Archive for the ‘Just for Fun!’ Category
The past few weeks our raiding has sometimes been a struggle. We have a team that is 100% capable of the content that we’ve been clearing for I don’t even know how long now getting, well, bored. And when people are bored they start to tune out, and become lacsidasical in their performance. Malaise sets in and people start phoning in performances while keeping one eye on the raid, and the other on Monday Night Football.
It’s a problem.
So, in order to try and spice things up a bit this week, and to bring some fun and excitement back into raiding, we ran a little contest during our raid this past Wednesday that I think can ultimately be considered a success. I’m sure some people thought it was silly or juvenile, but the majority of the raid seemed to enjoy it – and the results of keeping the raid engaged and their mind on the raid were undeniable. We didn’t spend the night wiping on encounters that we have had on farm for months. We smoothly went through the content – and had a lot of laughs on the way.
So What Did You Do?
Before the raid, I visited the Auction House and picked up a number of rare pets to offer as prizes. White Kitten carriers, pet bomblings, little raptors and alliance specific pets that some folks might not have. I think I may have to shop on the alliance side next week, having bought the horde out of all of their rarities! Anyhow, I tossed all the pets in my already overflowing bags, and headed to the raid.
During the day, I had come up with a little mini-game to be played between each boss encounter as we cleared the trash, ran back from a wipe, etc. It was really simple and didn’t take me too much time to put together (I’ll have to get more creative next week though!). I picked a handful of NPC/creatures in WoW and came up 3 “hints” indicating who they were. When it was “trivia” time in the raid I would read off the three hints and the first person in the raid to supply the answer, by either blurting it out in vent or typing it in raid chat, “won” and was rewarded with a prize.
Those who had already won were still welcome to play, but had to send me a whisper with their guess – and weren’t able to win another prize.
Going into it, I was a little nervous that people would think that it was lame. And I do not doubt that a couple of people in the raid probably thought it was. But as we would move from one boss to another, and people asked for “trivia!”, I felt pretty confident that it was a success, and that as a whole, the raid was enjoying this change of pace. Enough so, that I will have to be even more creative for next week! (I still have a few prizes left for our last 3 bosses this week).
Because the raid enjoyed it so much, I thought I’d share my “hints” with all of you, and see if you have the same fun trying to figure out who everyone is. Some people were able to figure the answers out with just one clue – and some required all three clues. Many of the clues have my own added snark in them and may not be 100% factual! So – let’s see how you guys do!
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Hard Mode Lich King
He is dead.
It took us 174 pulls over 14 raids and 4 months. Our first flirts with him were back on June 4th, we stopped clearing the zone and holding our raid lockouts on August 17th, and we’ve pushed multiple nights for the past few weeks.
Looking back on the journey I have a few things to say (there’s a shocker!).
First and foremost, it was worth it. I don’t think any of the 10 people in the raid last night will argue that point. As the realization that we had finally done it started to settle in the group was absolutely ecstatic. To be completely honest, I don’t think that a kill has affected me quite as much since we took C’thun down. And that’s saying a whole hell of a lot because I have had some epic kills in my 6 years playing this game. To be honest, I don’t even know what happened. It was what would have likely been our final pull of the night, after almost 4 hours of pushing at him, and the first two pulls before the kill were a disaster. Somehow everything just…clicked. I don’t have any better explanation for it than that.
I’d like to say that I had some eloquent, William Wallace-esque speech that just motivated everyone in the raid before that last pull, but there was no such thing. Somehow we survived each defile, each wave of vile spirits, each trip down to the frostmourne room. And when we came up that last time we knew. Read the rest of this entry »
On Raiding –
We are still working at HM LK in our 10 man group. We went in last night, after having a not so great Tuesday, and did alright. We had 20 pulls left for the week, and spent 3 hours on 15 of those pulls. It was a fairly productive night of work with him, and I didn’t feel like killing kittens when we were finished. Of our 15 pulls, 5 of them made it into the final phase. Several of them had RNG mishaps – the disease dying on a ghoul that delayed behind while we were moving for the transition, the disease stacking poorly on shamblers and going into the final phase with a shamble up, etc. But all in all – it was a very good night’s worth of work.
