Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Today, Raiding After Dark is a year old!

I could go back and do a sum-total of words written, but I doubt it'll be significant since I only had 57 entries which amounts to posting once a week, more or less, not a lot to brag about or anything, but consistent. Maybe I'll double my rate for the next year!

But anyway. I'm going to use this opportunity to reflect on my last year in Warcraft.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Why do I blog? (Day 2)

Continuing on the track of 20 (non-consecutive) days of posting...

I talked about this earlier, but initially, I started writing in a blog mostly to catalog my raiding experiences so I could  review them over time and see how I had been progressing. It's kind of funny to think that I've been blogging for nearly a year now about Warcraft, but have more-or-less completely stopped blogging on my old Livejournal. But that's a pretty boring answer. Let's see if I can dive a bit deeper and find some other, more meaningful reason...

February of last year was an odd time in my WoW career. After six months of hard-core raiding, I was getting a bit burned out on guild management as an officer, raid management and dealing with the stress of being part of a 50-plus member guild and managing two different raid groups on four different raid nights. I finally quit, moved Horde-side to play with the guild of an old friend and immediately found myself isolated.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Introduce Myself (Day 1)

I didn't want this to just turn into me venting about guild/raid issues so I decided to follow up on Spellbound's writing challenge so I can write about Warcraft but also on things tangential to my normal vectors (I like math).

So - today I have to introduce myself. I hate talking about myself. But.

One of the reasons I started this blog was to give myself a regular writing outlet. I have been writing stories and essays as far back as I can remember, it has been the one true passion in my life. But I loose sight of it a lot. I went to a technical school and work as a programmer. I get diverted by music a lot and make some clumsy efforts at song writing. I minored in art because I wanted to be a draftsman and painter. But I believe at my core, what I do best, is write.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rewarded (and not)

My prize books arrived from Blizzard today from the writing contest and it was pretty neat to see all the names signed on it so I wanted to share them:

Don't mind my messy work desk.

This has been motivating me to write more of my fiction stuff so my time in game is diminishing a bit - and our current roster problems and having to PUG constantly isn't helping matters. Wiping for 2 hours of Maloriak sub 10% on Tuesday due to lag and then just being unable to juggle the mechanics last night so we gave up and wiped on Atramedes instead.

The last two nights of raids were no picnic. These fights are fun, and relatively simple, and the patch left everyone's DPS in the 20k+ range on certain fights so I have no idea what the problem is.

Does anyone playing Alliance side on Moon Guard want to raid with me?

Anyway. While that weighs on my mind, I'm not too worried about it. Today, I have a prize I won out of thousands of entries and I'm feeling pretty good about it. :-)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Creeping Progress: Early Blackwing Descent

Enough with the dungeons. Let's talk about raids. We've been raiding for two weeks, now, and currently sit at 4/12 and I wanted to review my thoughts about the the current style and mood of raiding, and so forth.

General Impressions
The titanic health-pool on all bosses seems excessive but I can see why it's there. With heroic and early raid gear, we're seeing bosses die in about 7 or 8 minutes depending on the figh which seems like a long time - I remember when we were doing Herioc Blood Princes a seven-minute fight seemed like an eternity. And then I remember doing Sindragosa back in February of last year and realize - hey, we used to wipe to enrage on that fight and the enrage on her was 10 minutes!

Also, tank damage is less brutal but raid damage is far more brutal. Healers are doing the majority of the heavy lifting here and I don't envy them. Effective reduction of raid-damage is a major factor in most fights if you want to keep healers from OOMing and the DPS wind up having to do a lot of dodging/juggling of mechanics (keeping out of fire on Halfus with Storm up, keeping out of all the incidental damage on Omnitron, etc.) which lowers DPS overall but increases healer efficiency.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Heroically Forward

And then there was last night, with 3 other guildies and a guild-friend, where we knocked out SFK in about 30 minutes while I pulled like a rabid monkey on crack, chaining group after group to AoE down with nary a CC save for the occasional stun or Circle of Frost, like we were doing DTK after 3.3 dropped. We even wound up getting the Bullet Time achievement off the last boss because we were too busy yakking in Vent to kill him in a timely fashion and he just kept killing more and more ghouls.


About half-way done with the Glory of Cataclysm Hero. I should just spend a weekend and knock it all out with a guild group since most of them are silly-easy. There are a couple of toughies in there though - Faster Than The Speed of Light and Headed South come to mind, and a couple that require perfect execution and you only get one shot at them per dungeon - like Vigorous VanCleef Vindicator and Rotten to the Core. But otherwise, they're mostly doable without too much hassle.

And you get a mount. I like mounts a lot.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Worse and worse

For a variety of reasons, I can't really get into guild groups for heroics on the days we raid - I log in just before raid time and after raid most folks are too burned to run anything so I wind up PuGing, which is why I've been writing about these unsuccessful runs lately.


But last night's adventure after raid was a rare bit of insight that I can't even bring myself to recollect. I'm hoping copious amounts of alcohol will suffice to diminish the memory of that PuG.

I'll try to be as objective as I can and say that I think I'm not a terrible person to run PuGs with. I throw in a lot of emoticons and happy faces when I ask people to do stuff. I explain things if anyone is unfamiliar with stuff and always ask if my explanation was sufficient. When possible, I'll take on the ugly roles of the fight so people can do a minimum amount of work to win. I'm happy to do most of the typing as well so long as I can get a minimal acknowledgment from the person I'm addressing.

I don't think that asking for someone to say "ok" after telling them to, for example, kite adds or block a beam is too much - it's just common, polite, human, civil courtesy to reply when addressed directly, I think. Or maybe I'm just too much of a social chatter box for expecting such behavior from PuGs who're only there for gear and Valor points.

As we hacked and sawed our way through a dungeon (wherein the entire group died to AoE that they couldn't run out of to the first boss and I kept myself alive for 2 minutes while they ran back and helped top me off and do some damage to the boss before... all of them died to the same mechanic again and I slowly whittled at the 1 million health left on the boss), I asked the silent mage if she could please block the right beam.

No answer. I ask again. And what I get is a reply that beggars belief.

"I'm not illiterate, I can read."

Am I being a completely over-sensitive bastard when I just want to make sure that when we're planning placement for a crucial mechanic that the person ACKNOWLEDGE the request being made of them?

A bit of back and forth later, we pull, I block one beam, the healer another, and the mage stands by the beam without blocking it, neither of the other two DPS step in, and as I stare helplessly, the add evolves and murders me dead.

I just don't get it.

Communication is such a vital part of this game. If you can't be bothered to acknowledge the existence of other players in the game why bother doing content that requires you to work with them? Just run quests and do solo instances for stuff you out gear or out level.

But if you do choose to PuG - please acknowledge text directed at you or the group in general. There is nothing more helplessly frustrating than staring at an unmoving chat-box after asking for input.