Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Wand of Simulated Life

I was doing something with Lushen - maybe it was a dungeon - and I saw he had a sheep out, named Simulacrum.

"What's that pet?" I asked. I didn't have that in my pet journal.

He linked me a toy, Wand of Simulated Life, which he said he got upstairs from the Inn in Dalaran. The wand was on the table and there were clickable crystals which we clicked but nothing happened. However, those crystals DO have a purpose!

If you click the crystals to activate them, they glow (similar to those orbs you click for the Kosumoth attunement). Then when you use the wand, it summons a Simulacra and depending on what crystals you click, it changes the colour!

No crystals - Black
All crystals - White
Red crystal - red (duh)
Green crystal - green
Blue crystal - blue
Red and green - yellow
Blue and red - purple

Don't you love Dalaran and the cool little things you can find? If you haven't got it yet, go add it to your toy collection :)

Monday, January 30, 2017

A Frostwolves Tribute to Kyxyn

At 9pm server on Sunday 29 January, we remembered our dear raid leader.

It was a good turnout, we even managed to get Tout on (our former guild leader) and he joined the raid from Dath'remar. Moisty, Guns, Amelior, Spoon, Splatz, Falln, Moodin, Aza, Kalandria, Gen, Lushen, Dil, Crooked, Thinto, Tye, Tout, Kath, Jartran, Eurie, Cosima, Akra, Seretis, Ram, Amayeti, Sev, Taxar, Stark, Faith, HK, Volrik, Lokang, Nabe, Ultra and myself all headed out to Argent Tournament grounds in Icecrown.

I had all these grand plans of feasts laid out to spell Xyn's name and a word but it was so time consuming and feast wasting that we just settled on Xyn and each of us stood at a feast. I had asked Splatz as he was the most industrious at these sorts of things to help out and he took it all in stride and even took on the responsibility himself (mostly because he couldn't stand the slightly wonky writing).

We then took a photo of us on Frostwolves, and also some of us on Xyn's fave mount, the Mystic Runesaber.

I gave a little talk on Discord. I mostly talked about how people shouldn't feel that they're not entitled to feel sad because there are others who knew Xyn better or longer. Everyone who felt Xyn's loss meant that they had a connection to him, and if Xyn knew how much he meant to us all he would have been really touched. I said that we are a guild and we will get through it together, as we are all here for each other.

People thanked me afterwards for organising this, for organising everything. I'm glad that it helped people feel like they could be together to remember the man we all respected. If Xyn could see, he would probably be moved to tears. But he would never tell you or I that.

Mauly and Zandru were sad they couldn't make the memorial, but I told them their thoughts were with us in spirit.

We'll never forget you, Xyn! I know how much the guild meant to you, and now you know how much you meant to us.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Lost Hippogryph for me!

I made a post ages ago about Helldivider/Galestion and the Lost Hippogryph but I was wrong - it was Mysz who got the first one!

Since then lots of other guildies have theirs, including Crooked. I also made friends with a druid on our server, Bahamut, who is an avid collector and he encouraged me to look for crystals and said he'd help me because he'd helped his friends get the mount too.

I haven't seen many crystals since then, but I wasn't really looking. But on Sunday, HK was on his priest and asked me to help him with Tharillon's Fall, so he could get rank 3 Starlight Rose. In that cave where he had to kill that withered dude, I saw a crystal!

I thought, ok I'll go look for crystals. I told Crooked and he kindly said he'd help me look. I found one more out in the open near some Llothien prowlers (and I had seen a crystal there before). I pulled up Euphyley's map to see her pathing route from her extensive post about the Lost Hippogryph.

Crooky was great, and he found the other 3 crystals for me. One was in a cave on the east side, another was on a rock near the ocean, and the last one was up near Nor'danil Wellspring. I was super excited as I approached that last crystal, as I had seen someone else running around looking for crystals!

Yay! I got my mount! Now I need to make a nice pink transmog to go with it :D

And I got in just in time. At least 15 mins before 9pm on Sunday.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Remembering Kyxyn

Yesterday I had devastating news. It's one of those things that you know could happen, but you don't think it's going to happen. And when it does, you are just so shocked, so numb, thinking how this can't be real.

Kyxyn, my dear friend, raid leader, fellow officer and Frostwolf, passed away on Wednesday. It was sudden and unexpected. He was only 42.

My Skype was ringing earlier that evening - it was Sars. I missed the call but noticed messages from Frostietute, asking me if something happened to Xyn. There was a Facebook post from his wife saying that she had lost her best friend and love of her life, but he will live on forever in their children.

That sounded pretty final. My heart sank, and I was speechless. I was just talking to him the day before... and he was fine! What happened?

