Is it really Monday again? The weekend flew by me so quickly, I can hardly believe that it’s gone! Well, let’s go ahead and start the week with my usual Monday babblings, shall we?
We mercifully took the week off from 10 man raids. It was so…strange to have some free time. I really wasn’t quite sure to do with myself!
Our 25s last week were….tumultuous. I suspect that it’s a good bit of expansion lethargy setting in, but I actually got angry enough at the raid to holler a bit. No – it really should not take us 11 pulls to kill something we killed in 1 pull last week. While frustrating, I’m hoping that this week is better. In addition, we have a person or two that have mysteriously disappeared, also a bit to be expected, I suppose. But nonetheless, disappointing.
We went down last Monday and took a few pulls on Alone in the Darkness. It was…ok. We made it into the final phase without difficulty. (I also learned that you probably shouldn’t try certain achievements without any keepers…but we won’t talk about that!). We tried a few strategies for dealing with the final phase in our 5ish pulls that we took, with varying degrees of success. We had a few people post true “zerg” videos with some strategies that make liberal use of Army of the Dead and Rock Elementals, and the raid as a whole wants to give that a try, so tonight when we go in, we will be trying it out and seeing how it works.
Other than that, there isn’t really much exciting happening. I will, however, offer up some reports of how our attempts at a zerg go. I imagine it will largely be amusing and fun.
Raiding on the PTR
I have learned that trying to schedule anything on an unstable server is an exercise in frustration. What am I talking about? Well, we scheduled an ICC 10 on the PTR to see how things were panning out. As it turned out, one of our tanks couldn’t log into the PTR at all, and the other got kicked from the loading screen every time he tried to log in. Some of our DPS had to repatch the PTR and didn’t realize it in time. So we ended up with 5 people from the guild.
That’s ok, I thought! We will just PuG the rest. We had two guild members that were able to tank in their offspec, both with decent tanking gear, and we had two healers from the guild. And so I went to trade to pick up a few pugs. It was…interesting. Suffice it to say that the 5 people we picked up weren’t of the same caliber player that we are historically used to, so that provided some challenges.
Once we all got to the zone, we got started. There was no 30% buff for us. I do not know if this is a bug, if it’s intentional, or what we should expect on live. Perhaps Blizzard wanted to see how people fared buffless? Honestly, it would have been completely fine…if we had a raid full of 10 guild mates. As it turned out, our hunter and our feral tank (normally our moonkin) were 1-2 on DPS for…everything. We 9 manned Marrowgar, due do a rogue going LD before the pull, and it was painfully slow. I think that this is more from our lack of DPS than anything else.
Oh – and don’t die on the PTR. Like…ever. Your ghost is moving slower than walking speed currently.
The healing was interesting. I healed with the default UI – and while it is a definite improvement, the inability to customize it means that you will still need a raid frame. It’s absolutely going to take time to remember that I can only put lifebloom on one target, and that nourish is almost painfully slow. I thought I’d be smart and pop ToL during the first whirl phase, and while that worked out great for the movement as soon as I hit it I lagged all to hell. The rest of the fight was like watching a slide show, and I had to relog to solve it.
On the plus side…I couldn’t seem to empty my mana bar no matter how hard I tried (and try I did). I was running with all of my 36(?) points in the resto tree so that I could pick up Malfurion’s gift (or whatever the talent has been named). Now, I don’t know if it’s bugged – but my OoC had an astounding 409 procs, with 31.6% uptime for the time that I was parsing. This is probably why I couldn’t seem to run out of mana. I honestly can’t imagine this going live as it currently is, as it would be incredibly overpowered.
Other thing of note is that I gained 304,104 mana back from revitalize and only 39,387 from replenishment (with me being the only replenishment in the raid). I am tried very hard to make sure that I kept lifebloom up, and it accounted for 15% of my overall healing. I am definitely going to have to make a power auras to help me track lifebloom. Of course, if Grid had been functioning on the PTR, it probably would have been miles better as well.
