Archive for the ‘eh?’ Category
This was the question that I asked myself about 10:00 am Sunday Morning.
Sunday’s are often one of my favorite days. I can sleep in, when I get up I can make a proper breakfast, I get to actually cook a proper meal for dinner, and generally I can just laze around and do whatever I want until it’s time to raid. I tend to take the time to bake (peanut butter cookies this week!), and watch some telly or read.
This Sunday started out no different from any of the others. I stumbled out of bed, brushed my teeth, played with the puppy for a bit, and then sat down and started up WoW. I thought that I’d go do the new argent tournament dailies, since I haven’t done them yet…like ever. I got chillmaw and the jousting done, and someone in guild was looking for more folks for an Ony 10 and asked if I wanted to come help heal.
I thought hey, why not, so I logged out and hopped over onto Dannie who desperately needs a new healing weapon (yes…I know it has hit, but it’s a fabulous paladin weapon too!). As they were still scrounging for a tank, I asked Brade (who was playing some PS3 game called Infamous?) if he wanted to come along. He said “sure”, and brought his ghetto fabulous Death Knight. This ensured that he would be the add tank, as the toon needs a lot of work yet and while I’m sure he *could* tank Ony, someone with a bit more life would probably be the better option. :)
As it was, we had a Feral druid in the raid much better geared who ended up being our Ony tank. We told everyone to hop on into vent, and moved about our happy way. The DPS was largely all guild, but we had one tank and the other two healers who were picked up via the LFG channel. Normally this wouldn’t have been a problem. I generally have the patience of a saint when it comes to PuGs, and I’m pleasant and I walk everyone through the fight and keep a positive attitude as we wipe our way along.
But Sunday, I don’t know what came over me. I don’t know if it was the druid tank that took Ony through the raid (killing half the raid) to a tanking position in phase 3 that meant the healers got either tail whipped or cleaved, or if it was the fact that I had provided 70% of the heals with my paladin while the two HOLY priests together comprised the other 30%, or if it was because I’d not had my morning tea, but for the first time ever I snapped. With a PuG. In Vent.
“WTF why did we wipe?”, was the question presented in vent. And where I would normally have calmly analyzed the situation, and provided direction to those that needed improvement, I didn’t. I hit my push to talk button, and what came out of my mouth was a clipped, blunt, not quite rude, this is how we failed analysis that is similar to what I might give our raiders when we are struggling with something for a boneheaded reason. While I didn’t tell the Bear he sucked and torched the raid, I also didn’t sugar coat the fact that he was the main cause of our failure in that wipe. While I didn’t tell the other two healers that I was doubling their healing combined, I did comment that a little more healing support would be nice. I think I might have even been snappy at Brade’s poor DK for botching something up.
Was I horribly mean about it…no. I’m quite certain that these fine folks have probably been treated to far worse than my snappy response to them in the gamut of their PuG experiences. But I felt like a total bitch. I honestly really do like PuGing. I like providing a positive experience to something most people expect to fail. I like getting those tells after a raid thanking me and telling me that it’s restored their faith in the PuG and that they had a lot of fun. It’s really nice to go into a raid with zero expectations and come out totally surprised and thrilled with your success.
So what the hell happened that Sunday? I’m used to tanks that need a bit more direction, I’m used to dominating the heals in a PuG with healers that may have lesser experience and/or gear. Am I really so spoiled that I can’t deal with less than stellar play? Have I really become such a snob that I faulted these folks for not doing as well as I would have liked?
Dear God, I hope not :( I truly hope that it was just a combination of early morning + lack of caffeine + mild peachbellini hangover + random crankiness that lead to my mouth to open without filtering what my brain was thinking. Even Saint Teresa had to have a bad day every now and then, right? I’m hoping the fact that I recognized my less than stellar behavior and felt really bad about means there is hope for redemption.
How about you? Have you ever had an experience where you were a bit of a WoW Snob? Did you regret it after the fact?
Bits of Randomness
Dannie Update - While I am still pining away for a weapon upgrade (I can’t even get the ToC 5 mace!), I took her into our Ulduar 10 this weekend for a full hard mode run that I was running for folks to finish our their drakes and got a her a rusted protodrake of her own!
