Monday, March 31, 2014

PvP - Pugging around makes me feel dirty

Sev and I have had a few goes trying to do our arenas - 2s are still frustrating because I can't do anything useful DPS wise, and Sev doesn't like me to cyclone when he's multidotting so roots is all I can do with occasional roar/bash depending on what spec I choose.  But we've had a few goes with different 3s partners.

We played with Dahakha first, on his boomkin.  We usually BG with Dah, but he has only come back to game in the last month or so and is gearing back up but his health is like a massive bullseye on his head because they just target him and smash him down.  We did manage to win one game -  but Dah pointed out to me that the reason we won that one was because the opposing team decided to target me instead of him.

Then we played with Bob's warrior, Stormvoid.  It's got some funny letters in there but I can't be assed typing them so Stormvoid will have to do. He enjoys PvPing on his warrior, and it was different having a melee class there.  Playstyle is so different - with a melee training on a caster/healer, suddenly you seem so free to do things.  That actually went rather well, and I thought double fears with the same diminishing returns would be bad, but actually they weren't that bad.  Bob is rather subdued on Vent, but hey, not everyone can be as animated as Shab when it comes to PvP.  We won a few, we lost a few, but overall it had a good feel. Bob had preferred targets so that made our life easier.

A few days ago we tried some games with Arashikage, who is a friend of Jinjersnaps, a former guildie who went to play with her friends elsewhere.  Another warrior, but when it came to speaking, Bob was a lion compared to Arashi - which meant Arashi was silent most of the time.  He seemed to prefer us telling him what to target, and liked charging off which made me stand out in the open much to my distress.  Still, got a win or two out of that combination.

Arv got on late Saturday night and we did a few games with him.  He apologised later for his lack of gear and skill - but I think we still won a game.  It wasn't THAT bad, but it wasn't going to be brilliant at that gear level, but with work it will get there.

Then last night, I got online but Sev wasn't on so I went and did some challenge mode runs with the Blackrock Concur guys so they could try to better their times.  They're selling their gold challenge modes so they wanted to look good with their times as a guild, and also they're 4 manning them so they can carry someone easier.  I love challenge modes anyway, so I went along but then Sev got on when I was in the midst of one and I had already committed to a few runs so I couldn't PvP, much to my chagrin.  He logged and I said we'd do some on Monday.  Challenge modes finished early, so as I was sitting around writing a blog post I noticed someone was trying to do a YOLO (You only live once) Pug rated BG, so I joined that - not realising it would be AN HOUR before we actually got started as they tried to fill the group and some silly people had deserter buffs on as well.

With no vent and everyone playing like a team (team in the LOOSEST sense of the word - it had a random BG feel to it) and the BG we got was Arathi Basin - yes it's my favourite, but leaving one of only two healers to defend a node is a bit silly if you're trying to attack a node - we didn't do terribly but we didn't do well either. However, losing an RBG still gives you 150 conquest points, so that wasn't a TOTAL waste of time. What surprised me was that whilst I was in the BG I got a whisper from the mage who asked me if I wanted to do some 2s afterwards.

I felt dirty.  I felt like I was cheating on someone.  It's like going out on a date with someone else when you're already seeing someone - though that sounds totally WRONG because it's not like I'm seeing Sev but I do feel like I should at least be FAITHFUL to him... LOL this is getting worse by the minute.  Let me rephrase that paragraph.

It didn't feel right playing with someone I didn't know.  But I was a little curious.  But I decided to play hard to get.  I asked him if his burst was good - because in 2s, once your burst is over as a mage, we're running around twiddling thumbs and cc'ing until they're all up again.  He told me to look at the DPS in the BG and see for myself.  He as also from Aman'thul - and my battletag was full, so I would have to delete someone to make room for him. The game was rapidly approaching its end, so I quickly deleted someone and then sent him a btag request in the last 5 seconds, which he accepted.  And off we went to do some 2s.

This was a true pug, with no vent - perhaps it's not needed because you just say at the beginning who the focus is and who to cc and off you go.  And the mage did something I thought was clever - he used a potion of illusion (I think) on me because there he was, my little double, at the beginning of the arena match.  We only did two matches, but we won both of them - which put me to cap (+ a little bit extra since I did do a rated BG) and a bit of guilt because I should have been doing them with Sev, but it was definitely a different experience playing something as intimate as 2s with a total stranger.  Not sure if I'd do it again, but my first experience of it wasn't that bad, to be honest.  But, at the end of the day, I'd rather play with Sev :)

Now, I hear Putress likes to PvP... I wonder what a double lock + druid combo is like? Afflock and Destro lock, that is.

Leibster Awards!

Zeirah of A is for Azeroth and Z is for Zeirah tagged me for a Liebster award - which I had to do some searching to see what it was - and found that I can use this cool little badge thing because I got a Liebster award!

So, I'm going to steal the description of what this is going back through the chain of passing...
“Well, it is only an AWESOME award given to up and coming bloggers. Given by other up and coming bloggers. It’s a cool way to find other blogs and feel like you are getting into the blogging stratosphere. It is simple, you get nominated by someone else, mention their page and a link to their blog in your Liebster Award Post, answer the 11 questions they give you, then tag 11 other nominees and give them a new set of 11 questions to answer.”
So here are Zeirah's questions:

What is your favourite zone in wow?
I used to say it was Nagrand, and then I said it was Jade Forest.  But I think my favourite zone in WoW would actually be Arathi Basin.  It is rare for me not enjoy my time when I'm in that battleground - even if we're losing!  But then, it's probably because I rarely go in solo, and usually teamed up with my PvP friends, so it's always fun to hang together, and if we're losing... well it's time to go pick on some hapless alliance toon who was annoying the crap out of me during that battleground.

What is your idea of a perfect day?
Getting up in the morning after a night of uninterrupted sleep, the kids eat their breakfast and go to school/daycare and I've got the day off to spend playing uninterrupted WoW, with a big glass of Ribena, and giant packet of maltesers, and everything in WoW going my way! Then I'd pick up the kids from school, and hubby would bring home yummy takeaway and we'd all eat it and finish off with ice-cream and then after usual homework etc and shower, the kids will go to sleep by themselves, I'll go raid every boss will be a one shot and we'll get a new boss too AND I'll get some loot!

If you could be any npc, who would it be and why?
I would be Mylune! Because she makes me laugh and she loves clutching things to her bosom.

Aside from food, water, and shelter, what one thing could you not go a day without?
The internet.

Why do you blog?
I like writing.  It's a great outlet for all my pent up joys, frustrations and pressured thoughts that get jumbled up in my head.  Writing it out is therapeutic, and also a great way to record and remember the time in this game that I love so much.

What would you tell a brand new wow player about the game?
Hmm tough one.  I'd tell them that Icy Veins is a great place to go learn about everything if you needed a one stop shop for things about your class, and dungeons and raids.  And that the key to happiness in this game is to enjoy what you do and not let others get you down.  And a good support network (like a guild) also helps to make the whole game more enjoyable.

If you could pick any theme for the next expansion what would it be?
In a word - Amazons. Or whatever the Azerothian equivalent is.  Though maybe people will feel bad beating up on a bunch of girls and killing them all the time, and I can understand that, because to some people, it would be like how others feel about killing children in the game.

What is your favourite mount?
My Vicious war Wolf.  It is extremely appropriate for someone in the guild Frostwolves.  It looks better than a Frostwolf Howler which is in need of some model updates...

What cheers you up?
Writing on my blog.  Cuddles from my children. Chocolate.  And finding out I have a new comment on my blog - bonus happiness if it's someone I've never seen before and I can track them down so I can learn more about them!

Glass half full or half empty?
Half full!

Whats your favourite thing to do in wow?
Raiding, I think. I love the teamwork, and my guildies and it's challenging.  And it's only for 2 hours, 3 times a week, so I don't get sick of it.

So, who am I going to choose?  I don't think I will burden more than 7 people (this number was chosen because my blog is the Daily Frostwolf, and there are 7 DAYS in a week - totally random), so here are my seven victims:

Bubbles of Mischief - oops she was tagged by Reihyou!
Sugar and Blood - Damnit, she was tagged by Cymre
Tome of the Ancient
Luxypie and Rainbows
Just Mctacky
Zwingli's Weblog of WoW
Azerothian Life - Damnit, another one tagged by Cymre!
Bikes Babes Bytes
Frost and Claws
Doctor in Progress

And here are my questions!