After some digging, I found out he collapsed suddenly and was unable to be revived. His wife also informed me but she was still shocked. My heart went out to her.

I logged on, and told the guild. They were devastated. Our paladin tank was well liked and respected, and he brought a lot of heart to the guild. I changed the message of the day, fielded all the questions that I could, as the tears started to flow with the reality of it all sinking in.

I though of his poor wife and kids. How devastated they must be. And I thought about how he had been getting healthy, and losing weight. How only just the other night we talked about how he'd gone back to school (he was a teacher) and the kids all noticed he had lost weight.

"Sir, can I ask... have you lost weight? Like... a lot of weight?"
"Sir, have you been working out? Because you LOOK like you have been working out."

He was pretty chuffed about that. I had laughed and said I'm glad somebody noticed, because I hadn't noticed - his blood elf always looks the same.

I shed tears for the loss of an officer who had the same ideals that I did, the same dreams we had for a guild where people could be decent to each other and where we had a strong community. I wept for my friend with whom we had the same family values and with whom we shared our struggles and triumphs with our children. I cried for the loss of a raid leader, a tank, my PvP world quest buddy. How we both loved superhero TV shows like The Flash, Luke Cage, Arrow, Daredevil. How we both loved our nerdy geeky stuff. How we both liked trying to lighten the raid by making fun of one another.

The night before we were doing PvP towers together and Murloc world PvP and we had a really good run, netting 3 or 4 Marks from killing other players before we were both killed. I normally don't play on Tuesdays, but I was glad that I did now. He was telling me about the kids and something about Karate, but I don't remember what - I had told him I was a bit distracted with people asking to join the guild.

A number of us got onto Discord after I had told people in the guild, and everyone was speechless. I wasn't the only one crying. Most had no words. I just kept fielding questions.

People were saying sorry to me, for the loss. But I thought, it's everyone's loss, not just mine. However, I realised that people thought we were close, and that of all the people in the guild, perhaps I would be feeling his loss the most. At first, I thought, were we as close as people thought? He was one of my closest friends in the guild, but did he feel that way about me?

Not long ago, he was feeling down about things, feeling let down and I told him that opportunities would present themselves. He was so glum about it that I said to him "Geez, look at you. What would you be like if you'd felt I'd let you down?"  He said he'd probably change faction and play alliance. Or just stop playing. I laughed at him. "That's extreme!" But that was probably the only time that he expressed that we had a strong friendship, but I've never really needed him to say it. We chat on Discord till late at night. We have text conversations that go for hundreds of messages which are mostly me listening to him ranting but being unable to convince him or reassuring him - I've told him countless times that our discussions are more like one way conversations of him trying to convince me to thinking his way, which I happily just listen, reply and ignore what he said because I will never be able to sway the stubborn sod to my way of thinking.

I spent ages last night thinking over every thing we had spoken about recently. Trying to hold onto memories of things we did together, because I didn't want to forget. About the inspirational things he would talk to his students about. Like that Mike Rowe video and the Pixar story. He would love it when students appreciated all his teaching after they'd finished high school and come back and tell him how his teaching had made a difference. How he'd play that same Pixar story video every year to his class because he thought that the message and inspiration were so important.

Xyn even got me onto using Myfitnesspal. I looked at it yesterday and saw that he had lunch and a buttload of snacks. I was going to tease him about that at raid. Clearly, that's not going to happen now.

This year I have a conference in Brisbane, and I told him we'd catch up and I'd embarrass him again by dressing full gamer geek. I thought maybe I wouldn't go anymore, but I think perhaps I will just to visit... him. I wanted to go for his funeral but wondered if he wouldn't want all his colleagues and students to know that he was an avid gamer - but I think if people knew what a big part of his evenings World of Warcraft was and none of us showed up, it might feel like internet friendships are not real friendships. Which I know is not the case, because if it was, why am I so devastated by his passing?

Those who knew him well in guild will remember him for his persistence, patience and his leadership and friendship. Those who didn't know him well would remember him for his sarcasm and dry humour and playing a buttload of WoW, and that he was one of the officers. But I will miss the kindred spirit I had, the shared ideal that gave me the strength and encouragement to maintain and uphold the rules to create the guild we have today. We did our best to try to integrate every member of the guild into our community, making them feel like they were part of something. Because of our differing personalities we found it easier to bond with different people in the guild (and discipline others), but between the two of us we managed to form some ties and because the two of us were such good friends we could pretty much troubleshoot everyone here. If someone didn't feel comfortable talking to Xyn about something they'd talk to me and vice versa. It was a good symbiotic relationship. And now it's gone.