Ulduar 10 Update - Never. Going. Back. WooHoo! I have done my last Ulduar 10 clear…and I am thrilled to announce that I will finally have some free time again!
Algalon Update – We pulled him. I know…not much of an update. But I at least wanted to get a look at the guy. We’ve had our keys for a few weeks, just never went in to check him out. It was pretty nifty.
Currently Reading – The new Dan Brown Book “The Lost Symbol”. I’ve heard some mixed reviews of it, so here is hoping I find it a good read!
I was popping about, doing some reading over at EJ, and comparing gear choices/specs on some other endgame druids that I often review to see what they are doing and why they make those decisions. In doing so, I noticed a trend: fewer and fewer of them were opting for the 14/0/57 spec that has been popular amongst trees everywhere. It seems like the pendulum has swung back to 11/0/60 for raiding, dropping Nature’s Grace in the balance tree and picking up Empowered Touch in the resto tree.
Interesting. Well, at lest I thought so! It certainly begged me to ask the question: Is Nature’s Grace worth those three points anymore? Let’s break it down. Read the rest of this entry »
After some hem and hawing, I have decided it’s time to finish out my army of healers and get Earenn up to level 80. Why? Well, because everyone loves healers…and I kinda want to finish out my set! :) Maybe I’m also a masochist, but trying to psycho analyze me would likely take more than this one little post! Seriously though, I really do just love healing. I also think that knowing the strengths and weaknesses of all of the healing classes from personal experience helps me with healing assignments and working through healing issues in raids.
Anyhow, I digress! Back to the preistess.
A little while back, I paid to dual spec her, her main spec being shadow even though I’m (truly) horrible at it. I ultimately opted to go with a holy spec because, well…I don’t know, it seemed the right thing to do at the time and I like that little angel thingie. Except, of course, when I’m trying to battle rez the damn priest with the friggin fail angel! I mean, seriously? Can’t you just cancel that damn thing so you can take your rez and I can stop waiting for it to go away?! Oops…sorry, a little side tracked. Back on topic!
Where were we? Oh, yes, my decision to go holy. So, I have been going about my happy, holy, circle of healing, angelic way, none the wiser until I got drawn into this little bit of hilarity, and I started to wonder…did I make the right choice going Holy? I mean…the pretty angel is cool, and circle of healing owns, but I, too, enjoy sparkly bubbles. Then, quite inadvertently, I stumbled across this new blog, where there is a fantastic write up on discipline talents, spec-ing and glyphing (really fantastic material there if you’ve not checked it out yet!). Wow! Discipline looks…kinda fun, and interesting too!
Uh oh. A decision. And nowhere near enough information to decide! You know…not everyone likes Baskin Robins and all of those 31 flavors! Some people like vanilla and the simplicity that it brings! Why, WHY, must we have all these options?!
Ok, I do like all the flavors options. I rarely choose just vanilla. I just hate being un-informed and wondering “what if the dark side really is better, and if they really do have cookies”. And it’s not like there is guy behind the WoW counter with those little pink spoons going “would you like to try a sample?” so I can try it out before committing.
So who is right?! The Bubble Queen or The Crack Elves? If you were leveling a priest that is going to heal through instances from 70 – 80, what would you do? Laser beams and bubbles, or fantastic fail angel?
Ever since the MMO scene exploded into a popular genre with EQ1, there has been the same sort of philosophy in popular game design, all of which focus around the great Triumvirate. The Tank, The Healer and The DPS. This design philosophy has certainly carried over into WoW; but that was hardly surprising with an old EQ player (Jeff Kaplan) bringing his MMO expertise to the creation of the game. And, honestly, I personally don’t mind this design in WoW.
However, as of late, I feel a little bit like healers are becoming less and less important, at least as far as success in end game raiding is concerned. I mean sure, you still need someone there to keep the tank standing and the raid alive, but when you only need 3-4 people to accomplish this task in a group of 25 for some encounters, how is it hard not to feel undervalued? And I can’t help but wonder…when did our role start to shrink?
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A while back Larisa over at the Pink Pigtail Inn posted about the 33 things she wants to do in WoW before she leaves the game. It was a really great read, and it’s had me thinking ever since. Eventually everyone will leave the game for one reason or another, including me. Surely there are things that I want to do before I quit WoW, but what are they?
