Monday, February 29, 2016

PvP: I might have waited too long for them to hotfix Vicious Saddle

I got my 100 3v3 Arena wins on Saturday night and I thought ok cool, I can send my Vicious saddle to the alliance side and ride around on a different mount for a bit.


No longer.

Before, you could get the mount, and send it to your opposing faction toon and it would convert into the equivalent mount for the opposing faction. Like getting a wolf on Horde side would turn into a war steed on Alliance side.

Since there were no new mounts in Warlords Season 3 it looks like I am stuck with an extra saddle! I suppose that means I can skip a season's 100 wins but that doesn't mean I want to - I'm going to be doing it anyway, so why not get the achievement points?

I suppose I can just save it up and give them to my other toons for the mounts to ride around. But dayum! I should have sent one of my previous ones away! But who knew that they were going to bring out a season with no mount, right?

But, I am happy to say that I have my warlock/mage mojo back. I was not enjoying arenas for a bit, but now I am again. I feel like I'm playing better, Sev's not screaming no CC at us anymore (though on Saturday he did scream at Shab because his target got polymorphed).

We had a bit of an audience on Saturday much to everyone's amusement - they were talking in guild chat about us but I was so focussed on our game that I didn't see what they were saying. Mostly just jokes trying to guess the next expletive that would erupt from my mouth, but it was a very tense game! Fortunately, we won that game, so it was all good.

I need to help Crooked get his games up. I should be more persistent with nagging and drag him to finish the 100 wins for his mount, since this is a good time to catch up with those mounts.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

How to make Pet Battling stay fresh (but without Epic Battlestones) in Legion

Crooked told me about some Alpha changes regarding Epic Battlestones.
The latest Alpha patch included Immaculate Battlestones, both a general version and family-specific ones. Using one of these on a battle pet will consume the stone and upgrade the pet to epic (purple) quality. 
Epic battlestones and pets are still undergoing testing; there is no guarantee that players will have access to them in Legion. Developers are keeping an eye on any constructive feedback regarding this change.
In the Alpha at present, the Epic Battlestones increase the health, power and speed stats. However, this could be subject to change:
I admit I am strongly against upgrading stats with Epic Battlestones.

Pet battles, like gear, is something that has to be added to every expansion. New pets, new battles and tournaments, there is the need to put SOMETHING there to make it feel "fresh".

Pet battles become like raiding. You can't raid unless you have certain gear, and  you can't beat some pet battle trainers unless you have certain pets. People who are new to the pet battle scene get frustrated at the pet battle trainers, and those who are seasoned pet battlers get bored by the "easy" fights, and are looking for a challenge. How do you find a medium?

Pet battling has been, and should be, about skill and knowing your pet stats and strategies. Not unlike Hearthstone, I imagine. There is no unbeatable team, there is always a counter to your super team. I am concerned that adding Epic stones will only widen the gap between high end players and early players even more and discourage them from pet battling.

I do however, like the idea of these Epic Battlestones giving cosmetic effects. Like, extra animations? Or how about more interactions with other critters (eg eating them or stomping them). That would be cool. And then people would have their pets out more often, like we used to back in Vanilla when they were items in our bags.

I have often thought about how they could make pet battles accessible for new players and seasoned players. An LFR system doesn't quite work for pet battles but graded difficulty with increasing rewards with increasing difficulty (perhaps more pet tokens for a harder difficulty battle or an increased chance at drops of epic battlestones) might be good. Or perhaps, a system a little like how they will do the new challenge mode dungeons in Legion, with the scaled difficulty.

Another thing which has become the "norm" in pet battles is to merely find a guide to beat your target. There are heaps of blogs and reddit sites out there with suggested pet teams - not unlike websites and videos showing techniques for boss fights. I still like to try to find my own teams that work, but with 700+ pets, it can take a while to figure it out!