Everyone asked me if I'm ok. I guess I am. I know he won't be back. And I know I can't be Xyn. I can only be me. This week I won't have the heart or will to raid without our tyrant raid leader, and I don't think anyone else will either, but next week it will be time to pick up the pieces and move on. I had prepared for this day, and had contingencies in place, because Xyn used to need WoW breaks and go away for a long time. I just didn't realise it would be so soon. Or that this would be the last time I would see him go away.

I miss you Xyn. I didn't need to tell you how much you mean to me and the guild. I think you knew. And I know you felt the same since of the single digit hugs you had in your character statistics, I had received at least one of them. And I am sorry I didn't take any pics of you with your new transmog. Now you will be immortalised in one of your crappy old ones on my blog...

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Is it possible to have mythic raiding as an eSport?

Kyxyn linked me an article about competitive high end mythic raiding, and it's amazing the dedication they put into it!

The article, 1960 man hours per week: The Truth about WoW raiding at the highest level, whilst not suprising, really opens your eyes to the amount of work there is to the most challenging teamwork that we see in World of Warcraft.

“To be competitive we need a main character with 54 AP traits plus five alts with 35 traits and an average item level of 880.”

Kyxyn said that would immediately rule me out as a potential for high end mythic raiding, but by golly what a chore, levelling alts to that high a level! Gosh, the time sink for that!

And look at them stocking up for raid with augment runes. That's totally awesome! I whinge about putting a few BoEs on the AH but imagine having to keep the guild bank stocked for raids all the time. Phew!

In WoW the only tournaments that can actually have prizemoney are the PvP ones. However, Twitch streaming is another way to make money but the amount of money you make is minimal.

There are also Youtube videos which, if they get enough views, can earn ad sponsorship.

But that is not enough to make an income to live off.

Streaming by top guilds is discouraged during the progress race. Why? Sparty (from the guild, Death Jesters) explains: “The simplest answer is for strategies, maintaining a competitive edge over their adversaries. You absolutely do not want other guilds to keep the same pace as you in clearing bosses, [so] releasing videos to help them serves little purpose. There has been an unwritten rule that guilds would not release videos until at least five in total had defeated that [boss] to help protect the rankings as well as the ‘sanctity’ of the encounters.”

So, streaming server first mythic boss kills is not going to be a good way to make money, especially if you're sharing your strats with your competitors! And who wants to watch 200+ wipes on a boss anyway!

In reality, the only way to make money from high end raiding was to give a monetary reward - but there are so many logistical issues outlined in the article. What about exploiting, like Exorsus did with Helya (which earned them a ban)? How is the money distributed? You could imagine disgruntled raid members not getting "their share" of the money or an unscrupulous raid/guild leader scooping the dough and running. Are there going to be custom addons being used by the guild that they don't share with others to give themselves an advantage?

At the previous Blizzcon I attended there was a WoW raid race, where 2 guilds were trying to be the first to beat a series of Mythic Bosses. If there was prize money involved in that sort of thing, I could imagine there would be some interest in watching it.

One way that I had considered would be to invite 5 guilds to Blizzard HQ to kill a series of mythic bosses in a tournament style, as they race against one another. Prizes could be equipment, computers, or even money for each contestant to take home - or maybe honours in an upcoming Blizzard game (like they do for contest winners in costumes and talent at Blizzcon). That way, the players can be monitored, their interfaces and UI's standardised and everyone will be on a level playing ground. Blizzard could set it up to stream like at Blizzcon - a pay per view event - and use the revenue from that to help fund the event.  You could even get more tickets sold by adding WoW specific toys just for the event. I could even envisage that companies which sponsored the tournament could get good coverage for their brand if each team was using something like Steelseries headsets, Razer keyboards and mice, or machines powered by Gigabyte GPUs.

That would be a minimum of 100 machines setup for the teams to play with. Would there be practice bosses they could warm up with? And would that be allowed? After all, the encounter is repeatable and if you did the boss often enough you could wrote learn the encounter. With fighting against other players the encounters are more dynamic.

How about methods that don't require Blizzard's involvement?  I think that the money would have to be in a once off pay to view video of a boss kill. Like selling an instructional video. However, there are so many free videos that there probably wouldn't be much money in that sort of thing. I still think streaming is the way to go. But when you're in a raid, you have minimal opportunity to interact with your stream viewers, and that can be disruptive to a raid where you're supposed to be concentrating. The best streamers have a great relationship with their viewers, making them feel like valued customers, I suppose. After all, these subscribers are paying to view you playing, you should at least make them feel welcome and thank them for their money!

14 hours a day, for the first week of raid for a competitive mythic guild. That's 98 hours of work. For which you're not getting paid! Times that by 20 raiders and that 1960 hours in 7 days. To build a single story 20mx30m house it would take you approximately 1720 man hours. It's astonishing that it's just for the love of the game and glory to put that effort in.

