Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 year review of the Daily Frostwolf

It has been a busy year!  But what year hasn't been busy really??

The biggest guild event this year was our server transfer to Saurfang.  It was a good move in my opinion, and the funny thing was we really didn't pick up anyone that was from Saurfang as a raider - all our our swelling in raider ranks came from connections within the guild to others. Becoming guild leader seems to have had an adverse time on my blog writing - so many crappy chores to do now!

I have made a number of friends this year on my new server - my battletag is full now!  So don't feel bad if I deleted you because you haven't been on for a few months - it's been tough trying to make room for the new people that I have been chatting with and doing things with.  Send me a whisper or a mail and I'll add you back on (did you know that you can only have 99 people on btag??)

In terms of raiding, we didn't manage to kill any end bosses before patch this year.  It would be a great accomplishment if we had!  WotLK and Cataclysm were the only times we managed to move into heroic content, and it would be nice if we could do that again - but the important thing is we are all having fun, and all enjoy playing together and working on stuff as a team, as a guild.

Looking at my blog, there were a few particularly popular posts (no thanks to spammers who seem to love visiting the same posts over and over and skewing my numbers!). My celestial tournament guides were visited a lot, and my farewell to Ghostcrawler got a fair number of hits (no doubt from Google). And how could I forget Blizzcon - that was a super highlight of my WoW year!  Meeting so many bloggers and podcasters, being swept up in the excitement of everything Blizzard... it was truly amazing!

The posts that I enjoyed writing the most were my fable stories.  I think most of the enjoyment came from writing with Mataoka (and Kallixta) and having a joint fun project to write fan-fic on.

Next year, I hope to do more fiction writing.  That seems to have dwindled in the last half of the year - I miss my creative surges (though one has to be inspired to be creative!).  For my guild, I am hoping we get Garrosh soon (that will eventually happen anyway!) and we look forward to raiding in the expansion, which I am predicting an April/May release.

Have a Happy New Year everyone from the Daily Frostwolf!  I look forward to chatting to you all in the New Year!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Gamers - the traditional, the new generation, the gaming parent and children

One of the surgeons assisting my the surgeon I was working with the other day said something I thought was rather amusing whilst we were operating.

"Did you see the article in the Sydney Morning Herald?  They said that the current consoles that were released (ie PS4 and Xbox one) will be the last consoles because people won't be playing consoles anymore, they'll be playing iPad and smartphone games."

I looked at him incredulously.  "What?  That's a crazy thing to say!"

He looked at me, his face shining with belief.  "That's what they said in the paper!"

I rolled my eyes.  "As if that's going to happen.  I'd like to see someone play a proper FPS on an iPad.  There's no way!"

The other surgeon agreed.  He's a console gamer.

Increasing numbers of people are playing games, but the games market is expanding.  More people pass the time playing games on their smartphones and tablets (think lunch time and commuters), who probably weren't people who would have played traditional computer games.  Social games, fun, fast games - I think people used to play those on gameboys and Sony PSPs but now the phones are the way for people to play - after all, it's convenient, and you carry your phone with you everywhere. I mean, it's so convenient and better than standing around twiddling your thumbs right?  Might as well put those thumbs to use on your touchscreen!

The definition of gamer in the Merriam-Webster dictionary states:
a person who plays a game or games, typically a participant in a computer or a role playing game

But it's such a broad term, just like when people say they enjoy eating food.  There are those who think true food appreciation is eating at Michelin star restaurants all the time, and look down upon those who trek through the asia eating at street markets to find the tastiest food stalls for someone wanting to experience the "real meal" in a particular country.  Snobbery also exists in gaming, especially in those who consider themselves core or hardcore - they tend to look down on casual gamers (as if somehow it's their fault that there are a slew of poorly designed games on the market).  Look at all these definitions below.

Casual (or social) gamers play games on their chosen platform and tend to choose games which are easy to play and don't spend time playing games which are too involved.  Core gamers are players with a wider rangeof interests and is more likely to enthusiastically play different types of games.  They may not finish every game they play, and it is this audience that video games companies target.  Hardcore gamers extend gaming into their lifestyle and are more likely to be identified as geeks.  They often buy games, and try to complete all the objectives of the games they buy and spend a significant amount of time invested into a game.  Pro gamers are those who study the games they play intensively to master, usually to compete.  Pro gamers may or may not have a salary but there are many pro gamers with sponsorships of up to 100k.

You see this is why I can't play console games - can't play them whilst at work
So you can see, all sorts of people play games.  My parents play games, and even my aunt plays games.  My dad still loves to play Heroes of Might and Magic, and my mum and aunt play card games.  Sure, it's just solitaire but that's a game - and probably one of the reasons why my aunt started playing solitaire on the computer is because it deals it a lot faster than if you do it by hand.  I think people forget that most people play games to keep themselves occupied - there were chess clubs and board game players and solo card games that people played for ages.  My mum said she encouraged my grandmother and even my dad and aunt to play games because it keeps their mind active, and I wasn't surprised that she wasn't the only one who thought this way.

Source: Interactive Games & Entertainment Association
This graph is a bit funny - I am assuming that "Excitement/thrills" has "fun" under its umbrella.

There were distinct differences in the way gamers and non-gamers view computer games. For example, according to the survey by the Interactive games and Entertainment Association, 44 per cent of gamers believed gaming was "part of an active lifestyle" compared to just 10 per cent of non-gamers. However both sides agreed that games relieve boredom, offer excitement and were mentally stimulating.

The average gamer, they said, plays 2 hours of games every two days.  Now that is a frightening prospect since I spend at least 3 hours a day playing games - or rather A GAME.

People play games to spend time with one another.  This pic is kinda cute, but we can all see the err... intimate advantages of such play.  Though I find it great that they poor guy has to play on a laptop on an ironing board.  What a man.  And what happens if he gets a... hmmm never mind.  I guess they can kill 2 birds with one stone then.

Parents spend time playing games with their children (mostly console or computer) - 53% did so to monitor what they're playing as well as spend time with them.  I thought about my daughter who loves me to come play games with her as well as to watch me play WoW - she still thinks it's a great treat to sit on my lap and run my tauren around the Shrine or Orgrimmar with the mouse, whilst I type in chat to my friends.  Not only parents wanting to spend time with their kids, but kids clearly think it's a great way to spend time with parents.

OK this might be a little young.  Though I may have had this look whilst raiding some years ago...
People are horrified when they say my daughter plays computer games.  I think they think that I just let her waste her life in front of the television or computer playing games until her eyes go square.  But people don't realise that if you play games with your child, is that any different from playing ball with them outside? Or hide and seek?  Or dress ups and make believe?  My daughter likes the interaction with me, and it's something we can do together. Besides, it would be weird if I didn't let her play computer games, like a double standard or something, since I am obviously playing.

There are people who are gamers who are terrible parents.  Couples like this whose children were malnourished and starved almost to death, whilst their parents played games.  Or the other couple whose own daughter died of starvation because her parents were too busy raising their virtual daughter in a computer game.  These are what give gaming parents a bad name - especially to those who don't understand what exactly gamers do.  It only takes a few bad ones to besmirch an entire subpopulation.

