Thursday, January 28, 2010

Spamalot! and Lance-a-lot

I have an aversion to ToC (5 man heroic).

Part of this may be due to my getting kicked from a group on this instance, or it may be due to the need to joust at the start. Or it could be that it is one of the most godawful, boring and monotonous instances I've seen.

Most likely, it's a combination of all of those.

Last night, at my usual late log-in time (9:30 or so, server/local time) I start to collect my dailies and grudgingly include myself in the LFG queue.

A new guild memeber that had also started queueing asked me and another guilide to join, so we went in as 3 DPS. (me on Ret, him on an ele shammy and a third as Warlock)

When we got our notice, we all groaned when we saw ToC. The good thing is that it *is* relatively short and usually not too diffficult.

We finish the jousting with a *little* difficulty and then proceed on the the next fight, with the Shaman, rogue and one other.

We're going through, and half my bittons aren't working. *CRAP* I STILL HAVE MY LANCE EQUIPPED!. I open my bags and don't have any luck seeing my weapon, so I open up "C" (character screen, which is where my equipment manager "Outfitter" button is) and switched to my DPS items. *no change* AARGH! So I hit my tank gear, just to get SOMETHING with an actual weapon selected.

I did this in a hurry, without thinking all that much, or even remembering it much.

We finished this fight, and the next group, though I was staggered by how bad my DPS was.

We go into the last fight (Paleetess? the one with the summoned shadow thing) And things go bad. I'm not sure what happened, but from what I understand (from their own description)the tank & healer got out of sync, or lost aggro or something.

Anyhow, I noticed when the first of us dropped, another DPS, but I didn't worry too much. Next thing I know, it's me and one caster (the healer I believe) and the shadow dood is chewing on her face. I taunt and bubble and *sort of* help. The only problem is that with me bubbled, my DPS drops even further and my threat/aggro drops through the floor. (I hadn't thought to turn on Righteous Fury to increase my threat) So the baddie loses interest in me, and chews the face, neck and upper torso off the healer.


I sit there clobbering away, well aware it's a lost cause. (the shadow dude still has ~30% health, and the other boss is STILL left after that)

I finally die and we all run back and start buffing. At this point, the HEALER said (right as I noticed something strange about the looks) "OMG, I still have my lance equipped. No WONDER I went oom!!"

I laughed. HARD. And then typed: "ROFL, no worries, I did that for the first part of the first fight too! lol".

We all laughed, buffed and got ready for the re-match.

So the Bear tank pulls, and away we go. And my DPS is STILL crappy. WTF?!?!?!?

We kill the boss pretty quickly this time and in comes the Black Knight. First phase is a breeze, but MAN my DPS is STILL sucking. And then I notice the shield on my back.

ARGH! Tanking gear. I had forgotten that I had done that earlier. /facepalm

So I switch over and the we all do our thing. My DPS is still crap, but this time it's beacuse I'm keeping the adds off the healer, which is slow & bursty. *shrug* Keeping healers safe during this phase is my self assigned task when I run this so that's cool by me.

The best part? I got these:

Vambraces of Unholy Command

It's only an i219 piece, but that's an upgrade (both numerically and "really") from my previous i200 bracers. w00t!

The only downside was "upgrading" them. I smithed on the gem socket with spare mats, so not a big deal. However, the cost of getting the enchant (greater assault) 350 gold, YIKES. I used honor points to buy an uncut gem, then paid 20g to get a strength gem made.

Ah well... Every little bit helps.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I'm a Travelling Man, and I Quest in a Lot of Spots

Now that I finally remembered to bring in my screen caps, I can continue with my rambling, all over the place post...

Yeah, I've been going back and doing some questing. Remember how I mentioned I was doing some stuff related to cooking? Well, there are a number of results of my doing so. First was getting the "Into the Basin" achievement. I got it by finishing all the Nessingwary quests. You know, the ones where you run all over the place, "hunting" 60+ game animals. (and if you were like me, and didn't get all the related quests at once, the number climbs to well over 100)

The good news is that Katt & I now have a good supply of Rhino Meat and Chilled Meat.

And I got another achievement in the process:

OK, so... WHAT am I trying to get?

Well, the one above is what you get for completing part 2 of the achievement: getting 30 of the listed. My *intent is to get the full achi for getting (and making) all 45 recipies.

After much running around, and spending a few more Dalaran Cooking awards (most of my running was to complete the quest chain for Kungaloosh) I now only need one more recipe:

Freaking Haunted Herring.

Ugh. It's a rare drop, mainly from various Northrend bosses. Yuck. It wasn't on the AH, and it may not even be BoE, so this will be a bot of a challenge...

Lastly, I went on a LFG Random with one of our guildies... we ended up in HoS. I actually like that instance, because there are these easy to kill crystal looking mobs that are certain to make my ePeen swell:

Yeah, that's me hitting 10k DPS. Sadly, I didn't hit screen cap fast enough, because when more of them were alive, it peaked at roughly 13k, then dropped rapidly. Still, w00t!

Yah, I *do* pay attention to recount, but I do *not* base my tactics on it. Per esempio:
I ran Hall of Reflection last night in my LFG Frost run. During that first series of fights, I was 3rd in DPS (below the tank) because I was focusing no getting one of the ranged mobs CCed on each and every wave.

