Friday, August 28, 2015

Terrororising helpless Tushui for a few points

Hk and I had gotten our Alliance pandas to 91 and so the lambs were brought to slaughter.

Kyxyn, Crooked, myself and Tyefoods started killing Hk's alliance panda but the 2 minute rez timer was painful.  A helpful alliance priest offered to rez HK for us and refused payment, so I  have to think of something nice to do for that person later as a thank you.  They stood around rezzing for at least an hour!  That did take hours and hours of farming off for all of us, which was nice.

Tye and I got our panda kills and then we weren't able to help with the kill count anymore, so I switched to my panda so at least there were 2 to kill.  The priest just kept chain rezzing me and HK and so it wasn't much longer before Kyxyn was done as well.

Time to hand in and though I cheated my way to the achievement, at least now I can head and kill some worgen (and then after that, some humans).  At least I do see those around in Ashran.

Terror of the Tushui sounds much nicer then Huojin's Fall (which is the alliance version of the title). But I do admit, that I do like the title that alliance get from killing Tauren, "the Butcher".

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Raiding - And that makes Ten

You know that feeling of stupidity that you get when people tell you how easy something is but you can't seem to get it even after multiple goes?

Well, we had that with Fel Lord.

On normal, it's easy.  I didn't even fully understand the mechanics of it and we just brute forced it. Something about pillars needing protection and don't get hit by purple waves emanating from the boss and from seeds and from tank.

So then we went to do that on heroic.  And NOW I understand the fight a bit more.

Fel Lord makes these swirly fissures and a big pointy crystal comes out of it.  If you stand in swirly, you absorb the energy and get a debuff (latent energy) and no big pointy crystal comes out.  You can control where one pops by leaving a swirly on its own.  If you absorb all swirlies the crystal pops up randomly.

Those crystals and the person who soaked a swirly contain latent energy, and if the player or a pillar gets hit with Zakuun's purple waves (Wake of Destruction) then they do raidwide damage, so you don't want the pillars to get hit with Wake, nor do you want players debuffed with latent energy to get hit by wake.

And really, that's all there is to it.

Lots of thing make the wake though.  Fel Lord does it periodically. Tanks get sent to another zone and when they pop out they release a wake.  Seeds of Destruction are placed on a few players and they need to run the hell away from the pillars and people because they chuck out wakes as well.

Now it all sounds nice and easy doesn't it?  Oh and I forgot, there is a debuff (Befouled) that you have to heal off as well, and it also explodes once you heal it off, damaging playes 6 yards around you.  Melee obviously need to move away when the debuff is about to be healed off.

There are things I don't understand about the fight, and I'm sure I'll understand it one day. Crooked said it in raid and I have to admit, I had been wondering it myself.  We tank Zakuun right next to one of those pillars, and was that because people are standing between Zakuun and the pillar?  Or was it so people could have better places to put their Seeds of Destruction because if we were far from the pillar, where would those seed people go?

Anyway, after 2 0% wipes on Thursday we came back on Monday and got it down.  I was a shocker on Thursday, getting hit by Wakes constantly and dying.  I was better on Monday, but I still don't feel like the fight is quite right yet.  But it's dead, and dead is good.

A friend of mine (the Guild leader of another guild) told me hat they killed it easily in only 5 attempts or something.  It makes me wonder if we have some fundamental flaw in our technique, or maybe everyone is still getting used to the encounter. And that is what got me down a bit.  How stupid are we that this easy fight took us so many attempts??

But, that makes ten, so I'll happily take that.  Yay Frostwolves!

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Frostwolf Transmog for a Frostwolf Guild leader

I have enough bag space issues as it is, and Kyxyn was nagging me about getting the Battlegear of the Frostwolves, which is transmog gear that you buy from Shadow Hunter Denjai in Tanaan when you are revered with Vol'jin's Headhunters.

"I think that the GM of Frostwolves should dress like a Frostwolf," he said.

And so I complied.

It's actually more of a war harness type of outfit, but I am not a fan of showing off my fur, especially in the midriff where my fur is a slightly different colour to my legs.  It's just not a very good look.  I does look better if I have the reddish colour.

But! Brawler's shirts to the rescue again!

This time I am wearing Sightless Mantle and I am doing something different - I'm using a fist weapon and offhand.  I actually don't have many fist weapons to transmog to, so I bought Claws of Agony off the AH for a very reasonable price. And I'm using Book of the Dead as my offhand transmog - I have so many different coloured books in my bags for transmog!

I'm sticking to Wolfshead Helm for now as the helm mog and I think it looks alright for a Frostwolf GM, don't you?

PvP - Hard achievements knocked out for all

Friday night PvP was not only a lot of fun, we even managed to get some cool achievements!

The night started off surprising because Shab thought we could give it a go doing boomkin, afflock and resto druid arenas.  I was not very keen but after we won the first one it was encouraging, and we also won a second, but then they figured it out and we couldn't beat them anymore.  Time for some BGs!

We had some good wins and some lousy ones, but the theme seemed the same - a paucity of healers on horde side, so luckily me and Shab were both queuing as heals.

We got into a Gilneas and a rogue there seemed excited to have healers, and it was a good BG because people were listening to calls for defence, even though we had a few zergs and were losing for a bit.  However, we managed to claw back to two bases even though we were far behind, and I wasn't sure we could win.  2 bases tick at 3 per tick compared to 1 base with 1 point per tick and as we reached 1430 it was clear that we were going to win if we could hold our 2 bases, and it was exciting as we overtook them at 1480.  I was practically screaming in excitement!

