Archive for the ‘Practice Makes Perfect!’ Category

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Wyrmrest Temple   5 comments

At some point the weekend before last, I got a bee in my bonnet to level another character on the live server. For whatever reason, rather than leveling my priest which was my original intent (some how I have five healers at 85, and the priest just can’t seem to make it into the line to level), I opted to dust off my mage who hasn’t been played outside of leveling JC early in the expansion. Now, I must say that rather enjoyed putzing around with her again, and leveled/quested/dungeoned as frost. She has pretty much always been frost, aside for a short period of time where she was arcane at the tail end of WotLK.

Anyhow, I came home Monday night jet lagged and exhausted from my trip home, and needing something completely mindless to keep me awake so that I didn’t go to bed at four in the afternoon. Being the stellar pocket tank that he is, Brade carried me through all of the level 84/85 instances and before I crashed for the evening I managed to hit 85 (hoory!). So I did what every freshly minted 85 would do and hit the AH to fill my bags with PvP gear, and my sexy goblin body with any gear available that I could wear. Read the rest of this entry »

Monday Musings – 6/7 Heroic and Recruitment Still Sucks Edition   17 comments

Happy Monday, Everyone!  Why is Beru so happy on a Monday?  Well, mostly because after some very long travel I am finally back home.  It feels good to come back home after living in a hotel for 10 days and raiding at the mercy of hotel internet for that period of time.  And believe it or not, it feels good to actually cook a meal.  Eating out really does start to lose its luster after about day four (and the five pounds you add in the time you are gone).  Anyhow, I have some musings to dump out of my head after so much time.  Forgive me if they ramble a bit, but I really need this brain dump.

On Raiding

Raiding has been very good to us as late.  Last week we knocked out Heroic Staghelm.  This week we saw Heroic Baleroc tumble after just two nights of work on him.  Not only that, but the raid team surprised me with a one shot on heroic Staghelm and over 30 seconds left on the enrage timer.  Truth be told, I think everyone was expecting a second Staghelm kill to take a few pulls to shore up and most people were as pleased as I was when we walked in, high on our Baleroc kill, and knocked him out fairly easily.  We had a few deaths at the end of the second set of orbs (I let my co-soaker die :( ) but we pulled it out beautifully.

Heroic Staghelm

Healing Staghelm is a bit odd.  There really isn’t much healing to be done on the fight outside of the orb phases – which are pretty healing heavy.  Other than that it’s mostly just keeping the tank alive and topping up people who took damage from seeds or a leap.  In fact, we have one priest who goes smite spec and DPSes everything but the orb phases.  It hard to tell if I have a good grasp of the best way to heal the fight, as I help to soak an orb, which means I have lower legendary concentration up time.  So it’s hard to tell if I should be doing certain things differently, or if I am doing things properly but see lower healing output than I’d like (comparatively) as a result of lower concentration.  Read the rest of this entry »

Interrupted.   10 comments

Having spent the past two full raid nights with Heroic Omnitron Defense System, I’ve had a few things on my mind.  Including, but not limited to, if it’s ever appropriate to give a motivational speech to the raid that includes: “would you be willin’ to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… OUR FREEDOM!”. Since I’m fairly certain that I can work it in somehow, I’ve been brushing up on my Scottish accent.

However, setting aside my closeted desire to emulate William Wallace, I’ve been mulling over the use of interrupts as an “interesting” boss mechanic.  We all know that Blizzard works hard to make encounters that are unique and “fun” – but from time to time I find myself facing certain mechanics in encounters that really just don’t seem very “fun”, and seem to be there just to make someone’s life miserable for the 5-10 minutes that the encounter is active.

For me, I’m finding that some of the interrupt requirements that we are seeing in this tier of raid content are more of a nusiance than an interesting mechanic of the encounter.  Now please don’t get me wrong – I don’t think that all of the encounters that have an interrupt requirement are poorly designed, and I do think that some are engaging for the raid, but there are a few that I really don’t find “fun” for either the player saddled with the job or the raid as a whole. In fact, I’m pretty sure we have an elemental shaman that weeps the tears of his ancestors every time we get to Maloriak in our raid week.

To better analyze the use of interrupts as an “interesting” mechanic, let’s break down the encounters of this tier of content that have a requirement, and rate them. Read the rest of this entry »

Hard Mode Sindragosa (with Resto Druid Tips!)   7 comments

When we scheduled our Hard Mode kill order for our 25 man progression team, we placed Sindragosa last…right before Lich King. To be perfectly honest, we were simply dreading the encounter.  After struggling for weeks with Hard Mode Putricide we were a little anxious going into Sindragosa, and worried about how we would handle the intricacies of the encounter.  However, I am sometimes surprised at our adeptness for certain things. As it turns out, when using a K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid) strategy for the fight, it isn’t quite as bad as you’d think!