What do you think? Should Blizzard help the development of mythic raiding as an eSport? Or can you think of other ways mythic raiders can make money playing WoW?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Raiding - Poor, poor Gul'dan

Sunday raid was jam packed like I expected it to be. The raid was full before raid time, and a few people missed out, but I know give a week or two that will die down.

Normal is a lot more forgiving than heroic (obviously!) but with everyone we had, we managed to get 7 bosses down. Lucky me got 2 Tier pieces (by accident!) which is rather cool and now I'm wearing them.

I think most people got some gear - whether they are upgrades or not remains to be seen, but there was gear going out. Many of the casual players got loot too, so that was good for them. The normal raid was so smooth that we thought perhaps we could finish off normals on Monday instead of doing heroic, which seemed like a nice idea.

Of the fights that we did on Sunday, I quite liked the Krosus fight. The Kologarn half-body thing (which I suppose Helya also does) at the end of the bridge has always been one of my fave concepts, AND because he smashed the end of the bridge our fighting space got shorter and shorter making it a DPS race. After 5 or so melee got killed because the bridge was destroyed at the front on the first smash, the rest of the raid cottoned on pretty quickly that you must not stand there! Standing in the swirlies reminded me of Kormrok mythic in HFC. And I did like the running left and right to dodge things. Hopefully I don't screw that up too often in heroic.

So Monday night rolled around and we had Botanist, Elisande and Gul'dan to go. Dil warned me that these bosses were a lot harder and I took that on board, but by the end of the night, I was pleased to see that they weren't as difficult as I thought they were going to be.

I finally enabled voice activation for the raiding channel and Neuro was allowed to speak. Xyn had made a mistake in his setup for Botanist which was corrected and that was quite a fun fight, but by the time we got to Gul'dan, I started to see what Aza said. He was complaining that this 3 phase fight- kill adds-dodge the one hit mechanic-kill boss thing was getting a bit old.

Defeating Gul'dan has a cool cut scene at the end...


...which showed the return of Illidan (which we knew was coming) and he picked Gul'dan up by the throat and then made him explode and all was left was his skull. But Illidan crushed Gul'dan's skull into smithereens, which I am sure didn't happen before because I have Skull of Gul'dan in my bags from Black Temple! It was a cool video to watch, and we get the Eye of Aman'thul to take back to Dalaran so now we have all the pillars of creation. The achievement popped up last night when we killed Gul'dan but it got lost in all the spam of achievements and loot that I didn't realise we had it.

Poor Koda, she disconnected and missed the Gul'dan kill!

What's really cool is that once you've killed Gul'dan you get a manasaber to ride as a quest reward. SWEEEEEEET!

When I watched and read Elisande's fight I was confused as hell. Fast bubble slow bubble? Once I got the hang of it I was like OHHHHHH I get it, and I feel like I got it. Step in a slow bubble, you go slow. Step in a fast bubble, you go fast! Of course nobody wants to step in the slow bubble, so I think I'll have to remember if I get a bomb, I'll go in the slow bubble so my bomb goes off slower than everyone else's as it's going to be the poison pill of the bomb bunch.

Everyone who came on Sunday for the whole raid said they had fun, which was the main thing. I'm looking forward to more raiding this next raid week, but I have realised one thing - I don't think I like raiding 4 days a week. I am thinking that once we have 4 weeks of killing Gul'dan we will have the 4 items to skip straight to the end and we can do that on Sundays and drop Monday raiding, leaving Wed/Thurs for heroic raiding. That won't be for a while though, and in the meantime we'll just have a heavier raiding roster and ride it out till we can wind back again.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Guildleader chores - And so the tides of recruitment flow again

It's surprising but lately when we have an exodus of players within a very short period players a bunch of players appear to replace them.

The last time we had a raider exodus (4 heroic raiders left) I was worried about the effect on raiding but that was the end of an expansion and we didn't really need more raiders, but a few weeks later, 3 players suddenly turned up who were heroic raiders and that filled the gap.

During ToV we had a couple of raiders join who were great raiders but it turned out they probably should have been in a mythic guild (even though I am sure I strongly emphasise we are heroic only) and they left with another raider to join a mythic guild. That dropped our numbers again but we're still way over 15 so I wasn't concerned. Loss of a healer did worry me, but I have so many healers in the wings that it would be covered.

They would have only been gone for 2 weeks when I got a request from a group of 4 who wanted to join the guild who were a mixture of normal and heroic raiders. They were looking for an active guild and people to play with so I went through the whole spiel with them and they were still keen to join so I brought them along and popped them in the Sunday raid. The rogue did so well and was heroic ready so I brought him on Monday and he cruised along just fine, and since we have tons of heroic raid spots (and we have no rogue) I thought it would be fine to let him in for heroic raids. He's even already handed over a bunch of flasks for the cauldron!