Now why would I be screaming?

I forget how many years ago it was when I was PvPing with Shab and we were in Gilneas and we were winning but Alliance capped a flag we were at and I said to Shab "Leave it, we'll still win, I want the achievement Jugger not," as we would have won it with less than 100 points ahead of alliance.  He poo-poo'd me and recapped the flag saying he wouldn't throw a game just for an achievement.  Since then, every time we do Gilneas I say "Remember when you wrecked my achievement...?"

And we have done a LOT of Gilneas. So that's a lot of nagging and moaning, on my part.

So, when we did get the achievement I was so bloody happy.

We all got the achievement and Shab got Master of the Battle for Gilneas as well. Then I decided to go on and on at him about that achievement and how we missed out on it years ago...  lol, worst friend ever.

Crooked joined us later and we went into Silvershard mines and he thought he would try again to get Mine Cart Courier. Sev went with him and together they managed to turn the cart at the last few seconds.  They had a good run after that, getting all the carts and alliance were rallying near the end.  They both got their achievement and I was pleased for them, and Shab said as long as we win, he doesn't mind achievements.

We would win it with one more cart.  Sev switched the east track to go back down towards lava and then we decided to hold that cart. However, Alliance switched it back and suddenly we were heading towards the top, and they controlled two carts and would win.  We won in the nick of time, right before Alliance's cart was captured.  Phew!

I was complaning that I wanted a flag running BG and suddenly WSG popped. Sev was being silly and running into some boxes near the door to head out, and he looked like he was disconnecting.

"Err.. I'm stuck," he said, as he tried turning and twisting his way around.  Eventually he managed to back himself out, by walking backwards. Crooked ran in there and he got stuck too. I was laughing - was he going to be stuck there for the whole time?  Fortunately for Crooky he managed to get free when the doors opened.

Some people in the room were talking in /say about us being silly, and one of them spat on me (and apologised instantly).  Well, we'll show them we aren't just a bunch of idiots. At first a hunter took the flag then ran away from me and unsurprisingly, he died. After that one of us ran it and we won that WSG 3 to 0.

All in all, it was a good PvP night!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Navi's Legion Commentary Series - Part 3: PvP Honour system version 3

One of the big changes that they said was coming with the expansion was changes to the PvP system and honour.

Some people may not have been around when PvP version 1 was around.  There are a number of veterans around who will talk about those days where you had to basically PvP 24/7 in BGs to be able to get enough kills to be ranked #1 for the week and be the High Warlord. Many veteran Frostwolves will remember Aoitora, who managed to get High Warlord with the original system.

But achieving that was pretty horrendous. Nobody could get it unless you played 24 hours a day, get your friends to play for you etc. And it would pretty much burn you out and it could even turn you off PvP forever...

So they introduced a new honour system in BC, with honour points where you could buy gear with honour points. They also made a separate currency, conquest points, which could buy you better gear and was for the less casual PvPer.  That system has lasted until present day.  You earn honour and conquest doing PvP or dailies, and you buy stuff with your points.

PvE had a similar system with Justice points and Valour points, but that system has been gone for a while, and now Blizz is saying that PvP should follow suit.

What they are introducing NOW for PvP is a total revamp of the system, and I must say that I am excited about the change.

There will be a different talent system and ranks to work through for PvP.  Special talents just for PvP. And to get stronger in PvP it will be about you levelling and getting to 50, not about your gear, which is .. different.  PvP has always been about being strong by getting better gear, and they want to change that with the new expansion.

So what is good about this?

What I think is good about this system is that it is supposed to be totally separate to PvE. There are some funny talents that I have that are pretty pointless in PvE and are great for PvP.  It's nice now that they will be only used for the PvP side of things (seriously, when would I use Nature's Grasp in PvP?).  You can still casually PvP, but to do well in PvP you would have to level through these ranks to get access to the cool abilities.

Another good thing about it is that some of the "necessary" things that we use for PvP (like trinkets for stun and silence breaking) will be come talents so we don't have to burden ourselves with that trinket anymore.

Thirdly, it looks like we can use our current gear for PvP, much like we do now. In WoD, PvP gear did this scaling in battlegrounds/arenas thing to make them equivalent to mythic item level gear. I think that was so that people who were hardcore raiders couldn't just wander over to PvP in their awesome gear and outdo everyone, even hardcore PvPers who didn't do PvE, as gear would get them through the fight.

There are a few things that I don't quite understand yet or am unsure about.

The prestige rank system unlocks cosmetic things such as weapons and mounts, and you can get rid of your honour ranks you have earned to get these things. It sounds to me like that is cool if you want to PvP for looks, but doesn't that mean you will have no talents for PvP now because you got rid of them all?  So how are you supposed to PvP effectively if you don't have those level 50 talents you unlocked?  Perhaps I am misunderstanding it, and you keep all those level 50 things but now your honour is being used to unlock these ranks instead of contributing towards your level 50 PvP.

The other thing that I don't quite understand or that I'm worried about is that now GEAR won't be the issue, it will be levels.  So you were scared to PvP before because you didn't have gear and you would be mown down in 3 seconds?  Well, now you will be level 1 and out there someone will be level 50 and they will mow you down in 3 seconds. Have we just swapped one thing for another? So gear doesn't matter now, but level does?  And how are you going to get levels if you're dying all the time because someone out there is way better PvP talents than you?

The real question is - if you weren't a PvPer, would these changes make you want to PvP? And if you do PvP do you think of the changes?