It’s going to take time to get used to the new nourish. And honestly – I do not like how nourish now fits into our toolkit. It’s clunky and feels out of place. If it’s supposed to be our “medium heal”, it needs to have the requirement of HoTs to help support its power dropped. I did not find it very easy to weave it in on the tanks while trying to maintain my lifebloom stack, HoTs on the tanks and cover the raid. It was just too slow…and honestly, not particularly effective even at level 80. In order for nourish to refresh lifebloom, the nourish must be cast on the target with lifebloom – a nourish on say, the OT will not refresh your LB on the MT. This is somewhat disappointing, and it really restricts how you can weave in your spells on other members of the raid. I found that I frequently refreshed lifebloom by just adding another lifebloom – because I didn’t have time for nourish to cast without it dropping. Perhaps this is something that I will get a better feel for as time goes on? Perhaps when the raids change in Cataclysm it will feel…better? I don’t know.
After our adventures on Marrowgar, we managed to get through the trash but lost another player in the process and were now at 8. After a complete disaster of trying Lady Deathwhisper, it was pretty clear to us that our PuG DPS wasn’t going to cut it and it was in everyone’s best interest to cut our losses – take out what we did have time to learn, and move on to something else.
Ultimately I came away with a few things: I believe that mana will be OK at level 80 when 4.0 goes live (I will stop panicking now); I think that everyone is going to need some time to get used to all of their new functionality; and I truly believe that Nourish is clunky and needs some tweaking.
Other Random Things from the PTR
Professions are still mostly broken. The only way to craft is to “unlearn” your profession and then subsequently “relearn” them.
Guilds functions are still in an odd spot. The new default UI now has a “guild” tab, which you cannot access as you originally could by hitting your social button (“o”). At least this time they keybound it (“j”) in the default keybindings. However, when you promote/demote members, those actions are not being shown to the guild and are only seen in the frame.
“Warm Weather Flying”, or whatever it’s being called, can now be purchased for a cost of 5,000 gold. This is in effect for everyone regardless of if you already have a 310 speed mount. My ICC mount was defaulted to a speed of 280 because I hadn’t purchased the training. This is quite different from early reports that if you had already put the work in to acquire a 310 mount you wouldn’t be required to purchase training at an exorbitant cost. I am really hoping that this is an oversight/bug on the PTR (can anyone from Beta pipe in here?). Because a lot of people worked very hard for those 310 mounts – and to completely trivialize that accomplishment by requiring us to purchase the ability to fly at a speed that we can already fly at is asinine.
It is my opinion that the PTR is nowhere near ready for release. I would be surprised to see it hit the live servers before mid-late October.
Nadie is 76, about halfway to 77. I’ve moved out to Grizzly Hills and I am really enjoying the Alliance quests that are found in the zone. From Grizzly Hills, I intend to move out to Zul’Drak, although I speculate that a lot of those quests will remain the same for both factions.
I have learned that my patience wears less thing when tanking in PuGs if, when something annoys me (i.e. knockback happy people), I simply ask for people to stop the annoying behavior and explain why it’s problematic for me as a tank. Additionally, I’ve taken to telling pull happy people that unless they intend to tank what they pull, they shouldn’t be pulling. I tend to keep my groups moving at a good clip, but I also tend to do things like watch to see if my healer is drinking before pulling.
The level of impatience people have astounds me.
For the first time ever last night, I saw Dirkee. He is the last rare that I need for the achievement. My heart stopped for a minute as I /target him…only to see that he’s already been tagged. And I am heartbroken/frustrated/emo over the fact that if I had been SECONDS earlier, he would have been mine and I would have had this blasted achievement complete. Dirkee – I hate you.
On Guild Management
We currently have an interesting issue with one of our members. It hasn’t fully fleshed itself out yet, and I am still a little conflicted with my thoughts on it. I do think that it’s an interesting enough dilemma that I will eventually post about it once I have my thoughts around me because I think that it’s probably something I imagine many people encounter and would like advice on how to deal with it. Oddly enough – I am really not as emotionally invested in this issue as I have historically been with other guild issues. I don’t know if it’s because it’s the end of the expansion, or if it’s because the actions from the party involved just don’t warrant an emotional investment.
So, one of our mages has been raving about this show. I had heard about it, and being a fan of the arts, and musicals, I thought I’d check it out. I stayed up far too late last night watching the first four episodes…and only stopped there because it was way past my bedtime and we were at the end of the disc. So far I am really enjoying the show! I can’t wait to watch another episode or two later! Although – I do think that the show is a bit…evil!
How about you? Do you have anything interesting from the past week? Any questions that I didn’t answer?