Now, I know that the fight has been around for quite some time.  I know that the first kill was months ago.  However, there just aren’t a lot of strategy discussions out there for people looking for tips on dealing with the encounter in Hard Mode, which is still a bit of a challenge even with the ICC buff.  As such, I thought I’d share our relatively simple approach to the encounter.

Read the rest of this entry »

In Which I Attempt to Express Frustration via Poetry   Leave a comment

Purple ghosts are bad
Stop fucking hitting the ghosts
Ow, another wipe

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Monday Musings, Extra Random!   11 comments

Happy Monday Everyone! Today I’ve a lot floating around in my head, so rambling ahoy!

On Raiding – Valithria HM had our number last night. We got close! (98%) But couldn’t quite shore it up. About the time our portal team got everything together, the rest of the raid was pittering down, not that I can blame them; I do believe the non-portal portion of the encounter is very tedious. We pushed her for our full Sunday raid night, which in hindsight perhaps was a mistake. But it was hard to be so damn close and not keep going…and I think most people were of the same mind set.

Personally, I did terrible. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but I think I was too concerned about the raid. I am capable of running around 24-26k HPS…and last night averaged only about 12k. I need to shut off my leader, must save everyone, instincts and just heal the damn dragon. If I didn’t need to worry about the health of those taking the portals with me I would just turn GRID off completely for the encounter.

We were definitely close. If we had gotten a tad more time on another raid night this week, I think we would have gotten it but we are out of time this week if we want a LK kill. This is the first week that we’ve not gotten our target HM boss down, but I have no doubts that we will be well on our way and will get it done this coming week. After reading some…I’m thinking about sending a 5th healer into the portals. Hmmmm.

On Alts – So mini-me (aka Elentari) hit 52. I didn’t really play her a ton, because I wound up playing some of my level 80 alts, which was also fun! However, I learned a very important lesson regarding LFD. There are just some zones you do not PuG. Like Suken Temple, for example. I must admit that I got into one late Friday evening…and I was a bit tired, and maybe a little cranky, which in itself might have been just fine. However, the poor tank had never done the zone before…and the first two pulls took us somewhere in the vicinity of 15 minutes. I politely bowed out. And honestly just told the group that I didn’t have the patience for the zone tonight, and that I was cranky and felt I would just make the group miserable. I felt a bit bad about it…but by the end of the zone I’m quite certain I would have been snappy and turned into one of those people that I hate in the LFD system.

I had some fun with both my shaman and my paladin in ICC. My shaman is now over 1100 haste, I’m so proud! However, I think the thing I am more proud of is a VoA 10 that I did with my shaman. Why? Well, you see we were having trouble finding tanks so I told the other healer (who also has a tank), that I might could solo heal it, but I wasn’t sure. And you know what? I sure did solo heal that sucker. Both the ice and fire guy. On my little shaman who could. The healer that I’m the least comfortable with, and it was a lot of fun and between the two bosses, I didn’t lose a single person! While that may not seem like a bit deal for some (and I never would have questioned being able to solo heal it on my druid), my shaman isn’t sporting the best gear out there!

I received a compliment on my healing from someone who never passes them out which made me feel pretty good =)

On Failing as a Moonkin – So, my progression 10 man (that runs one night a week) is now 10/12 HM. For whatever reason, Putricide is giving us fits. Although to be fair, we’ve spent maybe 3 hours on him over two raids. We’ve seen phase 3, but for some reason couldn’t get there on Saturday. Anyhow, I digress. So in my progression 10 man, we decided that I would moonkin on DBS while our paladin and priest healed it, so that I could knock the adds back, a’la our 25 man strategy.

Last week when I did it, I did OK, but I had been pretty lax about keeping up with my moonkin gear. Not snagging up off-spec pieces where perhaps I should have, and I realized that I was still sporting 2 pieces of 232 T9. I felt that I really needed to get myself together and felt a little embarrassed that I had been a little lax, and so I purchased my 2 T10 set, and made some adjustments to my gear. I need some ring and trinket upgrades…but I can finally stop using my hit trinket from Naxx 10. Although, I’m fairly certain that I’m just going to replace it with my heroic Abacus until I can get my hands on a spyglass.

Anyhow, I digress again. So I got my moonkin gear in order. And while I do good damage staring down a target dummy, I really don’t moonkin much, so felt I should get some practice in. And so I DPS’d a ToC 10…and while I wasn’t killing the meters, I did respectably well. I certainly left feeling more confident in my abilities as a moon chicken. I also did a VoA 10, with Brade’s warlock, and I managed to pass him as well. (And believe me when I tell you he’s competitive!). However, I could be doing better. So, I have decided that I am going to try to run at least one raid during the week as a moonkin, to work on improving my performance so that I am more comfortable wearing my feathers.