In a couple cases, it took me nearly 10 seconds of running out, casting and running back before I was actually able to start DPSing. Does the low DPS bother me? Not in the slightest.

But it doesn't mean I don't take a certain amount of pleasure topping the meters ;) I think, therefore I ego.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Ramble On, Cuz I do it Often

Sorry about this post being so "all over the place", but much of what's happened lately has been of that sort. Back to my monotone babbling later...

I don't mind GearScore (GS) or Elitist Group (EG) They have small use for me in that it helps me look back at a heroic and try to understand why things went the wasy they did. Or, it lets me stroke my ePeen (not because my number is so high) but because when I am lower geared than someone, and I *still* out DPS them. And they are a Mage or Warlock.

And honestly, I can never remember what mine is. And, given how little I raid and how slowly I am accumulating Frost & Triumph badges, it stays the same for pretty long periods. *shrug*

[EDIT] - and... and... and... yes I know, my grammer sucks as of late. [/EDIT]

I *did* buy a Triumph badge upgrade for my Tank spec. I think it was shoulders (I honestly suck at remembering some crap. LET ALONE try remembering the item name) The neat thing is that I can finally start gemming for stats other than Defense. I'm still sitting at exactly 540 (capped) but am slowly increasing my stamina.

A few guildies let me tank through Utgarde Keep. I didn't do very well. The healer is a sweetheart and was quite patient. The others were... less so, but not rude or anything. But when they re-grouped for another random, I wasn't asked to tank. (I really need to get Vuhdo set up and learn it)


Kattastrophe left our guild a couple weeks ago. The guild I'm still in has some *slightly* more hardcore players in it. They tend to perform a bit better than your average guys. (not uber-leet hardcore by ANY stretch, but some pretty knowledgable and skilled players)

If you aren't in the "in group" you will get left out and not really invited to much of anything. And that's if they are runnning anything in the first place. It's not a super cold guild, but if you aren't close to the core members, it's not always super friendly either. (There are some GREAT folks there, which is why I've stayed)

Anyhow... Katt had ended up runnning with another guild for a bit over a week. They were just doing rep runs into ICC 10 man. They appreciated Katt, and as a group, they hit it off. Since they could use another good healer (they only have 1 tree - he's good, but he's only 1 guy) they asked her to join.

She was on the fence until she got asked to come along & bring me in for DPS. We're sitting at the summoning stone, and up trots a couple of our current guildies sommoning folks for a guild run for OUR guild. Never a peep or anything from our own guild asking us if we were interested. The worst part? They Pugged 2-3 spots.

This was the last straw, and Katt g/quit. It was uncomfortable for a while, but things have settled down. She's in her guild, I'm still in mine. They keep asking me to join, but I'm still not willing to jump ship on the folks I am friends with over there.

As of now, kind of the best of both worlds. We both have access to folks in both guilds.


Last night I was finishing up some stuff for cooking (more on this in a later post) and I see one of my guild officers promoting some folks up from recruit to member.

I whisped the guy, asking when I would get promoted up from "Raider" to "Active Raider".

"Hold on, let me check your gear... you were really close last time I looked." (referring to my Gear Score)

Now, this has been my only negative run-in with GS. And yeah, it's made a bit more annoying, because I HAVE done a couple 5 mans with him and other officers, I can *do* my job as DPS prety well.

A couple minutes later I was promoted. What does this mean? As far as I can tell, it really only changes my bank/repair access. (I never use the guild bank, so I'm making an assumption about that, but I did notice I now have a guild allowance for repair)


So with Katt's guild, I ran a number of Rep runs into ICC 10 man last week. I didn't make it to friendly, at least not that time. They were interesting, and it's neat to actually be a part (even a non-guilded part) of a team.

The only downside is that they are not obssessed with getting the most out of their gear & stuff as the top guys in my current guild. Don't get me wrong, they DO work on their gear and they DO try to learn. BUT, the majority of them are not spending hours a week reading EJ, tinkering and beating on test dummies for hours to optimize their rotation. (although a couple of them certainly do though) They play to spend time together and have fun.

(Also, one mage there isn't a fan of Omen -or any- aggro meter)

Then on Saturday, they decided to make a run for Marrowgar. We went in semi-cold. A few of us knew his abilities, but there was no pre-arranged strategy. we went in, cleared the trash Then?


We all watched the tankspot vid and prepped for a Sunday attempt. After clearing the trash (and got my ring for being friendly with Ashen Verdict), we stood around outside Marrow's room discussing strat. We did a dry run there, using a DK's Death & Decay (D&D) to simulate Marrow's hitbox and try to get our placements. We then went in.


We understood the fight a LOT better, but still didn't do a whole lot better. The fire was just kicking our asses. Especially when it gets dropped right on top of someone that is spiked, and you're trying to rescue. Nasty, and it happened several times.

One note about tankspot's video: I think that staying underneath Marrow while he's doing his spinning thing is not the best idea. He's moving around pretty quickly, and dropping a TON of his fire. Often multiple "shots" (each shot goes in 4 directions) right next to each other. With him focussed on everyone in the center of the room, the fire becomes so dense you can't avoid it, and "head for the hills" seems like it may be a better tactic. This also gives the tanks time to regain aggro after the phase re-starts.