I think most people can guess what I want as a gift - I'm a pretty easy person to give stuff to!
It just seems so strange to me that even in gaming there are so many factions and subfactions, and internal snobbery too.  The non-gaming people tend to look at gamers as some kind of layabout timewasters, doing nothing useful with their life, and within the gaming community there are those who think they are better than others, looking down on those gamers whose values about gaming are not as "pure" as their own.  But should I really be surprised?  It's really just one of the nasty aspects of human behaviour, the same attitudes you see in everyday life - your occupation and pay grade, your "social standing" (eg at school), your religion, your methods of parenting.  It is that aspect of human behavior whereby one seeks to elevate oneself above the status of others.  And within ourselves is a little bit of herd mentality as well.  It is easy to be swept along with the flow, rather than to be different.  Change is hard.  New ideas are hard.

But there are enough gamers, tolerant gamers, out there so that being accepting of others isn't really that difficult.  Enough of a herd, so that it's easy for you to join in and be part of the more accepting whole. So try to think about that before you belittle someone for being a noob or not being as good as you, or knowing as much as you.  Your behaviour to that person today, may shape their future for how they will behave tomorrow.

Friday, December 27, 2013

My Winter Veil Card from Cymre

Cymre had a funny tweet and I didn't realise exactly what she meant - I should really check my DMs more!

I had an email card from her but I didn't realise it was part of a video and so I don't lose it, I just wanna stick it here (and the music is so sweet!)!

Hope you had a lovely Winter Veil too Cym!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Minipost: Meeting up with Voros and Sev

I usually see Sevrus when I go back to see my parents, but Voros was in town as well seeing his family so I thought it would be nice to catch up with him.  Lushnek was driving down that way and I hitched a ride, and the idea occurred to me halfway through the trip so I sent Voros a tweet.

I was surprised to see him reply my message by sms - forgot that I had given him my number - and that was really handy! He said he would like to catch up, so I gave him the details of our meeting place and waited for Sev to call.

Sev has some Amish-like aversions - he doesn't have a mobile phone, and he doesn't drive a car, and he doesn't use Deadly Boss Mods - so I had to wait for him to finish work.  I arranged to meet Voros at 1230pm, thinking Sev would be done by 1pm.  It turned out that Sev finished earlier than that, so he said he would meet me at 1230pm.  I told Sev I was bringing along a friend, was that alright?  Heh, what a loaded question!  As if Sev could say no, but I knew he would be a little unnerved as he was a bit shy.  I thought about what I wanted to say.  Should I say it was one of my Twitter friends?  Or should I say that I had this really attractive female friend that I would like to introduce to him?  Both prospects would have had Sev run screaming for the hills, and so to prevent him from embarrassing himself at work by making up pathetic excuses not to have lunch, I told him the truth and said it was someone he knew.  That didn't allay him, and he asked who it was.  I said it was a guildie.  He still wanted to know, so I caved in and told him it was Voros.

Image courtesy of Weekend Notes
I waited at our meeting area, and texted Voros saying what I was wearing as I had no idea what he looked like.  Sev and I tend to run a routine - we meet at Koko black and usually go to Indian for lunch - and I was saved from my unnerving and rather creepy scrutiny of every passer-by (wondering if they were Voros) when Sev arrived and I breathed a sigh of relief. I waved to him and we went in to order hot chocolate.  I texted Voros to say we were inside and then chatted away to Sev when someone walked straight up to us and looked at us.  Was this Voros?

I asked him if he was Voros he said yes -  it even sounded like him so that was reassuring!  Well, nobody ever looks like what you think they look like, so then he joined us in having a very rich, filling hot chocolate before we had lunch.

Image courtesy of Weekend Notes
Yep, Indian for lunch.  We chatted mostly about the game, and a little about other games, as well as books and movies.  It was a nice catch up and Voros was not scary at all IRL (LOL not that I thought he would be) and we had a small giggle about the day Voros was mucking up on Thok (he really DID taunt Thok). People were making lots of mistakes and Kyxyn told us all to wash our faces with cold water... and then the next attempt Kyxyn proceeded to Hand of Protection himself instead of me which led to a wipe (though admittedly, that was because they had changed the order of the tanking and so he was now tanking Thok trying to HoP me at the same time).

Sev made jokes about poor Lushnek having a greater aversion to social interactions than him, which Lushnek denied vehemently as he would have liked to stay and meet Voros out of curiosity.  I'm glad I remembered, and I think Voros was happy to pass the time doing something whilst his wife and daughter baked and iced cookies with their friends :)

It's the eve of Winter Veil!  Merry Winter Veil all and my Great-father winter bestow fantastic gifts to you all if you've been nice!

Raiding - Progress on Garrosh but a kill will have to wait till next year

We decided that since raiding will be suspended over Christmas, we would try to have as many attempts on Garrosh as we could, so Sunday's flex raid became a one wing flex and the rest of the night on Garrosh normal.  It was supposed to be Flex 1 but none of the social raiders turned up - I had told everyone that we were starting Flex raid early at 8pm - but not that many people got the message!  All the raiders who turned up were experienced, so instead of wasting time on Wing 1 we did Wing 3 instead, where at least I know there were a few upgrades to be had for some people.  And that went down pretty smoothly.  Jilliane and Yig turned up at 830 and we got them into the Flex raid, but the rest of the raid consisted of our main raiders as well some of the Concur guys - Riptyde, Nova and Medio.  Asys was healing really well, and I thought it was because his Blackrock buddies were online.

So then it was onto Garrosh.  I needed a bit of a refresher so I after a few attempts 3 healing it with Owl healing, I got the hang of it and we dropped down to 2 healing.  At first it was terrible.  Tanks died.  People died.  I got really frustrated and was about to have an emo fit at 10pm when we hadn't gotten as far as we had with our first attempt 3 healing.  Then it started to go well, and we were in the swing of it.  We at least got up to the 3rd dream phase which was progress for me and... 25% Phase 2?  I am not sure of the phases, and I didn't see a big purple arm but we did have empowered AoE stuff which I accidentally stuffed up by running and tranq'ing in the opposite direction to the rest of the raid.  Doh.  But at least I figured out my healing stuff, I was struggling for mana before because of a lot of rescue healing, but I think now I've gotten into the swing of it - I'm even eating Int food now instead of mana food.

So that was the end of the raiding year for Frostwolves.  Not a bad go and I have a good feeling about January.  Raids are going to recommence on Jan 6th (Monday) so we we can do a 7 boss clear and then have a reset and then clear again on Wednesday and we may extend depending on how we are doing.  We will probably keep the Garrosh group the same for learning purposes but all other wings will be substituted in with the rest of our raiders up till Garrosh.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

My Furtive Father Winter gift!

Well, I was surprised to find that my Furtive Father Winter buddy was none other than my good friend Arvash of the Crimson Hammer!  I remember telling him, that I wished that he was my FFW so that he could make me a Warcraft Theatre - but little did I know that he WAS my FFW and he had already made me one!  So here is my wonderful gift!  Thanks to Akabeko of Red Cow Rise for organising the event!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Raiding - Yay! Our first look at Garrosh!

Big turnout for raid on Wednesday - had to sit 3 people out!  And that was with Aza not turning up to raid. - poor Aza, he has to work all week so he can't raid this week, which he's a bit bummed about.  However, since he's not here, I can extend.  I was going to do that anyway, but Aza was the one who had the biggest problem with it, but he's not here so he won't get upset!

Unfortunately, I didn't realise that we had to do EVERYTHING before we did Paragons.  I thought maybe we could skip Blackfuse!  But no, that wasn't the case.  So off we went to do Blackfuse.