Another thing that needs an update would be the Pet Battle UI. I use addons for my pet battles, but I think it would be nice to have some of these things built into the standard Blizzard UI. Having pet teams, would be a good addition to the UI. I'm using Rematch, which is a great addon for making teams and sorting them for targets. Another useful sorting tool for pets would be abilities. Say if I'm fighting a flying class, I want to find magic abilities that would be good against it. I can't remember which pets have magic abilities, but if that could be part of the search, that would be great. There are heaps of times I wish I could find which pets had "Arcane Storm" and had to resort to going to Warcraft Pets to search for pets that had that ability.

Personally, I have no qualms about grinding pet charms for epic battlestones, but I don't feel like it achieves anything to make pet battling more fun. The whole idea of pet battles was a mini-game for fun. What people find fun in pet battles are things like dancing with Mini-Tyrael, watching Zergling and Grunty fight each other, or watching two Crawling Claws playing Rock, Paper, Scissors. I think having something like that happen with an Epic stone or some other cosmetic change (like maybe they throw flowers on you or put ice on the ground around you) would make the Epic stones fun and not a chore.

The Grumpy Elf thought he was in the minority when he said he didn't want Epic Battlestones. I disagree. I think that anyone who loves pet battles and collecting them for fun and enjoying difficult pet battles don't want it. I admit I'm lazy and don't level all my pets to 25 (I only JUST upgraded them all to rare!), and I don't see the point because sometimes it's fun to have low level pets to challenge myself with (see Major Payne's Advanced Pet Battle Training).

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Raiding - Last wing of Mythic BRF done

We just had the Slagworks wing of Blackrock Foundry left to clear on Mythic and we were worrying about Blast Furnace. Gruul and Oregorger didn't seem to be too much hassle, but for Blast Furnace we needed priests in the raid to mind control Security Guards and use their Slay Elemental ability so we could get the Slag Elementals down. Fortunately we had Bish to save the day!


Gruul had these extra balls flying through the raid - the damage was trivial, and it wasn't hard to heal through, so that went down pretty easily.


Oregorger would make trails of fire when he hit the wall, so that was a bit different, however, it was an easily overgeared fight also.


We were a little short on numbers so I asked a couple from Nostalgic to come fill for Blast Furnace. The time to drop bombs to close the doors was really short, but Bish did a brilliant job mind controlling those Security guards and we killed the Elementals. We were doing the final phase and it felt like people had forgotten how and where to drop their Melt and it was getting rather messy. High gear helps so we basically brute forced our way through it and got it done. It was actually a lot easier than we thought!

So it will be another 2 weeks before we go into BRF again, and I we will only do it when we have 16 guildies online so we can get the guild achievement. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Minipost - Raiding: You CAN do Fel Lord with all melee!

An amazing thing happened last week when we did heroic HFC.

I don't know why we have such a paucity of ranged DPS. It seems that everyone is melee and that there are very few ranged. However, it's a great opportunity for me to practice DPS as ranged, as long as we have enough healers.

We did the lower level easily enough, even Gorefiend, and then we decided we'd go and do Fel Lord, because that was the only thing that we could do with the group we had. We probably could do Iskar, but Iskar is so hit and miss sometimes that I don't know it's worth the pain.

But, we struggled on Fel Lord, and it was getting frustrating. We wiped multiple times. But on the last attempt for the night, we had most of us die with 12 million left to go or so, and only the tanks up and one other person. HK died shortly after, and then Kyxyn managed to solo the rest of the fight and we cheered him on! It was unbelievable, and I have to admit that I was a bit awed by that. So you really can do Fel Lord with a full melee group!


Friday, February 19, 2016

A Frenone artwork to add to my collection!

Frenone is well known in the Twitter community for her Blizzcon avatars and giveaways, and I was super keen to own one of her artworks for myself.

I contacted her last year and she had a slot come up for me in January and I was excited to get her to do something for me. I wanted something Frostwolf, so I used my current transmog and added a Frostwolf pup. And before you get excited, yes that is a dead pelt on my head, Durotan style.