I asked Shab, because he only PvPs and does no PvE (what legendary ring, he has said previously).  He says that he hates that gear limits you and he thinks the ranks thing will be a good thing. Sev seemed unsure and said it was too early to tell.  I always like new things to try, so I am eager for the change and look forward to trying it.  I wonder if I'll enjoy levelling in PvP more than I enjoy levelling in PvE?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

So what does it take for me to level....

So, I am trying to level an alliance panda.  Why?  For an achievement.  And it's not even THE achievement (as in having a max level horde toon and max level alliance toon). I'm about to tell you why, but trust me, you will just laugh your ass off at me.

So I am levelling a panda to keep HK company as he levels his panda.

Why is he levelling a panda?  He has Aimei, his main, which is a panda.

We're levelling as Alliance Pandas.

But that doesn't explain why he is levelling another toon.

Well. I asked him to, that's why.  I asked him to use his 90 boost which he hadn't used yet to boost a panda so....

... wait for it...

... so me and Tacky and Kyxyn can kill it for our Nemesis: Terror of the Tushui achievement, which is to kill 500 Pandas in Draenor.

Perhaps it would have been easier to just go to Alliance and pay someone some gold to stand around for half an hour whilst we killed them.

Perhaps it would have been easier if I'd done this when Ashran first came out and spent more time there.

Perhaps it would have been easier if instead of stuffing around in my garrison I should have been out in Ashran bumming around instead.

Anyway, whatever the reason, there are now two Pandas levelling on alliance, raised to be slaughtered.  Instead of calling them Fodr and Foddrbuddy, perhaps I should have named them Lamb, Pig or Chicken.

Now, if only I could actually do some levelling for more than 10 minutes at a time before complaining about being sleepy.  I might actually be able to get to level 91 and get started on this achievement.

The funny thing about levelling was that I saw stuff that I had forgotten or didn't know about.  For example:

Me: Hey, look it's Aknor! From Flamebender in Blackrock Foundry!  I didn't know he was here...
Everyone else: NAVI!!  What!!! How did you not know that??

Everyone else: Hey you get to rescue Yrel!
Me: When do I see Yrel?
Everyone else: Umm in the beginning, don't you remember?
Me: How can I remember, on the first day there were 1000 people or more standing in the same spot covering everything!

Me: Oh, I don't remember breaking a dam...
HK: You don't break a dam, Khadgar breaks the dam.  What do you mean you don't remember...
Me: I don't think I've seen that before.
HK: Trust me, you have.  Geez your memory is so bad!

Anyway, I will work on it this Saturday.  I must hit 91 on Saturday.  Surely it can't be that hard, I've done it once before....

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Navi's Legion Commentary Series - Part 2: Legion Artifact Weapons

Frost DK
Artifact Weapons is something new in the expansion, and a lot of people are excited about them. How they work is that each class and each spec has its own weapon and you work on your weapon and improve its power (and its appearance) progressively through the levelling and end game play.

Ret Pallies
The last two expansions have had a "legendary for everyone" idea - the cloak in Pandaria, and the ring in Warlords of Draenor. Those legendaries were tailored for each role - healer, caster DPS, melee DPS, tank.  This has taken that idea and tailored it to make each of these artifacts (which are REALLY just legendaries version 2) just that little bit more special, so as a druid there are 4 artifact weapons I can collect for each of my different specs.

There are some great things about this.

One, is the lore and the story behind the weapons.  Each of the weapons has a special place in the history of the class, and giving that to people and allowing them to learn the lore behind each weapon will give a bigger sense of pride in their class.  Class halls are similar in that respect too, encouraging people to take pride in their class and come together in a different way (as opposed to just horde vs alliance).
Survival Hunter
Secondly, is apparently no other weapons will drop in dungeons or raids.  When Legion was first announced and the Artifact weapons described, my guildies were wondering what the point of other weapons dropping in raids was, since we will all have our artifact weapons. The thought that no other weapons will drop in raids is great because we won't have everyone fighting for just the one weapon and then waiting months for it to drop - we will all have one and work on it at our own pace.  I think that was like cloaks dropping in Pandaria - what was the point of that since everyone had their legendary cloak and so cloaks became pointless loot. I'm glad they took the weapons out of the loot tables, less useless loot to worry about.

Mistweaver Monks
Thirdly, they do look cool.  There are a lot of looks that are associated with the weapon and you can customize it to whatever former look it had to match your outfit. I think that the designers went to a lot of effort to make these weapons look amazing and the corresponding transmogs that will go with these weapons (in terms of armour) will be interesting to see.

Then, there are drawbacks.

Last night we were discussing what the artifact weapons mean whilst you are levelling. Levelling as a tank or a healer is a slow way to go.  However, with an artifact weapon, and it levelling and unlocking as I go along, does this mean that I have to be levelling the whole time as resto?  If that's true, then it's going to be the BIGGEST drag trying to level with me because I do bugger all damage as resto and it will take ages to complete quests.

OH god, I'm doing 2k DPS....
The only person who has to worry about that is HK, since he's been my levelling buddy since BC release. I think most of the guild feels very sorry for him because levelling with me is a monumental test of patience as most of the levelling the conversation goes like this:

Me: Hey I haven't finished this quest yet, I still have one more to go.
HK: How can you not have finished? Didn't you pick up X item just now?
Me: What item?

Me: Why are we killing these things?
HK: Umm... it's part of the quest?
Me: What quest?
HK: ... the one we went back to hand in 5 minutes ago?  Didn't you hand it in?
Me: Oh, I didn't know we went back there to hand in something...

Me: I'm sleepy, can we stop questing now?
HK: We've only been levelling for 10 minutes...