  1. If you worked for Blizzard in the WoW department, what job would you like to do?
  2. If any of these races became playable, which would you choose and why - Murloc, Naga, Ogre?
  3. What has been your greatest frustation in WoW?
  4. If you could design a Children's week orphan - what places would you take he/she to visit?
  5. Name an item of clothing/weapon that you wish there was an in game equivalent of for transmog (eg Tinkerbell's dress).
  6. Do you prefer donuts, bagels or muffins? And any particular flavour?
  7. If you could have any car in the world - what car would you drive?
  8. What item do you want in game the most?
  9. Tell me WHY you like your favourite three blogs! Ok that's not a question...
  10. What is the BEST thing Blingtron has given you?
  11. Tell me about your most cringeworthy moment (doesn't have to be WoW).
Edit: Ancient reminded me that I am supposed to provide 11 random facts about me! Ok... well I warn you they are very random!
  1. I am a big fan of collector and limited edition Lego, especially Star Wars and now the Creator buildings series.  My biggest collector (and most expensive) collector pieces are: Taj Mahal, Millenium Falcon and Carousel.
  2. I am a sucker (pun intended) for vampire, paranormal and historical romances.
  3. I don't like fried, scrambled or boiled eggs. Omelettes are ok.
  4. My favourite flavour of frozen yoghurt is taro.
  5. I didn't have an engagement ring, I asked for a diamond as a pendant instead, and that is the only jewellery I wear.
  6. At work it is a well known fact that I play World of Warcraft.
  7. I am an eclipse chaser.  I love solar eclipses and I have seen 3 - Ceduna (South Australia 2002), Turkey (2006) and Port Douglas (Queensland, Australia 2012).
  8. My oldest friend in the game is actually Mabaho of Bikes Babes Bytes - he and I went to high school together. Cymre of Bubbles of Mischef is my next oldest friend, we lived in the same university accommodation (and she introduced me to WoW in 2005).
  9. I like talking to random people around me in game.  If they have a nice transmog, or are asking questions in trade, standing at the same pet battle master or have a cool title, I will whisper them or emote them.
  10. I am a slug with an aversion to exercise.
  11. I have a crush thing for the actors who play villains like Benedict Cumberpatch (Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness), Michael Fassbender (Young version of Magneto in X-Men) and Tom Hiddleston (Loki in Thor/Avengers). They also do great impressions! 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Raiding - Not bad for the week that I thought would be crap!

I was worried about what this week would bring.  Kyxyn said that we should do all normals this week since he wasn't here - but I wasn't convinced.  There were a few fights which would be tough, but I still wanted to do our farm heroics this week to get the gear so that the week wasn't a total waste.  Owl was bringing his tank who was about 553 or something-ish so it wasn't too bad, really!  And that's his DK, not his warrior. And he knows the fights.

I also thought this would be a good time to have Nath and Jazz come in - hey if Owl is learning to tank it, why not have them learn some heroics too! I wondered about whether to get Tacky in, and I did ask him to stand by on Wednesday, but when I thought about it, it was a bit of an ask to go from Flex to heroic.

Wednesday was a TOUGH day.  At first, it was just me and Morz healing and we wondered if we could do it, and we gave it a couple of goes and maybe we could have done it if we had our usual team, but it was just too hard.  DPS felt a little slow too, and the final phases were a struggle trying to get all the blue blobs - that would have been an issue I think that would have slowed the kill.  So we got Asys in and Sev sat out, and we bashed at it some more.  Bad swirls, bad spouts and adds killing people were issues as well.  Aimei ended up swapping their taunting and so he was getting the adds and that seemed a lot better and eventually we got it down.  Yay for Aimei getting his staff!  I took the ring but really, it should have gone to Luxy.

Then it was onto Protectors. Owl's DK didn't have the interrupts that Kyxyn had and so we wiped a bit and then Kyxyn was online and offered to help out.  Gladly took him up on that offer!  We had some hairy moments and DPS was a little slow but we got it down, phew.

Thursday came around, and it was the easier heroics, at least for the tanks and heals. The next 3 fights were our 2 healer fights, and so Asys and Morz healed Noru and Sha, and then Morz and I healed Galakras.  All went down in one go - Galakras was a bit hairy at the end - and there were some good loots to be had! Jazz scored warforged Gaze of Arrogance, and Morz got warforged Rime-Rift Shoulders.  and so I told everyone we would move to normals.  Jazz and Nath moved out, and Dragonray, Lominari and McTacky came in and we did up to Nazgrim on normals, which all went ok.  That leaves 2 wings for Monday, and hopefully that will be ok.  I was really pleased with our efforts in heroics and then being able to do normals - perhaps we may get a Garrosh kill this week!  Hope to maximise our DPS for Garrosh, which means 2 healing, and hopefully Tacky is up to it. Garrosh is still a tough fight, and we'll see how many people we can do it with - worst case scenario, I'll take Tacky or Dragonray/Lominari but not be able to do both.  With our tank situation still in the non-progress stage (ie no new heroics) we'll keep at it with the normal farm heroics and gearing up our other future raiders for the rest of SoO - and I don't think that's really a bad way to go.  I was even thinking of selling Garrosh kills - but maybe that's still a few weeks away whilst I get everyone their achievement!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Guildleader Chores - Kyxyn steps down

So what happens when your friend, who is the raid leader and main tank tells you he is going to step down from raiding for health and family reasons?

"What, you can't leave me!  Oh gosh what do I do now..."
You can't say much, except that as his friend, you understand and support his decision, but he will be missed!  Yes, my dear raid leader Kyxyn dropped a bombshell on me before raid that left me speechless for about 15 minutes as my mind raced over what I was going to do next.  He did say he would still come to Flex, and perhaps I will milk that for all it's worth :) I think that having Kyxyn there for Flex helps make the whole thing run smoothly.  I'm sure with Aimei there it would be fine too but he's not as vocal as Kyxyn, so I would have to do more talking... heaven forbid.

He said he would stick around for a week as we try to tidy things up and organise things. And then I started thinking about who I would get to replace him.  Well, there's Asys and there's Owl. Oh man, if either if them is tanking means I'll be down a potential healer... oh man. Tacky's been stepping up - I could ask him!

"No back up healers... OMG... who can I ask... I'm getting dizzy..."
It's not so bad, really. We do have a lot of DPS spare lying around.  Just not so many healers and tanks. Ugh... does that mean it's recruiting time again?  I have tanks for WoD working their way up the ranks.

I'm going to miss Kyxyn. Oh I know, he'll still be around, but somehow it won't be the same.  Kyxyn had a similar ideal to mine when it came to this guild - and actively tried to maintain that with me.  He was someone I could rely on when it came to looking at a new candidate and looking at their potential and their goals and gauging their abilities and their WoW ideals, and whether they would fit in here. I hope he realises just how much I valued his opinions and suggestions.

Raiding will still go on, but Kyxyn had an authoritative presence - that could be the teacher exerting itself - and for me, it added structure and discipline to our raids. I am not a raid leader as my explanations are child-like and simplistic punctuated with a lot of "thingies", "swirlies", "bad stuff", and I'm sure, like always, Kyxyn will be back - we just don't know when, but I don't think it will be for at least a year. Sigh, that's a big hole in my guild heart to fill!

Monday, March 24, 2014

PvP mounts - Are you a dog or a horse person?

One of the polarising opinions in our guild is about the Horde PvP mounts.

My arena buddies (Sev, Shab and I) are big fans of the Vicious War Wolf.

Whereas Kyxyn, Aza and Owl are fans of the Vicious Skeletal Horse.

Much good natured derision (is there such a thing?) has been thrown around the guild about which is the better mount.  Some have said that they have the Kor'kron war wolf so that is an adequate substitute.  But you can never have enough wolves IMO.  In return for diss'ing our dogs, I have started referring the Vicious skeletal horse as Rainbow pony.

This guild is called Frostwolves not Frostponies, as I have pointed out to my guildies with the warped opinions.  So, which do you think looks better? I admit the rainbow pony does have a certain appeal... I'll get it this season, but I still think the wolf has more grunt. Besides, cows look stupid riding a horse.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Flex raiding - Yet another good week! I could get used to this!

