Thursday, April 30, 2015

New pets

My poor pet collection has been sorely neglected but it has been bulked up significantly in the past week or two with some gifts, as well as me doing avid fishing to get my Nat Pagle coins.

In raid the other week, Yuuda was cooking and he got a Lil Leftovers! I yelled grats to him and expressed my envy and he promptly gave me the little pet.  Awww! I thanked him profusely and admired it for a little bit before we went on with our Blackhand attempts.

After raid, I was cooking in my garrison and I got my own Lil Leftovers, which I passed on to McTacky.  He seemed rather thrilled to receive the scary little blob with its half digested drumstick.

Then Sars gave me a Land Shark, which was a Nat Pagle coin pet, and I gave my one away and kept his.

My Shark was photobombed by this annoying Frostwall rat.

Then I used my coins to get the Seal Calf, which I don't find particularly attractive, so the poor thing will probably remain unnamed.

Then I had some lovely donations from guildies who felt sorry for me.  Thanks Buggers and Jazeel!\

Now I really need to stop being lazy and get my Raiding with Leashes III done.  Just a few more to go and I can have my own little Christmas ornament Naaru dream pet!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Raiding - Chronicles of a Blackhand failer

I shouldn't really be writing about this, because talking about how bad a player I can be will make the eyes roll of those who may be perusing my blog (especially people like my friend CTwin or even Balkoth) and I may get a whole heap of advice about things that I'm already doing, which is all very well meaning, except trying to execute it is the part that requires... more skill, for a lack of a better word!

So Monday was Blackhand night again.  And it really felt struggly as we tried to get through phase 1... again. Healing it with 3 druids and a paladin seemed good in theory with 2 Aspect of the Foxes and a Hand of Protection, but people were still dying.  Some of that was bombs, some of that was no getting behind piles, some of that was healing not going great, and I felt like my tranq on the second demo even with a HoP was very uninspiring. So I tried dropping Dream of Cenarius and tranq'ing with Heart of the Wild and the numbers were more impressive IF I remembered to activate it before I started to tranq.  I was so busy trying to position myself behind a pile before I started to tranq so that I wouldn't get shot whilst tranqing that I kept forgetting - it's not like I normally use it in raiding, it's something I PvP with.  And of course I kept forgetting what the buff of Aspect of the Fox looked like so I could even move with it if I wanted to but I DIDN'T! Why don't I use weak auras or something?? What if what if what if!

It probably took me 40-50 goes to figure out I should be standing behind a rubble pile to cast tranquility because I seem to get marked for death a lot when I am doing tranq or I am standing in just the wrong spot so that I get shot by it because everyone has run behind me with it. Ultra has since been calling for people to use the far away ones rather than the melee ones to hide behind which is really helpful to me.

We tried switching up heals a bit and the combination that seemed to work best was 2 paladins 2 druids. I had noticed that most people kill it with 3 healers for our number but I guess while we're learning we need to do it with 4.

Of course, that meant Yuuda was going boomkin so that meant I had to stop sucking on the knockback in second phase and get knocked up and heal.  So I tried really hard to stop missing it and managed to get up most times though often I was a little bit off and thus on the wrong side. The next thing is trying to rejuv everyone first before I get thrown up and then getting them all rejuv'd again before I jump back down.  I hadn't quite figured that out until Yuuda explained it to me (as I wasn't sure when I needed to come back).  Which meant no more Moment of Clarity and back to Germination.

Healing still seems so heavy in that phase.  And of course in our last attempt for the night, we were about to get knocked up and I stepped in a bomb and killed the tank and the group being thrown up. GOOD ONE NAVI.  But on the plus side, I have got my raiding viagra and I'm getting UP every time now!

I have considered if we need a disc priest, because that would be so helpful.  Grimm has offered to bring his priest, as that is his main but I forced him to play druid because I didn't want any more healers. In hindsight I will probably kick myself for that.  But then, it will go against what I said about switching to other toons for fights, or leaving those out who may not be up to the fight.  It's something I said we would not do.  It's Thok all over again, struggling to make the healing and DPS work exactly right.  It feels impossible at the moment, but I really want to make it work because it will be oh that much more satisfying if we do it!

Unfortunately it would be like Aza said when we were doing Thok - it's as if Navi would drag down the whole guild by forcing them to use what we have in stead of what we could use with an alt/2nd toon.  It's so hard to stick to your principles when you want a kill - but once we cross that line we will do it again and again, until all that matters is the kill, and not about playing for fun with the toons we have.  What's fun about wiping over and over, I hear you ask? It isn't fun, that is true, but if and when we do succeed, it will be great and all the more satisfying.

IF we get there, that is.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Ways you can tell Draenor is slowing down

It was Saturday night and I was just bumming around doing my usual things, and I thought I would look around in group finder to see what there was to do.  Usually someone is doing LFR on an alt for their ring stuff, so I thought I'd go for that and get some gold and some stuff to DE, but nobody was doing it, and Kyjenn was telling me the other day that LFR queues have been really long because... well nobody is doing them.