When I am doing random PuGs for my emblems (as opposed to guild/friend runs) I have started removing gear prior to selecting "join queue". Every time I have done so I have gotten low level/fast/easy runs. (barring one Malygos/Oculus fiasco) I'm not 100% convinced that it isn't simple RNG giving me these runs, and not my reduced "visible gear score", but I'll take fast, easy runs for my badges, athankuverymuch!

I want to run Forge of Souls (FoS), Pit of Saron (PoS) and Halls of Reflection(HoR) but I don't care to run them in randoms (PoS & HoR in particular) They are just tough enough that they will likely cost you more in repair bills than you will get out of them. The "Follow Arthas" trick in HoR has made it much more manageable, but it still requires some really good DPS and tanking to make it, and PuGs seem to fail too much (no badges, BUT a hefty repair bill)



Saturday, January 23, 2010

Who Can it Be, Now?

It was late at night, and things weren't going normally. I don't know, the whole place looked normal, but was just different.

OK, I was on Azuremist Isle. There's the crashed ship, all the half dead refugees, there's the dude tha tlets me fly with totems and whatnot.

Yeah, there's some idiot Nelf with Mohawk Grenades, but... that's "normal.



I wander around... and other little things... like the sun moving the wrong way across the sky.... toilets flushing backwards, and the clock being 19 hours off...


Then it dawns on me... I'm not in Kansas anymore (or California for that matter, but hey...)

This is some strange world of "Aman'Thul"... and WHAT is that little Gnome doing dancing over there?

Then it hits me; "Aman'Thul Oceanic" is some weird Azerothian dialect for the word "Australia"
Who'd a thunk it?
Gnomeaggedon, thanks for the hospitalilty, the kickass Tabard and everything else... (great company, btw) and I'll pester you every now & again, so long as your willing.
I don't plan to level "Down Under Balth", since that would take months, but I *did* roll a Gnome DK, just to skip the first 50-odd levels. (and since I've never played/rolled a DK, the lore should be interesting)
(and no Gnome or Drae panties were left asunder by this post or any of the fiddling around done prior to posting this)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

HELP! Internet Inetptitude Ensues

OK, I think I mentioned this in a comment or post a bit ago, but this is frusternating (yes, that word is intentional) I am writing this from my home gaming PC.

I can browse.
I can play WoW.
I can do MS office type stuff.
I can play other games (well, not world of goo, it won't work)
I think you get my drift...

But I can't frikkin' post a comment on my own frikkin blog.

As I type this, I'm on IE8.
I have tried with Firefox (whatever the latest versionis, as of 3 days ago)
I have tried with Google Chrome (new version)

And yet none will let me comment. (I can at work, on Kattastrophe's PC, on my ASUS EEEPC and others, just not this one) This would lead me to believe there's some setting on my PC that is being uppity. Not the browser or the network.

I am using XP Pro, latest service pack (3 if I recall correctly)

I have Kasperski internet protection

... and that's about it.





kthxbye :)

Vuhdo... Voodoo and Odd Thoughts About Tanking

Situational awareness is a kinda big thing in WoW. The best players seem to not only have their toons very well geared/gemme/etc, they know the fights inside and out, knowing their own role, and the roles of everyone there, but they also seem to have this innate ability to know EVERYTHING that is going on, from the tank, off tank, Main healer, raid healer, OT healer and all the weirdness happening with the DPS.

Um, that's not me.

Standing in the middle of the fight, thwacking monster crotch and trying to avoid the fire, I am usually just about overloaded, at least in the more challenging fights (ICC 5 mans and up) As I've mentioned before, trying to keep an eye on things (watch my aggro, keep a safety eye for mobs on the healer, etc) is something I like to do. And I have problems doing it.

And that's only as DPS.

Now that I'm trying to tank a bit, the workload is up a notch (mainly because you HAVE to know the fights) but also because you are now DIRECTLY responsible for the well being of the healer, as well as trying to keep the DPS as safe as reasonably possible.

With your screen filled with monster crotch (not to mentione a bunch of other stuff), this can be a challenge.

Having the healer as focus can help, but that still only puts a small green bar up top that can be tough to see. Even moving it around only helps to a degree.

The other day I was watching Kattastrophe healing in her guild's 10-man attempt on Ony, I watched her do the whack-a-mole thing to heal everyone.

"Man, something easy to use, really obvious and visible, would be really nice to help taunt/etc folks getting attacked by loose mobs, the healer especially."

Then the thought came: I wonder if the add-on Vuhdo would let me bind OTHER spells to the frames. Then it could be as easy as a quick scan over to the frames - see someone in trouble (ie, taking damage that they shouldn't) - and then left click for Righteous Defense or maybe right click for Avenger's Shield (or even Hand of Reckoning)

And so, I will have to try this out. There's no guarantee that Vuhdo will LET me put alternative spells into its guts. After all, Pally Power (an addon for Paladin Blessings) will NOT let you control anything other than pally blessings. It may be that Vuhdo is coded to only allow healy spells into its hallowed clicky boxes.

Just a thought, and a radnom bit of musing... I'll try it out and let you know.

Friday, January 15, 2010

He Ain't Heavy, He's a Newbie...