I fell asleep before Flex again and had Aimei wake me up - Kyxyn was worried coz our numbers were a little low.  But there was no need to panic - we ended up with a nice solid number of 18 people and most had done it with us before.  I was healing with Luxy's priest and McTacky and I wanted to see if that would go ok!  And it did.

Ala had his first go on the belts in Blackfuse and Rip went with him (with Nova as the other person) but next time Ala could do it without the hand holding, he said.  It went chaotically ok - and Tacky's healing was really good!  He had been working on it a lot since that bad Garrosh we did a few weeks ago, and he has going in leaps and bounds since then. My meters showed him doing more healing than me but others said I was a little ahead - but it was a huge difference and I was super pleased, I always feel thrilled when someone starts to pick up and do really well!

Paragons was easy and then onto Garrosh.  Now would you believe that we one shot Garrosh!  That was pretty cool! Damage was quite high as well and we managed to get to the final phase before he threw out too many empowered things.  Aimei got his heirloom pig sticker and was quite happy about that I think.

We decided to do Wing 3 and that went well too - except for Thok because we were trying for the achievement but didn't do very well - oh well, next week!  Faith came in for Wing 3 and she stayed right till the end, and I am glad she stayed because she was worried she wouldn't be able to do it because of movement or something.

Poor Tacky, I think he was so focussed on healing and not stuffing up that he didn't hear Kyxyn say that we weren't going to do anything to prolong phase 1 because we needed the fight to drag out for the achievement.  But Tacky popped Devotion aura every time he could - it didn't make any difference though, so it wasn't a big deal, but what made me laugh later was when we decided to abandon the achievement and do it on normal, and Kyxyn told Tacky to do Devo aura on the next roar and Tacky cheerfully said "I have been doing Devo aura every time I can!" and I couldn't help it, I was laughing my head off, because he was so earnest and wanting to help not realising that it wasn't what we wanted at all!  But it wasn't anything big, it was just a funny thing and I think it was just me who found it more funny than anyone else.

In the end we did it on normal as raiding was coming to a close.  That's pretty good - 2 hour raid with 2 wings down including Garrosh - wewt! Grats to all the winners of shinies - you know, Flex is so fun, I really look forward to Saturday raids as they're just a nice chillout place to be and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Minipost: Raiding - Stuck

Wednesday night's run was a really good run.  If you thought the previous week's go when we got four heroic bosses down in one night for the first time was great, when we got FIVE down this week on our first day, that was amazing.  Pretty chuffed!

But Iron Juggernaut is just farming us.  33 wipes and we still haven't made any headway from when we first did it - and we're not sure what else we can do better.  That fight we definitely need 3 good healers and just getting the mechanics of it down is the damn pits.  It was demoralising and we decided that we would just move on from it because 33 attempts with ZERO improvement means we're doing something really wrong and need a break.

So on we went to Nazgrim.  At least that was something different.  Still hard though and omg the damage from Warsong almost needs a healing cooldown!  But it's a 2 heal fight, so there's a bit of a relief I guess, since Asys didn't turn up to raid (maybe he was working).  Wish he'd tell me if he wasn't going to turn up!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Does Cross realm raiding change anything for Frostwolves?

Community Manager
We’ve recently implemented an often requested feature to enable cross-realm raiding for Siege of Orgrimmar. Cross-realm BattleTag™ and Real ID friends can now raid together and take the fight to Garrosh on Normal or Heroic difficulty. Players will be able to earn greater rewards such as Reins of the Kor'kron War Wolf or the title of Conqueror/Liberator of Orgrimmar; both of which aren’t available to be earned within Flexible or Raid Finder difficulty.

This change is currently live for the NA region. For our friends reading this in other regions, the change requires a realm restart and will be live after maintenance/rolling restarts.

Well that was a really cool change that came about after the maintenance on Tuesday. However, in the big picture for our guild, it doesn't really change much.  We have some reserves still that we would like to get into raids, and the only thing this would do perhaps is allow us to see what players who would like to join Frostwolves are like - and they can see if our guild suits them.

What it will change is those guilds who are struggling on Garrosh and raiding numbers.  Now if they can get their friends to help, it will be great! I think we'll see a lot of people getting Ahead of the Curve, which will be great overall for game morale, especially in the pre expansion slump.  It might help some heroic guilds poach players from other players (which may lead to even more guild collapses as people sample the grass where they think it's greener) before people decide they want to make the big server change - at least this way they can try it out before they spend the money on a move.

I think this is a good change. After all, this is what it is going to be like when WoD comes - why not trial it out now and see how it pans out?  And then, everyone will be used to raiding with this new change.

Guilds who don't have strong guild ties will be the ones who suffer - for example, those who can't wait to dump subpar raiders will pull in others cross realm to help them "get a kill".  Those sorts of guilds may not survive as dissatisfaction sets in unless they still have a core of strong loyal members.  Strong guilds will become stronger if the people they pull into a raid cross server like what they see and want to come across. I'm looking forward to hearing how people are finding it - after this week I'll find out!

Minipost: Bye Shab till WoD!

Shab said he was unsubbing till WoD - or until he gets the itch to play again.  Sev and I were sad to see our 3s teammate go - now how are we going to finish our 3s games for the season so we can get the rainbow pony!

So off I went to try to find someone who would play 3s with us.  Not many people like to arena, and we wanted it to be someone that we could get along with.  I asked Luxy but she's pretty busy these days, and I also asked Sars and Bob if they were free, so me and Sev might have a bit of learning time playing with a warrior and a shaman.  I'm anxious, wondering how it will go this week.  I know that I don't have the most pleasant vocabulary when I'm arenaing - and it's not that I'm blaming anyone in the team when I am screaming "GET THESE #$%!ing GUYS OFF ME!!!" but I just get a little bit excited, sometimes.

So, wish us luck for this week as we wear in our new arena teammates (who are no doubt arena veterans, so we will have to get used to them as well!)  I tell you, it would be awesome having someone on my team who can do the purging and frogging for once!

And it's not a total goodbye to Shab - he's still in D3 so I'll see him on battlenet most evenings!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Minipost: Raiding - Now that was a crappy raid week

With only 2 days of raiding, and Galakras laughing at us it didn't leave us much time for some attempts at Iron Juggernaut, and tempers were a little short. Unfortunately, I hope nobody will take it to heart - to be honest, I was too busy berating myself for my idiotic dying to notice much of what was being said, but if anything had been really out of line I would have jumped on it right away.  I missed Galakras because I was trying

Wednesday was good - we had some confusion about whether we had done 4 bosses in a night before, and though we thought we had, we actually hadn't.  I missed that night, but I am not DYING for any loot except for rings, which will eventually come with time.

I had asked Nath and Jazz to come for Thursday but unfortunately she wasn't well and we ended up canning the raid.  I was late home too that night.

Asys seems to be in good spirits with healing again - but I think that come WoD he will be going DPS, which hopefully will keep him in good spirits. At least Morz will still be healing, but other than Luxy's priest, I am not sure where I will find another healer in the mean time.  But who knows who or what will pop up between now and then! At least for now we're doing ok.

So, here's hoping this week's raiding will be better.  But if it's not... at least I can still play Hearthstone.

Monday, March 17, 2014

How to play Hearthstone like a noob

  1. AFK in a PvP match and come back to find you made no moves and you have 3 health and the enemy has a table full of minions...
  2. End your turn and realise you forgot to use any of your minions attacks
  3. Pick up a spell card, go to put it back and then accidentally put it on top of your hero, causing damage to yourself (yay fireball to self... /facepalm)
  4. Go to heal a minion, and then realise it was wasted because it was full health already
  5. Click on your opponent, wondering what Squelch is.  Oh, why didn't anyone tell me that was a rude thing to do?!
  6. Always running out of cards!
  7. Play a hunter and not realise that you should put beast cards in the deck...
  8. Always forgetting I have a hero ability!
  9. Always feeling like I MUST play something first go
But I had a nice pack opened the other day! Who knew you could have so many shinies in one pack! But then I watched some hearthstone videos and some people had 2 legendaries and an epic in their packs. But hey, this was the nicest pack I've had so far!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Raiding - A fantastic Flex Garrosh kill!