Well, after much thought, I think I have my own WoW “bucket” list. Things that I would like to complete before hanging up my branches so that I can feel like I’ve “finished” the game.
- Grind out my Timbermaw faction. It’s the last one I need for my Diplomat achievement…and the trinket is cool!
- Purchase a Traveler’s Tundra Mammoth.
- On that same note, I’d like to obtain 100 mounts.
- Finish questing in IceCrown, so I have completed all of the Northrend quests on Beru.
- Complete my Loremaster Achievement. I have about 105 quests to complete in Kalimdor.
- Go back and finish Sunwell Plateau. I loathed the zone, but it is the only instance to date I’ve not finished. That just doesn’t feel right.
- Complete my Val’ynar.
- Obtain one of the new raptor mounts coming out with 3.2.
- See Alagon. Either 10 or 25 man, it doesn’t matter to me =)
- Kill Arthas.
- See the alliance side of Northrend. I suppose I better do this before faction changes, so I am not tempted to make my warlock horde before I have it finished!
- Get my Death Knight to 80…because everyone needs an 80 DK, amirite?
- Catch Old Ironjaw. Damn fish!
- Do something irreverent and unexpected, but nice for all of my friends in game.
- Plan something spectacular for Monolith’s 5 year anniversary this coming November.
- Get my Defiler’s faction to exalted. It’s the only one I don’t have…in large part because I find AB so boring. But I’ve said to myself many times that I need to suck it up and finish it out =)
- Do the Draenei starting area quests, as it’s the only zone in the game I’ve not seen and I’ve heard that the zone is quite lovely.
- Break 10k HPS. I’ve seen it done on other’s parses, I’ve heard it’s possible. I’m going to figure out how to do it! =)
- Find a peace with all of the nasty things that happened during the start of TBC as a result of the guild split. While I’m not sure I will ever forgive certain people involved, I think I can find a peace so that I don’t leave the game with that poor memory.
- Obtain Anzu’s mount. Oh, how you taunt me, you evil Raven!
- Say goodbye to everyone that was important to me throughout my WoW Career.
I’m sure I probably missed something in there, but I’ll come back and update it when I think of it. I don’t know how long my WoW career will continue, it’s already been four and a half years. At some point everyone has to walk away to find a new adventure in their life. It isn’t my time for that yet, but you never know what tomorrow brings. I still get a lot of enjoyment from WoW, so I continue to play. There are still things in the game that I want to see and do, and while those remain and I still have interest in the game, I anticipate that I will keep trucking along =)
How about you guys? What would be on your “bucket” lists?
Well…I did it! Mynn managed to find herself at 80 on Sunday! She’s such a big girl and grown up so fast! I’m so proud! *sniff*
As soon as I hit 80, I went about my way spending lots of my suga-momma’s hard earned gold having some epics crafted to get me going. I mean…a girl’s gotta look good on her first night out on the town, right?! Of course she does ;)
I put on all my pretty new things, and set out on my way, mace in one hand and shield in the other, to see what kind of trouble I could find. As I was doing this, I realized that we hadn’t see our raiding resto shaman in quite some time. /sigh Monolith is a shaman graveyard…no really, we are. I can’t explain it, but we have been the last stop for many shaman since vanilla WoW.
Of course, this got me to wondering…what’s up with Resto Shaman? What makes them so hard to come by? You always see recruitment open for them. And once you have them, what makes them so hard to hang on to?
- Is the healing boring? My limited experience so far has been fairly fun, certainly more interesting than my paladin. More buttons to push :) But maybe shaman healing isn’t the cat’s meow?
- Is the healing weak? I don’t think so. Our most recent shaman performed very well, and I have certainly seen other shaman perform very well.
- Leveling? As anyone that’s made a shaman knows, the first 30ish levels are just horrid, in any spec. I think this makes the shaman a rarer breed in general.
- The awesomeness of the DPS shaman? Perhaps? We have had one of our TBC resto shaman go elemental. And I personally preferred the enhancement tree in TBC, and find the elemental tree immensely enjoyable currently. Perhaps the DPS trees are just more interesting than the resto tree? I don’t see how this could be though! Riptide is hands down the coolest healing graphic in the game!
