenance and we will have the new game servers online as soon as possible.
There was much screaming and cheering at this announcement :D  You can read all the FAQs here!

Then it was onto some questions.  Man, there were some bad questions.  But there were good questions too.  And then it was time to go find my guildies!

We found Exray, Lushen and Consti after a while and took pics with them.  Then some of us who were lucky enough to have VIP passes got to go in the Gold Class Lounge and hang around!

There was food, drink, alcohol... you know I was really impressed.  For a free event, they sure made everyone feel like it was worth their while!  I met Dayani, and Toro and photobombed @msMiggi and @Blizzard_ANZ and even Ion himself!  I shook his hand and asked Ion if he wanted to come to Australia or did he pick the short straw and got sent here (convict style!).  He said that he chose to come, which is pretty cool :D

I was exhausted by the end of the evening so I said goodbye to everyone, and straight home to my computer to get all this out of my head before I crash!

So - all in all it was a great night.  Great to see such a huge population of WoW players right here in Sydney!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Minipost: MORE reasons why I want to go to Blizzcon - Metallica!

Ok, so not everyone is a Metallica fan, but this is not about everyone. It's about ME.  And I LOVE METALLICA!

“We’re thrilled to have Metallica blowing out our speakers at BlizzCon this year,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “After two full days of epic gaming and intense eSports action, an earth-shaking concert is the perfect sendoff for everyone at the show and watching from home.”
Thank goodness I have a virtual ticket so I can watch it live and I can control the volume!  Blink 182's performance last year killed my ears so I am happy to be watching it in the comfort of my own home (with ready access to toilet and food).

I have seen a number of people on Twitter saying that there is a lot of criticism and negativity about that, but I have seen none of that on my feed - I have seen heaps of positive and excited people (and perhaps it's only because I follow COOL people who actually like Metallica, or because I follow AWESOME people who respect other people's choices and know that if you don't like it you DON'T HAVE TO WATCH/LISTEN).

Though there was a lot of expanding on that topic:


I wonder... do you think anyone in Metallica plays Blizzard games?  Wouldn't it be awesome if they did?? :D

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.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Raiding - Our first Mythic raid

6.0 hit and there was a flurry of activity in the guild as everyone dug into the quests, and played around in UBRS and fixed their addons, learned their class again...

Having not played around in the beta or PTR I had a look at what was gone and was pleased to see that all my spells could fit in my spell bar again!  There are heaps of summaries around about the changes but it was a nice pruning of my spellbook, Here's my 20 second summary:

  • Nourish (won't miss ya)
  • Innervate (I thought I would miss ya)
  • Shroom bloom (really miss ya!)
  • Everlasting efflo-shroom (miss ya but I can see why you had to go) - now it needs to be refreshed every 30 seconds
  • Faerie fire (YES I won't have to FF the boss ever again!)
  • SOTF increasing haste (really miss ya - no fast tranqs anymore waaaah) - now it makes either Healing Touch cast tiem faster, increases regrowth healing, rejuvenation heal more or wild growth heal more.  I guess since haste is removed or is less important, that's the main reason.
  • Symbiosis (will miss you in PvP - but I can cope I think for raids)
  • 1 application of lifebloom (make so much more sense!)
  • Neverending mana (surely it can't be like this forever)
  • Genesis as a 3 second hot made from squishing up whatever rejuvenation effects were left on allies (not sure about this yet)
  • Boosted living seeds (yay for free better heals)
  • Tranquility healing everyone within range every 2 seconds for 8 seconds, but with no hot attached to it (I don't really mind no hot)
Anyway, I wanted to talk about the nuts and bolts of the evening, which was raid.  I was nervous, I didn't know if we would be parched or flooded.  It turned out, it was just right.  We had a raid group made up of:

Tanks: Aimei, Exray (on his warrior Bladewall)
Healers: Navimie, Morzierz, Ravzz, Koda
DPS: Sevrus, Azadelta, Luxygaga, Jazzbangers, Nathamanz, Crooked, Haevela, Lushen, Kahrax, Uq/Eq, Ultrapwn/Tenshi, Souglyy, Vexil, Shoushiro

There was some talk about undergeared people.  Shoushiro was probably the most undergeared, being in some Timeless still.  Ultra's hunter was also pretty undergeared with a lot of LFR and flex gear on.  I was worried because Exray was mainswitching to his warrior, and I didn't know if it was going to be geared enough. He still has to go off his old EPGP so he won't be able to loot much! It's gonna take me some time to say normal and heroic, I think for the rest of this tier I will still refer to them as LFR, Flex and Normal, rather than LFR, Normal and Heroic.