It was Lushnek's first time there on his monk tanking and after a few hiccups with bad taunts they got settled into their routine.  Our first go also had fire going everywhere killing people - it was just messy.  Even Asys was whispering me that people were doing silly stuff.  I wasn't too worried - it was their first go - and rather than tell everyone to go wash their face and wake up, I just told peole how to place their razors and always stand together in the nice healing circles.  We got it down two or three goes after that and Moo got some Tier shoulders.

Then onto Paragons.  I had confided in Kyxyn earlier that I could not remember for the life of me which mob dropped what, and because their names are so annoyingly hard to remember no matter how many times I read it, I begged him to tell me when to pick up stuff.  Then I remembered my good old cheat sheets by Pushme and I went to pop that onto my second screen to look at.

Xaril and Iyyokuk, Xaril and Iyyokuk, Xaril and Iyyokuk.... you'd think it wouldn't be too hard to remember those two names.... yeah right.

So we assigned all the drops and pickups and off we went. This time we were better with Hisek's beam.  So the kill order we did was ... heck I dunno.  Thank goodness Kyxyn knows because I can't even remember their damn names.

(Edit: Kyxyn says the kill order is Rik'kal, Skeer, Korven, Hisek, Xaril, Kaz'tik, Iyyokuk, Ka'roz, Kil'ruk)

Poor Luxy got eaten by a Kunchong.  I got her back up and everyone smashed the Kunchong.  Had to avenge Luxy!!!

I picked up the buff from Iyyokuk which put a button on my screen which was supposed to copy the heals to other people.  I wasn't sure how to use it.  Do I just click it and then cast my heal?  Or do I cast my heal target someone then click?  I didn't target Kyxyn much - I tried to do shamans, monks and druids but I am not sure if it worked very well.  It was surprising, but it went down - on our first go for the night!

Unfortunately though the Klaxxi were impressive looking as a boss fight, they're rather pathetic to take a picture of.  Look at Kil'ruk... he's tiny.

Then we went to look at Garrosh.  Wow, healing is insane.  We decided to switch to 3 healing so everyone can learn the fight without the stress of dying to healing, and we managed to only get through one room and one dream but we wiped on the mind control part.  Well, we have tonight to practice!  I guess it's going to be a LOOONG time before we get this down.  But, yay for Frostwolves, finally at 13/14!

PvP - Grievous Combatants and a new mount!

I was perusing my achievements and I noticed some of the new PvP ones that had been added - and Grievous Combatant was one of them.  I hadn't really looked at them, and when I opened it I realised that I was actually quite close to completing the achievement.  I opened Shab's armo(u)ry and saw that Shab was even closer to it than me and Sev!  A PvP mount was the reward, and I excitedly ran both of them to tell them about it as it was well within the normal games we would need to win in a normal week and we decided we would get on Tuseday night if there was no shutdown and get those games done.

The mount reward was actually the same reward mount that you get from winning 75 rated battlegrounds which was good for us since we found it difficult to get into RBGs.

Luckily there was no shutdown and we started.  We had some amazing games - we had shaman, hunter and boomkin team that was really challenging.  We had to deviate from our usual technique (ie KILL HUNTER ASAP) and focus on the shaman and do our best to keep the hunter and boomkin cc'd.  The shaman was good - he used a lot of cooldowns, got a lot of heals in, rescued himself from the brink of death a number of times. It was a good strategy - the shaman wasn't free to purge my heals and the DPS were taking a good spread of damage from Sev as the shaman didn't have enough time to heal them up as he was busy healing himself. The boomkin was doing some healing as well and not spreading his damage that much, ad we heard him drinking during the proceedings as healing clearly made him OOM.  Fortunately for me, cc's from the hunter were not extensive and I was free to keep the boys topped up. 55GB of FRAPS later we had a win. Phew!

Our weakness continues to be the double melee team.  Silences are useless and AMS on DK's neuters our team's crowd control.  We got smashed by a DK/Warr/holy pally team and there wasn't much we could do about it.

Shab got his achievement and saddle first and Sev and I told him he wasn't allowed to get his mount until we got ours. So a few more games later, Sev and I got our achievements and we went to Orgrimmar to pick up our mounts.  There are two to choose from - a Forsaken Warhorse and a Wolf.  Naturally, we chose wolves.  Taurens look ridiculous on those skinny skeletal warhorses.  I can see that they have put a Season 15 achievement there with another saddle, so we can go and get the Forsaken Warhorse next season.

Your pet is eating my butt...
 And hey look, it's the same mount that the Kor'kron ride!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Midnight Mysteries - Who was accessing Sev's account after midnight?

Sev said his goodnights after PvP just before midnight, and I went off to do challenge modes.  At about 1-130am, his account logged on and off.  A few times. Aza was on, and I said that it was a bit odd because Sev doesn't usually get back online after he gets offline.  It was very suspicious - like hacker activity.

"I thought Sev went to bed already," I said to Aza.
"He did," said Aza.  "Maybe you should call him..."
"But it's 1am, I can't, his brother will kill me," I replied.

Instead, I demoted all of his toons to hibernating.  His account logged in again and I whispered him.

To my surprise a message popped up, saying a GM would like to speak to me. My first thought was "Wow, they want to notify the guild leader of suspicious activity on an account in their guild?  That's new!"

It turned out that the GM was accessing Sev's account to give him an achievement/title that he was missing. Of course, I knew exactly which one it was.

And so, the mystery of Sev's account was solved.  And now we all have our Vanquisher titles!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Challenge modes - Silvers for Sev, and Navimie being carried to gold

Asys has friends on Blackrock from Concur that were looking for more people to do challenge modes with.  I felt a little hesitant because I don't really know them, and I have no idea what they expect. I don't pug and I don't like playing with people I don't know.

For the past few weeks, they had been coming to our Flex runs on sundays, on various toons - Riptyde and Vinyl.  The two of them enjoy volunteering the other to do towers in Galakras.

So Asys was again asking me on their behalf about CMs, and so I swapped battletags with Riptyde. On Saturday night he kindly agreed to carry 4 of our CM group (me, Luxy, Sev and Aimei) on some of the CMs that Sev and Aimei needed.  We started off in Mogushan Palace, and had a hiccup with Aimei dying a bit on trash and on the second boss but we finished it off with a comfortable silver.  We also learned something - you can reset it whilst you're inside the instance and it will put you back at the beginning!  All those times we wasted running around and resetting!

After that we did Scarlet Monastery and amazingly the pull that I hate so much after the first boss went really smoothly.  I have no idea what happened but they died easily.  After that pull, Rip told us to use our invisibility pots to skip the next trash and run across to reach the front of the cathedral - that was handy! They did none of the trash on the side, and pulled Brother Korloff into the fountain and just had Sev soaking when Korloff did the jump and fire spin (which to my distress Sev thought he had to stand there and actually SOAK it - he was supposed to run out of the fire) and then they chain pulled in the cathedral and then pulled the boss and stood next to the side, without killing the adds on the right side.

So Sev got all his silvers and got his mount!  Now we have to finish getting Aimei/Lushnek all his ones - he's the last Challenge Mode Noob to get to silver.

Last night Frostwolves did a flex raid, and Vinyl and Rip joined us for the beginning of it.  However, they had to leave at 10 or so to do their own raid and Vinyl (or was it Rip) asked me if I would be up late to do some Challenge Modes.  Of course I would be delighted to!  I did feel guilty that I wasn't doing it with my Challenge Mode Noob buddies, but I knew none of them would be on at 1am except Luxy.  I asked her, but she wasn't feeling the best and didn't really feel like it, so I went alone.

