Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Thursday Thoughts: News at 11 Edition   2 comments

It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these types of updates. I could probably tell you I didn’t have much to say – but since I often did updates that were almost completely devoid of WoW information, I’m not sure that’s entirely true. I think it would probably be more accurate to say that I’ve been busy…and lazy. I mean I could have easily offered an update on any number of things, but when I had my down time I simply found I wanted to do something other than write! As harsh is that might sound…honesty is best! (Right? RIGHT?!).

/sigh

Whatever! I have both time and desire to write at this moment, as well as things to say! So I suppose that we should get to that before I lose any of the above.

On Raiding

Wait, what?! (It’s okay, I know that you are probably thinking it, I can hear the wheels turning from here!). Remember that post about the 5.3 PTR I did the other day? The one where I said I had reason to believe that I’d probably have a little more to say about druids as we moved forward? No? Okay, perhaps we should start from the beginning here. Read the rest of this entry »

New Adventures and Inevitable Ends.   17 comments

It’s been pretty quiet here the last month or so, and I’m not entirely sure what to say about the silence. The truth is that when I created this blog, it was supposed to be a venue for me to express my thoughts, frustrations and cleanse my mind. Unfortunately, as more people started reading my blog, I stopped using it as much to do something that was very healthy for me, due to adverse reactions from some people in my guild and people getting upset. Which is unfortunate, because it was a wonderful venue to think through things that were challenging and frustrating me and I needed to work through – and I want, no need, to return it to that. Over the past six months my blog became a lot less personal, and as a result my internal thoughts a lot more crowded.

So, in the interest of getting back to my roots (pun intended!), this post is going to be personal.

This past Monday Brade and I disbanded the raid team in Monolith. It was not without hurt feelings and controversy – and I will not be surprised if someone childishly (and most likely cowardly) posts hurtful things in the comments to this post (which I reserve the right to monitor and remove). But the truth is that it was long past time. Back at the end of Cataclysm Brade and I discussed at length, over the course of several months, shutting down the raid team. Ultimately, after much back and forth, we made the decision to continue for one more expansion. We thought Mists had promise – and many of the things that were weighing on our minds, and most personal conflicts, seemed resolved. So it was with enthusiasm that we pushed forward.

Unfortunately, once we got into the expansion it became clear that those resolutions were not permanent, and many of the things that made us question continuing on into the expansion resurfaced, and seemingly multiplied. It was disappointing, but because we are stubborn and committed we put our heads down and continued to push on. We don’t quit simply because things are hard – we have over eight years of success to back that statement up.

But then, on January 2nd, as I was driving into work, this happened:

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I was driving my normal route, moving with the flow of traffic, when my car hit an ice patch on an elevated part of highway and I lost control of the vehicle. It did one of those scary spin around things before hitting a car entering from an entrance ramp and getting hit by the car that was travelling in the lane next to me. Fortunately for me I drive into work early in the morning, before rush hour traffic is in full force. And that the bus behind me had time to react and stop before plowing into me as well. And that I purchased a car with a very high safety rating, and a bajillion airbags.

I walked away with a minor concussion (a bump on my head about the size of an orange), pretty beat up (they took xrays of my knee to make sure it wasn’t broken) and extremely shaken. Driving to work today, with the weather in the same conditions as it was the day of the accident, was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I drove like a grandma, and just about every other car on the highway passed me, but I made it to work in one piece and imagine I will be a little less scared next time.

Anyhow, the accident had a profound effect on my thoughts. It’s strange how one, very scary, thing can make you see things more clearly. Things I had been struggling with, were now crystal. The fact was that Monolith’s environment had morphed into something completely unrecognizable, and completely unenjoyable for a lot of people – including myself. I realized this was no longer the guild that Brade and I had decided to fight to hold onto, and we no longer wanted to see it continue to degrade. Attrition was high – for any number of reasons – mostly real life. And community was almost non-existent. After a blow out on Sunday night, Brade and I spent a lot of time discussing this, and after Brade fell asleep I stayed awake with my thoughts.