On Druid Changes In Cataclysm – They’ve made another announcement regarding another resto change in Cataclysm. That is to say that they will be increasing the cooldown on Wild Growth again. Really? Ugh. And the comment that was made by Ghostcrawler was terribly contradictory. He indicated that they could just make the spell so expensive that you really had to think about using it, as opposed to just utilizing it off of cooldown. Um…well, isn’t the whole reason that you are making all of these changes so that healers have to “think” more? Anyhow…

Just something else to tuck away into the “let’s see how it goes” file. Man that file is getting pretty damn full.

On Reading – I am still chugging through that JD Robb “In Death” series. I’m somewhere around book 12, I think. They are still pretty much like crack, and hard to put down, but I’m really enjoying them so that is good! I’ve put off the newest Dresden Files book, much to Brade’s chagrin, because I’ve not wanted to switch pace. However, the new Sookie book comes out here in a week or so, and I’m not quite sure if I’ll want to stop and get my Sookie fix in! Of course, if I do that, I may as well get my Dresden fix in as well. Ahhhhh! So many books, so little time!

And Now This Message Will Self Destruct! But not really! Any musings about your weekend happenings that you’d like to share?!

Can I Tank My Way To 80?   17 comments

My poor deathknight has been sitting at level 71ish for months.  Largely because I cannot get motivated for more Northrend questing, and somewhat because I’ve been occupied with other things that have caught my interest in the game.  Some if it is also because I created my deathknight so that I would have a “tank”.  I have always felt that there was some value in understanding each aspect of the game, from a personal experience.  The only problem is…I’m a shitty tank. 

Ok, perhaps that is a bit harsh.  But, in all honesty, I’m a mediocre tank at best.  I am well aware that my biggest problem as a tank is that I am largely “clicker” (mock away…just know that as you do, I’m giving you the two finger salute irl!).  But what makes me a bit of a strange clicker, is that I use my mouse to move also.  It works for me as a healer, because I have everything bound to Clique and use my mouse almost exclusively while raiding.  And on my DPS, I do have my attacks keybound so that if I have to move I can still DPS, but if I’m standing still I prefer to click.

It’s comfortable for me, and this system has worked very well…until I tried to tank.  In addition to my clicking habit, which is absolutely horrible for tanking, I find that I just don’t have the awareness and button mashing abilities to be an aggressive tank (even though I am a queen at button mashing my way through Soul Caliber!).  I also have a hard time keeping track of everything in big pulls.  I mean, I did tank a decent number of instances leveling up to this point, but I always feel so stressed.  And forget asking Brade for advice.  He goes on these lengthy, winded, BORING speeches about the how god created the (insert tank here), and I just get that glazed look on my face and start to zone out.  I need the basics!  Not an hour long summary of everything everyone over at EJ has theorycrafted!

All of that being said, I really do want to learn to be able to competently tank at least heroics.  Of course, there is that whole having to level in Northrend again thing standing in the way.  So, I thought to myself “I wonder if I could just instance my way to 80 with the new dungeon finder”.  You know, do a couple of instances here and there when I had a bit of spare time.  I can’t really think of a way to become a better tank then to, you know, tank.  I certainly won’t learn to tank grinding out quests!

I have mede up my mind!  And so shall I go forth, and make your low level instance queue times shorter!  And shortly after, I will go have my head examined :)

Do any other new tanks have simple tips or experiences to share to make newbie tanking easier?

Insanity   9 comments

For the past couple of weeks we have been running Heroic 10s as part of our raid schedule as a test experiment.  We do them after our normal 25 run and break our guild into three groups:  Thrall, Sylvanas, and Bloodhoof.  The goal when we set this up was to have two groups that were stong enough to kill Anub, and one group that could easily do the first 4 bosses, but not anub as we are using alt healers/tanks in this group.

We stack our two Anub groups to maximize DPS and synergies.  Thrall is our melee group, Sylvanas is our caster group (who we give a rogue for MS and interrupts on Anub), and Bloodhoof is a mismash of who we have left that aren’t in one of the first two groups.  We rotate our melee/casters into the Thrall/Sylvanas groups each week, so the groups are always slightly different to some degree.  We allot Thrall and Sylvanas ~90 minutes of time, and Bloodhoof ~60 minutes of time on our given raid night for the zone.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Silver Lining.   2 comments

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know that I will randomly use this space to fester out issues that I’m having with my guild.  Either personal issues, progress issues, or just things I need to get out of my system.  Having an avenue to do that is one of the reasons I started blogging.  I find blogging to be…well, therapeutic, I suppose.

I’ve been extremely frustrated lately, which I think has certainly come out here.  So I wanted to share the last few days.  Caveat:  There isn’t anything informative here.  It’s just me sharing my experiences, so if you aren’t interested just check back later! Read the rest of this entry »

What’s Up With Resto Shaman?   5 comments

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?

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