Before you ask why I don't level in dungeons... it's because there are achievements associated with levelling through zones, and I don't want to have to go back there when I'm max level to finish the zones so might as well do it whilst I'm levelling, right?

Fire Mage
Well, I got sidetracked a little there.  But levelling in a lousy spec is going to be crappy for your artifact weapon because I don't want to be saddled with a boomkin artifact weapon when I will predominantly be playing resto.  Will it be possible to have more than one artifact weapon in my bag? Will they both be unlocked at the same rate?  It seems unlikely that it will work that way.

Enhance Shamans

Secondly, another drawback is that you can't transmog these items to look like something else. What am I going to do with the zillion weapons I have in my Void storage now?  I guess you can't transmog legendaries so you shouldn't be able to do it to artifact weapons. The problem with that is that everyone will start looking the same as there are only a fixed number of looks that the weapon will have, compared the the hundreds of looks we have now with transmog. I realise that this is necessary so that we retain a sense of pride and uniqueness with our artifact weapon, but I will miss the looks of some of our old weapons that we have had in the past and miss being able to use them.

Overall, I'm excited about being able to work on an artifact weapon. I'm hoping that there is some solo content as well as group content to do so that I can work on it in my own time, yet also be part of a group and interacting with others which you should be doing when you're playing in an MMO.  I wonder if people will resent having to do group activities for the weapon - there was a lot of moaning and groaning about the PvP side of the Pandaria legendary cloak, which has altered in the Warlords of Draenor ring because it's just about picking up things from the raids which can be done in LFR.

One thing though - if there are special abilities or buffs that are unlocked with the weapon that surely is going to suck for the people with 2 specs who are constantly being asked to use them - like DPS/heals (I'm thinking Yuuda, Rag, Crooked, Sars).  Rag has already asked if he can go Ret has main spec because he really wants to play with Ashbringer. Do you think this will mean people are locked to a certain spec more?  I guess we'll see it when we go live.

Raiding - A great finish for the raid week

The raid week went well, in my opinion!  This week we started at the beginning but we may be skipping the first 6 next week.

The quick clear went well and then we had some really good goes at Xhul'horac on Thursday, which was quite encouraging.  That fire everywhere was as annoying as hell though.

Sunday's raid also did everything we expected - we got to Mannoroth and cleared it (we did have some messiness) but at least we got there and we left Archimonde for Monday.

Aimei/HK and I were discussing it today, and I said I was excited to get more Xhul attempts in.  HK said as long as it doesn't take 2 hours to get Archimonde down like the previous week.  I poo-poo'd him, saying that now everyone has the idea of how to do the fight it will be like Socrethar or Gorefiend.

And guess how many goes it took to do Archimonde?

It was a one shot.

It was still messy, but cleaner than last week. This time Yuuda and Sev went in with Aimei on that last banish and Archimonde didn't heal up. 7 of us got loot, with 4 of us getting bonus rolls in a raid of 20. And I even got loot - I got my class trinket!

So that left us PLENTY of time for Xhul'horac.

We were doing well most of the night.  We had 6% and 3% wipes and consistently getting down to that level before fires all over the place and explosions seemed to get out. Nok asked if he could switch to Mistweaver because he wasn't doing much dps as he was out blowing up fires, and we ended up killing it after that.

I had a dumb moment, I fell off the edge of the platform as I went to drop my void debuff. Interestingly, it's still called "Doing an Ultra," when he's only done it once and I've done it twice now. I shouldn't argue, really.

Fires was co-ordinated well between Nok, Lushen, Sars and Crooked, who were quite vocal about it on vent with what they were doing. I'm not sure if the extra heals helped for our kill attempt, because I was worried about not enough DPS but it turned out ok.

Lucky me was having a loot night as I managed to score Tier shoulders as well!  Owl and Falln also got their Tier shoulders and Sev got a weapon.

And we DID get a pic!

It was lucky too, our last go for the night. Isn't that always the way?

Good work Frostwolves! Next week, Fel Lord!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Navi's Legion Commentary Series - Part 1: The Demon's Advocate

It's hard not to get excited about a new expansion - at least for me. I've been excited about every expansion because I still love this game, but there are many out there who have fallen out of love with this game who won't be excited about a new expansion.

It's been a week now since the announcement and there was a lot of buzz and excitement about it. Burning Legion! Demon Hunters! Illidan! Class Halls!

There's too much to process in one blog post, so I will give my thoughts piecemeal.  Starting with Demons and their Hunters.

Yuuda said that he could pick that the next expansion was going to be about Demons. And in terms of how the story was going in Warlords of Draenor, it was going that way anyway.  Gul'dan got away and he loves those demons, he just wants to bring more and have lots of fel to play with!

There are other things to look at too. Like more nostalgia for the older WoW players, who played Warcraft and Vanilla and Burning Crusade and enticing them to come back to the game with some lore they are familiar with.

Everyone thought Illidan was cool. The idea of demon hunters is cool.  They run around with heavily tattooed bodies and shirtless, and look a little demonic themselves - it's an exciting class that many would like to play. You could imagine that many people would like to come back and play the story line of the Demon Hunter like they did with the Death Knight.  And being a new class, there is something for everyone to learn, even a new player to World of Warcraft.  It might attract some new blood to the game.