And, another healer who had left to play with his friends during the twilight end of HFC (I had said to him he could come back if his friends all stopped playing) has come back after all his friends quit WoW again, and brought his brother into the guild as well. I don't know how much raiding they want to do but it does beef up the Mythic + pool.

Also joining the fray is another friend who has come back to WoW (but his guild has all gone to Barthilas, and I was encouraging him to follow them) but a few of his guildies ended up in Frostwolves. Him being here is not the concern - but having a 4th resto druid in the raiding mix is. He is heroic/mythic raiding material and I feel like it's a shame (and wasteful) not to have him raiding.

But... who knows how long this will last! There are still another 2 guildies that may leave to join a mythic raiding guild and though I'd loathe to see them go I am not keen on people feeling they need to stay out of guilt - I want people to stay because this is truly where they want to be.

But you know what's REALLY great?

This is done with no recruitment advertising! To think - I was doing so much forum browsing last expansion looking for raiders when really, now that I have settled into the no-mythic thing I don't need to have 23+ raiders - I am happy with even just 10! So we will always be able to raid, and it's just Murphy's law when you aren't looking for something, they seem to all drop in your lap.

It's either that, or we have a glowing reputation that precedes us 😁😁😁. Before my head explodes I'll just assume it's Murphy's law and see how many cycles of raider tides we go through.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Raiding - First 2 days in Nighthold

Lots of enthusiasm for Nighthold! Though the raid is sitting at 20-22, it's quite a nice size. I'll tell you what I find funny though, is people asking me why we are doing heroic and not normal.

The reason it's funny is because I have to keep saying the same thing EVERY new raid. And I've been saying it for... oh... 2 expansions now. We definitely put that into place at the start of Highmaul in WoD.

Q: "Why aren't we clearing normal before heroic so that we can learn the fights?"
A: "Because nobody learns the fights on normal, they just steamroll it. And that really doesn't teach you anything. If we do heroic, everyone has to pay attention to the mechanics and we'll work on it together to get it right.

Q: "Are we not doing normal at all?"
A: "We do normal on Sundays which is the casual raid day."

Q: "Why don't we do normals on Wednesday and heroic on Thursday?"
A: "Because we're going to do normal on Sunday and I don't to do normal on Wednesday and do bosses on Sunday that I've already done on Wednesday."

Q: "Why don't we continue with normal bosses on Sunday after we do it on Wednesday/Thursday?"
A: "Because Sunday is the day that we can let our casual raiders come and see the raid, and we would like them to see the instance from the beginning."

On Wednesday we did Skorpyron and Chromatic Anomaly, and started on Trilliax. That felt like quite a good start!

Skorpyron is a large scorpid. If you ask me, it sounds like the of a Transformer, most likely a Decepticon. Actually, there is already a scorpion Transformer, Scorponok.

For the first attempt I was wondering why the raid was so quiet! THEN I figured out that I was sitting in a discord channel all by myself and had forgotten to join the rest of the raid. /facepalm

It took me a second or two to get then hang of the fight, and times that I thought we should be using healer cooldowns were not really much of an issue. We 2 tanked Skorpyron with Xyn mostly on the boss and HK doing adds. Skorpyron is in the middle of a circular room and around the outside a whole bunch of little scorpions hidden in clouds surround us. We all are supposed to hang out in the middle, but the sides can be aggroed if you go near them.

Skorpyron throws crystals out which land on the ground and you hide behind them when the boss does a knockback ability. If you don't then you get thrown back and land in scorpions and then there are a whole bunch of adds to deal with. The boss also pauses every now and then to do a frontal attack which is easy to get out of if you remember! The first attempt many of us got hit by it because we forgot but that got better over subsequent attempts.

DPS got to have their fun when the boss's exoskeleton became vulnerable and they just wailed on the boss. That was a good time to drink. It took us 3 goes to get it, and each time was a bit better than the last.

Sadly, we didn't take a kill photo! So I took a photo with it with whomever was standing next to me at the time.

Next up was Chromatic Anomaly and I found that fight confusing as hell. Slow phase, normal phase, fast phase...  from my simple perspective I didn't understand the fight except that people got bombs on them and they needed to get out of the group to explode; bursting bubbles coming out as waves from the middle. Oh, and there was a big add that needed interrupting as well. People were everywhere and I was running around trying to keep up with people on one edge and lost people on other edges. Neuro was particularly grumpy!

All I can say is that slow phase is annoying. GCD is sooooo long.

Somehow, we managed to kill it. Yay!