She had lots of updates on her Twitch stream as she sketched it as well as progress sketches, which was great as I watched the whole thing take form.

Lineart done for 's commission of her femtaur with frostwolf pup, coloring this tomorrow.


. Coloring 's femtaur :-)
And the final product! Don't I look gorgeous!


I look forward to having a quick Navispam with Frenone in game - the hard part is being online at the same time - being on the opposite sides of the world and all! :D Thank you Frenone, I absolutely love my commission, and it's a great way to remember my toon during Warlords of Draenor.

If you're interested in checking out some of her work, or commissioning her yourself, send her a tweet at @Frenone or check out her website www.frenone.net. Warning: she has got a long wait list, but I think it's worth the wait.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Raiding - Bringing in PuGs to mythic, with some reluctance

Two weeks ago when we had some decent goes on Council, I had to ask Exray to heal, because we didn't have anyone else. I normally wouldn't want him to because he is excellent DPS (though with a heavy tendency to tunnel). He didn't want to heal, because he wasn't brilliant at it, and since then he has not turned up to raid. I hadn't thought much of it, but Kyxyn said it was because he didn't want to be asked to heal again.

It made me cross. I ask Crooked to heal all the time, and he doesn't like it, and yet he does it with minimal complaint (maybe one sad face). I have asked Sars to heal as well. Neither Ultra, Exray or Aza turned up to raid last week (and it was implied it was because of the healing incident) and I was rather crestfallen. Three ranged out of the picture! We couldn't raid last week, and so I had to make contingency plans to find fillers for our raids.

This week, Exray didn't logon for fear of being asked to heal, and Aza told that to Kyxyn and he was rather accepting of it, and told me we should just look at him like a mage or a warlock - a DPS only caster. It's no different really to me being a healer only, since my DPS is so woeful. I keep saying I will work on it, but I'm so far very lazy about trying it outside of PvP. So I accepted that, and I won't ask him to heal anymore.

I had gone along to help some people I met from another guild on Barthilas, Nostalgic, who were a nice bunch of people. I miss having other guild leaders to talk to or hang out with. Nostalgic was not up to mythic raiding, but they had excellent raid co-ordination (people actually FOLLOWED instructions) and were doing Mannoroth. Some of their guildies were extremely well geared, and I thought they could be nice people to ask to come along if we needed fillers since they aren't doing mythics yet. However, they were not far from it, so my window of opportunity for that was narrow. Besides, it's nice to be able to go to an organised raid and just PLAY without having to worry about calling out stuff.

Raid was going to be short of people this week - Voe and Dan were both overseas on holidays, and Duck still was busy with Uni. I wasn't sure if Az, Ultra and Exray would come. Yuuda said he might not come. That was a lot of people missing.

But! With lots of begging and pleasing we managed to scrounge together 20 people - Ultra and Az came, and Tacky came as a filler whilst we waited for Crooked, and he got a Hellfire Assault kill. I asked 2 people from Nostalgic - Tauroki and Galindrasta, who were not super geared but they had decent raid awareness. No doubt they would be brilliant at a higher item level. It took them a few goes to get the Kormrok swirly positions but they got it after a few goes. Poor Tauroki is holy offspec but tank main, and healing is not his main forte, and he felt dreadful being outhealed by the tanks. Now he knows how his healers feel, I guess. I reassured him and Gal that even though they weren't stellar on the DPS or heals, without them we couldn't raid, so I was grateful to them.

I would actually like Taxar and Tacky to come to raid, but unfortunately those two have this tendency to die a lot from mechanics! Maybe we can practice Heroic Iron Reaver more so they will get better with positioning and movement. I would much rather bring our own people than outsiders!

Probably the best loot of the night went to Celaena, who managed to pick up mythic warforged socketed Cruel Hope Crushers, that we put to a roll and Peggy won the roll, except I didn't realise that BoEs could not be transferred across servers. So lucky Celaena got to keep them with her rolling second highest. Man, those would be worth 100k + on the AH!