Going with a bunch of people I don't really know, is always a little nerve wracking.  I don't know if my healing will be enough for their group, or how hard they're going to push.  I don't want to look stupid!  Anyway, I know I'm not a dreadful healer, but I'm not the best healer either, but I have done a few CMs so I shouldn't be a total noob.

Rip and Vinyl were there, with more Concur-ians, Nova and Hobgob.  I dunno what to call people who have multiple alts...  I got on Mumble whilst they decided what they wanted to do, and they settled on Scarlet Monastery, Scarlet Halls and Siege of Niuzao.

Scarlet Monastery is one of my most disliked ones, because of that pull after the first boss.  I remember all our CMN runs with wipes there - and I wondered what they were going to do.

I've never run with a DK tank before, and their self healing and damage as tank seem to be pretty good. They had a 2 shamans and a monk as DPS.  Which meant lots of bi

Just watching the little things they do to cut time was interesting.  So they did a run just like the SM run we did earlier, but without the mistakes - my first gold.

Next they did Scarlet Halls, and they threw the dog foods like we do, but also pulled something on the side, I think, to get more kills, as well as do one pack inside the gauntlet part that we normally use invisibility pots (but we also pull one of those packs).  That was my second gold.

Siege of Niuzao had some differences, but the main one was that they DPS'd adds one level down for Commander Vo'jak (the one where you ring the gong to make it go faster) and we stayed up top, and for General Pa'valak they don't pull any of the adds before him - they tank him in the corner and then when he runs out to do his shield thing, they gather up the adds then and bomb them with the bombs as well.  Which is stressful to heal.  Third gold down.  OMG, it was 330am.  Time for bed.

Then after raid on Monday, I was doing some PvP and they asked if I was up for more CMs.  I said I needed my PvP fix first, and then when we won our arena and BG, I went with them to Shadopan Monastery.  They don't use their invisibility pot at the bridge - they ride through that and die at the end and then use a shaman pop and rez.  The invisibility pot is saved for running over the bridge to get to Taran Zhu, and they pull Taran Zhu to behind the pergola and tank him there.  4th gold.  And an extra achievement - yay Shado-master Navimie!

Then onto Gate of the Setting Sun.  OMG, they run down the side and pull EVERY mob into the back corner and tank it there.  Which after multiple wipes we got eventually but boy was that a fun heal!  The rest of it was stock standard, I think, except that they cc'd two adds and killed one and then jumped onto an elevator, somewhere.  5th gold.

Mogu'shan Palace was the last one.  But I was getting pretty tired by then and making dumb mistakes - oops, I let the tank die.  Oops, I ran through warrior whirlwind and died.  Oops, we were supposed to drink invisibility pots here and I just ran ahead and got seen and died.  Oops my fat bear ass is stuck on the balcony and I am having difficulty jumping over...

So no gold for that one despite their best efforts.  Oh well, another day!  But how chuffed am I feeling right now!  So grateful for the carry Concur-ians!  Hopefully I will learn enough so I can teach all us Challenge Mode Noobs how to do it - or we could do a guild run so we can unlock Challenge Conquerers Gold Edition!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The missing Vanquisher title found!

Thanks Luxy!

Luxy told me to submit a ticket, to get my Vanquisher title, and finally today, my ticket was answered and the nice GM gave me my title (and the pet, which I already had, but I think that might have been just a generic response).

So here I am touting my title, yay!

And there's the feat of strength at last!

Didn't want to think I paid for a SECOND arena pass and didn't get something out of it :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

New pet, mounts and new transmog this week

I had been going about it all wrong!

I have been trying to get the Stormrider's Mantle lookalike - Passive Resistor's Shoulders - for a while now and it just does not drop for me when we kill Omnitron Defense System.  So after we killed it this week and still no luck, Aza said we should go do Al'Akir because he drops a token that I can use.  OMG, really?  Gosh!

So after clearing BWD on heroic and taking some people along for achieves I got my token from Al'Akir!  YAY!

And then I realised that I also never saw the damned Tier gloves drop either from Magmaw or Atramedes.  I don't do Bastion of Twilight so I don't get to see Elementium Monstrosity to be able to get Hydrolance gloves.  So I made do with some old PvP ones.

So off I went to make my new transmog - finally some new clothes!

Helm: Stormrider's Helm
Shoulders: Stormrider's Mantle
Chest: Time Twisted Tunic
Shirt: Recruit's Shirt
Hands: Hateful gladiator's Kodohide gloves
Waist: Ruthless Gladiator's Waistband of Cruelty
Legs: Blazewing's Furious Kilt
Staff: Giorgio's Cadeuceus of Pure Moods

But, now I'm using a 1h and offhand!  So I need to find a Scepter of Azshara now... and still struggling to figure out what offhand to use!

Ancient gave me a birthday/Winter veil present and I nearly fell out of my chair because it is a very expensive present!

And for some reason my Enchanted Fey Dragon mount still has not appeared in my mounts tab :(  But big thanks to Lushnek for getting that for me :D

Luxy gave me a gift that I had sitting in my bag for AAAAGGES and I finally opened it and WOW! It was a SKY GOLEM!  Now I feel guilty I don't have a herbing alt that I can use it with!

So I put a ticket in about the Fey dragon, as well as my missing Arena Tournament 2013 title (Vanquisher). I'm wondering if maybe we didn't place in the top 1000....

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Raiding - And Blackfuse makes FOUR for this week!

I gave away the punchline... last night we got Siegemaster Blackfuse down and we were thrilled to pieces. Asys and I were talking to each other with the usual concerns that it was going to be a nightmare to heal as I listened to what Kyxyn the Tyrant was telling us about the fight.  Sabre had never been to Blackfuse on Flex so he didn't know how we did it on Flex - to be honest, I didn't quite understand the full mechanics of the fight either except that sawblades come for ranged and the drills from the ground are bad and I need to stand next to the red line so I can jump across so I don't get hit by them.  Oh, and run from the laser.

Internet was being bad yesterday.  Lush/Aimei was having dreadful connection issues.  Owl and Lushen were also lagging because of being shaped or being capped.  Aimei ended up having to drop and we dragged Voros away from Hearthstone to come raid.  Luxy had logged on but she had a headache and so I let her sit out for a bit but she was available if needed.

Aza said to Sabre "Hit the boss, don't stand in bad."  He added later, "And don't drop fire where I'm getting on and off the conveyer belt."  Sabre and I must have missed that bit.  Sabre had fun killing Aza by dumping fire on his conveyer belt area much to Aza's chagrin.  But I wasn't worried about that - I was busy trying to figure out how to reach all these clowns who were running all over the place.

Blackfuse himself seems to be rather squishy.  His health goes down really fast, and it's mostly about survival and avoiding things for the rest of us.  The conveyer belt DPS kill things and that controlled what machinery was attacking us.

Having a few shredders up seemed to spell doom for me.  And the death from above is certainly ouch!

Asys was grumbling at me.  He said that this is why he didn't want to be a healer - it's like a thankless task. I agreed - but perhaps we were making it look too easy.  "If only we weren't having all these connection issues, we've got this," and "We're doing really great we so have this!" made me feel like I was the party pooper in the whole raid - well, maybe Asys/Cranked was right there party pooping it with me.  We weren't going to give up, but I was determined to try harder.