Well, it happened to me: I ran a Heroic (Halls of Lightening) with "sub par" DPS. I don't have the screen caps here at work, but his overall DPS was about 650. I was a bit awestruck, since I had never run across anyont that low before.

So, looking above (wow-heroes) his gear isn't great. And looking below, a couple things become aparent:

1 - He's in a TON of crafted PvP gear. Well, as it turns out, he's on a PvP server, so this actually makes a fair bit of sense. (and the guys is a BS, so I assume s/he's rather proud of all that work!)

2 - He has no gems (belt) or any enchants.

3 - His talent placement looks less than ideal: 70/1/0.

I did a bit more digging (thanks to, I mean ) I found out that he had dinged 80 literally the day before, and that this was his 3rd Heroic run.
This would (to a degree) explain the lack of any enchants: this is probably his first toon, and on a PvP server, farming for stuff is a tad risky, so it's likely he's simply cash starved. (one confounding piece of info is that he's in a moderately large -202 members- guild, so I'm not sure why he isn't getting *some* help/direction)
But clearly, he has some learning to do.

He died once on the mobs before Loken, but other than that, he was there fighting, but not accomplishing much.
From Recount, his melee atack was about 60% of his damage, with 2 other abilities making up the remainder (sorry, I can't remember what) so I don't think he really "gets" how to play his toon to the max... BUT, he didn't do anything glaringly stupid either. (even if his gearing/talenting is sub-par, he didn't PLAY badly - and that, in my opinion is HUGE)
So, do I feel like my gme was ruined because I carried a newbie, that didn't gem, didn't enchant, didn't chose talents as optimally as he/she could?
Not in the slightest. I just wish s/he were on my server so I could possibly help the guy out. because:
- not everyone KNOWS to even look for info on blogs. (let alone EJ or similar)
- clearly nobody in that guild has bothered to teach/guide him (well, the guy could unwilling to learn- but if someone is *that* hard headed, they are usually booted from a guild)
- if someone is new to the game (and possilby to online computing) it can be daunting to even know WHAT to Google for.
So, yeah, I will cut the guy slack. Even if he isn't a top performer. After all, I bet that trip through HoL was a pretty fun run for him.
And that's what matters...
Hmmm... maybe I'll start a toon on that server and, as politely as possible, try to give him a bit of advice.

I... Don't Wanna Work.. I Just Wanna Bang on the Blame All Day...

Another Friday post for me... as things slow down here at work, I have a few "free" bits of time to expound on the aetheric, and wax poetic about the pointless. there are fewer people here to notice me wasting time, and even fewer folks reading the blogs in the next couple days.

So be it.

Last night was a tad lazy... I ran the LFG "daily" to get my Frost badges, ran most of the Argent tourney dailies (I never joust anymore) and did a couple other random ones. I got a handful of Champion Seals and a couple hundred gold, so it was reasonably productive, even if it were a tad boring.

I was in no mood to grouch my way to more Triumph badges, so I had to think a bit for stuff to do, so I could procrastinate on going to bed. The only thing that came readily to mind was to look into getting another 2 tabards for the "wear 10 different tabards" achievement. (I currently have 8) I am not sure which ones I *do* have, but I', certain I have all the following:

Ebon Blade
Kirin Tor
Tabard of the Hand
Tabard of the Explorer

(thanks to having somewhat recent upload of my bank & bags at I was able to find 3 I had forgotten about)

I do NOT have:

Honor Hold
Argent Dawn (if there is one)
Cenarion XYZ (circle, expedition or any of them)
any other rep tabards
any tabards that cost Champion Seals

Me being the Outlands n00b I am, I had wondered if I could just buy the rep tabards and then run more Northrend Heroics to get exalted.

Um, nope.

Turns out that Outlands Tabards are the REWARD (or being able to buy them) for becoming exalted. Alas, I am only (barely) honored with the Aldor and Honor Hold, so nothing easy.


WAIT!!! I know you get rep with Honor Hold for all kills in Hellfire Heroics! I'm a moderately geared 80, this should be a breeze! Easy Peazy!

*Flies off to Ramparts and enters the Heroic*

I walked towards the room with the 3 groups of mobs, and at the end of the entrance hall, there are 2 guard mobs sitting like reputation gifts.

I pull one, Repent (crowd control stun - "CC") the other, and burn them both down. WTF?!?!? My health is way below half?!?!? I've got 14k armor and 21k health. WTF?!?!?!?

Oh, and I received 15 reputation points each.


I pull the group of 3 mobs farthest to the right, stun one, and just get to work. Kill the first, hammer *BUBBLE!* the whelp and finally -WAIT!!!!!!

*mana up and heal*

and kill the third.


Holy shit, for "only" being level 70 elites, these are some nasty effing mo-fos!

I switch to my tank gear, but stay in Retribution spec.

I move on to the next group of 3.

The extra armor & health helps mitigate the damage I take, but since I now take a LOT longer to kill them, and it is basically a wash as far as how close to being killed I am.

I rinse & repeat this until I clear that room at the base of the stairs. I got maybe 200 rep points with Honor Hold and a 1.5 gold repair bill.


So I go back to Honor Hold to get the small repair and sell off the little bit of loot I grabbed. While there I see that "Stadium is under attack by the Horde!" (the other 2 places had just been captured as well)

I'm not in the mood to PvP, but I AM in the mood to be a pest (ie, not flag myself or attack, but stand there, simply being a geared 80 alliance toon, and try to be as intimidating as I can.