Mythic warforged Gorebound Wristguards dropped on Hellfire Assault and Ang kindly gave them to me, and I felt bad, he should have taken them. It made me look like a loot whore.

This week will be the first week we are going to try 3 raid nights in 2 weeks, to see how we go. It means that we're going to spend a whole night wiping on Council on Monday, pending turnups.

After raid finished, HK, Kyxyn and I had a discussion about who was going to be coming to raid. We needed to find more people to come, because I had so many people who I couldn't count on to be there at raid. I asked Koda if she would like to raid mythic once a week and she said she would, but would just need to learn the fights so that was good. It means though that I would have to spend more effort learning and playing Boomkin so that my utility would be better.

I am reluctant to recruit because come Legion we will be swamped with people for raids again. But I don't mind swelling the socials. Who knows if some of them will become raiders? But man, why am I only finding melee? Where be all the ranged?

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Guildleader Chores - Sunshine Patriots and Winter Soldiers

When someone says Winter Soldier to me, of course I conjure up images of Captain America and Bucky/Winter Soldier.


But Xyn was telling me that the original meaning of the Winter Soldier came from 1776 when Thomas Paine wrote a series of articles around the American Revolutionary War:
These are the times that try men's souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
During the American revolution of the 1770s, soldiers who joined the Continental Army during the spring/ summer but went AWOL in autumn/winter were known as "summer soldiers". Many of these "summer soldiers" were farmers who would enlist when their crops were planted, fight during the summer, and then go back home in the autumn to help with the harvest.  Others would stay with the Army through the harvest, but disappear once the weather got cold.

Meanwhile, the people who supported the revolutionaries when the revolution was going well were called "sunshine patriots". However, their support disappeared when the revolution WASN'T going well.


In the Vietnam War era, John Kerry (the current  68th US Secretary of State), a decorated war veteran was part of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) movement and in 1971 he addressed the US senate:
The term 'Winter Soldier' is a play on words of Thomas Paine in 1776 when he spoke of the Sunshine Patriot and summertime soldiers who deserted at Valley Forge because the going was rough. We who have come here to Washington have come here because we feel we have to be winter soldiers now. We could come back to this country; we could be quiet; we could hold our silence; we could not tell what went on in Vietnam, but we feel because of what threatens this country, the fact that the crimes threaten it, not reds, and not redcoats but the crimes which we are committing that threaten it, that we have to speak out.
A Winter Soldier is, in effect, the opposite of a Summer Soldier or Sunshine Patriot. A Winter Soldier is one who stands on the front lines for their nation in the most dire and desperate of times. In the VVAW movement, the war heroes spoke out AGAINST the war, and risked everything to tell the ground truth about the horrors of war and advocate for a new direction. They are willing to hold themselves accountable, tell their nation when it is wrong and struggle with it to make it right.
Captain American #8
Ed Brubaker, who wrote the Captain America: Winter Soldier comic said:
I came up with the name in 2004, when I was pitching for [Captain America]. I liked the sound of it for a Russian assassin from the cold war, and also liked its connections to Thomas Paine, my personal favorite founding father. The “summer soldier” quote is from The American Crisis, and I believe he meant that the summer soldiers are only patriots when it’s easy to be, but the winter soldier is a true soldier for the cause.
So, you may ask, what the HELL has this got to do with World of Warcraft?

We were talking about raiders in terms of Winter Soldiers and Summer Soldiers. When kills are easy and raiding is good, Summer soldiers are plentiful. But when the going gets a bit tough - be that with people not turning up to raid, bosses becoming harder to kill - then suddenly these Summer soldiers disappear. Then the naysayers come. The guild is collapsing, everyone else is a bad player, and they want to find people that can play to their standard. It all sounds like mercenaries, or Sunshine patriots - where I've extended that to include that they will go to whichever is the winning side, or winning team.