Suddenly we were through the second Death from Above and, it was 8%... 6%... ticking down, I was thinking OMG we might get this... people were dying... 3%... Oh my god, even I started DPSing the boss with my LOLDPS... and he's dead!

How excited was everyone?! A fourth new boss in a raid week!  Flying along!  Second wing really was a roadblock compared to this third and 4th wing!  Of course, we still had Paragons to go and then onto Garrosh, but it's been an amazing achievement this week!  Tier shoulders went to Sabre, and offspec mail went to Cranked.

In the excitement, everyone ran off and forgot to take a picture!

I managed to grab this one before it despawned.  Kyxyn and Owl weren't there because they'd run off and didn't get back in time.  Great work Frostwolves, just two more to go!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

New Pet this week and a Story about Tyledres

I only had one new pet this week, and it was from my dear friend Tyledres who sent it to me when I was feeling down the other day, for just being frustrated.

That dear dear girl.  Thank you so much!  Such wonderful friends I have - I am going to be totally self serving and share with you all something I wrote for Tyledres (which she has already read and edited) which is a story I wrote about her when she moved her toons to another server.  I think it was the way she talked about finding a new home which was the inspiration - probably because belonging, family and friendship mean a lot to me.


Tyledres did not fear death. She had wreaked enough death in her lifetime – the one she could remember. Of her life before the Ebon Blade she remembered nothing. Who she was. What she did. She was human once, she knew that when she looked in the mirror. But this life, if you could call it that, seemed empty now, almost lonely. Tyledres knew that she probably did not deserve another chance after the atrocities she had committed as a servant of the Lich King, but she had done her best to atone for those sins. But how do you wash away the atrocities of the past when you are repeating it in someone else’s name? Tyledres needed counsel, but to seek counsel from a giver of life and death required one to BE dead.

Tyledres looked down from the mountain’s steep edge but to fling herself from it seemed meaningless, wasteful. Hefting her runesword, she called her Deathcharger and rode towards a small camp in the snow.

The sleet started to thicken while Tyledres gazed down at the occupants of the camp – The Mogu, stone guardian creations of the titans, were now cursed with flesh and determined to dominate this fair land called Pandaria. Tyledres felt a kinship with the Mogu– she was born in undeath, cursed with life. And now she yearned for a different life, a second chance – no, she corrected herself, her THIRD chance – if it could be done at all.

She closed her eyes and breathed deeply, the frozen air flowing into her equally cold lungs. Quietly she drew her sword, her hands gripping the pommel and the flat of the blade against her forehead, and she whispered, runes glowing on her sword as she focused her frost magic abilities, making her an icy harbinger of doom, channeling runic power and delivering vicious weapon strikes. With this many enemies, she should have used blood, but she WAS trying to die, not live, but her death would have to at least take some enemies with her. 

She leapt into the camp, surprising its occupants. Her first blow severed the mace arm of the first mogu, and on the upswing her blade slashed the throat of a second. Her armoured fist smashed into the face of the third who got up and she gripped her sword with both hands and plunged it into his chest and his moan ended with a strangled gurgle. The mogu within the tent started to come out as they heard the sounds of battle, but there was still a chance Tyledres would still come out the victor. She stooped to pick up the severed arm and she lobbed it to the far end of the camp to land amongst the mogu seated there. She then deathgripped another mogu from the pack beside the tree who had not yet noticed her presence. Within seconds, another ten mobs were on her, including their captain, a mogu sorcerer who stood out of her reach, casting shadowbolts against her unprotected back. Tyledres spun and parried a blow from one mogu who had a wicked looking spiked mace while she sent a Howling Blast at the five attackers on her right. She grunted as a shadowbolt blasted her in the chest and she fell back against a rock. Rolling to the right Tyledres managed to avoid a mace as it smashed down on the boulder where her head had just been. She swung her two hander in a wide backhand arc slicing through living flesh while howls of pain filled her ears as the battle fever took over her. She brought her gauntleted arm up, deflecting the downward blow of her enemy and knocking the force of the blow into the face of his fellow mogu beside him. Again her sword whistled through the air causing her enemies to step back out of her sword's reach. As she activated her antimagic shell she threw a death and decay on the ground and advanced upon the sorcerer. Two more mogu fell to her blade, icy crystals forming on their wounds from the frost magic she wielded, and blood dripped from her sword onto the snow.

Her head snapped to the side as she took a mace blow to her helm. She turned blindly to the attacked side and Obliterated her opponent, nearly cleaving his body in two. Another mace blow came down with force on her left shoulder, and she felt her bones break, leaving only her right hand to swing her sword. She cast Icebound Fortitude and ice crystals coated her armour and skin reducing the damage from the blows she was taking. She cut down another warrior with her sword and was left only the sorcerer.

She was already weakened from the blow to her head and her arm hung uselessly by her side. She was tempted to summon a ghoul to assist her but she was determined to do this alone. She leapt at the sorcerer, her right arm bringing the sword in an upward arc that sliced across his belly and chest, interrupting his spellcast. He dodged her next sword thrust and stepped back to begin another spell cast. Tyledres brought her arm back to deliver an overhand blow that would sever his arm when a sharp crippling pain in her legs brought her to her knees. The sorcerer unleashed a void zone where she fell and she was unable to drag herself from the searing magic which was rapidly draining away her life by the second. Time seemed to slow and she saw a figure in the distance watching her. Tyledres hoped that figure wouldn't stop her from her goal. The figure stepped forward and engaged the sorcerer and the mogu warrior - it was a dwarf hunter - the last thing she saw before the sweet arms of death claimed her and all the pain melted away into the darkness.

The world between worlds was devoid of colour, the landscape varying shades of grey... and fuzzy. Tyledres looked up at the translucent spirit healer who levitated gracefully above her body. The spirit's wings undulated gently but in the realm between worlds there was no wind, no feeling, just... peace. A soothing, lilting voice spoke within her mind.

"It is not yet your time, I shall aid your journey back to the living."

Tyledres opened her mouth to speak but no sound came out. Of course, she chided herself. I am dead. She used her mind to speak. "Spirit healer, I do not wish to return to this life and yet it is not my time. I would ask a boon of you - can I claim a new life, a new beginning?" 

The spirit healer's empty eye sockets turned to look at her beneath the hooded cowl. "This... is an irregular request from you, Tyledres of the Ebon Blade."

"I was brought to the realm of the living by a Val'kyr Battlemaiden. My life is a stolen one. All I ask is that you return me to a different life, to be reborn, if it is not yet my time to join Death. Reborn into LIFE, not this.. undeath that I have endured for so long."

Silence. Tyledres felt the denial of her request weighing heavily on her like a stone (redundent, repeating that there's a weight). She had thrown her life - no, her undeath - away for no reason at all.

"Your request has been considered, Tyledres," said the spirit healer. "I will grant you this life you desire. You will be surprised to know it is not an uncommon request."

Tyledres felt a spark of hope unfurl within her.


Tyledres had already made up her mind. She had seen the conflict in Pandaria from the Alliance perspective - Garrosh, the Warchief of the Horde, was a madman. There was little she could do against his madness as Alliance but perhaps as a member of the Horde...

"A goblin warlock. I wish to be a goblin warlock."

The world became brighter and brighter until all she could see was blinding light. She squeezed her eyes shut...