My Flex Garrosh post was a good discussion point for my officers and some of our main raiders, and also for some of our flex raiders, and so we deviated from our usual plan this week, and decided to go straight to Garrosh, so we could do some teaching of Garrosh before we decided to drop people.

The turnout this week was better.  I had 4 excellent guild DPSers there (Sev, Jazz, Nath, Luxy) and everyone else had quite good DPS as well, which made up for our shortfall last week.  And even ZWINGLI came to Flex! He had gotten up an hour before his kids woke up so he could come - and so we hoped that we could try to get him a kill.  In fact, I hoped for all our Flex attendees we would get a kill.  Faith was a bit intimidated by the fight and she didn't feel ready for it so she sat out (but stayed listening so she could learn).

We tried our best to be clear with our explanations (even though Kyxyn felt the need to repeat/translate what I had already said in almost the SAME words I had used...!) and so Blackfuse and Paragons went down nice and easy, no wipes.  Medio (one of Asys' Blackrock friends) brought his crappy hunter who died in both fights which was a big eye roll - a shame we were full on healers because his priest is a much more useful toon.

And so onto Garrosh. Whilst we juggled around a few people to bring some better toons, I did my explanation of how the fight was going to work.  We would have 2 attempts with the full group, and see how we would go. I told them that I did not want to see people dying to Garrosh's purple cone attack, and to focus on making sure that did not happen.  I wanted everyone to follow what we did for the raids, which was stack for phase 1 in the purple pink DIAMOND, and for phase 2 we would start at green then run to purple then run to blue then back to purple - but that would be called out so not to worry.  The final phase when Garrosh turned big and purple we would move closer to Garrosh so we could control the MCs better and hopefully get a kill. Healing cds were sorted and off we went.

Our first attempt was REALLY good.  Except for my bad instructions on standing close to the sha in a dream phase and lost 4 people because of frontal attack - we might have had that.  I couldn't get Jazz up and I'm sure we could have gotten it if she had been there.

So we did it the second time and it was PERFECT.  We got a kill, and we didn't have to drop anyone, and I was so pleased I felt like hugging every member of the raid group.  I congratulated everyone on their kill and when I looked at the DPS, almost everyone had the DPS benchmark.  I think with that good result, we could probably let some of our experienced players bring alts if they wanted to, as long as they met the DPS requirements, but I would still heal on Navi. I think Kyxyn would probably still tank as well, and so would Aimei.  But that was great! The worst part was, as soon as it died, not 20 seconds later, Dragonray and Lom logged on.... oh no! But next week, we will do it again!

We did a quick wing 1 smash after that and then I had to go to bed because I had to be at work on Sunday at 8am.  But I am so happy!  That was the best Garrosh flex kill in my opinion because we didn't have to dump people.  Hopefully now that everyone has the strategy down and they all understand it, it will be smoother on subsequent fights, and maybe we will not have to drop people anymore :)

Non WoW: Choosing between humanity and the correct clinical decision

I was faced with a difficult decision this weekend.  It started even BEFORE the weekend.

On Friday, I had a phone call from a colleague about a patient that had been deemed not suitable for anaesthetic by various other anaesthetists on the days the operation was scheduled.  The orthopaedic surgeons wanted it to be done on Sunday - sneaky buggers, think they can put the worst cases on the weekend where they think nobody will notice? HA! - because the consultant was available that day to have the procedure done.  My colleague was outraged about this patient and the gall of surgeons not to be able to do the right thing and allow the patient to pass away peacefully.

The patient was a 75 year old lady who had lung cancer diagnosed 2 years ago, and it had already metastasized to her brain and her bones.  She suffered confusion because of the swelling in the brain from the cancers that had spread to there, and she was old and frail, and she had a broken hip from a fall, and she had actually fractured through a cancer that had eaten away and weakened the bone in her leg.  She had a history of clots in the legs that spread to her lungs causing embolisms and had been on blood thinners to prevent that (and having cancer, she was at even higher risk of having that happen again). She had a poor prognosis and was at high risk of morbidity or mortality even if we didn't do an operation to fix her hip - which was mostly for analgesia/pain relief, so that the patient could go home.  She probably would not be able to walk as she also had a fracture through her pelvis which we could not fix (also through a cancer spot that had eaten the bones of her pelvis).

I said that I would go see the patient for myself, but I agreed with my colleague and the others who had rung me afterwards.  This was a very poor candidate for surgery.  She was not fit for surgery by the sounds of it, and to do so would be folly.  A demented/confused elderly lady would benefit more from palliative good analgesia for her pain from her broken leg, and be allowed to pass away from her injuries than be subjected to an operation that would not bring her any benefit.  The orthopaedic surgeons love getting their hands on people and doing operations (all surgeons for that matter) with little thought on what happens in the post operative period - such as whether the patient suffers a stroke, a life threatening pneumonia or blood clot which can severely incapacitate a patient beyond all hope of recovery - but to them the operation itself was a success.  Every now and then I have to talk a patient out of an operation because nobody ever tells them what happens after the operation - and how much pain and suffering they will go through for no great benefit, and not even a chance at a cure.

So off I went to see the patient, to let them and everyone know that this operation was not to their benefit and my recommendation was to allow the patient to be palliated at home with her family in attendance.

What I did not expect to see was a wizened little old lady sitting up in bed, looking very alert and talking to her family.  Her grandson's wife, and her grandson's wife's mother were in attendance and they looked at me expectantly as I introduced myself to the patient and her family.

This lady was different to how I was described.  The orthopaedic registrar (training surgeon) had told me earlier in the day that she was looking a lot better from the end of the bed, and for once, they were right. She was sharp, had insight and asked intelligent questions, and I told her and her family that I was here to decide whether or not we could proceed to have an operation on Sunday.  Her vitals were stable, and yes she had dreadful disease and would highly likely have a poor outcome, with a high possibility of an intraoperative adverse event as well she was so frail.  Her family said that all they wanted to do was to have her operation and go home. They had been told that if she didn't have her operation she would have to go to a nursing home, because she would need full time care especially in regards to having a morphine infusion for pain relief, as it was too dangerous to have her family do it without full nursing care.  Her daughter, who was actually a nurse, was determined, as it was her mother's wish not to die in a nursing home, but to die at home, surrounded by the family that she loved.

I had tears pricking my eyes as I considered what I was going to do.  What if this was my own mother? I would wish that the doctors looking after her would respect my wishes and allow her to go home to die - and if she needed an operation for that to happen, then I would hope that someone would overlook the risks of the operation and go ahead with it if it was at all possible.  I would accept the high risks of the surgery and not blame the anaesthetist or any of the staff for any adverse outcomes because I would be so grateful that they had evern tried to do it - and even if my parent died under anaesthetic, they would have died in peace and not in pain, and that is not a bad way to die, as long as you had said all your goodbyes already.

Professionally though, I was conflicted. Doing a patient who was at high risk of dying under the procedure (or worse, becoming a vegetable) due mainly to the decision to proceed with anaesthesia made me look like a clinician with bad judgement. If she died under anaesthesia (or within 24 hours of anaesthesia), I would have coroner's forms to fill, and an investigation would have to take place. If the family did a complete turnaround and said that I was negligent for having her die under my care and then sue my ass to hell and back, ruining my career and reputation, then I would have a REALLY big problem - my life and career would be over. What they wanted was not an easy decision to make and it was no wonder NO anaesthetist was willing to take the risk and perform the operation - she had been cancelled twice already because the anaesthetists said she was not fit, just based on her illness alone. But they had made the soft cock judgement and said she was not fit for that day, and made it someone else's problem, rather than go and document in the notes that she was not to fit for anaesthesia PERIOD.  And now, the problem had come to ME. I had made up my mind before I had gone upstairs to document in the notes and take the responsibility and say that she was not to have the operation EVER as she would never be fit for anaesthetic... and yet now, here I am standing there, and it wasn't what I had planned to do at all because the picture was a little different to what I had been told.