Ultra realised this after the first boss and switched to his shaman, Tenshikanade, who was better geared. I scolded him a little - why had he not transferred THAT toon over? - and I think it was a little bit better, from my point of view.

So we started with Immerseus and we had to explain our complicated strategy to a bunch of new people.  It was hard for them at first, I think, and we wiped once, but got it on the second attempt, which was surprising!  We were 4 healing, so each of us took a compass point and rushed over to our spots.  Our first wipe was probably because people didn't focus adds down, and so we made sure people did that the next time around and we got it.   Phew!  The great thing was, people were getting loot.

Protectors was messy.  We wiped a few times and people were taking damage to the barrels being chucked out.  Also, Calamity was really hurting.  We ended up getting Crooked to heal with us to push us through with extra heals after a number of wipes, and the final kill was actually very clean.  It also helped when some of us actually downloaded the MoP DBM part of DBM instead of just having the Core DBM...  I think that made a difference.  Another thing we did slightly different was have the groups a little separated - when we were all bunched up it was really hard to see things on the ground. Having two groups helped visibility a lot.

Norushen was a one shot but it was messy as.  It was different - there were bubbles EVERYWHERE!  I am not sure if people were tunneling the boss or what, but there were loose purple orbs, and I wasn't sure how to send people down into the zone (we normally do 2 at a time but do I now do 4 at a time?).  But it was ok, and it should be ok coz that is an easy boss.  It's so WEIRD seeing so much loot dropping!  5 items drop in Mythic whereas 2 drop in 10 man.  It feels like we get bonus loot!  A lot of the loot that was dropping was the general loot, not the boss specific loot though (like cloaks - there were a damn lot of cloaks) so they weren't as much fun.

We were very close on that Sha kill, but a few of us died near the end and it was hard to catch up. We started with our normal strat and then found out in Mythic all 4 prisons are active and they need 3 people to stand on each one!  So we ended up splitting it so that half the raid was on one side, and half on the other side, and that seemed to work well. I noticed that for Sha that when we split the groups like that, a healer on each side got the buff to dispel.  That was good!  I don't think we'll have a problem on that tonight.

Server shutdown right on the dot at 11pm - which was great because of daylight savings, it meant that it was at the END of the raid instead of the middle of the raid!

Then we were done!

How did I feel after that?  Well, I was happy we did it, and it was slow, but I hadn't expected miracles. I did have some whispers from people - saying we are not geared to do this, we need more healers, people are not being raid aware and that's why we are failing, and also why are we even raiding heroics when the expac is about to drop?

I answered all those concerns as best as I could.  The undergeared people were not the healers, it was the DPS.  All the healers were heroic raiders.  We normally 2 heal these fights, and that's 10 man, so didn't it sound about right that we were 4 healing?  Especially since we had slightly lower DPS than we were used to, so they need more damage dealers anyway.

About the raid awareness, all we could do was be very clear about to avoid.  I think it showed in Protectors - initially we were all terrible.  I know I stood in poison whilst in the middle and didn't realise - it's so damned hard to see!  Even Aza was having a bad day - he couldn't hold the anguish as long as the hunters and shadowpriests - only Haevela survived, because Sev died holding it as well. Once we made it clear what to avoid, it was a lot better, and the kill attempt was just about perfect.

The last question, on why we were still raiding - I said that the purpose of the raiding was not only loot, but it was for team building.  Raiding together makes you feel part of the group.  It's supposed to be fun, and we will be raiding together in WoD, so we might as well get a feel for how the group dynamics work now, and familarise ourselves with how other people play.  I don't mind if people don't want to raid - I can always just convert to heirloom runs if that's what we're down to. But we'll see.

Hopefully we will have as much interest tonight.  Maybe this time Dragonray can actually GET ONLINE in time - poor thing was stuck trying to get in and missed the raid!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sad that I am a Brawler but not a Proven Healer

It's the eve of the patch, and many of us are sitting there thinking about all those things we didn't do...