The truth is, life is simply too short to do things where the enjoyment doesn’t outweigh the stress, and to surround yourself with people who make you feel bad about yourself and miserable. My car accident was a trigger to make me finally acknowledge this. I realized that I want to write my history in more than pixels, and I want more than regrets on the pages. And letting Monolith’s community degrade to the point that it was a shadow of what we had worked so hard to create was a regret I didn’t want.

Upon announcing that we were disbanding the raid team, many cruel things were said to me. I was told I was selfish – despite the fact that I had given over eight years of my life putting everyone else’s happiness in front of my own. I was told I was mentally unstable and needed to seek professional help – despite the fact that this is the best decision for everyone involved, even though it probably doesn’t feel like it at the time. I was told that the guild deserved to die under my leadership – despite the fact that it didn’t die, we killed the raid team and all the toxic vitriol that came with trying to maintain it, but in the process saved the community and the guild.

And while I would be lying if I said these things didn’t bother me a little, I can honestly say that I’m not upset about them. I am 100% comfortable with the decision we made, and I know it was the right one. But for every nasty comment I received, I got two from those who understood and supported our decision – those who agreed with our assessment of the situation and valued the importance of community. And for the first time in months I logged in and enjoyed guild chat again. There was laughter and fun. People were in high spirits and joking around. It was almost like playing an entirely new game, and I was reminded why we valued certain things over others.

For those of you wondering if the current state of druids played into my decision – I would be lying if I said no. Was it a main factor? No. Was it a top 10 factor? Yes, but towards the bottom of the list. I truly feel that Blizzard needs to do a better job of balancing classes if equality is their goal. I continue to feel they should abandon the idea that 10s and 25s are equal, because they never will. Hating my class was certainly a factor in my decision, and certainly had an impact on my ability to enjoy the game. For right or wrong, I struggled with coming to terms with how poorly resto druids scaled in 25s, and got to the point that I almost didn’t even want to try because it didn’t matter. And, in all honesty, I don’t feel the “new” mushrooms, in their current iteration, are going to improve our situation any – but that is likely a topic for another time.

New Adventures

So many of you are probably thinking “what now, Beru”.

Well, I’m not really sure. Something I haven’t been hugely open about is that Brade and I have decided to start a family, and have started trying to conceive. Because I want to bifurcate my gaming blog with this effort, I did start a new blog, Wind Blown Tree Tops to chronicle my adventures. Right now, it’s simply a completely generic, blank blog as it has been since I created it in September. But I imagine in time I will have a lot of things to say there and will nitpick both the style and the content until I’m happy with it. You are all welcome to follow me through this adventure if you’d like, although I don’t know how exciting it will be :)

Will I keep blogging here and about druids? Well, I don’t know. I’d like to, but I also don’t know what I’ll have to say. I suspect only time will tell. Will I keep playing WoW? Brade and I have decided to play very casually at this time. We are finally getting around to challenge modes (which are immensely fun!). In time, we will probably do a 1 night a week ten man with friends to see what the new content is all about. I will continue to enjoy the addiction that is pet battling. But I don’t know if I will ever raid seriously again. I find that as time goes on I am less inclined to have my gaming environment constrict my time. I want to be able to take the aquasize class that meets two nights a week. I want to be able to come home from work and relax, game if I want or watch TV if I want. And I strongly suspect that as I continue to have less of an obligation to be online, the value of no longer having a raid schedule (and all the things that come with it – like dailys) will outweigh any desire to be competitive again.

And, I am content with that. For the first time in years I feel a freedom that I had forgotten about. Will I miss raiding? Yes, absolutely. And I will continue to cheer on and support those of you who are still pushing through it. I have many happy memories brought to me from raiding and I think it is a fantastic group effort that can teach valuable life lessons. I don’t have any regrets about the time I spent in WoW – it was well worth it and got me through some of the most difficult times of my life. It is my hope that I can still continue to enjoy it, just on my terms now.

And, well, if things go as planned, I have some big changes on the horizon :)

Something about Sixes…   3 comments

I’m about a year late to this screenshot thing that has been flying around the blogosphere, and I had truly meant to get to it before now, it’s just that, er, I don’t really have a good excuse for why it’s taken me so long, so I won’t offend you with a bad one! Let’s just suffice it to say that it took me longer than intended, and that I’m beyond fashionably late to the party, but better late than never, right? RIGHT?!?!