- And then it dawned on me! Totems! That must be it! All that damn button pushing every single time we move from one place to the next has burned them all out! I do hate having to constantly drop all those totems (yes! I know…I know nothing of totems you say, Mr. vanilla shaman!).
In all seriousness, though, does anyone else have a hard time recruiting and maintaining resto shaman on their raiding roster? I’m quite curious if it’s just our bad karma or if it’s something in the gameplay that makes playing a resto shaman less enjoyable to play after extended periods of time.
Bits of Update Randomness
Last Hodir Kill: 3 minutes 5 seconds
Val’ynar Fragment Count: 23 (almost there!)
Number of Yogg -1 attempts: 3
Currently Reading: Book 3 of the Sookie Stackhouse Series – still enjoying them!
Next Alt: Isulde - Tank time here I come! RAWR
Looking for: a mod that monitors my earthshield charges. Any suggestions?
Last night’s Hodir kill: 3 minutes, 5 seconds. Literally seconds away from success, realizing failure too late to catch the wipe before the kill occurred. It was borderline devastating, and it was some of the best performances I’ve seen from some of my guildmates. They really dug in and gave it all they had to give. But we still fell short.
As we moved on to Vezax, I couldn’t help but ponder the question: Are hard modes “fun”?
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I am sure that quite a few people will tell you that going and honoring/extinguishing the fires around the world of Azeroth is a tedious chore and that they are only doing it because it’s required for the Meta Achievement and that the Midsummer Festival is a waste of time. However, friends, I am here to tell you differently! Here are a few interesting things about the Midsummer Festival that you may not know:
- Do not miss the oportunity to obtain your very own Scorchling pet! I mean…who doesn’t want their very own little fire elemental following them around?! This pet is a drop out of the Ice Chest which is created upon the untimely demise of Ahune, the Frost Lord. You can summon this bad boy once a day in heroic Slave Pens, and then everyone gets one summon per person in normal Slave Pens. So, a group of 5 can summon him 6 times, with the 5 members of that group.
- You will also get the opportunity to purchase a Captured Flame with the emblems you receive by honoring/desecrating the fires, and doing the other various quests. This little guy costs 350 emblems, so if you are doing the meta achievement, be sure that you buy your summer festival clothing (which will cost you 400 emblems) before acquiring this little guy!
- Cha-ching! That is right, if you are at max level, the mid-summer festival is a cash cow! Doing only the honoring/desecrating of the fires required for the meta-achievement (Outlands, Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor), along with getting the flame from the 4 alliance towns, I netted 705 gold! (I only had done two fires total last year). I still have all of the flames that have been added to Northrend to complete yet (two per zone!). All in all, well worth the time it took me to travel about. It’s the perfect time to catch up on some programs you have TiVo’d, or movies that you missed in the theatre :)
- What? You aren’t 80 yet? Never Fear! There is something in it for you too! While you do not get quite as much cash, you will rake in a nice bit of XP! You will obtain 11k XP for each fire that you honor and 22k (!) XP for each fire that you desecrate. That’s a lot of XP for just flying around the world!
In addition to partaking the the Festival wonderful-ness, our 10 man was very busy this weekend. We took Ulduar by force on Saturday in a marathon (8 hours!) raid, determined to do some hard mode work to help work out some things for our 25 man. We managed to squeek out a 4 tower Flame Leviathan (yes…our mage iceblocked to let the last pyrite stack tick and was the last one standing, but it’s dead isn’t it?!?!), we flattened XT hard mode, Kologarn with both his burly arms, Hodir in 3 minutes, Freya with one elder, Thorim joined by Siff, and Yogg without the help of two of our friends!
In addition to that, our 25 man changed up our strat for Hard Mode Hodir based on some new things we read and learned during our 10 man, and made some serious progress! We went from regularly seeing mid-30′s to seeing sub 20% most pulls. With our best attempt being 10% with one member of our raid dead about half way through. I think that we can expect a kill this coming reset, however I also think that I am going to have to drop us to 3 healers for the fight which kind of sucks (we ran 5 last night), but I will save that rant for another day!