I fly over and there's a Horde v Alilance 1 on 1 battle going on. One of them is a DK, and one is (maybe) a Paladin. With things running around like they are, I have no clue which is which.

I land,

hit [tab] to select the Hordie





There's a dead horde (unreleased) and an Ally DK . I feel good about helping the guy out.

Until he starts corpse humping/Teabagging the Hordie.


I wave to the Horde corpse and bow (it still hasn't released) and head back over to Honor Hold to ponder my next waste of time/diversion.

Upon arrival, there's some Horde over there killing all the NPCs. Looks like it's 2 level 80s. A Priest and a Rogue. I *think* I kill the Rogue and the Priest bugs out. (actually it was a Pally) because there was a non-flagged Priest sitting there.

How do I know there was a Pally? Because he returned a bit later (with the Rogue) and came after me. I had hurt the Rogue and nearly killed the Pally when I died. The remaining 60s & 70s chased them off.

I respawned at the grave yard, took the 5-10 steps to my corpse and came back. By this time a couple other 80s had arrived (one was the alt of the DK I had helped)

The Hordies had cleared the area so I logged.

No, there's no real point to this post... just sorta rambling... though I *could* bring up a couple semi-relevant points about it all:

The Outlands (Hellfire in particular) 5 mans are where Kattastrophe & I 2-manned several dungeons. this is where I learned to use my CC, use corners ("LoS" - line of sight) to force casters to get within my melee range, and to have to sit and plan out attacks.

I've read a lot from folks that were doing end game content back in the "BC" (Burning Crusade)days, and all of them are melancholy about the challenge those dungeons represented. Mainly because crowd control was an integral part of the game, and was some actual utility that DPS players could bring to the table. (other than simple DPS) Now, sadly, most dungeons are a DPS Tank-n-Spank race to kill the boss before the next enrage. DPS just needs to bring the hurt.

Which (per Big Bear Butt) is another possible source of DPS hazing...

I wanna go home... only another 3-4 hours left here at work. Hope you guys have a good weekend!


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Horse With no Name Fits my Last Post With no Name


So I started a slightly ranty post last night. I couldn't come up with a name, and given the slightly negative nature of the post, I wanted to sleep on it.

Unfortunately, I hit "Publish" and not "Save". I didn't realize this until I got up this morning. Since it's still a work in progress, I just put it back into my saved folder, and unpublished it.

Well, in the grand scheme of things, my retracting it first thing this morning wouldn't be a big deal, at least in theory.

Except for the automated blog readers out there.

They captured it and funneled it to the folks that have them set up.


So, in the interest of keeping things the way that some folks will see it, I put it back up, exactly as written/posted last night.

I still definitely feel the way I did when I wrote it. However, my only real hesitation in keeping it up was the rather ranty, pointy, ouchy and negative tone in it. There are enough rant blogs out there, and I try not to be that way TOO much.

But there you go, and there it is.

Sorry for any comfusion the post, unpost and re-post may cause, especialy to the folks that visit here via wowheadlines or their readers.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

There's a "mene" going round the blogs right now. No, not a "meme". A meme is generally benign, possibly strange, and often quirky. (to me, anyways)

No this is a "mene", pronounced "mean".

As in you can't possibly MENE that, or that's rather a rather MENE spirited point of view.

And no, I won't link the originating post. I don't care to give it whatever ephemeral, mental kudos you get for getting linked/mentioned. I'm sure you probably know which one I'm referring to, or will quickly recognize it once I get beyond this introductory spewing of frumpitude.

I am referring to the belief by some that certain types of toons are worth more than others. Because they do more. And the last type of players are just grist for the mill.

As a DPS player that has to switch (mid fight) to healing to help out in some fights, and taunt mobs off the healers and other squishies due to lacking in others, I not-so-respectfully request you insert this into the most uncomfortable orifice you can conceive: (I'll even start it for you)

Maybe it's because I'm still rather new to the game, but I am absolutely STUNNED at the depth of self righteous, antagonistic, selfish and unbelievably arrogant BULLSHIT I read and see whilest perusing the online culture of WoW. This isn't the only topic I've seen that raises my hackles, but it's the most recent, and for me, the most incendiary.

I don't care if all someone does is farm titanium only to sell it to the closest vendor for 12 silver, or struggle to hit the "1" key so they can auto attack in a heroic. Nobody "deserves" more than anyone else. We ALL pay the monthly fees. We all play, I would guess, for the same reason: to enjoy ourselves.

If your entertainment requires you to receive extra special colored pixels, above and beyond what other players get, in order to feel oh-so-special and get enjoyment out of the game, please take a moment to evaluate why you play. I'm not joking, and I'm not (honestly) trying to be flippant or mean with this particular comment. I think we all know that WoW can foster some unhealthy habits and attitudes in some of the player base, and it can manifest itself in a multitude of unpleasant ways.

This is a game.

I completely understand getting personally vested in it. Hell, we ALL are to some level, or we wouldn't play for very long, let alone take the time to bother blogging about it.

That being said...