Phew, now that is out of the was, let’s get on with it, shall we? I was tagged by a number of people for challenge and I had every intention of linking back to everyone who tagged me…but I lost the sheet that I wrote it down on, and I don’t want to forget anyone and offend them, so, uh, let’s just leave it as several great folks tagged me! And that I suck for not linking back to them. I’ll make it up to them somehow…when they least expect it. Yea, that’s it! *nods*

Anyhow, the whole gist of the thing is that you were supposed to go into your images/screenshot folder and go to the sixth subfolder and then find the sixth picture. Once you’d done that, you are supposed to post it and tell everyone a bit about it.

Well, I only have one screenshot folder. Ok, that’s not entirely true. My external drive has about a million for guild quotes, boss kills, “I can’t believe someone said that”, and, well, you get the picture. For purposes of this project, I stuck to my strict WoW screenshot folder. Anyhow, to keep in with the theme of sixes, I went to the sixth picture of the sixth set. Or, in simpler terms, I used the thirty-sixth screenshot in my folder. I know, I know, not EXACTLY what I was supposed to do – we’ll just say I put a “Beru twist” on it. So without further ado…

This is Mulgore.

I was slaving away at archaeology, flying across the friggin’ contient of Kalimdor, to yet another friggin’ NE dig, when this beautiful shot brought me out of my stooper. In fact, I thought it was so breathtaking that I stopped and took a screenshot of it. I may have decided that this lovely distraction was a sign from god that I should stop digging for the night, and then promptly hearthed. But I can neither confirm, nor deny, such accusations. Regardless, I still think that it’s a beautiful image and I’m happy that I had a reason to share it!

Now, the rules of this challenge (I refuse to call it a meme, ok!) are that I’m supposed to tag some other people to do the same thing. Well, I think that everyone and their brother that are interested in it have already done it – yea, yea late to the party, blah blah blah. So I’ll just go ahead and say that if you haven’t done it yet, but would like to, you have summarily been tagged!

Posted March 1, 2012 by Beruthiel in Community

Secret Santa is Secret!   7 comments

I opened my email yesterday and found my Furtive Father Winter gift!  It was lovely, but my gifter remains anonymous!  I have a few ideas on who it might be, but I’m not positive! And because I’d love to thank them personally, I’d love your help to sleuth out my secret santa! If you have thoughts, clues or hints, please share them below! Whoever you are, thank you!  I very much enjoyed your entry – and I wish you a happy holiday as well!

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Joy to the Guardians of Green Bars

Merry Christmas everyone (or since I’m a bit late on sending this, Happy Holidays may be more appropriate)!

Beru’s Secret Father Winter is here, spreading a little bit of joy. I thought I’d add a some Holiday Spices to the post, and write it anonymously. Blog Azeroth regulars will probably figure it out in no time, though.

It took me awhile to decide what to write. “What do our blogs have in common?” I asked myself again and again as I reviewed all her posts from the past year (which I hope doesn’t make me a creepy stalker. I promise I had the best intentions!). It kept coming back to this: we’re both healers and most of our readers are healers. And thus, I wrote a poem for all the healers out there, the Guardians of Green Bars.

Holiday cheers for the priests, their Lightwells and their Penance;
Holiday cheers for the druids, their trees and their sweet Rebirthing;
Holiday cheers for the paladins, their Beacons, bacon and Radiance;
Holiday cheers for the shaman, their totems and rains of healing.

A cheer for all who’ve lost hair due to Grid,
Or Vudho, or Healbot,
Every patch.
And who can form a sentence with the words: “mouseover macros”

Merry Christmas to those who see little coloured boxes in their dreams,
Sometimes square, sometimes rectangle.

A drink to those who just know, who feel it in their bones,
When a tank misses a cooldown.
Sometimes before it happens.

Best wishes to anyone who’s ever wondered why,
When Arthas lived, trees moved with grace,
And paladins, build for melee,
Healed rooted to the ground.