We hear about subs falling, and it's probably because all the old players are now moving away from World of Warcraft to something else, but no new players are coming in. This may bring some back. You would also hope that new players would be attracted to the game too, even for a short time. Hopefully the movie would drum up some interest that way, getting some new people into the game (or at least to try the game).  However, I noticed that Blizz has been doing well with the Free to play games like Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone, using other things to generate income like buying skins, characters, cards etc.  Which is great for the occasional player, because they don't like the idea of being locked into a monthly subscription. I think that if Blizz wants to generate income from an "occasional" player base (or even the curious gamer who wants to spend a little to try the game out and play for short time), then that would be something they should look into.

But back to Demon Hunters.  In my guild there are a lot of people who would like to change to Demon Hunter - OMG more leather wearers! Why couldn't they have been mail wearers or something? And which tier token would they be on?  Probably Protector... I bet they will be thrilled to share their token when theirs drops so rarely! :D

I know lore says that Demon Hunters wear little clothing. To tell you the truth, I am not thrilled to be wandering around in skimpy stuff showing off my tattoos, but I'm pleased to say that at least I can wear shirts to cover up! The lore of demon hunters is exciting!  I know that lore wise only Blood Elves and Night Elves can be Demon hunters, but I think that's a good thing.

In terms of enemies, I like the idea of more demons.  I was tired of killing more Horde. I've yet to meet a demon that was happy to be on our side (and even Sev's demon minions are grumpy about being enslaved to do their master's bidding).

I've said before that I would be unlikely to level a demon hunter.  But I'd probably try one - after all, I'd love to see the story.

Overall, I'm excited about the new class and the excitement that people have about the expansion.  I think that the introduction of a new class is enough to entice back old players who want to get back into the game and see what's changed, and yet level the playing field a bit so that new players will not be too disadvantaged or isolated or shunned if they want to try it out.

I think that one thing that will needs to change is the toxic way that people in the game treat newcomers.  It's hard enough trying a new game without people slagging you off in trade channel or when you ask simple channels.  Hopefully new players will have a new server to play on, or some other friendly place to encourage them to stay.  But, that's a whole other post.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Silly post - Druid class hall

I hear feralz4life made this but it sure made me laugh...

Thanks to Binkenstein for tweeting it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Silly post - Hellfire Poetry as requested by Tome of the Ancient

It's epic verse time! If you're not a fan of my silly poetry - then feel free to skip this post :D

This latest raid, in Hellfire - a Citadel so vast
Is full of funny little things, you may have wandered past.
Like Iron Reaver - did you know, it's not an it, it's SHE
(Think Sorka, Ga'ran and Marak - ladies of THAT Foundry)

So why is Graggra even there? This mob off to the side?
Perhaps it's there to make PuG raids a more exciting ride.
Coz if you tell them to hug right you KNOW what that will do
I s'pose they'd figure that one out when Graggra one shots you.

And why are little phoenixes chained up high in Iskar's room?
I guess it's so the winds won't sweep the fellas to their doom.
There are no rolls on BoE's it's now a personal loot
No more leaders stealing stuff then giving PuGs the boot.

The trash mobs before Socrethar are harder than the boss.
And watch your feet at Xhul'horac or your raid will mourn your loss
Falling off the edge this raid can occur quite frequently
At Xhul and Mannoroth, Iskar - and Archimonde - you'll see!

You may miss Grom once Zakuun's down if you run off ahead
He beats up Zakuun's body and you think "Grom! He's DEAD!"
That scene of Gul'dan as he brings Archimonde to our realm
It's cool the first or second time, but by 10 I'm underwhelmed.

But Khadgar, he must take the cake for the most useless chump
His portals take you 60 yards (maybe give or take a jump)
You'd think that once you'd killed that creepy rezzed-up Mannoroth
You'd get a port to Archimonde - but no, Khadgar's a sloth.
He makes you take a portal up, then run across again,
Then take another portal up to where Mannoroth was slain.
One final port to Archimonde - would ONE port be that hard?
(I bet he's one of THOSE mages who makes ports to Stonard)

So look around you when you raid, or you may be like me
Just staring at health bars and loot - I often fail to see.
And if there's something I have missed, do please let me know
Coz really do I need more proof for peeps to think I'm slow? :D

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Raiding - Now that was a good week of raiding!

It was a pretty good week this week!  Not only did we get Socrethar down on heroic on Thursday, we also managed to get Archimonde on normal so now we have officially cleared HFC as a guild!

We did up to Gorefiend on Wednesday (which is also the last time we will be starting off with the first 6 - we now have our little bypass happening so we can go straight to the upper levels from next week) and on Thursday we did Socrethar and Iskar. It was good to get that down - trying to remember if I took a picture or not... I think I did.  I should go back and add that in later.

The strategy we ended up using was our normal strategy.  We did try to have everyone grouped on one side (Yuuda's strategy) but fires were just getting out of control and we were boxing ourselves in and taking unneccessary damage from fire and Chakram.  Eye of Anzu passing went very well (oh and by the way, if you drop off the edge with it, it respawns where Iskar's starting position is) and everyone had given the addon a good go, which is all I wanted, really. I am wondering if I am brave enough yet to try it without.

So we had two groups on either side and everyone was running to to the edge with their chakram which turned out ok.  I think in the end only Falln fell off early (LOL, ironic with his name and all) for the kill attempt and Ultra also had a death at the end because Sev held onto the orb for 3 seconds and let Ultra fall off with his wind.  I admit I was laughing hysterically about that - Ultra has been threatening to change his name to AAUltrapwnd so that he won't be at the bottom of the Iskar Assist addon when we order it alphabetically (since he always gets forgotten).