As has been pointed out in multiple places across the internet, Blizzard (hallowed be thy name) has made it a fundamental mechanic that the game revolves around the holy trinity of player types: tank, DPS, healer. The game simply isn't playable at any serious level of you don't have all three types.

Yes, as a Ret Paladin, I can heal a good bit and if all the other players were geared enough, I might be able to heal a low level heroic. Or with some good healing and some good gear, I could probably half-assed "tank" the easiest heroics. (or at least the regular dungeons)

It would require EVERYONE to be way over geared (myself included) and it would annoy everyone involved, but it is probably doable. (if not by me, then by better players)

Does that flexibility make Pallies, or Druids or any other hybrid class any more valuable? Absolutely not.

We all play, in theory (as I mentioned above) to have fun. The moment the words "should be compensated more" cross your lips, the word "job" pops rapidly into my mind. That is kinda the opposite of fun, at least in my book.

And unless someone can prove me wrong, I think it's an easy, and fair assumption that good, bad & mediocre players occupy the various roles in equal proportions. Therefore, there are an equal ratio of skilled (and unskilled) players in all the roles. So I don't think it's reasonable to claim special priority based on skill/ability: all groups have the same range & average.

Tanks love to bitch about bad healers and bad DPS, Healers love to bitch about bad tanks and bad DPS, and so on. No group is above others here, and all are possible targets for ire.

A bad player in any role can wipe a group. (I'm mainly talking 5 mans here) A good player in any role can also save a group. I am far from good and *I* have done plenty to save runs.

There's a "rule of thumb" that is often bandied about it WoW, and most people seem to think it has value:

If the tank dies, it's the healer's fault.
If the healer dies, it's the tank's fault.
If the DPS dies, it's their own fault.

This would seem to imply that a tank/healer duo form their own team within a team, and that, in general, DPS are on their own. So, in effect, heal/tank duos have a special team mate watching their back, while the DPS are "solo" within the team.

Yes, in practice, healers help the DPS and the tanks help the DPS, and the DPS helps both the others. (at least in theory) BUT, it sure does highlight a distinct culture within the game, don't ya think?

After all, we each chose our roles for our own reasons; they fit our preference, personality, present an interesting challenge, etc.

If you want to get a bit petty about it, one could argue that tanks & healers already *do* get more loot (at least if they try) This is simply because they can probably run an entire instance in the time it takes for me to even FIND a group, and they can then run an entire SECOND instance while I am running my first.

So, they can get twice as much loot/badges as a run-of-the-mill DPS pugger in the same amount of time.

Lastly, I put in a pretty good amount of time learning my class, reading, and trying to do my best. I spend as much time as the next "average" player (maybe more) in this pursuit.

I find it blatantly offensive that some folks feel their time (for a game) is somehow "worth" more than mine. The phrase "culture of entitlement" comes to mind...

I wish I could be more subtle, more witty and *maybe* a bit more obscure in my rants, but, that's not who I am. Ah well, I guess I'm another yahoo on the net with a chip on my shoulder and spleen in my words.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Changes: Heroics for Me, Then & Now

Running Heroics might have made me a tad lazy. At least since I've gotten better geared.

"Way back in the day" (all of 2-3 weeks ago), I would make sure I had a stack of Mighty Strength Potions, Strength food (Dragonfin Filet), and Strength VIII scrolls (or VII if I was being cheap)

I would blow every CD I had during EVERY fight, trying to maximize my DPS. I would bring water/etc to replenish my burned through mana.

I followed Elitist Jerks' method of "doing the retpal rotation", and I would religiously watch my rotation to keep it on the ball. Once I had mostly purples, I made sure I had the best gems & enchants I could get.
I did the absolute most I could.

For maybe 2K DPS, if it worked out well, especially if I was in a lower geared group and had to watch my aggro.
That was then.


I will eat my strength food (because it's essentially free)

I won't use consecrate (a long ticking AoE) unless it's a boss/miniboss fight.
I won't take a strength potion of any sort.
I won't use a strength scroll of any sort.
I will often take a looong time (5-ish seconds) to actually engage in the fight (dinking around and also waiting for the tank to get max aggro)

I "finger tap" my first 4 spells:

And I pull an average of3-3.3K DPS for the run. On the rare time where I *am* buffed (like after just running a 10 man) I will pull 4-5k pretty easily (especially on groups) and 3.2-3.5K single target.

The problem is that this lends ones' self to getting lazy and/or just not paying attention...

I've noticed that once I start attacking, I will simply keep fighting, even if I start to get aggro. Getting aggro ususally means my target is about dead, so with my plate, abundant health (and a *little* heals) my getting a bit of aggro means nothing. (unless it's a boss, THEN I care - a LOT)

It's not just me: I see tanks doing this all the time, where they just spam attack, don't mark, etc, and run through the instance like a bat outta hell.

The good news is that the runs are usually REALLY fast, and mindless enough that they don't become exhausting.

But they *do* get a bit tedious, and I have to make sure to actually pay attention when I do get into a "real" raid (ok, 10 mans, but still)

This isn't a tragedy, but it does make it hard to keep on my toes...