I am fortunate I guess that we have a lot of Winter Soldiers in Frostwolves - who are there to keep the guild together through the tough times. It's actually a lot to ask - after all, World of Warcraft is just as a game, and it's there to have fun, and most people's concept of a game is that you play it, have fun, and you stop playing it when you don't have fun.

I don't just like World of Warcraft, I LOVE World of Warcraft. I LOVE my guild, and the community we have created. When times are tough, if I don't fight for my guild and keep it alive, then who will? Surely I can't be fighting this fight all by myself! And the same goes for the game - who is there to fight to make it better? To feedback what could be improved? It's all very well to stand on your sounding board whinging loudly about what is wrong with the game, but how about offering workable solutions that look at the greater whole of players rather than just yourself?

I've thought a lot about officers since I took over this guild. What is an officer? What do they stand for? What is their role? What attributes should they have?

I just want the officers to all be winter soldiers. I don't want them to be officers during times when it's easy - it's when times are hard that I need them. They help me keep spirits up, to show that we are strong together. that we are a guild bound together by a common purpose and goal. It sounds so cheesy when I'm sitting here writing it, but it's true. When times get tough, I need to not only be out there talking to people, forging alliances, recruiting and trying to improve morale, but I need someone to help little things that make my life easier.


So why haven't I said I wish all my raiders were Winter Patriots?

Well that would be nice, wouldn't it :) But in reality, to be a Frostwolves raider you just need some skill at your class, be able to follow instructions, have a relaxed attitude and turn up to raid ready to go and be reliable. It does help if you're a fun and friendly person too. But if you are also a Winter Soldier who wants to help with the guild and are in it for the long term, then that would distinguish you from an ordinary raider to something a bit more. I admit we have quite a few Summer Soldiers in our raid team, but what can you do? I've said it many times - play what you want to play, play when you want to play, but be reliable - and by that I mean if you say you're not going to play after we kill Archi on heroic until Legion then that's good, at least I know. Don't leave me hanging!

I just wish I find enough solid players - even reliable PuGs - and then I wouldn't have to worry about my guildie summer soldiers! Ah, the bane of every guild leader!

References:

  1. The Mary Sue: Learn the History of the term "Winter Soldier" and why Ed Brubaker Used the Name in Captain America
  2. Veterans for Peace: Who are the Real Winter Soldiers?
  3. Wikipedia: John Kerry and Winter Soldier Investigation
  4. Winter Patriot: The Summer Soldier and the Sunshine Patriot


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Raiding - Another wing of BRF done in Mythic

It was good that this week we managed to get enough people to do Mythic BRF compared to last week where we did heroic Hellfire Citadel.

Last week was very memorable for a number of reasons.

  1. Kyxyn decided to bring his hunter for a change of pace. Dan was tanking with Peggy and HK was playing his paladin. Xyn just did an enormous amount of crappy pulls with barrage, early pulls, wiping us constantly. I'm sure he was rather abashed about the whole thing, but I was laughing my ass off. I hoped everyone else didn't get frustrated but I had a bad feeling that some people were getting a little distressed.
  2. Peggy was tanking with Dan, whom he had on ignore. Who knows why he had Dan on ignore, probably because Dan chatters a lot with Voe during raid time (which we have tried to address but I will make a more concerted effort next week) about non raid things. AWKWARD.
  3. Iskar was so horrible that we gave up on it. We actually came back on Monday to do Xhul of all things and it was EASY. Man, I would never have seen that coming. Part of that was because we had mains on for Xhul, whereas we had a bunch of alts for Iskar. And of course Xyn was playing like he'd bought his hunter on Ebay so I don't know if that had anything to do with it.
So this week, it was a relief to be able to do something different.

Things were looking sketchy at 850pm. Hardly anyone was online. But eventually we got people on in dribs and drabs, and I was surprised that Sonuku (Onineko) came along to it. We even had our casual raiders on (Deidrea, Kaeltsez and Mauve) as well as our regular non-mythic raiders, Koda, McTacky and Taxar. Grass and Peggy from Oni came also, and we had Kyxyn, Aimei, myself, Sev, Dan, Lushen, Crooked, Sars, Rey and Cel attending as well.