I had to duck off to work in the last half hour of the raid night, so I didn't get any opportunity to learn the next fight Trilliax which was blindingly obvious when I did it the following night.

So I turn up on Thursday to do Trilliax which is actually an amusing encounter with so much movement going on. Trilliax says a whole bunch of funny things! Basically Trilliax is a malfunctioning housekeeping robot (who sounds like he has multiple personality disorder) and goes from being a servant to being a crazy robot!

The master has returned! We must ensure the household is immaculate.
That's not the master, imbecile! Unless he managed to claw his way out from under two tons of solid stone.  Ooo, that would be impressive... considering I still have his hands in a jar.
Please don't say such things! The master is back, and things need to be kept tidy.

It's a big circular room and we have to stay around the edges and keep the middle clean. The boss puts arcane seepage on the ground under players which we have to keep out of so the edges of the room start to get a bit crowded with all the crap everywhere. Then, the boss throws out toxic cake out all over the room which we have to eat and eating it makes us stuffed so we can't eat another slice for a minute and also makes us walk sloooooow.

Then the boss joins two people together with an arcing bond which means you have to stand close to one another or it does tons of damage. Also, people are getting shot every second with mana rupture and it's kinda heavy on healing so a good time to use a cooldown.
How dare you track blood across my floor!
Then, Trilliax jumps into the middle of the room and starts annihilating in front and behind and turns. That thing will one shot you! I died to it first two times and felt like an absolute moron. Also, having that slow debuff from eating is also rather crappy! And that tricky Trilliax turns one way then changes direction part way through the fight! So stick to the side! Good time for one of Cosima's shaman cooldowns or a mobile tranq to top people up. The first time I died because I didn't realise I had to stick to the side, and the second time I displaced into his butt.  So those noob deaths I tried really hard not to do that again!

Can you please die without making such a mess?!

After that phase these robots come out and start cleaning up the mana seepage on the floor. They gain mana when they clean up those pools and we need them to get all the crap off the floor. They blow up once they get full and stop cleaning. Also, they love eating cake! So if we don't eat the toxic cakes they will go over to them first instead of cleaning the crap off the floor and blow up. Fortunately we can do stuff to help keep these robots under control. A sterilize debuff goes out which damages people 8 yards from the players affected but if you have sterilize and stand next to a cleaning robot it will drain its mana so it can clean longer (but the sterilized person takes lots of damage when being next to a cleaning robot).  Succulent feasts get thrown out by the boss so people who eat those can jump on 2 exploding robots and not die.

I'm not sure what I've done, but I'm positive I deserve this beating.

Overall a pretty cool fight and we got it down and first pieces of heroic tier went out (cloaks). Happy people!

After that we had a go at Aluriel which has a TONNE of trash to clear (and dodge her as she pats around the circular courtyard) and is another boss with a lot of phases that we haven't quite mastered yet.

There are frost, fire and arcane phases with lots of things to dodge; in frost we get to bump uglies and remove our frost debuff stacks; in fire everyone is trying to stay one side together but not too close and then fire pools on the ground have these big fire elementals who hurl painful firebolts at us; and the arcane phase is just bloody exploding balls all over the place which I haven't quite figured out yet. Healing is intense at different parts and I haven't quite got my head around the fight yet but when I do I shall do my best to talk about it!

After doing so well this week, we thought we might start raiding Mondays again - however, 4 days of raiding is a bit much for some people (especially if you want to attend normal raids) so Sunday is optional and we have emphasised that to the heroic raiders. There are quite a few non heroic players who would like to see Nighthold so I am looking forward to seeing all of them on Sunday.

Overall good work Frostwolves!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Lunk Approved World Quests - Kirin Tor World quests

I am the anomaly in my guild - most of my guildies hate the Kirin Tor World quests. I like them because they're a bit different, but the main thing is because they don't require me to kill things. As I've said before (hence why Lunk is my hero) I don't particularly enjoy killing things if I don't have to, and I think it would be AWESOME if quests had non aggressive options to completion. But that would take a lot of work from Blizzard's end, but I would love to have that option.

Barrels o' Fun is actually fun because I get the kids to watch it with me and we play guess which one is the right barrel. It teaches them how to follow an object and pay attention, so it can't be that terrible. Yeah so what if you get it wrong sometimes! I saw that Kyxyn had an addon from one of his world quest addons that marks the barrel for you so it's even easier! (I think it was World Quest List addon)

I know those crystal and bubble movement ones can be a bit of a pain, but after my first struggles with them (and of course, Splatz coming along to make fun of me by finishing it first go whilst I was on my billionth attempt) I actually quite like them now that I got the hang of it. My main difficulty was negotiating through those white barriers - I didn't know if I was supposed to jump over them or shoot through them at first! Anyway, now that I've got the hang of it, I always go do them, even if Kirin Tor is not the emissary.