So I went and rang the daughter, the main carer of the patient, and spoke to her about my thoughts. I said to her, that I am sure she knew that this operation was risky, and that nobody wanted to do it because of the fear something bad would happen.  She told me that she and her family accepted those risks and were happy to proceed.  I told her that even though it's easy for them to accept those risks, it is not easy for any doctor to let any patient die or have a bad outcome after entering their care - that it was stressful to have someone die, and that it was a risk to our reputation and career if it was perceived we were doing the wrong thing by going ahead in the first place.  So I said that my decision was to go ahead with the procedure despite all those risks, because if it had been my mother or grandmother, I would only wish that someone would go ahead and do the anaesthetic because it was the humane thing to do, for the chance at being allowed to go home and die with dignity, not die in a strange nursing home, or in the middle of the night all alone in the hospital.  I also told the daughter that I would really appreciate it if she did not blame me if I chose not to do CPR for her mother if she had a cardiac arrest during the procedure (though I would do all possible medically not to let that happen) as it would allow her to die in peace without suffering.  What I was trying to say, but not sure how to say, was that I was trusting her to accept the risks and not turn around later and persecute me for anything that went wrong during the operation, because even though I had told her the risks, it is never nice when it actually happens and then people are looking for someone to blame.  She cried and thanked me profusely for doing the operation, for giving her mother the chance to go home.

Thank god it was over the phone, so nobody could see the tears that had welled in my eyes as I spoke to her.

My registrars were shocked - they thought I was crazy. The incharge nurse in theatres shook his head at me and said "Well, I will go get those coroner's forms for you now then," and the scrub sisters were a little surprised but when I explained to them my reasoning, they accepted my decision.  I have thought about how best to do this procedure given the cancers in her brain make her very prone to waking up very slowly from anaesthesia or even not waking up at all, and hoped I could get away with an epidural/regional anaesthesia technique - but with her blood count being a bit low, that had its risks too.  Ugh decisions!

But whatever the outcome, I have decided to myself that I think this is the right choice.  My colleagues may have a lot to say about it, but I have chose the humanity side over the medically correct side.  And I wish that the two would align - but every now and then it doesn't and you can't blame someone for the choices they make, because there are always two sides to a story. I can only hope that people realise doctors are human too - and the choices we make affect us, and our futures, as much as they affect you the patient as well.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

I can't believe I'm playing Hearthstone...

I remember when everyone was getting Hearthstone betas and saying how fun it was.  I didn't have one, and I said Hearthstone was sucky because I wasn't playing it!

Then we went to Blizzcon and they showed a few games, and it looked pretty cool.  I mean, it was an electronic version of the TCG, right?  Even the artworks were the same!  I had a few of the TCG and Arvash had given me a druid deck but even though I read the instructions I still had no idea how the game played.

Even Sars gave me a beta key and I didn't use it... and I watched lots of my btag friends playing and wondering what they saw in the game.  Everyone started getting hearthstone beta keys and I didn't get one... then HK pointed out that I actually had to ELECT to get it, and if I would just get off my lazy ass I would get one... but I couldn't be bothered, since I had no time to play other games!  Maybe when it came to iPad or Andriod!

Then this week, Hearthstone went live.  And I saw that they even had a mount achievement for it - play 3 games... omg, I didn't know how to play!  How was I going to do this achievement!

I saw my guildies getting the Hearthstoned! achievement - except Luxy. It took her a while to get hers.  She said she played an extra game. Other people said you had to exit battlenet totally and log back in.  Well, I thought ok, it's time for me to try this thing.

So I got it and started playing.  I like the graphics and the sound - it really seemed like a game built for a tablet device!  It seemed so smooth and polished and so I did the tutorial - it was easy to understand and it finally dawned on me HOW this game was played.  So you DON'T play with the whole deck!  Oh, so THAT'S what a minion does! Oh, I see, I get these numbers in the corners now!  Oh right, you ATTACK the hero!

Anyway, I found that I actually enjoyed myself a lot - much more than I thought I would!  I played through the practice for a bit and then thought I would try the play mode.  A few people just left as soon as we joined a game, so the beat another player turned out to be easier than I thought.  I got 3 wins and got the achievement in Hearthstone, and won an extra one, just in case (like Luxy said).

I went back to WoW but nothing was there.  No mail, no mount surreptiously added to my mount list, no Hearthstoned achievement.  Oh well, maybe it takes a while.  I wasn't worried.

A few hours later I still didn't have it.  I logged right out of battle net and games.  Logged back in.  Nope, still not there.

Then I went home and got on a different computer.  Nothing there yet, no indication of new mail - though admittedly I hadn't actually opened my mailbox when I logged on at home.  I was composing a ticket when I was complaining about it in guild, and wondered where it was.  Of course, I had everyone who hadn't seen me on before telling me to try another game, log right out of battle net etc... :P

After a little bit I thought maybe I should check my mailbox and I opened my mailbox to find....

The third page in my mailbox looked like the second page, but you get the idea.  Yep, I had 21 Hearthsteeds!  Now that was kinda funny :) Yay achievement!

And of course, the mount.  It is nice looking, but I think it looks rather ridiculous on a tauren.  Especially with my PvP outfit on. I think ToT gear would look nice with it!

And of course, this post wouldn't be complete without a picture of us playing Hearthstone - so Tacky was only too happy to oblige!

Even my Murkimus wanted to get a peek at the action! :D

But I really can't believe I'm enjoying it - I think I might be one of those people who likes playing the computer mostly and occasionally venturing into PvP land (much like me and pet battle PvP) but it's the perfect thing to play when I'm at work - especially with WoW winding down and I find myself even contemplating levelling an alt all by myself since I can't even do any gathering on my main.  I'm sure everyone has their mount already - but if you haven't give it a go!  It's free to play and it's kinda fun once you get the hang of it (even my daughter likes to watch me play!)and hey, not gonna turn my nose up at an achievement/Feat of Strength to go with it either :D

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Guildleader chores - Culling in Flex for Garrosh

I"ve written a lot about the joys of Flex raiding and how I love being able to get people to see the content in a guild environment, but it is inevitable that when we get to Garrosh we have to remove people.

I hate that part of it. I don't like asking people to leave.  People feel bad. I feel bad!  They've put in the hours to get here and then get told they have to go?  That hardly seems fair.  How are they going to learn?  And how are we going to get everyone to see Garrosh if we don't take some of the lower geared people in?

Mataoka said, and I totally understand, that she likes Flex because it's a safe learning place and you won't get asked to leave.  For the most part, that is true.  Garrosh is the only boss in Flex who is still about the same difficulty as one of the earlier bosses in a normal raid, which means you still have to follow the mechanics and steps and every loss of a raid member to a death makes it that much harder for everyone else.

Last night, we had to drop down to 13-14 people, and Garrosh had 167 million health.  When we had 17 people, his health was 203 million or so.  Reading around, I saw that at the minimum you probably need to pull about 140k dps or so for Garrosh to not be a dead weight.  And most of the time we haven't had an issue, because we had our normal and heroic raiders bringing their mains along for the Garrosh kill.  So if you have a few people pulling 300+k dps then you can get away with people DPSing at 100k and so it evens out.

The other thing about last night was that we only had 2 mainspec DPS there - Lushen and Luxy, who of course, did great DPS, as expected.  But we had a lot of people doing under 150k dps, and some that were under 100.  Without a lot of high end DPS to counter that, the encounter was a lot more difficult that it needed to be.  Aza, our to DPS Warlock, was on his hunter, who probably did half the DPS of his main but that's still a nice solid 170k+. Morz was DPSing but that was because we had too many healers - we already had 3 resto druids and a paladin - and I definitely didn't need any more healing.

There are so many things to consider here. Is it fair to ask someone who doesn't need anything on their main to come and help DPS so others can get loot, and then they miss out on loot on their alt?  Is it fair that someone who hasn't put in time in LFR multiple times to get a feel for the fight turns up on a boss fight and never seen it ever before and then wipes the group a few times trying to learn it? 