EDIT - I had finished most of this post before I noticed that Chastity at Righteous Orbs posted a very similar post, however that one had more to do with the other folks in the run...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Reflections of... the Way Halls Could Be

In general, I don't sit around and ponder tactics in fights, especially in Heroics. Other than trying to remember the "run away when this happens, don't attack when this happens, etc," I don't much worry let alone care.

even if there's a sub 1k DPS there ;)

Overall, the heroics are so dang simple, that even at my gear and skill level, they just don't take much thought or preperation. Tank & spank, go hit stuff, and try not to get TOO much aggro. (I believe I have more armor & health than many tanks did when msot heroics were first released)

So, it's a bit of an oddity when I go into a heroic, with decently geared folks, and reasonably intelligent folks, and yet we wipe. Multiple times. (and never finish)

Such was the case of my one (any only) foray thus far into Halls of Reflection.

We wiped 3 times in the first room (the one with the multiple phases) and then we died multiple times trying to out run Arthas. (Here's one thing I figured out that may help some: when you are on that path of ice walls, Traveller's Mammoths can be summoned to repair equipment)

Anyhow, we tried 4 or 5 times, and usually died at the last wall, with one or two mobs left, and Arthas came and ate us.

One time really sticks in my head: we had only one mob left, with low health, when the Lich King rained on our parade. What irks me is not that we came so close and failed, but that another 10,11 or maybe 12 seconds might have bought us enough time.

Say, if I had taunted Arthas, bubbled, and pulled him away. (or maybe bubbled THEN taunted, whichever)

Would the extra (effective) 8-10 extra seconds have given enough time to drop the last mob/wall?

Would Arthas relent, if the wall was droppedonce I had died?

Is Arthas even tauntable like that?

If it did work, would I be able to get credit, emblems and loot (because I know for certain I would die as soon as my bubble dropped) because the group would HAVE to leave my corpse... alone... untended on the icy mountainside... (and/or would I be able to run ack) After all, the survivors would be on the airship or flying boat at that point...

Can a Pally bubble survive Arthas' full attention? (I assume so, for all 12 seconds)

Where is Hoffa's body?

What would YOU do for a Klondike bar?

So many questions, so few answers...

I think our failures were due to us all being "marginally geared" for the instance, with none of us being exceptional players. As a group, I believe we were pulling 7-8k total DPS and the tank could usually keep aggro. The healer may have been a bit of a weak link (we wiped on that first room multiple times until Kattastrophe stopped DPSing and helped heal) However those fights at the walls seem to be mainly an aggro and DPS thing, and I think the DPS was just not sufficient.

Ah well, it was still an interesting fight, and neat in the sense that it was something we HAD to work at, and couldn't just blow through it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Porcupine Pie and Other Prickly Things

Anyhow, this is a bit of a mea culpa type of post. I know I ranted a wee bit about some others' screw-ups, so here's a bit of a laundry list of goof-ups I've done in heroics/raids...

I've yet to be the cause of a wipe (at least as far as I know), but I've done one or two minor flubs... *cough*or dozens*cough*

How do I commit thee, oh errors of the Ret? Let me count the ways....

- Auto-target a mob in the next group (I don't have to [tab] to attack the next target when one dies - not sure how/why, but there it is. In crazy close fights, it's nice, but not when it "selects" a mob in a group we haven't pulled) It's happened twice that I know of, and no major damage, but it REALLY has the possibility of causing a wipe...

- Targeting a mob I *thought* was marked by the tank, but not. (now that I know that a Skull/etc appears in the target frame, this rarely happens, or at least I know to change really quickly)

- Leave Righteous Fury active: (this is an aggro generating spell, and will often lead to my own death) Usually happens after I am tanking, or "sorta tanking" (equip my tank gear, pull aggro, but still leave DPS spec active - mainly for Threat from Above and similar quests) I doubt my death has ever been the cause of a wipe, but it sure is humbling...

- Have my tank gear equipped - same as leaving Righteous Fury above. The main downside here is "WTF, why is my DPS only 1,300-1,600?!?!?" The good news is that I'm rather difficult to hurt, let alone kill when I do this.

- Leave Crusader Aura (paladin "Pony Go Fast" Aura) active and not something useful like Retribution or Devotion Aura. (more common than I care to admit, but I'm getting better)

- Leave my fishing pole equipped. Fortunately, this almost never happens anymore, because my outfitter add-on automatically switches to my last equipped weapon when I enter combat. Woot for add-ons minimizing the n00b debuff!

- Get lost getting back into instances? Several times...

- Getting killed as I run back through the instance after I died? A few times.

- Falling off a ledge/missing a jump in Nexus? Check.

- Stand in the stupid? er Fire, Void, etc? Um, yeah...

- Get confused in the melee, and not notice the whirlwind? Ahhhh, yeah... that would be me...

- Get confused in the melee, not be able to target anyone, so stand there like a moron for half the fight? Ohhh yeah... that would ALSO be me...

- Not notice the Deadly Boss Mods (DBM) notification that some move, attack, or phase is about to begin? *shuffle uncomfortably* yeahhh, that would also be me... *facepalm*

I'm sure there are a multitude of other ways, but these makes up a "nice" round thirteen stupids, which is enough for now.

And yeah, I am not uber, I am not perfect. I don't pretend to be, and I don't expect anyone else to be... The thing is, be understanding when others make a dumb error. BUT, also try not to ALWAYS be making a mistake. Stupid happens to all of us.