... and when she opened them she was in a small goblin town, the acrid smell of oil and grease in her nose and the sting of smog in her eyes. The raucous sound of goblin chatter as they haggled over... something. And the sun....

Tyledres turned her face to the sun, feeling for the first time in her living memory, its warmth on her face, the sun's carress tingling her skin. She put her hands to her cheeks and laughed in delight.

This must be happiness, she thought to herself as she looked down at her green hands. And I am happy to be ALIVE.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Navimie's new Transmog for kitty

People say I am getting old and smelly in my old transmog.  However, I thought with a new spec, it's time for a new transmog!

I have thought that the Season 14 PvP druid set looks rather cool on a tauren.  I look like a shaman rather than a druid! So this was the perfect opportunity to show it off.  I look a little bit scary!  I've got a worgen face!

Grievous Gladiator's Refuge set (Helm, Shoulders, Gloves, Chest)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Raiding - OMG! Third wing cleared in one night!

I was stuck with the kids so I told my raid team to start the raid without me.  I was worried that we wouldn't have a raid if I wasn't there, so whilst I was lying in bed with a child on each side of me, one clutching my index finger and the other one rubbing their snotty nose on my shoulder, I was on my phone logged into the mobile armory and gchat telling them to get started.

By the time I got online, they had gotten to Nazgrim but not without a couple of hiccups.  Kyxyn wanted to be Superman.  Faster than a speeding bullet, he was running ahead and pulling trash.  Morz and Cranked were probably still trying to figure out who was healing what and Clark Kent went down like a ton of kryptonite had fallen on him.  Not just the one time though.  There were some strong words from the Tyrant Kyxyn and the two of them put their speedy boots on and kept up for the rest of the trash.

Raked was here again, so he and Kyxyn tanked, and we had 2 windwalker monks (Aimei and Lushen), Moopie, Aza, Sev and Owl DPSing.

I joined the raid when they got to Nazgrim but I wanted to let them do it and try to let go of the apron strings.  So imagine how thrilled I was when my two healers, managed to two heal Nazgrim and it went down easily!  I don't think any parent guild leader could be more proud!

On to Malkorok.  Since we hadn't killed it yet, I came in to heal and swapped Morzierz out.  Morz stayed on standby in case we needed 2 healers.  Exray/Owl had gotten a macro from one of his friends and was going to be marking the pie pieces for us.  However, my mistake was to trust that he was going to do it and I stood where I thought it was safe and I died because he had forgotten to mark it!  That was wipe #1.  The second go Moo died,because Owl put down the markers and just when the boss was about to do his Breath of Ysaarj, Owl decided to remove all the markers! (He thought that it had been done already) That was wipe #2.  But on the third go we got it down and we were all thrilled to be killing a new boss!  Moo was AFK so he is missing from this picture - the pictures I took with him there was a damned INFERNAL in my view... AZA.

So we did Spoils after that and we expected that to be easy.  I was with Raked, the monks and Aza, and the others were with Kyxyn.  Boxes were opened WAAAY to fast on our side and I got overwhelmed and I died.  Aza died from trying to tank the mob from the green box. The second time, Moo died from the mob in the green box and so did Az, so we wiped it up again and then went slowly on our third attempt and Spoils was down.  Phew!  How exciting, 2 new bosses in one night!  Asys got Bracers of the Pristine Purifier.

Then it was on to Thok.  I was expecting to be stuck on Thok for a week at least.  And we were 2 healing it. I whispered Triarchi, the GM of Illidari Remnants, who was also up to Thok and asked him a little bit about it, and said we were 2 healing it.  He said you can't 2 heal Thok.  I sighed and thought ok, well this is going to be a wipe fest.

Thok has 2 phases - in healing terms, I think of them as:

  • Phase 1 - we stand on his side all bunched up and heal and don't do long casts because the Deafening screech will interrupt your cast and lock you out of heals for a few secs.
  • Phase 2 - run like hell up and down the corridor when he targets you so he doesn't eat you and don't get stepped on like an ant if you're not being chased.

So for me it's important I put my Efflo down so everyone knows that's where they're supposed to stand. Then it's chucking instant hots around until we get really low and then I need something that will help me cast tranquility - that's where paladins come in.  I whispered Kyxyn and told me he needed to BoP me.  I assumed that meant blessing of protection.  He said he didn't have it.  I was worried - do tanks not have it? He linked me Divine Shield, but that wasn't it so I had to ask the raid what it was that he did. And they said it was Hand of Protection.  Well why the hell does everyone call it BoP when it's HoP??  So from now on, Kyxyn and I call it HoP, it's PROPER name.

On our first attempt we got to 32% before we wiped.  I think we lost a tank or something.  But everyone was quite excited.  I expressed my concerns about healing because we were bloodlusting at the start and I worried that we couldn't heal in the last phase, but everyone reassured us we would be fine.  On our second attempt the poison phase was horrible (from freeing Akolik) and people were dying to it.  Aimei told me that monks can dispel poisons so I told them they had to dispel it themselves and I would do as many as I could. Asys said that everyone was too spread out in that phase, so we couldn't heal them properly.  As the tanks and DPS discussed the best way to position the boss and how long to let Thok wander around building stacks, I whispered to Asys, "Why are they talking about this?  You know we're going to die from lack of healing!  It's crazy in that last phase!"

Asys replied, "They'll work it out when everyone dies in the last phase."  I agreed.

So off we went again.  Kyxyn was good on the BOP and that first phase seemed to last FOREVER.  I didn't realise that it was because of everyone's health being about 50% - if you have 5 people below 50% who are stacked up then he will move to Phase 2.  This time I followed the tanks (last time I got separated when I ran a random direction to get away from Thok) and we were doing really good.  Ice phase came and went - Owl was frozen this time (I was frozen last time) and then it was poison phase.  I burned through my mana chucking heals around and dispelling and then we were into the fire phase. It was chaos - we had lost Lushen by then, and Aimei called for the tanks to move it out of the fire.  Thok was 8% and screeching and I asked Kyxyn to BoP me so I could tranq.  "HoP Nav! HoP!" he said, and I had my bubble and so I hit Spiritwalker's Grace and run with my tranquility and I was yelling for everyone to use personal CDs, healthstones, anything when my tranq ran out.  I think Asys got a healing tide down too, and Kyxyn used his devotion aura too suddenly it was OMG THOK IS DEAD and we were all cheering!  OMG 3 pulls and we got Thok, we were so chuffed!  Not just that, in one night (2 hours) we had done 3 new bosses on normal! Kyxyn said that he died more times on the trash before Nazgrim than he died on all the new bosses all night. I found that a little hard to believe - did he die more than 6 times on trash?  No way!

Moo got his Tier helm, but nobody wanted Hvitserk's Formidable Shanker so it was sharded.  However, there was a gasp from me when I saw that Aimei had rolled a warforged Thok's Acid Grooved Tooth - he had forgotten to change his loot specialisation!  Man, I wanted that trinket!!

Great work Frostwolves! Now, we have Monday to look at Blackfuse.  I don't imagine that would be as easy as Wing 3 turned out to be - and 2 healing again??  Maybe I should take a break and let Morz and Cranked do that one :D

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Raiding - Halfway there!

Last night we had an amazing run!  We got down Dark Shaman with 10 minutes left before the end of raid and I was super proud of my raiders for knocking it over so quickly.  Especially when we have such a short raid and Morz was given a trial by fire and 2 healing with me.