I give up my time and energy to run flex for my guildies, their friends and other pugs, so they can get loot.  I don't need anything.  Kyxyn doesn't need anything.  A consistent main healer and main tank helps a lot when it comes to doing Flex Garrosh, and that way I feel at least we have a nice routine and plan to follow that is easy to execute .  A lot of people probably don't want to help out on the harder wings on their mains because "What's in it for me?"  If you're not going to get loot for your alt or Valour, then what's the point, right?  As the guildleader, I just want to make sure that people are learning and experiencing the fight, and it would be perfect if they mastered the boss and got loot!  But if you are not performing to the minimum standard we expect (and the standard we set is lower than most other people I think) then I don't you shouldn't expect that we can teach you to run when you've only just learned to walk. And you should recognise that, if your DPS is low.  DPS is not like healing - when you are around other DPS your DPS shouldn't get lowered (unless of course the mobs are dead before you can hit them) because you're all doing damage.  Healing on the other hand is damned annoying because my heals get negated by Disc priest absorbs and I look like I'm not doing anything! So lower geared healers may get the artificial low heals because all the healing is sniped by the others, so they look worse than they are, but as I said, DPS shouldn't have that effect.

We do make it clear at the start of each raid that if we find ourselves struggling with a DPS check then the lower performing players need to be dropped so that the health gain the boss gets from adding players can be negated.  I don't think people should be upset by that.  They should know they are not geared for the encounter yet. If people get upset when I tell them that, then I often think those sorts of people are not the people I want to be flexing with in the first place. "How are we going to learn," they lament, "if we're not allowed to go?"  Well, you won't be learning anything if your health is so low that you can't live through an iron star in phase 1.  And I don't think it's too much to ask to ask you to follow the group if you don't know what you're doing in the other phases. Perhaps I should be more vocal when calling it out so people are more aware! Anyway, here's hoping my next flex will still have well geared people so I can help pull some of the lower DPS through so they can learn.

Kyxyn gets annoyed because of people who come to Flex to learn.  I actually don't see a problem with that. I have done LFR and I learned nothing from doing the bosses because it's so chaotic and people tend not communicate well.  LFR at least gives me an idea of what mechanics the boss uses and what things are bad to stand in, but real strategy is learned in Flex.

I am not the only one with this dilemma.  I was reading someone else's post in forums and other people have the same issues.  They, like me, don't want to kick people and wonder if there is anything that can make Phase 3 easier, which is where the DPS really matters.  Empowered whirls which hurt a lot, Empowered Touch of Y'shaarj that I can't interrupt unless I use Fae silence, and the Empowered Gripping Despair which kills the tanks all make the last phase the DPS race.  I don't know if there is an easy way to deal with it except that every player has to be on the ball with interrupts and DPSing down the MCs.  Man, I've done the fight a few times and I STILL feel overwhelmed during that phase! So I guess, a reassuring thing is that I'm not the only one who tries to run their Flex the way I do, and I think everyone shouldn't think I'm giving them a hard go of it.

I rely on the goodwill of my officers and geared raiders to make the Flex runs work. There are a few pugs who are really amazing and supportive when it comes to helping out with their toons to meet whatever our flex raid requires.  Sometimes I worry about what will happen if those people I rely on are no longer there to help out with Flex. Or if I break all my officers because I make such high demands of them. Ooh, now that's fodder for another post.

But here is my other guilt - I have had to sit out guildies to get a kill.  I don't like having to do that, I want our guildies to get the first go.  I don't want outsiders to be in the raid when guildies aren't!  But the weird thing is, after raiding with the same players week after week in Flex, I think of some of the outsiders as guildies almost.  Those Barthilas friends of Luxy's are so nice and are the first to drop if they think we need a health decrease in the boss, and Rip and Jurlok are always ready to switch to whatever toons we need (even tanks) just to help us get a kill.  They're regulars, and reliably attend, so I think of them as honourary Frostwolves, in a way.

So just to let everyone know what's going through my head every time we hit Garrosh. You might feel bad because I've had to remove you from a Garrosh fight, but I guarantee you that I have spent a lot of time thinking about it, and feeling bad about it and trying to organise everyone else to get it down. My goal is to get everyone a kill.  And hopefully if you work hard and we work hard, we can get there.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Minipost: December release? Wow, really?

Buzzing around the internet today is the topic of the release date of Warlords of Draenor, after seeing this:

On first look, you see the release date of "on or beore 20 December 2014".  Holy what the!  That's like 9 months away! What the hell are we going to do for 9 months, is what I was thinking. Surely Garrosh will be dead by then on heroic.  And then what?  People are going to unsub till new stuff comes out (unless of course you PvP as Arena seasons will continue) which will kill off raiding- that is if anyone can be bothered. But it makes me wonder what I will be doing, 6 months from now.  I guess I'll find out in 6 months!

Adam Holinsky says that he thinks it will be earlier than that - but I'm not so sure.  I guess though, at least Blizz is saying that it won't be any later than that, but it could be earlier, which at least gives you some reprieve from the fear of recurrent delay of release.

So I went out and got my Deluxe Digital edition just now.  Can't wait to get home and have a look at my new pet and mount.  A stark reminder of how lazy I am when it comes to getting Anzu - which I still haven't been bothered to go back and get.

Raiding - Yeah, that really was an odd week

Last week's raiding was really the fastest clear of SoO we've ever done.  In 2 nights, we cleared everything to Garrosh, and that was with Norushen heroic as well.

But on Saturday I had a paucity of tanks.  Kyxyn had a social function on so he wasn't home, Aimei is still out of action and Asys didn't make an appearance.  Luckily, Exray came on his warrior and Az came as well (he needed valour, phew) and I had Falln's friend Liight tanking too.  Liight hadn't really tanked much beyond first wing, but he knew the fights, and was kind enough to tank first wing even though he'd done it already.  Yig had hesitantly volunteered his tanking services but when we had real tanks show up he heaved a massive sigh of relief!  And I did too :D

We had a shaky start because McTacky accidentally pulled Immerseus when we weren't ready.  It all went smoothly after that until Nazgrim where half the people were locked outside the room.  Exray subscribes to the more vengeance more healing/damage tanking method and that seemed to work well for the first two wings.  We had a lot of people come for those two flexes - we were over the 20 people mark, easy.

Kyxyn decided to see if we could get a Flex Garrosh for Monday so we did that, and boy did I feel bad! Garrosh is still a tough fight even in Flex if you don't know the fight very well and haven't got a big DPS output, it becomes tough.  We had our first go and I panicked a little when the weapon wasn't going down fast enough because it meant I had to do lots of healing in that bit and people actually DIED.  Eep!  We had a bad phase change with adds up everywhere when we dropped back out of the dream sequence AND MCs were out of control in the last phase too.  So we had to have a first cull and unfortunately Dragonray and Lom were dropped (I did want them to see the fight and how we did it, but maybe next time) as well as Tacky and Shammcow.  The next few goes poor Ala had the short end of the stick and was given Engineers to do, and the poor bugger hadn't done it before so he didn't have his timing right.  I couldn't help but laugh when he called out "Oops you're going to have to have the left wheel this time." I was like, huh?  But when I saw it coming out I did giggle because he might not have realised that it was a wipe! Anyway, once we got him sorted on how to do it, he was better, but when he died to Garrosh's purple again and we were really pushed for time with less than 20 minutes of raid time left and so Kyxyn decided to drop him.  Medio had joined as well and I had scolded him to come on some DPS but he came on his priest and healed when we really didn't need all those heals.  He switched to DPS after that, and we got it down.

A few people managed to score heirlooms which was good! But I have to say that it was a rather unsatisfying raid for me overall because I had guilt about not being able to bring our guildies for the fight, and I was still worrying about this week's raiding.  I also don't think I like flex raiding on a weekday when we have time pressure, because that makes us drop people faster, and have less patience.  Also, Exray and Lushen will be away for 2 raid days so I got Nath and Jazz to come for those days.  My head is buzzing with thoughts and feelings about Flex this week, but that will have to wait for another post to get explored - it's time to go do some work!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Thela's ROYGBiV Tmog challenge - Orange

In Thela's ROYGBiV Tmog challenge, March is orange, so here is my orange entry!

Now I could be criticised for having it a little yellow looking, but when you see my yellow entry, this is definitely more orange than yellow!