Happy New Years to those who’ve leveled in random groups,
Keeping strangers alive,
Sometimes against all odds.
Sometimes against better judgement.

Raise a glass to the mana bar patrons,
To those who ask “Regen or Throughput?”,
And to those who reply.

Cheers for healer chat, for the team.
For the laughter, for the rages.
Cheers for the friendships, cheers for the high fives.

Cheers for a job well done, for jobs done together.
Cheers for the strategies, for the adjustments to adversity.
Cheers to those who defy the RNG.

Happy Holidays to all the healers, young and old.
From Vanilla, BC, Wrath or Cata.
Happy Winter Veil fellow healers!
Photobucket

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Additionally, for those of you who are curious, you can find my entry over on the lovely Angelya’s blog.

Posted December 26, 2011 by Beruthiel in Community, Furtive Father Winter

Friday Finds   1 comment

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve done any community posts, so I think I’m probably long past due!  As such, I thought I’d take the opportunity today to introduce you to something new, something old, something festive and something to entertain you!

Something New: Swift Rejuvenation Forum

Have you ever wanted somewhere you could ask questions about resto healing? Receive feedback on something from your peers? Wanted to know if T6 is really the best looking druid set in the universe? Good News! Your wait is finally over! After having the cataclysm turn her feathers into leaves (who knew Deathwing could do that?!), Foofy of The Moonkin Repository fame, has decided that Resto Druids needed a place to do just that and has started the Swift Rejuvenation Forum for resto druids.

Communities like this will only ever be as strong as those who participate and contribute to conversations, so I strongly encourage everyone to pop over to check it out, say hello and partake in the conversation (or strike up your own!). I look forward to seeing you there!

Something Old: Dreambound Druid

Some of you may not be familiar with Kae of the Dreambound Druid, and some of you may have thought that she was finished blogging. Both of which is a downright shame! I devoutly held onto her blog in my feedreader, positive that I would come into the office one morning and find it flush with Kae’s antics. Well, guess what?!?! It would seem that Kae’s come out of hibernation (or has just once again found time in her very busy schedule…but hibernation sounds better!) and is posting again! This just tickles me pink!

But wait! This news just gets better. Not only is Kae posting again, I was delighted to see on of her famous stick figure strategy guides for Yor’shaj the Unsleeping. It just doesn’t get any better than this, folks! So if you’ve never heard of Kae before, why haven’t you clicked on those links?! If you have, I’m sure you are as thrilled as I am to see her up to her old shenanigans!

Something Festive: Furtive Father Winter

Akabecko of Red Cow Rise is hosting this year’s Furtive Father Winter event. It’s kind of like the WoW Blogosphere’s secret santa. It promises to be a lot of fun, and it’s not too late to participate if you’d like! The deadline to express interest in participating is December 15, and you can find all of the information about the event by clicking the link provided above, or clicking on the presents located in my side bar. I am participating in the event this year, I will get to be one of the participant’s secret santa! Who knows what I’ll do… ;)

Something to Entertain You: My Heroic Morchok Kill Video

Now, don’t hold me to this, but it’s my intent to get a healing guide done for this encounter over the weekend. After our time with the fight, I feel comfortable enough to walk through some pointers on the encounter. Until then, please enjoy the un-narrated version. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions about it in the interim. :)

Posted December 9, 2011 by Beruthiel in Community

If You’ve Ever Wanted to Give Blizzard Your Two Cents…   3 comments

Now is the time!  Blizzard has posted questionnaires in each of the class discussion threads looking for feedback from their players.  I don’t know if they will read every post that gets posted, but you will certainly not be heard if you don’t at least offer your feedback! I would strongly encourage everyone to stop by and offer them some well thought through commentary in response to their discussion points.  You can find my thoughts here.  (Or, just keep scrolling down, as I’ve replicated my answer below so you don’t have to click through to read them!).