Then I went to look in group finder to see what arenas I could do.  There were none listed.  Weird. So I went to RBGs - same, none listed.  Maybe my group finder was buggy.

So I went to Draenor raids to see what there was and it was empty too.  Surely that must be wrong. But when I went into the questing tab there were a couple things there so it was working....

Which means, hardly anybody is in Draenor doing things.

I guess it is because it's so long between new content. When they wanted to bring back the Vanilla feel to people I guess they really brought it all back - long time between content, no flying, stats being squished - and I guess everyone will by now realise those weren't the good old days.

People are already losing interest in our raids, both heroic and casual, so it doesn't surprise me really. I guess I was suprised to be seeing it so soon.  I wonder what subs are like at the moment.

BGs seem to be still going ok, with queue times.  Ashran is abyssmal now with Alliance dominating it constantly. Are the low numbers of Horde because of lack of interest in game or is it just that there are tons more alliance?

WoW tokens are quite cheap here - selling at just under 20k. Do you think that means that people are not interested in game time and the price is low?  Or that it's just the market and people are undercutting each other?

And I've got more things to add to my list of quality of life things that I think should be improved in game. But that's a post for another day.  

Friday, April 24, 2015

Do I REALLY want to be Mythic raider?

So we're just bashing away at Blackhand and making little steps of progress which would be much better if I didn't keep stuffing up every now and then.  But I am slowly getting the hang of where I should be doing things - I was never the sharpest tool on the bench when it comes to learning an encounter! Which is an odd thing to say when I literally hold people's lives in my hands, but crisis situations are done best with a bit of muscle memory, and doing medical and specialist training we do a lot of that so that we don't freeze and panic when the shit hits the fan.

We had an extremely low turnout yesterday.  15 people! Koda had a family emergency and Kaillynn had a family thing on.  Aza has decided to take a break because he's not really enjoying raiding at the moment and wants to get his mojo back.  Sev is still on break.  Duck has been studying (though not sure if he will go with his friends when he does get back to full time raiding), and so has Snowcaller. Dragonray is sorting out her RL house stuff, and I have no idea where Falln was.  Grimmchook was working.

Anyway, we obviously wouldn't do mythic when we are at low numbers, but do I REALLY want to recruit to be able to do it?  When the guild goes back into full swing, I'd be overloaded with people again.  To be honest, there are a few people who said that if we didn't do mythic, they would rather take a break from raiding, and that's fine, because we aren't really one of those guilds to push that stuff.  I don't want everyone to get burnt out, and those who are here are here for the guild, not for the raiding.  Or at least, that's what I have always sold this guild as. Looking at who we have, I am sure that we wouldn't lose anyone.

It seems weird though.  We have always raided, and never taken a break, not as a guild. It would be a first, but then it would also be a first killing the last boss in the first tier of an expansion!

Obviously if we had numbers, I'd not worry about it.  In fact, I was more worried about people sitting out than trying to find people.  It's actually a big relief to think that I don't have to decide who sits and who raids, and just tell everyone that we're not raiding for a bit, and to pug stuff on the server if they wish to raid mythic - obviously there is the concern that if some people did that, they would leave and join those guilds, and that's ok.  I have always said that we are not about raiding, we are about being a community and if people are not having fun, then we stop, so we can all get back into it together, as a group.  We could even go back and work on our raid achievements or something fun at least, because Sundays haven't really been the days we'd do that since we're trying to get through content for the casuals.  There are heaps of options to consider.

I think the question I was asking myself, was would I pug mythic?  I wouldn't do it if it would compromise our mythic raiding, obviously, but if everyone was having a break, then I would probably go help someone if they asked.  I wouldn't go looking for it.  I think Yuuda would probably want to.  It'

In fact, thinking about doing achievements if we were forced to do a break has cheered me up somewhat, because I am sure I could drag a few people to do that.  Thinking about trying to click those ore deposits on the ceiling in Gruul's chamber sounds like fun!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Fishy thoughts and fishy fun - great weather for it too

As NSW struggles through the worst storms in 8 years (some residents saying it's the worst storm they have seen in 25 years), I can imagine that internet connections and power outages will play havoc with a lot of NSW WoW players, and of course I'm particularly interested in what is going to happen tonight. The state Premier has even told employers to be flexible and encourage people not to drive in peak times, avoid going out in flooded areas and even told people to go home early.

But, I'm more interested lately in fishing than anything else.  I am not sure why. Maybe it's because of the weather.  Maybe it's because cooked fish have been selling well on the auction house. Maybe it's because Australia recently got Netflix and I have been binging on TV shows like Daredevil (OMG I LOVE IT) and other movies whilst I have been sitting at my computer.  I don't normally watch much TV.

But I think it's because I have a quadruple goal for fishing.  I'm fishing for raid food, at the same time I'm catching Lunkers (once I get 5 I go back to the garrison to turn in at Nat Pagle), and I can use those coins to buy pets and a mount.  AND THEN, I can cook all those fish and MAYBE I'll be lucky and get a Li'l Leftovers (another pet!). And of course, any spare food, after I give a stack to guildies who like eating it, I can sell on the AH and it seems to sell quite fast.