Stormrage cover
Superior Shoulders
Illskar's Greatcloak
Flamestrider Robes
Gold Filigreed Doublet
Red Whelp Gloves
Relentless Gladiator's Belt of Salvation
Dokebi Leggings
Amber Scythe of Klaxxi'vess

Guildleader chores - Reining in the mercenary part of me

I mentioned in a previous post that in the last fortnight, three heroic guilds with friends of mine in them had collapsed. Two of them were long standing guilds, as in, they had survived 2 expansions or more. It was Dragonray who alerted me to the collapse of Insidious, which is the guild my baby mage on Nagrand lives. She wrote about it, and so did Typhoon Andrew, and I felt sad - as I said before, had things been a little different, that could so easily be Frostwolves.

The other one, was the one that Gutsy, Falln and Souglyy went to on Jubei'thos.  I was surprised, really.  At one stage that guild had 7 raid teams!  And they lost one or two people in one of the raid teams and they called it quits?  I was definitely surprised to hear that.  I think a part of the collapse was that their leader, Bear, decided to stop playing WoW and he was the glue that held the guild together. After that, people couldn't be bothered to reform a raid team using the other members of the guild because they weren't good enough to be playing with them (which sounds a bit like what happened to Illidari Remnants, mind you) and that lead to tension and disbanding.  Perhaps Bear wasn't as cool as I remembered - we raided with them once and he seemed pleasant enough back then - Jinjersnaps had moved to that server to play with some friends and joined The Empire and she had found Bear unpleasant and only stayed in that guild for a few weeks before she moved on.  So it's hard to make judgements about things I don't know much about.

One of my workmates plays Alliance on Proudmoore and his guild had 3 members leave looking for greener pastures.  I was chatting to him today and I told him to come over to Horde side.  He had never played horde, and we had no rogues - though he wouldn't have a raid spot for a while.  I told him that maybe he should wait till WoD and then come over - if Roshii isn't back then I could always use a rogue.

At the end of expansion there are so many things that make or break guilds - and it usually has to do with raiding.  People get bored, there's no new content - so they stop playing WoW and stop raiding. Or they want to take a break from raiding or playing till the expansion comes out.  Then everyone left behind is trying to find a replacement and if they really want to raid, they'll go look somewhere else, snowballing the raiding deficiency, and poof - raid team is gone.  Then that's the end of the guild, if that's what the guild was about.  Of course, social guilds and guilds with strong social ties don't have that issue, because they just want to hang out together in WoW and it's not raiding that holds them together. I look at The Bushido Project - a guild with a raid level similar to ours on Saurfang - that looks like they have an amazing friendly guild. They all went to Japan together - apparently it was always on the guild agenda - and there are some amazing pics to see as well!  Now that is an awesome guild IMO.

So, back to where I start having the cloak of guilt weighing on my shoulders.  I feel terrible for my friends who have lost their guilds - if it was me, I would feel devastated at the loss of my own guild, and as a guild leader, I would feel like I had failed on a personal level.  I don't blame Triarchi for moving off server after what happened with Illidari Remnants, because I don't know if I could face the people who were left behind, seeing them in other places and thinking to myself that they thought I was a hopeless guild leader who couldn't keep it all together.  But one of the things I have to remember is that not everyone treats their guild like their second home or family. It might be like how people view changing jobs - as opportunity arises and you get a promotion or a pay rise, you happily jump ship and don't really care much about the place you were before except that it was a stepping stone to something greater.  I think my weakness is that I treat my guild like my family, so that whenever someone isn't happy, I feel it's my responsibility to make it a nicer place. I mentioned that before in my post about mixing skill mix and socials in a raiding guild, and I wondered if that mode of thinking is just a pathway to mental breakdown and stress!

At the same time though, the losses of those guilds makes me want to pick up some of their heroic raiders and use them to fill our ranks for Mythic when it comes.  But it's a really difficult choice - at the moment I can't offer any raiding to any new people because our ranks are full, and unless you're willing to wait your turn, I can't go around kicking people out of raid spots now for new people to share it all around.  Souglyy and Gutsy asked to come back to Frostwolves, but I had no raid spots for them, and I had a ton of subs as well.  I was frank with them, and they came back to Saurfang but joined another guild as raiding was their main goal.  I can understand that.

So I see all these heroic raiders floating around and a part of me is screaming "We need some of these people for our Mythic raid group!"  But I know that picking up a lot of these floaters is probably NOT going to be a great long term solution.  It's like being at the candy store and OMG chocolate is on sale.  You want to get it all before everyone else gets it, and so you end up getting too much, and then getting sick coz you had too much chocolate.  What I SHOULD do is wait till the candy store has my FAVOURITE chocolate in stock and buy that when I see it, whether it's on sale or not, and if it's sold before I got there, ok fine, I'll go without, but if I do manage to get it, I know I will savour it and enjoy it.  And that's what I should do with people I want to bring to the guild for raiding.  I want to KNOW that they're going to be something I would like and that they would like it here in Frostwolves.  Too much chocolate gives me diarrhoea (TMI!) and I don't really want to get the shits with the raiders I pick up who are like cheap chocolate.

Aza said to me a few weeks ago that I should be trying to snap up good people for mythic raiding.  I have been trying, but it's a hard process, trying to find the people that I think would benefit most from coming here.  But mythic raiding isn't here yet.  What's going to happen to those 25 man guilds that suddenly have to kick out 5 people to be subs?  Maybe some of those will be looking for homes - and maybe even some of those would fit with our Frostwolves pack.  Maybe some will be nice.  But it's hard to know, and it's hard to tell. I guess I'll just have to be patient, maybe the right ones will come along just when I need them to.

As an end note, I did have a happy moment on Thursday after raid.  Dragonray told me that she had decided on a new home, and I was really happy for her!  I said I hoped they would treat her well and she said to me "Well, you would kick them if they didn't right?" To which I replied "As long as I don't get reported!".  I mean, if people were mean to her and I made a level one toon on the server and whispered /kick in the groin to them every few minutes because they were meanies - that would probably be classed as harassment. I was wondering where she was going to go, and then she said she was faction changing.  I was bummed - why couldn't she come here if she was faction changing - but I hoped that it would work out.  And then it dawned on me when she said "That is, if you'll have me, right?"  OMG how could I be so stupid!  She and Lom were coming to Frostwolves!  Naturally I was THRILLED to pieces, and one by one her toons started to trickle over.  She had a warm welcome from everyone (LOL, she is already there, technically, on Prismatique) and now I look forward to being able to Flex with her tomorrow.  Damn, I hope we have people - Kyxyn is at a function so he'll be late, so I hope I can find enough tanks to raid with.  Fingers crossed!

Navispam - Rawrrrrr it's Rinike!

Rinike may not read my blog but she sure chats to me a lot on twitter, and she and I have so many blogs that we follow in common that I thought it would be great to see if I could find her!  When I visited MrandMrsWow, she mentioned she was there and I thought ooh, maybe I can find her too!  Luckily for me, she is very active in WoW, and it didn't take me long at all to track her down - she is a member of Druids of the Beast, which is an old and large druid only guild on the EU side.

I sent her a mail in game when I had tracked her down, and she got it LOL!

So the next time I logged on, which was early Saturday morning for me, she was online! But she was in an Ulduar achievement run, which was one of the twitter EU Friday fun runs!  Jojo was there too, and Rinike told me she said hi :) I even got to chat to Godmother as well whilst I was waiting!

When they were done, she came out to see me in Teldrassil, and came in grand style, with the mount she won in The Azerothian contest in early February.

So here we are dancing and looking at the wintry Blossoming Ancient, whom is appropriately named Treebeard - she likes naming her pets for book and movie themes!

Here she is showing me one of her other outfits.  Very nice!

And here with her favourite mount.  It does look good with that outfit!

She was so funny!  She thought it was cool that I visited her because she had this odd notion that I'm famous and I am visiting little ol' her - but I reassured her that 1) I am not famous and 2) Navispam is all about me visiting people who have touched me in my WoW gaming experience - be it from my blog or from twitter!  And she definitely qualifies and it was so amazing to be able to meet her in game and chat about stuff!

Rinike's blog used to be about outfits and stuff, but now she writes about a bit of everything - I like a little bit of everything!  It's really cool to see the twitter raids she does, and also pics from raiding with Druids of the Beast.  And of course, her lovely outfits she likes to post about!  Thank you, Rinike for letting me meet up with you!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Raiding - A quiet raid week

So it's the start of a new raid week, and I feel a bit sad that Aimei can't tank.  Exray has transferred his warrior over here and so he's tanking, and it's actually pretty nice to have a warrior in the raid.  That means no more free innervates for me!