We started off with Hans and Franz and the big differences were that the stamp would actually kill you, and there was a special smart stamp phase where each section you touched became a stamp. 

The first attempt went as expected. Lots of people dying from the stamps and we also had tanks dying from lack of healing. I may or may not have been DPSing a little instead of throwing heals out...

Sonu was really helpful, explaining the mechanics of the "smart stamp" mechanic that was particular to mythic. For that part, the stamps would come down where people had trod, so it was idea to have two groups, moving in unison, after pausing on each stamp section for about 3 seconds so they could do some DPS and then moving off as the stamp spot lit up in brightness indicating the stamp was to come down. And these stamps did not come up again, so you rapidly ran out of room. I was unsure why we would need two groups as it seemed they would run out of room rather quickly with two groups, but that was because of the body slam that would occur - when we all stack up, we all get body slammed (including tanks) and get a debuff increasing our damage taken. If we split into two groups that would be halved somewhat. Sonu described it like the "snake game on Nokia phones".

We saw that phase a few times. It was difficult because Deidrea wasn't on Discord because of some stalker issues, so he wasn't listening to instructions NOT to move forward and then kept running ahead and activating the plate too early. After some explaining he got the idea. People who were slow to get to the start point was also an issue in some attempts.

After an hour (and we were making good progress, after testing different times to lust etc), Yuuda got on and I begged him to come. We were trying the fight with 18 and any extra DPS would have made a difference. I explained to him the basics of what we were doing and he just said he'd wing it.

And that attempt we did killed it. In fact it was so easy, the smart stamp phase activated, and somehow we DPS'd through it and the phase ended so fast and then he was dead shortly after. Yuuda wondered what all the fuss was about. Clearly we just needed him to join the raid so we could kill it, our little lucky charm.


After that we did Flame Bender Ka'graz and the main thing Kyxyn told us to do was to bring the dogs to melee so they could be cleaved down. Koda had been having FPS issues so she restarted her computer to try to fix it, but I implored her to return because she was worried about causing wipes and dragging the group down. I said we were here to have fun!

The fight seemed relatively straightforward, except Deidrea unfortunately was the target of one dog and didn't bring it in but fortunately the ranged took care of it. That fight went really smoothly and we killed that off quickly.


Yuuda had to leave after that... Nooooo our good luck charm! Fortunately though, Koda was back! Kromog as the last boss of that wing, and the difference in mythic was the Rune of Trembling Earth where these 3 pillars popped up and you had to break in 12 seconds and turn them into rubble (or they would despawn) and then hide behind them to avoid the Call of the Mountain ability which did a ton of damage. Kromog would then smash a random pillar with his frontal cone attack, and he would do that 3 times, destroying all the rubble piles and you had to move quickly to get to the next rubble and hide. There were also some earthquakes on the ground around that phase which were in random changing spots during the 12 seconds of pillar phase which made it a little difficult to hit the pillars (but we did heal through it).

It didn't actually take that many attempts, but we killed it just before 11pm, and everyone was quite pleased!


It was a fun night - even more so because I had a slight feeling of despondence during the first boss thinking we were going to be doing THAT all night, and then again on Kromog thinking that we weren't going to be able to get coordinated enough to do the rubble phase. But we did it, got achievements and I think everyone had a good time. One more wing to go, and I bet Blast Furnace will be anything BUT a blast... and then it's onto Blackhand. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Guildleader Chores - My mythic underwear feels a bit uncomfortable

Personally, I think people are now starting to enjoy our forays into mythic raids. It is a big change from 2 months ago when we had to drag people kicking and screaming to mythic. I'm not sure what changed - was it the success of raiding, or the settling in and getting used to everyone?

However, I constantly look at Onineko's point of view of raiding and think how I would be feeling in their position.