On Sunday we changed it so we now start at 830pm and raid till 11pm and so keen bean Kyxyn started the raid early and was clearing trash with everyone ready to go by 830pm standing at a boss. Interestingly, he had a plan of boss order kills that he put up as message of the day, and there was some good feedback about which bosses we should be doing first - with tier bosses being flagged as bosses we wanted to do early.  Adjustments were made and so that's why when I turned up we were at Xhul'horac to start off with. That fight is so bloody messy. I hope we clean it up a lot more before we attempt that on heroic.

Socrethar went down next and then we went on to do Tyrant, which was easier than I thought it would be given how confusing it was on LFR to understand. Poor Morz, his computer crashed as we approched Tyrant, and I said to him that we'd just do one pull first and then I'd get him back after this wipe... except that we one shot it.  Doh!

After that it was onto Iskar and then Fel-Lord and then we had our first guild look at Mannoroth. There were a few people who had done it already, and told us how "easy" it is.  I tell you, you feel like a real dumbass when you wipe to it after people say that.  So we did wipe once on Mannoroth before we got it down, and then everyone was excited because we were onto Archimonde.  Nok gave some really nice clear instructions for Mannoroth and that helped a lot, especially with stack points marked.

Sooo.... then we got to look at Archimonde.

It looks SO confusing.  There is so much going on!  Stack here, run there from fire, move your fire over this way, hit this orb thing, point your arrows out of the raid, stack up in the purple pool when people get shot in the air so we can cushion their fall with our bodies - but don't stand closer than 6 yards to someone or you'll get MORE purple pools and more people falling out of the sky, then run into the zone with the tank and kill the big add and kite a ball and then come back, dodge the infernals dropping out of the sky, don't get hit by ghosts, kill the adds then kill the boss....

Actually when I write it like that, it doesn't sound as bad as it felt.

People were keen to try it again on Monday and we persisted all night and we managed to get it when we dropped to 4 healers.  We also didn't send any healers in with the tank (which was just as well because it's a real poo-fight outside with healing anyway).  Yuuda went DPS and saved the day - I think Rag was jealous because he wants to DPS. I wish that my DPS was better so I could DPS and help out instead of just healing, but I guess people should be GLAD I'm not DPSing coz it's so woeful.

We had it on personal loot to maximise people getting things and we had quite a few people get loot - with Rowyn getting a personal loot AND rolling a bonus loot as well! Aimei, Aza got class trinkets, Yuuda got a staff and Kel got some gloves.  That's not a bad haul.

All up it was a really good week.  We will be starting from the upper level on Wednesday (since our best raid turnout and progression seem to be on Wednesday) and then it looks like we will have Monday for Archimonde after the Sunday run with some progress on whatever boss we're doing next (probably Xhul).  Great work Frostwolves!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Silly post - WoW Dad jokes

Someone linked these in raid and I had to laugh because some were so funny! Here are my faves (and get ready to groan!)

Why does the best raiding guild smell so bad?
Because they never wipe.

How do you know someone's been playing since Vanilla?
Don't worry they'll tell you.

How does Naxxrammas fly?
With its four wings.

Why didn't the warrior cross the road?
No path available.

What are the chances we've gotten the last patch before the next expansion?
Slim Tanaan.

What is a rogue's favourite drink?
Subtle tea.

Why is Cenarian Circle neutral?
Because a circle has no sides.

Why can't Warrior tanks have children?
Because they use Protection.

Why didn't the rogue like his daggers?
He wasn't a fan of knives.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Guildleader chores - Between rocks and hard places

I had an unexpected piece of drama on Monday which lead to some unfortunate unforseen results.

I will be the first to admit that when we did Iskar on normal, I was happy throwing the Eye of Anzu around using the standard interface.  When I was told there was an addon (Iskar Assist) and that it was good I poo-pood that idea and went on without it.

However, as some people tried it they said it was actually very good.  So I gave in and had a look, and I was sold - it reduced the amount of time I spent clicking (went to one click instead of two) and it made the fight so easy.

Obviously this pic is not taken from my UI, but you can see Iskar assist looks - and you can set it up so it doesn't take up so much room
When we tried Iskar on heroic, the winds were throwing people off so much faster than on normal that I said that everyone should get the addon in preparation for attempting it on heroic on Monday. I was irritated that when I asked people to do this small thing, that they would refuse. So I put a caveat on the not having the addon - that you would be unable to get EP from a kill of that boss. Which meant you can go ahead and not have the addon if you wish because I can't force anyone to do anything, but there are consequences of non compliance.

What I didn't expect was the resistance from a number of people about being told what to do and the backlash of what I had said.

Madcow was the first to protest and said he was not going to get the addon no matter what we said. Kyxyn had already tried to reason with him but I was logging on after struggling to get the kids to go to bed. Arguing with them and cajoling them to do my bidding may have tinged what I said to Madcow and I was a lot more forceful with him than I should have been.  I said flat out that there would be penalties for non compliance.

His answer to that was to argue with me about when has he ever wiped a raid because of him not having addons. And he was angry with me when I listed the times he had caused major dramas because of no addons.

As a result, he quit the guild.  Took all his toons out and then locked us out of Vent. And took me off battletag.

I was shocked. Madcow and I have been friends for 10 years, and officers for most of that time in Frostwolves. We've met up in real life, we have played together in other games, discussed our RL problems... to leave like that, I must have done a grievous injustice.  But my sorrow was overshadowed by my anger that he was trying to hurt me and everyone else by his actions.  In actual fact he was only angry with me.  He had no issues with anyone else in the guild.