Sev and Sabre were happy to take a break today and play other games (or watch cricket) and so Nath and Jazz came along to iron out their crumpled raid clothes and work out their rusty DPS skills.  They did pretty well, I thought.  I did have a slight moment of panic when it was 8 minutes till raid time and they still hadn't logged on... but they made it phew.

Exray's warrior picked up TONS of gear for offspec.  So much plate drops that just get wasted, it was nice to have someone pick up the bits and pieces.  Kyxyn finally replaced his Flex tier gloves with normal Tier, and Luxy was forced to take a warforged neck.  Jazz got a warforged ring from Galakras and Morz even took a regular ring (not sure why - I thought he even had a heroic ring already).  I just ended up with a bag full of gear to DE!  And you know what, a warforged caster shield dropped and nobody wanted it.  Man!

We actually did Norushen on heroic but the rest was on normal.  Asys seemed happy because he not only got to tank on his druid, but he DPS'd on his shaman AND healed, so he had a bit of variety to keep him happy.  It was good that he was on his druid anyway, so I didn't have to scold him for using his shaman pop at inappropriate times.

So we finished the night with Malkorok.  We actually two tanked Dark Shaman for the first time in forever (OMG I have Frozen music in my head now!) and it was so much faster but people die more.  And it's hectic LOL.  Jazz and Nath said they'd never done it any other way so it probably felt comforting to them.

"For the first time in forever, there'll be music, there'll be fun..!" - Anna from Frozen
Two more guilds with friends of mine in them collapsed this past week, and another had collapsed the week before that.  When I mean collapsed, I mean they stopped raiding - they had raiders leave and then that was the end of it. The mercenary part of me thought "Ooh, I can grab some of them to join Frostwolves and fill up our numbers!" but I don't know if they would be happy here. Both were Alliance guilds - some people are as fixed on being alliance as we are being Horde.  If Frostwolves collapsed (I don't see that happening in the near future!) then I think it would be really hard for me to transfer to Alliance - I don't think I could do it! All three guilds were heroic guilds, and it just goes to show the pressure that comes with the changes coming in WoD.  I mean, just reading about it makes my stomach feel like there's a stone sitting heavily in it.  I think I will have to explore those thoughts in another post - and not clutter up my raid diaries with my emotions!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Flex Raiding - That must have been the longest raid I've done in a while...

We did our first Saturday guild Flex run and it went a LITTLE longer than i thought.  We ended up doing 3 wings - 1, 3 and 4.  That took 4 hours!!!  I've decided that I don't want to do that again, and we'll just do 2 wings.

We had quite a good turnout.  Luxy's friends came from Barthilas (well, 2 of them - Hellborn and Putress) and also Falln's friend Light, who brought a friend as well.  Rip was there and he even tanked for us which was rather nice of him, I thought!

Wing 1 as usual went down nicely, and Wing 3 had a few hiccups.  Can you believe that we wiped on Spoils... TWICE?  Now that was weird, and a bad sign to start!  Amazingly, Thok was heaps easier!  I had to laugh at Nath because I said to him that as our token hunter, he was going to do amazing DPS and that he'd better not die... and guess who died... lol YEP.  As punishment, he was assigned to Garrosh engineer duty.

Wing 4 we had to drop a few people, as the Garrosh's health was really high and our lower geared players couldn't keep up the damage to help get it down.  Dahakha and Chihako had to drop, as well as Lushnek as his arm was giving him a lot of pain.  The first few goes we had with everyone around, there was issues with the MCs getting out of hand.  We did the stack method which worked well if people killed the weapon quickly, but boy was it hard to heal without it!  After the Garrosh's health dropped by a fair bit after we dropped three people, and it wasn't surprising that we got it after that.  And OMG, guess what, I got an heirloom!  However, I still had my loot spec set to feral, so I got the feral staff - but that's ok, I'll probably use that!  Arv came for Garrosh and he got an heirloom too!  Unfortunately, so did Sev, but he already had the normal version heirloom so I'm not sure what he would do with that other one!

I was happy to finally get to see Jazz and Nath raiding and what kind of numbers they could generate.  Jazz actually did a fair bit of healing as shadow which was good for my side in Spoils.  LOL, I still can't believe we died in that!

But I was sad because it was clear that after that run, Lushnek/Aimei would not be able to play for a while, or at least rest that arm for a period.  I hope that the next raid week goes well.  Geez, tanks and their tendonitis!  Is this the Frostwolves tank curse??

Anyway, with this funny week, I was hoping to get Jazz and Nath in to raid.  Maybe Ala if he is around. But, let's see how this goes first - we might have to sit a few people - and I am sure there will be a few volunteers when everyone realises we're doing mostly normals this week.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Navispam - When Narci is not Narci, that makes things hard!

It seems to me like a lot of long standing guilds didn't survive the end of Mists of Pandaria.  Shadow Rising, the guild of my friends Arvash, Liyhe (Slice), Lyssianna and Repgrind was another casualty, leaving my Drak'tharon toons with no home.  Not that it matters much for toons below level 15 anyway!

Arv, Lyss, Slice and Adoe found a new home on Drenden, in the guild of Rades/Fabulor in Tsu Tain Guu Faitaa.  That guild is full of bloggers and well known people (and I have navispammed Stoppableforce there before and met Rades too!).  So I thought I would go see Arv and Slice as I saw they were in Siege of Orgrimmar and say hi to them after raid. They were busy in spoils because I whispered them both but they DBM said they were midfight.

However, I did notice that it was quite late for them, and I went afk for a very short period as I waited for them to finish raiding, and when I came back they had logged!  I was sad!  Well, at least I could say hi to Stoppable at least, and Fabulor.

Stop said that was playing with his new transmog.  I asked if I could see.  Little did I know was that it was THE Dark shaman transmog which had dropped for him in raid today!  Naturally I wanted to take a pic, and Fabulor being Fabulor, just had to be in on the pic too. I can't believe I got to see my first one! I think Stop was pretty happy about it too :D

"Where's Narci?" I said.  I did not see any druids around in the guild roster, nor any name resembling Narci. Narci writes (sporadically!) at Flavour Text Lore, but I can't remember the last time she wrote anything - years go!! She is very active on Twitter though!  Aha, there she was, hiding as a warlock, Drizabeth.  Before I could even ask her for a pic, she was already at the bank finding her nicest transmog LOL!  I was so embarrassed because I was an under-dressed level 2 that I forgot somehow to include myself in any of these pics.  Narci said her druid was somewhere else, and this was one of her alts, but it was a very GEARED and nicely dressed alt :D  She went off to kill warbringers after - apparently Drenden is quite quiet and you can always tag your Warbringers.

Caffpow is also a blogger in TTGF, who writes at Thing What Wows, and there she is there in the pic as well!  Narci felt sorry for little me so she gave me a home in TTGF which was pretty awesome :D Now I will not get guild invite spam again!  And hang around with a bunch of cool peeps.

TTGF has 16-18 raiders, and they were currently cycling all their raiders through a Garrosh kill.  I remembered when they killed Garrosh - it was a few weeks before we got it.  I really liked that they were doing that - it reminded me of what I wanted to try and do as a guild, and also that Raked hadn't gotten a Garrosh kill yet. Something I should get on top of, really.  Hopefully this week or next week.  I really do like their guild policy.
The main purpose of TSU TAIN GUU FAITAA has been and always will be friendship. The original members are separated by no more than two degrees (i.e a friend of a friend) and all know each other in real life. All additional members to the original group are expected to maintain and promote the friendly atmosphere of the guild lest they be kicked (kicked meaning to be removed permanently from the guild) and never spoken to again. Secondary purposes of the guild include raiding, pvp, questing, and creating sitcoms using the World of Warcraft sprites as a means of free animation.

It's something I would like to promote for our guild, though raiding is a large part of ours, and I am still striving constantly to find that balance between friendship, cooperation and raiding goals.  Hopefully seeing more guilds like TTGF and seeing how they handle stuff will help me find my way there.

But, thanks to Narci and Caffpow for letting me navispam you!  And thanks for letting me be part of TTGF :D