Someone told me that they didn't like those puzzle boxes with the squares to step on. I love that one! If you're really struggling you can always take a screenshot! I just remember numbers 4, 3, 5, 3 as each turn will always be 90 degrees and moving forward anyway, it will eventually get you there.

The other quest I ALWAYS do is the Aw, Nuts! Another easy non killing quest and even though I've done it every time, I still roll my eyes at

"That squirrel invasion was nuts. Get it?"

LOL! That Celestine of the Harvest and her cute Gilnean accent!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Raiding - And that's the last time we do ToV!

Next week it's Nighthold! So this week was the last time we would be stepping into Trial of Valour. A big sigh of relief probably going around when we hear that!

We were suspiciously short of healers on Wednesday so we started off doing heroic EN and the first two bosses of ToV, leaving Helya for Thursday.

Thursday was the opposite - only 1 shadow priest and a bevy of healers! I had to beg Jassa to get on and when he did join the raid we had someone else to soak those tentacles at the back and we got it down a lot cleaner than our previous attempt!

I forgot that 880 loot goes out with Helya and there were a lot of shinies distributed to various raid members. It was nice to have a short raid week and catch up on other things.

Next week, however, it's back in full swing again. I had to tell people that they need to be up to date with their flask contributions and we have a ton of herbs to be made into flasks as well so we're good for a while (thanks Nabe!)

I was wondering whether we would be raiding 3 nights of heroic again since I had quite enjoyed this 2 nights a week of raiding, and perhaps whilst we're just starting we might start with 2 but as we get more bosses down we might need more nights. We'll see. I also want to get the Sunday normal runs started again, so we can get some of our casual players to see content.

And I swear, since patch on Tuesday, I have doubled my number of Curious coins.... Fascinating how much the patch boosted it!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Weird things about PvP in Legion that I don't get

Today I was in one of the Warden towers, and I used my whistle and I realised I was INSIDE the tower at the top. I am pretty sure that I used to have to be on the balcony at the top to use whistle. When did that change?? Maybe that was with the patch.

And here's another thing. I have a Fearless Gladiator's Badge of Dominance, but the on use ability doesn't work in battlegrounds. WHY? It's a PvP item! I mean I understand the PvE stuff not proccing (equip procs) like the shields from Vial of Nightmare Fog. Then what is the point of the trinket!?

Oh, and those hatchling quests - and this is at least a bonus thing - when you have to do the quest to do 3 PvP world quests with your hatchling out, you actually only have to do 1, and then the quest completes. Weird. I thought that might be fixed with 7.1.5 coming out, but no, it's still doing it.

Another thing, is that Kyxyn and I have been playing with the Fire-Watcher's Oath and the Ivory Talon (those PvP things) and the debuff you get which means you yield no Marks of Prey but for some reason doesn't show the "Sacrificed to Ordos" debuff, but it should. I guess the honourless target (or whatever the debuff is called) means both, even though it just specifies the Marks of Prey. Also, you can't be in a party when you're killing the other player if you're kill trading. BUT, when you reform the party, and the other player releases, you can rez them. But you can't rez them when you're not in a party, and even when you rez them, they're still hostile to you. WEIRD, and sounds like that shouldn't happen... but it does!

And skirmishes... WHY do they have a requeue button as well as a leave arena button! When I'm in a party that inevitably means someone will leave and not get a queue. Yes, yes, I am frequently the culprit of that. We have done that so many times....

Monday, January 9, 2017

Diablo's 20th Anniversary

When people first started getting the achievement, I thought it was something you had to play in Diablo and then log into WoW and receive an item. It was better than that. There was an ingame thing to do.

There were treasure goblins all over the place, and you kill them to get toys, scrolls, a bag and other goodies. Killing them opened a portal to the Cow Level. I have never understood the reference except that it was something to do with Diablo so I had to go look it up.
Way back with Diablo 1, there were rumors that clicking repeatedly on the corpse of a specific cow would open up a secret level. Blizzard denied this (rightfully so), and made a humorous nod to the rumor by including a cheat code in their game Starcraft.
Not helping rumors is the fact that there actually was a Cow Level in Diablo II, and there have also been numerous other cow jokes and "there is no cow level" jokes hidden in Blizzard's other games. For example, it was the cheat code in StarCraft used to skip the current level. The line lives on in the hearts of long-time Blizzard fans and as an occasional loading screen tip in World of Warcraft.
- WoWWiki 

Wirt's third leg, which drops in Tanaris, is a reference to this Cow level. In D2, there is a character,Wirt (who lost his leg to Diablo) whose peg leg you can use to open the Cow level. Cow King's Hide, which is a world drop blue BOE, is a reference to the Cow King. 