  • What type of content do you focus on? [PvE/PvP/Both]
    PvE Content.
  • If PvE, what type of PvE? [Heroics/Raids/Other]
    Hard Mode Progression Raiding
  • If PvP, what type of PvP? [Arenas, BGs, Rated BGs]
    N/A
  • What are your biggest quality-of-life issues? For instance, no longer requiring ammo could be considered a quality-of-life improvement for hunters.
    I definitely echo what others have said about no longer having a permanent tree form, however I think for me it’s probably that when you are leveling/questing/instancing, especially at certain levels, it takes forever to fill your mana bar back up. This is most pronounced in today’s “this instance must be as fast as possible” atmosphere where a new healer that needs to stop and drink automatically falls behind the rest of the group because they need to take (sometimes horribly long amounts of)time fill their mana bar back up.
  • What makes playing your class more fun?
    I really enjoy the smaller intricacies involved in playing the druid class well right now. There are a lot of things to monitor and line up for maximum throughput and smart mana usage/healing that trying to tweak them all together is almost like it’s own little mini-game. I really enjoy that I have to think through an encounter and strategize my healing. I like needing a “game plan” and really enjoy being able to weave spells into each other.
    I have two resto druids at 85, a holy paladin at 85 and a resto shaman at 85, and of the three druid healing is by far my favorite.
  • What makes playing your class less fun?
I really dislike hearing “druids can’t do x, because they don’t have y”.  A lot of times it’s largely hype, but there is often a hint of truth to the hype.  There are frequently encounters that certainly can be accomplished with druid healers, but your raid (and your druids, for that matter) has to work harder because of it.  That being said, I can attest from experience that fights can often be made easier when utilizing healing classes that have a little more utility to offer than just healing harder.

  • How do you feel about your “rotation”? (Rotation is the accepted order in which abilities are used to maximum efficiency.)
    As stated above, I really like how druids play right now. There are a lot of moving pieces that you need to be aware of to play the class well, and it’s often a challenge to get all of those pieces moving together. I really enjoy this about our class. I know a lot of people think that druiding boils down to “lol WG/RJ Spam”, but the truth of the matter is that a druid who is only doing those things isn’t maximizing their class or their ability as a healer.
    I like the way that Nature’s Grace can be timed in when some burst healing is needed. I like the way that Harmony interacts with the rest of your heals and needs to be weaved in. I like that we can fit in well with almost any other healing class and still be successful.
  • What’s on your wish list for your class?
    I’d love to see living seed turned into something more beneficial. The talent has so much potential to be something great. Right now the limitations on how it is triggered really make it lack luster for most druids, unless they heavily tank heal with some regularity. I’d love to see living seed turned into either an armor buff similar to inspiration or an absorb rather than a heal. I think that either of these things would help broaden druid healing a little as far as diverse utility goes.
    Of course, I would be remiss not to at least mention that some form of mitigation cool down would still be lovely. Be it raid wide or single target.
  • What spells do you use the least?
    In a raid setting I probably would say Healing Touch. I do make more use of it now than I did back in WotLK, but it’s still one of my least cast spells in most encounters. If we didn’t have OoC procs to prop up Regrowth, Regrowth would easily be my least used spell.
    Outside of a raid setting I would probably say travel form. It can only be used outdoors, and I generally won’t opt to use a slower movement speed when I can mount.

Posted September 12, 2011 by Beruthiel in Community, Druid Healing

The Straw   58 comments

A while back when Larissa and Tam announced that they were going to close the doors on their respective blogs, they both kind of said the same thing: I just woke up one day and knew I was done.  I often wondered what one thing, one post, one comment, one email, was the catalyst to them walking away.  What was it that, intentionally or unintentionally, ended up being the straw that ultimately broke the camels back.  I’ve always kind of believed that the straw the breaks the proverbial camel’s back would be tiny.  So small that no one would truly realize that it was the thing that caused everything to tumble to the ground. 

When Tam left, I sent him my own private goodbye.  I always felt close to Tam because we entered blogging at the same time, and in those early days often supported each other quite a bit.  Eventually he went left down the road, while I went right, but I always remembered those early days when we kicked at rocks together.  Anyhow, when Tam left one of the things that I shared with him was that I was tired.  And when we responded he told me “I can tell”, he then proceeded to give me some fantastic advice that I have summarily ignored, but that’s really neither here nor there and I digress.

Let’s get back to this camel should we? Read the rest of this entry »

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