There are two conflicting things right now are:
  1. My own guildies being left out when they would like to (and are capable of) raiding
  2. An obligation to Onineko because we did start this mythic thing together and it seems unfair to have them sit out after they helped get it off the ground
Their tank has to DPS. The numbers they can bring are reduced. As far as I can tell, no officers are attending - though Peggy has Rank 2 status in Oni (which in Frostwolves is an officer rank) so perhaps he is one. If I put myself in that perspective, I would be not healing, I'd be DPSing, and it would be ugly. I'd look like a lousy player and probably feel like one too. Though, I would enjoy the raiding, and it would be a different challenge for me trying to better myself (or face the unhappy possibility that I wouldn't be allowed to raid because I'm such a carry).

We now field 14 Frostwolves regularly, with 5-6 Onineko players. This week they brought a mage guildie who they said was quite good, but she was a bit undergeared for mythic compared to the rest of us. I don't mind who comes, but one of their other players was not responding to tells, and the raid was filling quickly. I can't wait for people, it's first come first served. Unless you tell me you are going to be late, then I will not hold a place for you. And that happened to our own guildies too!

Bish was late, and I didn't even know if he was going to be on or not. Raid was full and I had to tell him he couldn't come, even though we could have used the extra healer for council. Actually, we probably NEEDED him for council, but I make no exceptions and Bish did say he was tired, after a long 13 hour day. After playing with him for 10 years, I know that if he's tired now, he will be a pumpkin at 10pm. I told him to go and sleep.

However, there were late people on the Onineko side also. One of them was rather disgruntled at being left out and told me that they were unhappy about that when I whispered him with a solution -  perhaps he could discuss with the mage who came and swap with them for their spot since he was raiding mythic previously and she wasn't (and I didn't think she'd mind), but he said he didn't want to join us for raids anymore. I accepted that matter-of-factly. It did make me worry though, if their disgruntledness would affect the others who were coming along.

I like that with my own guildies I can enforce some sort of attendance responsibility (and it works vice versa because they will wake me up if I've fallen asleep before raid time). I message them on Facebook, I call them on their phones, I dig them up on their alts on battlenet. And I can do that because they are my own guild. It also means they all know the consequences of their own actions. AFK more than 2 minutes and we drop you from raid. Turn up late to raid without warning then we assume you're not coming and replace you accordingly. But the long arm of Navi does not extend to other guilds.

I have done my best to make a raid work with what I have. It may seem mercenary of me to ask the remaining Barthilas people to come, but I like them, and they are welcome. I'm not trying to push them away, but I am trying to preserve my own guild so I have to preference my own people and raiders at the moment - well, at least the reliable ones! So far, Nez, Sonu, Peggy, Angry and Ang are constants that always come, so I always leave room for those 5 because they are super reliable. Angry missed one raid because he was late, playing some other game and maybe lost track of time and raid got filled, but since that time he has been ready well before raid time. Peggy is so eager that he hammers Xyn with invite spam and promotes as soon as the clock hits 845pm. You can't say that they're not ready to go. I treat them like surrogate guildies - I think of it a bit like school vacation care. These guys are here on holidays and I gotta keep them entertained, safe, happy and out of trouble until their parents come to take them home.

You know, I always feel a bit sad when someone is unhappy, and I tried to put myself in his place. If I was supposed to raid and I was late and missed out on a spot would I be upset and say I would not raid again? Personally, I would just make the effort to turn up earlier and be ready the next time. But that's just me. I can't imagine any of my guildies having a hissy fit for being left out for being late, because they'd know the onus was on them. Perhaps it was because that person had missed out a few raids now. Maybe they were like Moo, looking for an excuse to stop playing, with mythic being the only tether holding them tentatively to the game.