At the start of raid time, we had 13 people turn up, INCLUDING Raked.  I asked Raked where he had been, and he said that Mrs Raked had told him he plays too much and he had to stop playing.  However, he was moping around the house and she relented and let him play again.  But I had to tell him that he had been replaced, but he still tanked the first 2 with Aimei and Kyxyn came back for the rest of the raid.  Sabre sat out, and so did Bish, so that left us with
Tanks: Aimei/Lush, Kyjenn and Raked swapping
DPS: Moopie, Sevrus, Aza, Luxy, Owl (Exray), Lushen
Heals: Navimie, Morzierz

The bracers dropped from Immerseus, and I realised that they would be better for Owl than for me so I passed on them. Morz had the pre-Protector's nagging about dispels and so he did his best to dispel. I missed one and he missed one but it was a lot better without all that extra to heal.  It was good.  Norushen had some really heavy damage, and I had to yell at people to soak the purple orbs.  Aza has been soaking orbs lately but I really wish that people about to enter the other zone would take an orb before they go in!  I really did worry people would die and Exray/Owl did a tranq at just the right moment so we all got nicely topped off.  Sha of Pride was 2 healed as well and I've decided that Xyn was right, I worry too much.  I should just let them do it and believe they can do it and we will succeed.

I wussed out and we 3 healed Galakras which was damned messy coz Owl respecced to resto for it, and then died right before the boss came down.  So for that part, me and Morz 2 healed it and we used everything. I died at 7% and told everyone to use personal cooldowns and healthstones and we got it. Phew! Morz got a healing staff yay!

Then onto Iron Juggernaut which we 2 healed as well.  I was worried but there was nothing to worry about! It went well, with only Moo dying just once from a bomb and I felt a real sense of achievement.  I know that other guilds 2 heal it all the time, but I hadn't done it before!

On to Dark Shaman, which we 3 healed.  I went up the top and our first attempt was buggy because the boss got caught on the tiled part and wouldn't move off it, and then when the boys tried to run away the boss would teleport them back to him!  So we died.  But our second attempt was good, and it was damned challenging to heal as a druid but I managed to do it (just!) and we got through it just fine!  I think next time, Asys can do it!

Most of the loot last night was DE'd or offspec.  But tonight it's Nazgrim then we should have a whole 1.5 days to work on Malkorok!  And I forgot to roll on Iron Juggernaut for my bracers, poop!

It was a really good run, and fast.  I think everyone was really pleased with our push this week, and looking forward to tonight's raid.  Well done, Frostwolves!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What headset do you use? And OMG Steelseries makes a NAVI headset!

I had heard of Steelseries but I never really thought much about what they were like as peripherals until I went to Blizzcon.  I remember that whilst Lushnek, Hyad, Balinar, Pel and I were playing Warlords of Draenor I put on the headset and I was REALLY impressed by it.  I forgot to look at what it was - it was super comfy though! - but all I remember is that it was white.  I didn't see a mic on it so I thought it was just the headset.  After that I thought about getting a Steelseries headset.

Then today when I thought I would look it up to see what they cost, I saw this:

Thats right, this headset was called a Navi headset.  And it's in bright colours.  And it's Limited Edition.  The Siberia Elite was shown at Blizzcon (which goes for $238 from centre.com).  The Navi is a Siberia V2.

Damn, I should have gotten a Steelseries when I was at Blizzcon - you could get it 30% off!  Could have brought it home and sold it!

Shab recently bought a new headset, and it was a Steelseries.  However, his mic is horrible!  He said that the headset is a bit tight so I'm not sure if he likes it or not.  I wonder, is there anyone else out there who uses a Steelseries?

It would be ridiculously superficial of me to buy a headset because it has my toon's name on it, and it's got pretty colours.  But I have to say, it's tempting.  It's not that expensive either - it's going for about $70 on Ebay.  That's a hell of a lot cheaper than a Sennheiser PC 360 (which is going for $166 at eglobal, but up to $300 everywhere else) which in my opinion is a king of a headset.

I already have a reasonable headset, I'm using the Logitech G930 which can be corded or cordless so I can walk to the kitchen (and heaven forbid, the toilet - just have to make sure I've muted the mic just in case I have open mic on!) and still hear what's going on and run back in time if I hear a queue pop or if someone is back from AFK.
However, I have some weird issues with my headset.  Like, when it's plugged in to charge with the microUSB, you can't turn it on.  You have to pull the charger out, then turn it on, then plug the charger back in.  The other weird thing with my headset is that it turns off by itself every now and then, and it's not related to battery life.  That is HELL annoying when you're in arena.  And I also don't like the extra space on my desktop that the wireless hub takes up.

I'd love to hear what headsets people use!  Post a reply to let me know what's gracing your ears and what you love or don't love about it!

4 recruits, 4 raid nights and FORgot to visit DMF

I am throwing off yesterday's melancholy/whinginess and am excited because it's a new raid week!  AND I have 4 new guild members in the last few days - Exray and Lushen made it over on Owl and ... Lushen (LOL) so that adds a boomkin and a windwalker monk to our roster, and I think both are raid ready.  Then Crits and his friend Jilliane joined late last night, and suddenly we have 2 new shamans!  Crits is resto, and Jilliane is enhance so that adds some buffer to our raids.  I couldn't be more pleased!  Aza also said that his 3 friends form Caelestrasz might come over in WoD - apparently their guild isn't raiding next xpac.  I won't hold my breath because they're from a heroic guild and we are not that kind of guild.  They would probably do better in a heroic guild.  I asked Az if they were nice and he said they were - and then he told me about another friend of his that was looking for a guild but he didn't think would fit in here because he was "Aza without the restraint," meaning that he was one of the yelling and finger pointing types in raid.  Aza was right, that wouldn't wash here, because I don't want to have upset raid members from being yelled at during what's supposed to be a fun game.  Tyrant Kyxyn does enough of that already with his schoolteacher voice.

At the end of the last raiding week, I said that if we were doing 2 raid nights out of 3 then we would extend. Starting from this week. Coz you really can't do much in 4 hours, and I'm a little tired of getting to Nazgrim and not getting further.  This week we shall do Malkorok and we shall smash it!  We had some good goes on Monday - Malk got to 5% and I'm sure this week we will get it.  After that it's Spoils which shouldn't be too hard.  It's exciting to me, thinking about it!

I heard about the Malkorok helper addon.  I wondered if it would be useful to have.  Basically it gives you a pie chart of the bad areas to be standing in.  I guess it does look rather good, if you need it, but Kyxyn had put up markers at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock and we used those relative positions to indicate the safe and bad zones. However, reading the comments says that people have issues with freezing and that's bad!  Also you have to manually click the pie to maek the areas bad so there's some actual WORK involved (gasp, no not work!!)  So while it's a good idea, perhaps I'll give it a miss and if anyone dies to the bad I'll tell them to get the addon.  So raiders, did you hear that!  Don't fail or you have to get the addon! How I'm going to police that is going to be interesting.  Another empty Navimie threat LOL!

Flex on Sunday will go a change too.  I think this week we shall do 2 and 4 instead of 1 and 4 for a bit of variety.  I think that we will say mains for Nazgrim though, so that we can carry a couple of lesser geared guildies if we need to since it's all for fun (Wing 2? FUN? I must be in a good mood).  Geez I can't wait till we're relaxed enough to start doing some ACHIEVEMENTS.  Gotta get Garrosh down first on Flex I guess!