... it's a little bit like someone diagnosed with cancer or some other terminal illness.  All those things we didn't do when we had the time and now when time is running out, we dwell on what could have been.  Which is why we should never put off till tomorrow what we can do today.

Luxy was determined for me and McTacky to get our last Brawler items.  For the longest time he and I were missing one part of the Collect Your Deck - the Vial of Reddish ooze.  It drops in scenarios from the Greater Cache of treasures and we lamented ever getting it because it just did not drop.  So on Saturday, Luxy and McTacky did an intensive scenario run with up to 50 scenarios.  Luxy managed to get 5 Vials of Reddish Ooze.  Tacky got none.

He was, to say the least, just a little disheartened.  I don't blame him.  I dislike scenarios at the best of times and running them over and over... ugh.

So on Sunday we decided to try again.  Tacky and I did a couple and then whispered to each other about how we would tell Luxy we had done 10 scenarios when really we had done only two. Suddenly, Crooked said he would come with us, and grudgingly me and Tacky went along.

He and I had taken to opening our caches together.  Luxy has this funny thing she does where she collects a whole heap then opens them all at once for a perceived better drop rate.  We didn't have her patience.  So after our first scenario with Crooked he and I were saying "Three, two, one - opening.  Did you get it?" whereas Crooked said "Oh no...."

"What?" I said. "Don't tell me..."
"Oh my GOD, he got it!" said Tacky.  Sure enough.  There in the loot chat was Crooked looting a Vial of Reddish Ooze.

"No wonder we can't get it," I grumbled to Tacky.  "They keep getting it."
"Can we stop now?" said Tacky.

"Nooooo!" said Luxy.  "Keep going!"

So we queued again.  We changed who was the leader of the group and made them queue for luck, of course.  The stupid superstitious things that we do!

Loot time.  OMG Tacky got his Vial!  YAY!  We cheered, and I said "So, we can stop now?"

"No, Navi," said McTacky.  "We have to keep going till you get yours."

"It's not dropping!" I said.  "And I need to AFK a sec, I need a 10 minute nap so I can do more."

"They can queue without you," said Luxy, "And you can just afk and get the cache."

"Yeah! We can do that!" said Tacky.  OK, I felt bad making them do it, but it was a waste of time IMO.  It wasn't going to drop.

My 10 minute nap turned into a 25 minute nap and when I got back I was at the character screen.  "We got you three caches!" said Tacky.

I opened the first one.  Nothing there.  What a surprise.  I opened the second one.  Oh. My. Goodness.  It was real!  There it was, a Vial of Reddish Ooze.

"I got one!" I squealed.

"Yay!" cheered Luxy, Crooked and Tacky.  And so off we went to do some Brawlers, doing some challenge cards.  I managed to get Splat, Bear and the Lady Fair, and Mecha-Bruce.

Monday night rolled around and raid finished early so I went to Brawlers to see what Tacky was doing.  He was there trying to finish off Deck Your Collection. I still had heaps to do, and so I queued up with everyone else who was trying to finish their achievements.  There were quite a few around.  Tacky coached me through the ones I needed to do, and I watched him finish Mingus Diggs finally, yay!  I was having my usual derpy time - though, amazingly I managed to one shot Grandpa Grummelfoot, Ty'thar, Master Boom Boom, Ro-Shambo and Mingus Diggs - thank goodness I had great coaches! I needed a couple of goes on Blingtron 3000 (the first time I got too excited and stood next to Blingtron as he was being electrocuted and zapped myself DEAD), and LOTS of goes on The Blind Hero and Razorgrin.  Those last two do these horrible frontal attacks but I had difficulty figuring out the directions.  I spent so much time running in and out for Razorgrin like a scaredy cat that I was cutting it super fine on damage and killed it on enrage.  It felt silly dying to a shark flopping on the ground.

Then I did the Now You're Just Showing Off bosses, and they were a little trickier for me.

I started with Zen'shar, this big eye thing and lasers all around, as I had tried him a few times before. Tacky told me the trick of doing North/South and strafe whereas I'd been running all over the place and that worked a treat and he went down.

Then I tried Millhouse Manastorm and Exray had turned up by this stage to watch because he had been online in guild when I got my Deck Your Collection.

"Who woulda thought, Navi would be using a flask AND a pot to DPS?" said Exray.

Who woulda thought Navi would be DPSing, is what I was thinking.