Right now our guild is doing its best to keep the guild busy and active. And it is. The socials have really boosted the guild activity. Social raids are going (even though it's Mythic difficulty but it's at a level where we are still overgearing it but still have some challenge to make it rather satisfying when we conquer stuff - more on that in another post) and everyone is having fun. I should be focussing on that. My main priority is my guild, my guild's morale and the guild environment. It feels like a better place now than it was in the 2 weeks after the announcement of the possible release date of Legion. If I focus on that, the positive, then it helps wash away the doubts and uncertainties that niggle in the corners of my mind. And I know that my optimism will get me through everything crappy that gets thrown my way.


Navi the reluctant Pet Brawler finally gets her Stunted Direhorn

The pet battle queue is so long these days, that I find myself sitting there not finding anyone to PvP pet battle with. Admittedly, the casual player would be turned off pet battles in PvP because teams with Graves seem to dominate the pet PvP scene. Me included.

Enter Tacky and Crooked.

Now we had tried to cheese fights before by queueing pet battles and then forfeiting for a win for our friends, and then battling the unknown real challengers when we got them in between. However, we did notice after a while that we NEVER got to battle certain people.

Tacky (or was it Crooked) had this theory about pet battle groups - maybe they gave you a number and you only got to pet battle others with the same number. It didn't seem to be btag related (which is what I thought at first) because I could still battle my friends on their SECOND accounts, but not on their main accounts.

But in the middle of my archaeology and pet battles, Tacky and Crooked managed to help me get my pet battles done., as I battled both of their 2nd accounts.

I've been running Graves, Lil' Tarecgosa and Dread Hatchling, which is a nice combination but annoying to everyone else.



Finally got that last elusive pet! Stunted Direhorn is mine!


So that puts me at a whopping 752 unique pets. The maximum you could possibly get is 756. I'm pretty sure I am up there for Oceanic realms, but phew, so many pets still to level!

My next pet goal is to get my Garrison monument for 2000 pet battles in Draenor. I am not even quite halfway there yet - but there is still a lot of time before Legion :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Those little things in game that annoy me

There are so many WHY things in the game, that I wonder about - has nobody else complained about this or wondered about it?

For example:

I often logout when I'm hovering in midair in flight form. If I log back into the game and I'm in the world, I will drop out of flight form and fall out of the sky. However, if I am flying over my garrison and logout, when I log back in, I'm still flying. WHY???


And then I have wondered this, for the whole of WoD:

Why are the portals in Warspear all over the place, like a goddamn treasure hunt? In Pandaria, it was all nice and civilised and in one room. Even in Orgrimmar, all the portals to Hyjal, Deepholm and Twilight Highlands was in one place.  It would have been nice if Warspear had portals to Dalaran and Shattrath as well, but no, we have to go back to Pandaria to do that. It's no wonder my hearth is still set to the Shrine of Two Moons in Pandaria!


Then I noticed these things in Timewalking dungeons this week:

Why does Ozruk not reflect my moonfire? This boss in Stonecore stuns you but if you dot him when he has Bulwark up it will reflect back to you. That's how I used to do it back in Cataclysm, but now, it reflects onto me but doesn't dot me and I get stunned! So unfair!

Tyrant's Decree is a bit buggy and in Timewalking it applies the full buff to the tank and they have 150k compared to the rest of us on 20k or so. Everyone was telling me to keep the tank's health about 60% or he would scale down. Well, it's actually rather hard to heal for that much health anyway because my heals are so puny when scaled, but I think it's a rather strange bug. It is obviously advantageous in timewalking when it gives you the massive health but it really shouldn't be working like that!


There is also one too many unnecessary steps in the Garrison pet battle daily. Why do I need to get a coin for winning, then hand that in to get a reward from the quest giver? Why can't I just receive the bag after I pet battle? Or just talk to the quest giver when I'm done battling? Why do I have to get that coin thing? If my bags are full, I can't do the daily.

And they STILL haven't fixed the fish turn ins for Nat Pagle. When will they just show the ones you have in your bag (like they do for Ashran alliance heads) instead of all of them?

Are there any little things in game still niggling at you that you wish were fixed?