So who should I take to normal raid this week?  I think we should let Exray and Lushen do the first few 4 and I would like to heal for Immerseus for a chance at bracers but I'm happy to sit out for the rest.  I don't think Sabre needs anymore loot from the first 4 so he can have a break - but maybe he can get some attendance EPGP if he logs on at the right time.  Morz still needs more gear so I want to sit out for him, and I hope he's up to 2 healing Protectors... OMG who is going to yell about dispels today if I'm not there? :D
Darkmoon Faire.  I have not visited that place all week.  I should go visit and do my Father Winter shopping, as there are a few pets there that I can give away as gifts.  And maybe a few dailies.  Argh so much to do and so little time! :D

In other news, new comic is up after a month hiatus!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Unwanted healers - how DPS is all that matters

People wonder why healers seem to be in short supply, and it's no wonder, really.  I feel like there is a push for less and less heals and more and more DPS.

Remember how all those days of crowd control and focussed DPS - we still have the focussed DPS but these days all the DPS have to do is hit stuff and avoid a bit of bad stuff on the ground.  Crowd control is for people who don't know how to tank.  And NUMBERS are so important now - it's not about how you play but how big numbers you can get, and of course your raid awareness comes in a distant second.

Sometimes it gets so bad that people don't want to interrupt their rotations for DPS to go and do other things like kite a mob, kick a turtle, or break traps because they are so fixated on their numbers.

And yet, healers are expected to heal more than ever.  Most high end guilds gear their DPS first and then their tanks and then their healers (I could be wrong, maybe it's tanks first) so that an encounter can go down faster and so in reality there is less for the healer to heal because the encounter is so quick.  And the numbers of healers now required in a raid seem to hover around 2 instead of 3.

And interestingly, the converse is true also :D (but not in my case!)
Healers and tanks should have an offspec, a lot of people say.  Because some fights need only one tank and 2 healers so then the players can still have a role in the raid otherwise they will have to sit out to bring in what we need.  But I really ENJOY healing. If I wanted to DPS, I would roll a DPS.  It seems a little unfair sometimes to me that healers can have an alternate role (like DPS or tank) but a lot of DPS have only that role - DPS.  Hunters. Mages. Warlocks. Rogues.  They don't do anything except hit bosses and having to do things outside the hit-stuff-and-break-it is boring.  Look at Dark Animus.  The warlocks in my guild thought it was the most boring fight ever and stupid, and they were not the only ones!  Rogue friends of mine from other guilds said the same thing!  I found the fight fun and cool because it was different and I still had a lot of healing to do - I wonder if I would find it as much fun if there was no healing to do and people just had to avoid bad stuff.  I guess if that was the case, then you could run a raid with no healers if there was nothing to heal.

The other day we were doing Immerseus which we now 2 heal and could even one tank, and in the last stages, there were only two of us healing the blobs at the end.  Aza complained that it was the slowest kill ever - but really, how fast do you think 2 healers can heal all those blue blobs?  I'm not that great at it - 4 is my maximum and that's if they're in range - but when you got 6 DPS beating on blobs of course it's gonna be quick in the early stages!  Now if we had 3 healers the last phase would go quicker, but the first phases will go slower, but no, nobody thinks about those things.  It's the healers going slow!

As it is, healers are hard to come by.  They keep getting broken - Bish got sick of healing and wandered off to have a break.  Taloski was awesome but had other things to do.  Asys is going strong for now, but he did switch from tank last Tier and was saying he wanted to DPS next tier (but has since changed his mind).  Bladewind had a baby and now has a second one on the way and doesn't want to commit to raiding anymore.  Gutsy left, Voe stopped playing and Priestietute went away for a while but now she is back.  The only healer that has been around consistently is me.  Now whether that means I have no life except this game OR that I am the only one crazy enough to stay in one role all the time.  Perhaps it's because I'm not a Gen Y... but really it's because I love healing. If you get pushed into something you don't enjoy, you're more likely to give it up.  That's the same for real life work - if you hate your job, it's hard to keep going at it.  Lucky for me I love healing for a job AND in game or my life would be damned miserable indeed.

Even Jasyla, whom I looked up to for healing, is now a mainspec hunter.  Healing was boring for her in 25 man (AoE heal AoE heal AoE heal) and now she's having much more fun healing alt 10 mans as there is more to do (I asked her this at Blizzcon).

I am fortunate that the officers have offspecs and alts who can fill in the healing whilst we patch up our roster, and I over-recruited some healers to help fill in for the times I can't raid.  However, Kyxyn and Aza said that we really had to start 2 healing these encounters... and I couldn't help but bristle even though I know why they said it - because we needed more DPS to get the encounter down, not more healers and certainly not an undergeared healer.

The problem is two-fold - if you keep making a healer sit out for a DPS, then that healer will stop turning up to raid.  If you keep making a healer DPS who doesn't like it, then they will also start sitting out because they don't feel important or useful or perhaps don't even ENJOY playing the game like that.  And healers who sit out are not getting gear.  Not getting gear means you can't keep up and uh oh you're falling behind in healing - vicious cycle!  We should play what we enjoy - that's why we play!  So, when all your healers are gone and the DPS or tanks are forced to heal because of lack of healers - won't they be upset because it's not fun for them too?

Last night we had no bear/cat and no hunter, mage or windwalker so we didn't have crit.  That probably affected our DPS a lot, but we still managed to get Nazgrim down even though it was a bit of a struggle compared to the cakewalk it was last time.  It made me think about what the others said, and about my offspec, which is tank, which I like because I can run around on the Isle and not die and still kill a few things.

So with a heavy heart, I respecced to feral kitty.  I bought the legendary cloak and handed in my Tier tokens from Flex on Sunday.  I don't like kitty. But without any of the classes listed above, it might be useful to have it, and I will have to practice my Lolcat DPS before I can be ready.  My ilvl is 535 but some of my gear is awful as I hadn't really focussed much on it - from now I will have to change my loot spec to feral so I can get some stuff.  Still, it's not too bad for raid leftovers.  But can you imagine Navikitty and not Navitree? Would it be something like this?

I'm not sure if I CAN DPS yet - I don't think my other healers are strong enough to 2 heal from Wing 2 just yet but they might find their healing a lot better without my sniping their heals all the time.  Sometimes if you stop holding their hands, they will show you they can walk just fine on their own.
"Navi look! I'm healing all by myself! Propped up with this ridiculous fish catcher..."
In my opinion, the new raids can't come fast enough.  No more having to make people sit out with this awesome flex system in all raids except Mythic (old heroic).  Maybe I can get away with being carried in my DPS for a bit with a larger group and switch to heals if they are struggling.

I wish there were more encounters where healing was a good part of the encounter.  Immerseus (SoO) has a healing component, as well as Tsulong (ToES), and of course Dreamwalker (ICC), and that always makes it more fun.  I hope when the expansion comes there is something that requires a lot of CC so the DPS can do something else (and they had better not expect us healers to be doing it) other than hit stuff, get big numbers and yell at the healers to heal better.

In the mean time, I have to make sure nobody breaks my healers, certainly not my new ones.  Poor Asys is already used to copping teasings from me - I think he's think skinned enough to take the pressure that the rest of the raid puts on us. I hope the new healers will be the same, because really, we aren't that tough a group - but that doesn't mean I don't expect great things from you.