We actually started working on our new soaking strategy, and had a few pulls where the soakers were doing great…but we failed at defile. So, as we took a few pulls towards the end of the night, and it became clear that our focus was spent, we decided to “practice” our defile. We flipped the sucker to normal and spent about 30+ minutes just practicing defile and soaking in phase 3. Sure, things line up differently, but we forced ourselves to learn how to move from the defile. I felt it was very productive.
The group as a whole has been dedicating more time to the encounter, which is commendable because this is their off time. The end results being: getting into the first transition in less than two minutes, getting out of the third phase in four valks (less if our warlock gets picked up), having only one raging spirit up as we come up from the first harvest soul, and learning to maneuver with/around defiles in our final phase. I think we should have a kill soon. I hope. It needs to happen before 4.0 hits – I am concerned that I will not be able to deal with the tank damage with the changes to my class.
25 Man Progress
We are still chugging along. We made some progress on HM Halion again this week, which is always encouraging, and the majority of our raid team seems to want to go back in for Alone in the Darkness. We plan on taking a few pulls on this next raid reset, having cleared Ulduar out with the weekly this week. We are continuing to feel out our raid team very carefully as the end of the expansion looms even closer.
On Patch 4.0 –
I am concerned. As a guild, we tend to raid until one or two weeks before the expansion releases. My biggest concern is with our ability to be able to continue and do this with the class changes coming in 4.0. Most notably with healing. My concern lies in the fact that everything the devs have said regarding healing in Cataclysm, and the direction they are taking, being a very large move away from the WotLK healing model. So…exactly how are we supposed to continue healing in ICC with a new and vastly different tool kit that was specifically designed for a completely different healing model? We are supposed to heal “spammy” damage with a toolkit focused on “non-spammy” heals? Am I missing something here?
Perhaps I’m just being a worry wart, but I am hugely concerned by this. Maybe everything will be ok, maybe it won’t.
On Alts –
Elentari – She is about half way through level 70. I actually have some really interesting thoughts on how healing on a low level druid without all of the tools that you may be used to on a higher level druid can make you a better healer, that I’m debating doing another post about. Other than doing the daily with her, I’m just stockpiling some of her rested XP. She also learned the Crazy Alchemist’s potion – so I’m pleased about that!
Nadine – She has made it to Northrend and is about half way to 72. I have truly enjoyed the Northrend questing with her, and found the Vyrkul storyline that I’ve seen in Howling Fjord to be fantastic. As horde I always wondered why we were battling against the Vyrkul – so much is explained in the alliance story line!
I’m still trucking along with tanking, and so far, it’s not bad. I think my biggest complaint is that Righteous Fury isn’t automatically active when you switch over into a prot spec. I often do the first pull of an instance before realizing that I don’t have it turned on. Also, Divine Plea solves so many problems. Why aren’t paladins given this sooner?!?! (I know, I know, they do in Cataclysm).
All in all, I’m mostly enjoying my space goat. And since she’s on my second account, it gives me something to do while camping for my Frostbitten achievement on Beru.
On Achievements –
Speaking of achievements, I only need Dirkee for Frostbitten. I managed to snag both Aotona and Vyragosa yesterday. And actually, I only snagged Vyragosa because I’m such a fail ret paladin, and after dying (again) I tabbed over to Beru – and there she was! I was so excited. Now if only Dirkee would spawn, I’d be finished with this horrible achievement.
Of course, then I will continue to work on Bloody Rare. But supposedly the TBC rares are easier, due to the zones being less crowded.
On Cataclysm –
There are changes a brewing. We are having some discussions currently about the direction we’d like to take the guild in Cataclysm. We will also be offering folks the opportunity to switch their mains in Cataclysm. This is something that I’ve given a lot of thought to, as I’ve been fairly unhappy with what I’ve been seeing reported about resto druids in the beta. Not only that, but the seeming lack of concern from the devs regarding the feedback they are receiving from druids in the beta.