Exray put markers on the ground to help me with Millhouse (as in which totem to kill and where I should stand) and that was good.  Only took me two goes with all that help!

Then I tried Disruptron.  It looked horrible.  Tacky far-sighted me during the fight and took some screenies so I could remember how terrible I was...

Took me a lot of goes and only Luxy was left awake to watch me kill it - but barely. I had one more to go.

"Are you going to do it?" she asked me. "You HAVE to do it! You're nearly done! I don't want to go because then you won't do it."

"I promise I'll do it," I said. I was this close, I had to do it now. By the Earthmother, it was 2am.  This was insanity.  Luxy watched me do a few attempts then she logged off to rest a bit.

There was a rogue still going, and a shaman spectator.  The rogue partied up with me - he was stuck on the Ahoo'ru and he was a little undergeared compared to me, but he was hitting enrage all the time.  The shaman was nice and rezzing me and the rogue everytime we died as we struggled withour bosses.  I was up to Epicus Maximus and I was being a total ninny.  Dying to lasers or not interrupting the blue water spray thing.  For some reason I had gotten it into my head that I needed to do two different interrupts.  I was trying Mighty Bash and Warstomp and Maim to no avail, when all I had to do was skull bash twice.  DUH.

Anyway, at 335am, I finally got it!

Now I could sleep in peace.  Well, almost in peace.  I may be a Brawler but I really wanted to be a Proven Healer.  Do you know that when Proving Grounds came out I was in there almost straight off the bat and I got to round 29 Endless and died that first day?  And since then I had died at the same point, every time.  I am sure if I memorised the routine better I would have done better, but I just couldn't face going back and investing half an hour and failing again!  And yes, it does make me a little ashamed because I pride myself on being a healer but here I am being unable to do this healing thing yet I did this DPS thing.  Anyway, all these things will be gone soon, there will be new proving grounds and I can try again if I wish, so all is not lost.  Just having everyone rub their Proven Healer titles in my face makes me get that little twinge - just a little bit.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Raiding - Being proven wrong on Flex Garrosh

It is SO close to patch that people have so many things they want to do before 6.0 hits and Flex would not be one of them.  However, it is still important to me for all our socials who enjoy doing things with the guild, and I wanted to see what we had.

I had Morz, myself and Koda as partially heroic geared raiders to help push the raid through, and Crooked came as well on Garrosh to help.  Kahrax was on his shaman at first but switched to tank, and Thohand was tanking for the first time in Flex having only done LFR.  Dragonray was there too with Lominari on their mains.

Gunsnbowses, Brae and Kelthal were there (Brae was tanking at first but I made him go hunter) as well as Faithless, and also Malfouti/Endos on his paladin and he brought a friend along whom he himself described as  a "noob raider" so I was going to go gentle on her.

So we only had 13 people and Kel ended up leaving because his net was so bad  We were having a messy time on Blackfuse and I thought that it was a strong indicator of our ability to do Garrosh.  I even said to Morz that this wasn't looking good, but we would see how far we could get.

After another wipe I mentioned we might have to call it, and Kahrax decided to switch from his shaman to his warrior and tank with Thohand, which was good because then I could put Brae on belts (on his hunter) with Guns.  The two of them did very well on belts and we got it down.

Paragons went very well.  I'm not used to marking up the targets, and I was a bit lazy with my healing as I was too busy trying to locate targets to skull and x them.  I should have just turned name plates on, that would have been easier!  Damage was good, people were listening, I thought that Garrosh was worth a shot, though I could imagine that the heroic raiders would not think it was possible.  Two goes, I said, to Morz in officer and also to the raid.

So, we did it our usual way, nothing different, nothing special.  Crooked had gotten on at this time so I dragged him in to help.  Our first attempt was quite solid and I thought it was definitely worth another go.  Perhaps the thought that we were going to give up after the second attempt was enough motivation but it went very very well.  They killed Garrosh!  I was surprised, to say the least, and the numbers were decent so it should have been very doable.  I was pleased because there were a few people who hadn't done it before on Flex, and also our social raiders were doing fantastic at the end of the expansion.  I felt proud of them!  LOL, it's really silly, I should have had more confidence in them and I guess since they are all regular flexers they they know the drill of how to do the boss so it wasn't a big drama at all.  And it is Flex, I hear people say, but even in Flex you still have to have some coordination! I know not everyone agrees but socials make up an important part of what I want in my guild, and activities like this just help bring them together more.