Treasure Goblins reliably spawnyh in Dalaran sewers. They would also be at the end of each dungeon. They were also found all over the world too, but randomly. However, once they start doing their portal you need to kill them quick! I had a dreadful time trying to kill goblins because people had already done their achievement and couldn't be bothered doing anymore so not enough DPS on goblins and they'd run away.

Portals would spawn taking you to the Cow level where you would kill  the Cow King. Really hard to get a picture of him, this was the best one I got. He drops a Twelve String Guitar and once you add that item to your Toy collection you get the achievement!

There was also a whole bunch of items that fill up your bag which gave you extra stam, speed or armour (I never saw an int one) which still give you that slight buff. I might throw them out now - they are only piddly buffs, after all. I even got the 28 slot bag.

But what I wanted was the Town Portal toy, which needed 10 Scrolls of Town Portal. But I left it till the last day and then spent a couple of hours trying to kill goblins, doing heroic dungeons and hanging out in Dalaran Sewers. A fair number got away. Tacky came to help me and I finally managed to get my last scroll which was a relief!

Happy 20th Anniversary Diablo! And there WAS a cow level...

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Raiding - Hell yeah!

Stepping back into ToV this week, and I did feel very rusty. In fact, I wasn't the only one. Kyxyn was a bit distracted on Wednesday but by Thursday he was back to his old self with raid leading.

We had quite a good turnout on Wednesday and Thursday. Helya was rough at first as we had to remember what we had to do in the fight and then we were a little bit higglety pigglety over phase 3. We made a couple of changes - one of which was to make Helya vomit straight down the middle instead of off to one side - but the rest of the strat needed tidying.  We started making good progress on the final fights of the night getting her to less than 20% - a good omen for Thursday!

So Thursday came around but Koda couldn't raid so I had to drag poor Amelior to come and heal. Phase 1 and 2 were nice and clean but phase 3 was just... poop everywhere. We were down to only half the raid in the final 3% and Jassa was being encouraging by yelling "You got this guys!" but I was thinking "Don't jinx us, Jassa!"

But he was right, and we got it.

Gosh that felt good! Some nice loots went out and I was wishing I had Ward's belt and he was wishing he got my Leg armour! But unfortunately we couldn't trade them because they were both items that were higher item level than what we already had on.

Off to Heroic Emerald Nightmare after that and we managed to knock all that over by 11pm. I even got to 2 heal a few fights which were rather rough! Nerd scored a legendary and then logged off LOL - either he was lucky he stayed that long, or he figured he'd gotten what he needed then left :P

It was a good night overall, and it was highly satisfying to be 3/3H! Yay Frostwolves!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 - A Year in Review

2016 gone already! Here are my top 5 best things about 2016 in my World of Warcraft.

😊1 - Legion

The release of Legion in September was met with much excitement and I fully admit that this expansion is a hit. I love how 5 man content is relevant again, and that the pacing of content seems to be good in these early raid tiers. I have been enjoying the Suramar quest lines and how they released it week by week so we could all keep current with it (not rush it early and forget all about it before Nighthold). And there is so much to do!

😊2 - Blizzcon

It was my second Blizzcon and it was a massive splurge on my part because not only did we go the the Benefit dinner, I helped sponsor Con before the Storm, and of course spend ridiculous amounts of money on food. Lots of guildies going to Blizzcon was awesome, but because there was little WoW news, it wasn't as memorable as the first one, but still I had a great time.

😊3 - Warcraft Movie

So many people thought it was crap but I enjoyed it, and I liked seeing the game I spend so much tme with on the big screen. What's not to love about seeing FROSTWOLVES up close and personal - Durotan, Draka and baby Go'el!

😊4 - New Guildies

We have had some great additions to the guild this year. Neuro, Moisty, Fielsa, Naesca, Genowen, Ram, Dilandach, Nerd, Jassaray, Eurie, Amelior, Ward, Wolf, Fox, Spoon all joined as raiders and have boosted our raid team considerably. Granted, we have a casual feel and so some of them may not be on all the time, but at least we've got enough to raid comfortably. We also have a lot of casual players in the guild who are quite happy with how the guild is run, and make the guild feel full and constantly busy.

😊#5 - Proven Healer

Ok, this is lame but it was great for me. For how many years have I been a total failure at trying to do it and then have everyone and their dog give me advice on how to be less lame. Anyway, this year, after trying to do it for more than 2 years I got it, and I have no idea why I was struggling on it in the first place. Embarrassing. But it's done and that was a great thing for me this year.

Looking forward to a 2017 that's filled with just as much cool stuff! Happy new year everyone!