At the same time, Aza said in raid that he didn't agree with the addon rules and that he would sit out of raid, only because he didn't believe in the rule but he wasn't leaving the guild, nor was he angry. Of everyone who protested I found what he said to be the most adult and reasonable way to deal with the situation and I have only the greatest respect and admiration for that.  I abashedly admit that of people being reasonable, I wouldn't have thought Aza would be the top of the list.  He even said to me that I could always count on him for one thing - and that was to disagree with what everyone else is doing. I couldn't help but laugh, but the comment was said in good humour.

Sev left the raid and game without a word, but it was obvious that it was in protest to the addon rule as well as supporting Madcow. Exray did not join the raid at all in his protest by staying on his alt and kept quiet as he often does.

The raid itself went on - in actual fact it was a rather enjoyable raid because everyone felt the need to be chatty and have a sense of bonding after the unpleasantness of what had just occurred (even if we didn't kill a boss). Someone even commented to me that Mumble was even more lively than normal as everyone was trying to defuse the tension.  It distracted me in a pleasant way. Early in the raid there was a lot of speculation in guild about what had happened, but I said in guild chat that I would explain what had occurred after raid had concluded if anybody cared to listen, but there was to be no more discussion about it until after 11pm.

Once 11pm rolled around the enormity of what had occurred suddenly weighed on me like someone who has having a heart attack.  The heaviness, the heartache, the feeling of doom... and I still had to tell everyone what happened.  I said in Mumble that I would be dropping a channel to explain what had just occurred if anyone cared to join me.

I think the channel switching was faster than any target switching on Kilrogg ever was.

Kyxyn and I explained what had occurred in as neutral a way as possible.  There were comments from our guildies using words such as "childish" and 'non-team player" and various other expletives, which I did not want encouraged. There were voices of support, which was encouraging, and I left shortly after to speak to Sev who wanted to express his dismay at what had occurred and to tell me I had handled the situation poorly.  I knew this already but I couldn't take what I had done back.  The crux of what Sev was trying to say was "We aren't children and we don't appreciated being treated like children."  I wanted to scream that everyone should stop acting like children then!  But that wouldn't have been very helpful.

I've had time now to sit back with clearer eyes and try to look at the issues that led to this boiling point.  There are a few things that I identified.

1. Lack of preparation time before the announcement
People would probably have had more time to vocalise their objections and reasons if we had done it in a period more than 10 minutes before the start of raid. Without time for them to discuss it they felt that they were pressured to give a quick answer which was either not raid or quit. We would also have more time to discuss solutions as well if we had talked more about it, rather than me be hardheaded and try to force the change in that brief period.

2. Lack of respect for the chain of command
Though we do encourage people to put forward their ideas and suggestions and often take them on board, someone has to make an original decision. It would be easier to come to that decision if people wrote to us with their suggestions in game (if we weren't online to discuss them) because the officers/raid leaders very rarely make a decision that wasn't in the best interest of the raid as a whole. Any team model will clearly state that you need a leadership pyramid of some sort to make the team function effectively as a whole.  If everyone puts in their ideas and are all "leaders" then no decisions will be made.

3. Unwillingness to change
Human nature tends towards comfort in what is known rather than what is new. I still remember the horror from guild about all the new people that joined when WoD started - some of whom are not integrated well into the main raid group.  I also screen much more heavily now with recruits than we used to do and instill upon them the importance of the 3 rules that are about making the guild environment a more comfortable place. Older members wonder about the three rules and often feel that the rules don't apply to them because "we were here before these new rules" - another feeling that they don't need to change "because there was nothing wrong with the way things were" or "we never used to do it like that".  Just because things weren't always this way doesn't mean it isn't better if we did it a different way - and you won't know till you try it. (This is something I say to my children about eating new food - you won't know if you don't like it until you try it)
Another change I have been trying to instill is that casual raiding players are still valuable players, not just the heroic raiders. Sundays are an example of this, and we have now stepped up and made Sundays more challenging than previously and in actual fact this might be a good change, as long as we remember that we don't make the casual players feel like they are worthless if they are putting in an effort. Changes are an important part of evolution - even Darwin would tell you that - but things need to be changed slowly, insidiously, rather than dropped on people like an nuclear warhead.

4. Aggressiveness from leaders
I was pushing hard for the addon and I had to resort to threats to get the message across which was not a good strategy at all and not in line with our general guild policy. Anger was directed at me (and rightfully so) and I think if I had just taken a 20 second pause before I let my fingers fly across the keyboard the situation could have been averted.  I suppose this could also be classed under communication.

5. Communication
It feels like communications is a factor in just about every problem that arises - it's like the default answer! Including the point above, you can say that I wasn't the only person who had an issue with the way I was communicating - Madcow did also.  Aggression feeds aggression.  The only person that I thought communicated well in the whole incident was Aza.  Though Kyxyn was trying to be reasonable by saying how important he thought the addon was, sometimes he gives off the air of being like a nagging school teacher (gosh, I wonder why) or a know-it-all, and it can rub people the wrong way.

6. Setting good examples and fairness
It sends a disturbing message when two officers did not raid because of the disagreement. It's unreasonable to think that all officers should follow the same pattern of thinking and ideas (because otherwise why would you need a few of them? They're just copies of each other) but in some situations the rest of the guild look to the officers for direction and for leadership. Officers should be chosen because of their leadership qualities, their ability to see "the big picture" and having a similar vision for the guild in terms of core values.
I've often pushed the policy of fairness for all, despite rank. For example, loot is distributed fairly because of a points based system where by contributing to the benefit of the team is worth more than an individuals personal contribution to the raid (eg healing, tanking or DPS).  This differs from other guilds who loot council because in those situations it is the best performing players or roles which get the loot first.