Any egregious errors that YOU'VE made? Any NOT so egregious errors? Any funny ones?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

These Boots are Made for Walkin'... and Booting

First off, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!!! I know I've been off a bit, but now that I'm back at "work", I have time to blog... ;)


In a PuG first for me, I got "Das Boot".

Katt & I went in to ToC (heroic) and, well, it was a fail fest. After the first wipe, where one of the mobs took out the Healer, and then the rest of us, the tank says, "I guess I need to taunt".


I was pulling a WHOPPING 2.5 k in DPS, and kept getting aggro.

What was I doing? Attacking the mob that the tank marked.

After a lot of nasty "WTF Pally, you suck, how can you keep pulling aggro when only doing 2.5k?"

I resorted to: "yeah, it highlights how shitty the tank is..."

Mind you, the tank had better gear than me. But, as seems usuall for DK tanks, he couldn't keep aggro. (no, I didn't check if he was Frost or Blood. Or heavens, unHoly)

Also, a couple of the mobs I aggroed were going after me because of my Area of Effect (AoE) abilities like Divine Storm and Consecration. wtf? That's maybe... 500 DPS max? THAT draws aggro?

Did I have my aggro "buff" (Righteous Fury - "RF") on? (I *have* done that before) No, I didn't. Especially since we first wiped, and I would have had to manually put it on.

Was I using my aggro dump (Hand of Salvation - "HoS")? Yep, every time it came off CD.

Was I "throttling back" (ie, not attacking as much)? Yep, especially since the tank (and, when he had aggro, the mob) was running hither and yon, and I can't melee if I'm not right next to it.

2.5k DPS (including AoE) is not much damage OR threat.

Now, I will admit, I screwed up on Paletress, but strangely enough, neither I nor anyone else died on that boss.

The biggest problem was the tank, helaer and one DPS were all guildies...


Strangely, in the next PuG I ran (Forge of Souls) I was in a group with a similarly geared tank (a Warrior this time). I pulled a little bit of aggro a couple times, (when the tank would cycle targets) but nothing big, I barely felt it and we had great heals.

We finished FoS, and agreed to continue on to Pit of Saron. To quote the tank as we finished clearing up the last ramp before the gauntlet:


After the nightmare of the previous group, it made me feel a WHOLE lot better.

Did we make mistakes? Certainly, we all did. And the Krick fight took forever because a couple of us (3 of us, me included) didn't pull back far enough from the Poison Nova. The healer & tank, as a pair, did a FANTASTIC job taking him down from ~20% -> dead all by themselves. (that was an amazing thing to watch)

So yeah, we all made mistakes, but we all got compliments for the good we did, and we all did pretty well. And if a "dummy" was done, polite comments were made about how to avoid it next time.

*snif* Each group was enough to bring tears to your eyes, albeit it for drastically different reasons.

So, dearest PuG tanks, here are a couple polite requests from your local (VERY local - shoulder to shoulder, as it were) melee DPS folks:

1- If you mark it, tank it. I will give you 3-5 seconds to get aggro, and I will keep an eye on Omen (threat meter) but I should be able to maintain 75% attacks (ie, slightly throttling/ easing up) without pulling aggro off that target.

2 - If you didn't mark it (but marked something else) tank it. I will be busy attacking the target you marked. As such, Omen will show me my aggro for THAT target. Not the 3-4 other incidental mobs that my AoE abilities might damage. I will run, bubble, etc as needed, but please at least TRY. My AoE abilities don't generate THAT much threat.

3 - If you can't be bothered to mark (or specifiy in party chat) targets AT ALL, then you better tank THEM ALL. Don't expect me to read your mind. "F" only works if I get lucky and happen to focus on you when you are aiming at your main target, and doesn't help at all if you just rotate/tab.

4 - Give me a hand if YOU drop the ball. I will HAPPILY taunt mobs off the healer to save the group. But please show me the same consideration and try to get that S.O.B. off me. Yes, I have plate, but that only helps so much. Especially since I blew my bubble the LAST time it happened.

5 - If you are a bit new, or maybe less than ideally geared, give a shout-out, or (after the wipe) say something like "I'm having a bit of trouble keeping aggro, can you ease up a bit?" Let's be honest, I know I'm not the best player in the world, and I doubt you are either. And that's 100% AOK. I can't watch everything all the time, and neither can you. But at least give me *some* kind of warning.

6 - I am human. I will make the occasional mistake. As will you. Deal with it, and hopefully be reasonable, polite and respectful. I promise to do the same.

7 - And for some other PuG Tanks - PLEASE... Slow... The... Fuck... Down... Yes, I know you want your emblems ASAP. Yes, I know Divine Plea only gives you 14 seconds, yes I know your rage is dropping (no clue how DK mechanics work - sorry!). HOWEVER, wiping will reset both as well. AND create a nasty repair bill to boot. Don't assume everyone knows the fights. If they have a lot of Blue items (let alone greens) it is quite likely they haven't been here before. Or sometimes people *cough*me*cough* could use a reminder that Poison Nova has a 15 yard radius. Chainpulling trash is OK, but do't do that for the Bosses, or any minibosses.

8 - (this goes out to everyone in PuGs, not just tanks) Please remember this is SUPPOSED to be a GAME. You know, FUN? RELAXING? It can be inherently stressful as it is, without some asshole(s) making it worse.