So that was the last Flex before 6.0.  Servers are going down tomorrow!  It's going to be a WHOLE new world on Wednesday.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Proof that even Noob DPS CAN do Brawlers

When that Noob DPS is me, that's saying something.  Gear can carry you a hell of a long way.

Everyone knows how bad I am at DPS.  I struggle being a melee.  Why did I choose to be a melee DPS?  Because I thought it best to try to confront my fears and weaknesses and attempt to improve myself. What's the worst that could happen right?  That I could fail? Well, I was already doing that so trying and failing.. is that much different?  But at least I tried.

In hindsight, the only thing that melee DPS made me do, really, was make my bags full of crap and I still only do mediocre DPS (in my bags I have PvE feral gear, PvP feral gear, resto PvE gear and resto PvP gear).  In fact, my damage is so terrible (as in I don't know how to play properly) that I can't even do silver damage proving grounds on it.  There. I said it. Yes, I am a bad player.  So there. You can laugh at me as much as you want, but I did try and I am just stupid at running around.

Anyway, enough about how sucky I am.  Well, actually, this post is all about how sucky I am.  What this post is about is to say that is that even the suckiest person can muddle their way through Brawlers at end game (which, by the way, I think they are justified to take away because really, I've cheapened the achievement with my lack of skill)

I managed to get through rank 1-7 just with gear and a little bit of avoidance.  Rank 8 I was stuck on Hexos for the longest time and I thought I would never get through it.  However, Luxy told me that some of her friends had one person do the turning, and another person doing the DPS rotation.  What a great idea!

Lucky ol' HK.  My forever go to person for helping me do movement things which I'm bad at.

So we had many goes as well, the two of us, but the time we finally got it, I wasn't even looking at the boss so I missed the whole thing.  I was so busy concentrating on my rotation that I didn't realise it was dead.  Yay!  In fact I was concentrating so HARD that I didn't take any screenshots.  I'll just borrow Mctacky's.

The rest of the Rank 8 went well and didn't cause me too much trouble.  It was rank 9 had two big fiddly bits for me.  The first one was Nibbleh.  I had watched it quite a few times and I thought I had the idea of how to do it.  Tacky and I even practiced walking backwards - keyboard walking is not something I have difficulty with.  I made myself walk slow with the / because I was sure I would be walking too fast in cat form.

But though a lot of the time I never stopped, Nibbleh still managed to touch poison and grow big.  There were of course times when I touched the edge of the pools, and other times when I had let go of the backwards walk for whatever reason.  But I was perplexed for the other times, and even Crooked had watched me and wondered about it.  I figured it was because I was taking the corners that little bit too sharp.  So more rounded corners and I was doing much better.  Yay.

Then the next block was Ahoo'ru.  I had read Dragonray and McTacky's versions of the fight and I knew how it was done.  I was just really lousy at running around things.  I pull mobs all the time in caster form by accident, did I really think that I could avoid them in cat form?  I did consider going bear for survivability... but my ass is even BIGGER then so I thought well, that's not going to help with me avoiding stuff.

Crooked, McTacky and Luxy offered me moral support and it was in the early hours of Friday morning that I finally managed to succeed with Ahoo'ru.  Most of the tips that Crooked and McTacky gave me I tried to do - like get all three of the angels up and DPS them down rather than do it one at a time, and not to stand in melee because those stars contract in and then expand out. Luxy and Tacky were there to see me finally do it (3am!!) before I hit the pillow in exhaustion.

I really never thought I would see this, but here I am!

Luxy has a new barbarian orc transmog.  Lots of green flesh, but she has switched herself to blood elf for this picture.  It's funny you know - on an orc, I think she looks like a fighter.  On a prettier toon like a Blood Elf, it just looks like a flamboyant display of skin.  Interesting, because what I am wearing on my druid I also think makes her look like a fighter than a skimpy dresser.

I still have a few more achievements in Brawlers to get... but honestly, I could not be bothered.  I have never had that Vial for the challenge card for Splat drop from my scenarios and I would rather kill dinosaurs than queue endlessly for scenarios.  As for getting the shirts from the challenge cards I already DO have...

I just don't have the bank space!  6.0 can't get here fast enough, yet also, it's here too soon.  There's just no pleasing some people :P