I am worried, and I have considered moving to one of my other healers for the expansion. But, I’ve been a druid since Vanilla. I just can’t see changing now, especially with all of the work I’ve put into Beru. So, for better or worse, I’m going to stay a druid. I spammed healing touch, I rolled Lifebloom, and I learned to love rejuv. I’m sure I’ll fare fine with whatever changes come my way.
Speaking of Cataclysm, we opened up a fun little contest to the guild to guess the release date of the expansion, and we’ve gotten some very interesting guesses! Personally, I picked 11/18/2010. When do you think it’s going to release?
(quick edit! I am a little behind in replying to comments. I promise, it’s coming!)
This week’s topic over at Blog Azeroth is near and dear to my heart. Mostly because I’m a total packrat, and I love these kinds of things, but what Feral Tree wants to know is what items or mementos have you kept (in your toon’s pack or bank) and why? Whether it be keepsakes, quest rewards, special items, random drops, whatever! – why did you decide to hang on to it? What’s its significance to you?
Now, I already did a post about what kind of junk I tote around with me in my bags, so this time I’m going to focus solely on some of the mementos that I hold near and dear in my bank. Every time I lament my lack of bank space and Brade tries to convince me to destroy things, there are certain things that I just cannot let go – no matter how full my bags may be.
Before we get started, and so that you fully understand the level of packrat-ness that I exude, perhaps I should give you a glimpse into Beru’s bank? Yes?
As I was looking through the treasure hold that is my bank last night in preparation for this post, I found it extremely hard to pick just a handful of my preciouses for this post. However, I have somehow managed to narrow it down to ten. It was a challenge let me tell you! But here are ten of my fondest memories that seem to survive every expansion and every bank purging.
Read the rest of this entry »
Have you ever had one of “those” nights? You all know the ones I’m talking about. The ones where anything and everything seems to go wrong for no concrete reason, almost like someone stole your mojo and you must find it before you can be whole again. I know that I’ve had them. As a matter of fact, I had one this past Sunday while we were throwing ourselves at HM LK…again.
Things just weren’t gelling, for whatever reason. As a raid, we had completely and totally lost our Mojo.
Of course, at this point there is only one thing to be done: find it.
You can’t find it by hollering at people. You can’t find it by screaming (although I try). You can’t always find it by continuing to throw yourself at the thing that stole it from you. You can’t find it by looking under someone’s motorbike or skirt. So, how do you get your mojo back?
For me – I needed to kill something. After having my face smashed in for 3 hours, I had a bloodthirst like you wouldn’t believe, and it was only going to be sated by…going to Ulduar? Yes, you read that right, our raid lost our mojo and seemed to have found it in Ulduar. And why shouldn’t we?!
After a frustrating night with dear Arthas, we took ourselves to an instance that we had partially cleared and reactivated our raid lockout. The goal? Alone in the Darkness. Why? TENTACLES! Well…and because we hadn’t done it before. But mostly for the TENTACLES! And you know what? It was a lot of fun. It was silly, we did achievements, we unwound all of that pent up LK tension, and somewhere along the way we regained our Mojo.
I had joked as we headed to Mimiron that if a year ago you had told me that Ulduar would be the chicken soup for my poor raiding soul, I would have told you to put the crack pipe down. However, the truth of the matter was that coming back to something old made it fresh and restored me. And it was exactly what I needed at that time.
I am sure that everyone has different releases. So I’m curious, when it’s clear that it’s just not your night, what do you do? How do you get your raiding mojo back?
In case you haven’t heard yet, Angelya is hosting a Harvest Festival Bake Off. She has asked her readers to create a submission of their favorite fall recipes using ingredients found around Azeroth, and give a small explanation as to why they have chose their recipe to share with the community.