7. We are a casual guild
Forcing people to get an addon when we are only a casual guild - some people felt it was unfair because if we are going to force people to get an addon, are we going to force people to play certain specs, do a certain amount of HPS/DPS? Cull them from the raid because suddenly we are notw much more serious about raiding?  We do have players in our raid who are not stellar players and at this stage they haven't dragged us down (we did have to drop a few for Blackhand), but I think that if we were struggling because of those players and despite our best efforts to improve them they would recognise that they are holding us back and drop from the raid.

So what is my stance now?

I think most people were wondering what will happen now.  I am thinking mostly about how to move forward from this.  Kyxyn and I are still arguing about our approach to addons and we still have come to an agreement before we can decide how we will tackle it. I won't lie and say that it usually means Kyxyn will brow beat me about it until I submit to his way of thinking but if I have felt strongly about something we will come to a grudgingly acceptable conclusion.

I accept that the penalty about the addon was a poorly made decision, and I apologise for having pushed for it.  However it reflected the importance that Kyxyn, Aimei and I placed upon the value of the addon. It was disappointing to see that everyone would rather rebel than give it a go and discuss it - but probably the way it was worded had a lot to do with that. I feel shame in making a bad decision and having a bad outcome, and though I can't take back the past, the only thing I can do is apologise for it and move on.

Hopefully everyone will try it and give an honest opinion.  If it's crap, then they can tell us why they won't use it and that's the end of that.  But at least, give it a try.

Edit: Please do not use the comments for open slather criticism of any of my guildies or former guildies.  I can understand why they did what they did and they are great people - any grievances they had are directed at me and I accept that without any malice.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Navispam - My favourite artist, Sleeping Fox!

I have been wanting to take a picture with Sleepingfox in game for a long time, but she had quit WoW and playing other games but she sent me a message today to tell me she was going to play free for 7 days and wait for news of the upcoming expansion.

In case you have forgotten who she is, she does some awesome art and I commissioned a great number for my guildies as well as for myself!  My avatar, which is my face all over the place was the first commission that started a flood of WoW Sleepingfox chibis - all amazingly adorable and brilliant!

Anyway, it was a perfect opportunity for a navispam!

So we met up in Mogu'shan Palace, since we were unable to meet cross server (thank goodness for instances!) and took a pic!

To be honest, I was surprised she was a male tauren.  She did this picture of herself and I swear I thought it was a female.... until I looked closely at it.

We spent a while trying to get cats to sit on our laps.  It appears that cats do not want to sit on tauren laps!

Thanks Sleepingfox, hope you hang out in WoW for a while and keep up the amazing artwork :D

Monday, August 3, 2015

Horde Report: Rumours of a new threat - details later this week

New information revealed last week stated a new threat may be on the horizon.  Horde sources said that more will be known by the end of the week when spies return with more intel.

There was much discussion within the guild Frostwolves about this disturbing news.

"We don't need another war," said Navimie, the tauren druid leader of the guild. "This war has taken so many casualties - the number of fighters in the war effort has been decreasing steadily since the war began with not much to entice new recruits into the fray."

"I think the threat will come from the sea," said Duckalot.  "The South seas."

Owl was of the opinion that Azshara would be involved.  "I think the Horde should start recruiting some Demon hunters and Primals to join our fight. That would boost our numbers significantly."

Yuuda was nonchalant about the news.  "I will join the fight no matter what we're fighting.  I don't care who or what it is."

Voe shared this opinion.  "Really, I don't even know why were fighting this war in the first place.  I'm just here because I wanted to fight with my friends.  I missed the war in Pandaria, and I'm still catching up with all the changes."

Lieutenant Sars had an alternative opinion.  "I think that the leadership is looking at new ways to keep us in the fight. It wouldn't surprise me if they conjure up some magic ways to train new fighters to be instantly battle ready, if one had the gold to be able to do so."

Hearthstone games around Shrine of the Two moons have been very popular since their release, and had been free to play.  War recruiters have looked at this and found that people seem very willing to part with their gold for the chance at better play or collecting cards.  Vol'jin's magic council may be working on some way for this to be implemented in the war effort to ensure enough troops for battle.

"It would make sense to have the war start after they do some propaganda to drum up the recruits," said Kyxyn, one of the guild's main tanks.  "It wouldn't surprise me if there was some flyers, leaflets or other media release done to generate interest."

"If there's propaganda I hope they release a movie version because I don't want to read about it," stated Aimei, the other guild main tank.

"That's just stupid," said Madcow.  "Who the f*** would watch a damned movie and get inspired to fight? Movies are about sitting on your ass for hours whereas fighting's on your feet.  You can't tell me they're related."

War efforts are costly and the goblins have come up with new ways to gain profit from the war. Toys, costumes and even collectable statuettes of Grom Hellscream have been seen floating around in the market, and have been so popular and profitable that Vol'jin has since decree that 80% of profits from these war racketeers has to be commandeered for the future war effort.

"I'm more worried they're going to start charging us more gold for bank space or closet storage next," said Biship.  "It's really hard storing all my outfits - but I think I for one would be happy to part with gold if it meant a bigger wardrobe."

"It may mean that fighters will no longer have to pay to be part of the war efforts," said Arelion. "Those are the ways of the past.  But Vol'jin will need to think of new ways to fund the efforts - I hope that he has a good team of goblins advising him on the most successful and ethical ways to proceed."

Stay tuned for more updates later this week when our reporters bring you the latest on the Horde Report.