And, the best part of this weekend was Beru’s new bling. I’ve had such rotten luck with trinket drops so far this expansion that I was really excited to have acquired this! So, I thought I’d share, I hope you don’t mind :)
As I was parusing through the PvE Healing discussionover on EJ, I came across an interesting comment that I wanted to explore. You know that “extra” resto point that you have floating around in your 14/0/57 spec? Yea…you do, the one that everyone tosses into talents like Imp. Tranquility or Natural Perfection (where mine was residing). Well, Vykromond had something very interesting to suggest about where to stick that point. Improved Barkskin.
Yea…that is pretty much what I thought at first. I had generally written the talent off as a PvP talent that really would not provide me much benefit in a raid scenario. However Vykromond provides some fairly solid math that shows how useful the talent can be (his math, not mine!):
Here’s one example. XT normal and hardmode does Tympanic Tantrum once every minute. Tympanic Tantrum deals 10% of your health in damage every second for 8 seconds, which multiplied by the Heartbreak bonus means he deals .1 * 1.4 * 8 * (health pool) *10 damage total over the fight with tantrum. Since we know it’s coming, we can use barkskin every tantrum, and with an assumption of 22,500 health, that means that Improved Barkskin’s effect over the fight is .1 * 1.4 * 8 *22,500 * 10 *.1 = 25,200 damage prevented…and at 0 mana cost
Wow! I never really looked at Improved Barkskin in this light before. Even with just one talent point that is STILL 12,600 damage prevented in that one example (note, Vykromond’s math in the example above assumes two points in Improved Barkskin). That is some pretty convincing math. As I think about it, there are LOTS of times that I could get some serious damage mitigation from this talent. I am already always using it on General Vezax so that I can take 7 ticks of Saronite Vapors. But I probably shouldbe using it during frozen blows on Hodir and Phase 2 & 4 Mimiron, in addition to the XT example provided above. There are probably a miriad of other places that I could be maximizing Barkskin that I’m currently not. (Bad Beru! No cookie!)
So, is it really worth taking a point or two in this talent? Let’s review some of our other options (please note that I am going from my preferred talent build, which includes both Living Seed and Revitalize):
- Improved Tranquility - (Two Points) Will reduce the cooldown time of tranquility as well as reduce the threat caused. I personally do not ever put points into this talent. While it would be nice to have a lower cooldown on Tranquility, I rarely use the spell enough to warrant using it more.
- Natural Perfection - (Three Points) Will increase your crit up to 3% and may reduce incoming damage you take. This is were I generally put that extra point. A little extra crit isn’t bad, but it is also not really game breaking for a class who relies mostly on HoTs, and our direct heals already have other talents to compliment them and up their crit.
- Tranquil Spirit - (Five Points) Reduces the Mana Cost of your Healing Touch, Nourish and Tranquility Spells. I almost never use healing touch when I raid, and even then only when it is tied to Nature’s Swiftness. I use Nourish only marginally more. One or two points in here, for spells that I almost never use seems a waste of talent points to me.
- Naturalist - (Five Points) Reduces the cast time of your Healing Touch Spell. Again, the only time I ever use Healing Touch is if I’m using Nature’s Swiftness. Reducing the cast time for me would be pointless, as I never cast the spell.
- Empowered Touch (Two Points) Your healing touch will gain an additional healing from your spell power. While this talent is marginally more useful than the two above it, the small amount of time I use healing touch doesn’t really warrant tossing points into here, if I have somewhere better to put them.
While I don’t know that I am 100% sold on Improved Barkskin, I certainly am going to experiment with it. I mean, why not? Of my options above it is certainly as useful as any of the others, I would think. The numbers definitely support its use. I repecc’d this morning and moved the one point that I had in Natural Perfection over into Improved Barkskin. I will play with it for a bit and see if I ultimately think that it is worth keeping.
What are your thoughts on incorporating Improved Barkskin into your PvE build? Is it something that you were ever consider?
A little while back Graylo wrote a post touching on a subject that intrigued me quite a bit and I think presents some interesting questions. I’ve just now put my thoughts together to submit my two cents on the topic, and I am also curious to see how my readerbase thinks through the issues that Graylo raises as compared to how Graylo’s readers responded to his thoughts.
The issue is as follows: Is it appropriate to deny membership into a guild based on age or gender?
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