This is my submission. I have called it “Granny Smith’s Shattrath Surprise” but it is better known around my household as my mother’s apple crisp. In our family she is practically famous for it. Anytime we go to a family gathering and we are asked to bring something, everyone requests mom’s apple crisp. I have picked up this tradition by also introducing it to those I know out here on the West Coast, and anytime Brade and I go to a gathering where we will be enjoying each others company and good food, I bring along mom’s apple crisp. Truth be told, I have no idea where she picked up the recipe, but it is one of my favorite things by far. And so, I’d like to share with all of you the joy that is Mom’s apple crisp.
Granny Smith’s Shattrath Surprise
8 – 12 Goldenbark Apples (You will want a tart apple for this, I prefer Johnathan, but Granny Smith Apples work very well also).
2/3 cup fine sand (granulated white sugar)
1-2 cups simple flour
1/2 – 1 cup Lard’s Lunch (butter)
2 teaspoons Mild Spices (Cinnamon)
1/2 – 1 cup granulated sweet root (Dark Brown Sugar)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- This recipe can be made in two sizes: Large (9 x 13 pan) or Small (9 x 9) pan. I will provide directions for both sizes, along with a few chef’s notes, which will be annotated by a “*”.
- Peel, core and slice apples. You will need 12 apples for a large batch, and 8 apples for a small batch. *Please note these are for small Jonathan apples. If you are using today’s larger apples, you will not need as many. I tend to use 5 large Granny Smith’s for a small batch. An apple corer/peeler/slicer works wonderfully for this!
- Using a large bowl, combine apples with 2/3 cup fine sand, 4 tablespoons simple flour and 2 teaspoons of mild spices. *I tend to add a touch extra cinnamon and a touch of extra sugar to mine.
- Mix well until all of the apples are coated and place into baking pan.
- Cut two tablespoons Lard’s Lunch, and place on top of apple mixture. *I tend to cut the butter in such a fashion that I can place a piece in each quarter and in the center of the pan.
- In a separate bowl, mix topping using your hands or a pastry mixer. The topping will be crumbly.
- For a small pan combine 1 cup simple flour, 1/2 cup Lard’s Lunch and 1/2 cup granulated sweet root.
- For a large pan combine 2 cups simple flour, 1 cup Lard’s Lunch and 1 cup granulated sweet root.
- * I really enjoy the toping, so I tend to make a small batch – but like my mother – utilize the large pan’s topping mix for a little extra nom.
- *You do not want your butter rock hard out of the fridge, but not fully softened either. I partially soften the butter for the topping before mixing it.
- Sprinkle topping over Apple mixture.
- Bake 45 minutes, or until top is browned and apples are tender.
- *I have found that a large batch may take closer to an hour to cook – but keep an eye on it so you do not burn the topping!
- Remove from oven and serve!
The crisp is best served warm – and will reheat very well! It is very tasty with a scoop of Tigole and Furor’s Vanilla or Cinnamon Ice Cream!
I hope that you enjoy! Please let me know if you have any questions with regards to the recipe itself.
Warning – I will not be responsible for any injuries that are a result of a mad dash for seconds!
As we fall on the eve of Wrath of the Lich King, and approach the dawn of Cataclysm I find that a lot of people are falling into two camps. The “been there done that” camp, that logs in, does their raids, and then logs out to enjoy some non-WoW time doing other things; and the “I need to finish” camp. You know, the people that are frantically trying to get “x” done before the new expansion.
Most nights in our guild, you will see somewhere around 30 people online at raid time, and within 15 minutes of the raid finishing that number dwindles down to somewhere around 10. I’ve also noticed that more people are taking their off-nights WoW free. I may see them log in to do transmutes or check their auctions, but a lot of folks are enjoying the quiet before the storm. Taking in movies, or doing some things around the house before Cataclysm hits.
I find that I tend to be in the second camp of folks. I had a small bout of WoW malaise for the past month or so, where I would log in to raid and take care of guild matters, but as soon as we were done I would log out to tend to other things. However, I seem to have gotten my second wind again. As Cataclysm draws nearer, I look at the list of things that I’d like to accomplish and find that I am fairly motivated to work on them, as a result I find that I’m once again spending a fair bit of time in game, and generally having a lot of fun! Read the rest of this entry »