Friday, April 29, 2011

Thoughts on 4.1

There is an ocean of QQ about 4.1 and the difficulty of Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman all over the place, Trade chat is flooded with Blizzard hate and even a few guildies who tried to PuG the new dungeons were utterly disappointed. It reminded me a lot of the way people were flipping out when they hit 85 and tried to run heroics and got their faces carved up and yes, I tried to PuG it on Tuesday night and also got my face carved up a bit when the healers could not keep up with the damage. I shrugged, dropped group and determined to go back with a guild group.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

PuGing on an RP server

I don't try to hide the fact that I play on a (notorious) Role-Play server (Moon Guard, where all of Goldshire became a red-light district and had degenerated to a point where invisible GMs started monitoring the place).

When I queue in LFG, the people from other servers will comment on where I come from, expecting to wipe continuously, or will remark on the fact that I have raid-gear as an aberration to what they would expect from Moon Guard. My druid friend Lava and I really enjoy telling them made-up stories about how we just sit around being furries in Goldshire since we're from Moon Guard.

But outside of that notoriety the fact that this server has a large and vibrant community of Roleplayers serves me well. The place has a filled in, living and breathing feel to it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Quickly Catching Up & Recruitment

The reason for the lack of posts lately is a minor bout of surgery I had a couple of weeks ago and now I've run out of archived entries to post. I'm in a bit of discomfort, and it's making it hard for me to do much more than sleep, veg in front of the television or WoW, and a day at work is enough to wipe me out. I'm hoping to be back to a regular posting schedule soon, as there's a lot to talk about.

We finished up Cho'gall last week and are going to start hitting Al'Akir this week. 4.1 is coming out, and I am really excited to pick up the Amani War Bear (mount number 97!). I have finally gotten my warlock all ready for raiding and am enjoying the crap out of her. I'm terrified of starting our pulls on Nefarian (hopefully) next week.

On the PvP side of things, my Paladin's 2's Arena team cracked a thousand rating after 2 weeks of matches, and I think I might have a 3's team going soon. A friend is almost done leveling her Shadow Priest and I'll be doing 2's on my Warlock with her. We're even talking about recruiting for a Rated Battleground team.

Speaking of recruitment, we're about to loose two long-term members to real-life attrition and I've been trying to recruit like crazy to no avail. If you have any characters Alliance side on Moon Guard and are looking to raid, please contact me here or in game (on Innana or Merricat) or you can apply directly through our website. We're ideally looking for a (non-druid) healer and a DPS but we're flexible and we'll make room for the right people.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Time In Game (Part 2)

After I wrote about the fact that guild is mostly empty of people who don't log in except to raid on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I did some hunting around for commentary on the subject, in addition to hearing from a couple of people. But this post in particular articulates my point best, and is very optimistic in that it's trying to fix the situation and looking for help.

I don't seem to be the only one going through this - there are certainly guilds both on my own server (Thanks, Lal!) and elsewhere (Thanks, Vid!), that seem to be going through the blahs but maybe all of this is symptomatic of something even bigger. There is a feeling of malaise in the game. I can't put it any better than that. I'll try and identify some of the problems I'm personally having.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Time In Game

I had originally planned to write about all kinds of productive stuff, like the guides I've been putting together for raids or my recently discovered love for my Warlock or something else that is good, but the last week has been just difficult in game. And I should probably not post this but I keep going over it in my head so I don't want to sit on it and hope that writing about it in public will help me sort it out.

This kind of emotion only comes up when we talk about our Guilds of course, and that's what I'm going on about. Our raids are doing well and I'm very happy with them. I love my raid team, I love the people who show up week after week, we have a great time talking and killing bosses, Tuesday and Wednesday nights are fantastic. But then, the guild just dies.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Painfully Wiping

We've been raiding for about 10 weeks now, and most of our core raiders have reached a cap with their gear and we consistently clear 8 or 9 bosses every week quite easily. Whenever I get to this point in a raiding tier, I assume that if we have too-easy a night, we're farming and I have no interest in farming, so I immediately push for progression.

This week was one such night. I wanted to get started on the end-wing bosses and I chose Cho'gall. For some reason we started stumbling a bit on Ascendant Council on Tuesday and it took us a couple of wipes to get through it which cut into our time but we got to Cho'gall with about an hour left and we'd only pulled him maybe four or five times before only getting as far as 40% or so with three-healers.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Entombed (Fiction)

As I've harped on earlier, I was one of the finalists for the Blizzard Worldwide Writing Contest thing last year, and after the entries and excerpts were posted, I waited to see if there was going to be anything more forthcoming from Blizzard and it seems like there is not. There was also some interest from a couple of people in reading the story, and I didn't like the idea that the story might never be seen by anyone else.

So, I decided to post it here. It's behind the cut. Please feel free to share the link. I might even start writing more WoW related short-fiction if folks enjoy it!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Threat Stats for Tanks in Heroics

Just a quick note this morning.

A lot has been said about threat stats for tanks and I've seen people going so far as to gem and enchant for it. While it's really not necessary in raids at all, it is useful to have a bit of it in dungeons. While you're PuGing your random Heroic and run into that "lol u r bad ur h8 suks lol" Mage who's spamming Pyroblast like it's going out of fashion, having a bit of hit can help.

I found my usual tanking set supplemented with Might of the Ocean and Right Eye of Rajh will get you a good, long way towards getting to that cap, and as you're probably in 350+ gear anyway, you're not going to miss those survival trinkets.

Alternately (or in addition to the trinkets if you're nuts) you can swap in the Retribution Tier Pants instead of your tanking pants - the primary stats stay the same, you get a lot of Mastery and a ton of Hit.

Finally, you can also use one of the Hit trinkets, the tier pants, and go with Magnetite Mirror to get a boost to your Expertise. Left Eye of Rajh isn't bad either if you're desperate, as the agility proc isn't terrible.

And one final note - these trinkets are all DPS trinkets. If the main-spec DPS warrior, paladin, death knight or rogue is rolling on them, pass the roll, as they are all nice-to-have for tanks, but they can be essential for DPS trying to hit their caps. Don't be greedy.

Good luck out there!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pee Vee Pee

Back in Season 8 I stepped into Arena for the first time as a Retribution Paladin, with a Restoration Shaman partner who taught me the ins and outs of PvP. She had done Arenas before and in short order had me writing macros for cleanses, casting hands, Focus-crowd control, and especially, focus bursting healers and OOMing them.

It was a lot of fun and we got up to 1500 rating before she left the game and I didn't find another partner before the season ended.

So, Cataclysm comes out, and I keep poking guildies if anyone wanted to Arena with me but nobody really wanted to outside of one or two matches here or there and I was kicking sand with my hands jammed in my pockets, pouting about missing the fun.

Now, recently, my guild leader, Thistle, had swapped her mains from a holy priest to a hunter for raiding and was missing the priest somewhat fierce. I gently suggested Arenas and she cautiously accepted.