I do have a bee in my bonnet about something and it's not a really big thing, just a quality of life thing. When you go to Nat Pagle, he lists all the seven Lunkers you can hand in.  You have to pick from the list of seven which Lunker to hand in, and you can only do it one at a time.  The hand-in is not dissimilar to Angry Zurge in Ashran, where you can hand in Severed Night Elf head, Tufts of Gnome Hair and other Alliance racial PvP tokens from kills - except when you go speak to him, he just has the hand in quests available to hand in, which makes it a bit easier.  Why can't the hand in be like Angry Zurge?  Would be so easy to click then!  I did tweet them to ask, but it's not a particularly interesting topic to reply, so I probably won't see that tiny thing resolved. I'm sure everyone is busy with patch 6.2.

With Nat's hat or Nat's Drinking Hat (using the +150 lures you get from it), I don't really need to use the +200 worm lures, as long as I'm wearing one of the fishing hats (Hightfish cap or Tentacled hat) I will always catch enormous fish with my fishing skill.  I must say I much prefer the hats to the fishing rod (since that only has a 1 day duration compared with the hats' 7 day duration).

I don't understand the flavour text of Nat's Drinking Hat.  It says it looks better with blurry vision. But it doesn't. Nothing does.  Not even me.

Totally smashed... hic!
Even though Nat's Drinking hat has +5 more fishing skill than Nat's Hat, I don't really like the colour - the purple colour of Nat's Hat matches my outfit much better.

I think that's enough talking.  The fishing rod is calling me...

Monday, April 20, 2015

Shab moving to Alliance - ending an era of arena partnership!

I have often felt bad that I can't PvP more with Shab, and had hoped he would make more PvP friends, and he did.  Jinjersnaps had come back and he had been PvPing with her a lot.  After all, I felt like I had DRAGGED him back to the game, and now that he (and Sev) are getting older, their ability to stay up late to arena and PvP has diminished. I, however, am still up at stupid hours of the night... often wishing I had someone to

Last Friday, he mentioned to me that there are so many more people playing on Alliance. He wasn't feeling well, but we managed to get a small Ashran group doing, got a few events done before we were snowballed by Alliance (and also killed their leader) so that was good.  After that we did some BGs, which we won all except for one.

On Saturday when I logged on, Shab said he had something he wanted to talk to me about. I knew what it was going to be - nobody ever starts the conversation with those words without me guessing what it is. I said "Wait, let me guess, you're going to Alliance to PvP?"

It is selfish of me to want him to remain, and I KNOW that he would get better longevity in the game going somewhere that he can PvP like he wants.  But he's been here SO LONG, he was the first and probably one of the very few people who had levelled within the guild on their main from 1 to max.

We have this funny RL connection, one of those 6 degrees things (more like 2 degrees). He mentioned to me once that he had a relative working at my hospital and when I asked about it he told me what they did, and I was shocked because then I said his relative's name and he said oh, you know them?  Know them?  Their office was next door to mine! I knew them very well!

Whenever I was excited about PvP stuff I would be ringing Shab.  I still remember his fanboy stuff that he wanted me to do - and I ended up taking that pic with Sodah at Blizzcon in 2013 and then calling him straight away to say OMG GUESS WHAT I DID!

And that time that he was in Swifty's Twitch?  Now that was cool :)

Of course we will remember fondly all those frozen orbs that seemed to be going nowhere.... and Shab's ability to sheep people who are about to die is about as amazing as my ability to cyclone people who are about to be killed as well.

I fully admit that I have not enjoyed PvP this season - partially because of Ashran and the compulsory 200 conquest that comes from there (and of course the converse, where you can just run around and get all your conquest from there), and the other part because I feel like a double caster team really struggles in arena, which was very different from a few seasons ago when we we were having a grand time in arena.

And so, after 9 years it's good bye to Shab, as he moves over to Alliance.  He said to me, he will miss sheeping Sev's targets, and I laughed.  He could just sheep Sev instead :D

I guess I'll see you on the other side of the battleground Shab! And it isn't goodbye - realID is only a keystroke away - and I'm sure we will find some other stupid fanboy thing to stand around all day waiting for sometime in the future.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Minipost: Raiding - It's nice to be raiding again

I was pleased to be raiding, and for once we were HEAVY on healers! On Wednesday we had Morz there so Yuuda went moonkin (which meant I could look like a good druid healer for once) and Kyjenn was a little hesitant tanking heroics, hoping it would go well, and it did go well.  We did our 7 as usual on heroic farm day, and with a nice turnout.

Thursdays are always funny and people seem to be randomly not turning up to raid.  Aza was sick, no Snowcaller and Koda was late (and Luxy had some weird connection issues). This time we were under 20 people, still comfortable with the healers, and made our way to Blackfuse.  There was one wipe on Maidens where Kyjenn went a different way to they way Snowcaller normally goes, but I didn't really find that a problem - I wanted to try and cheese it with the boxes and I tried it on barrels and that didn't work well.

Anyway, I am still being totally stupid on healing because I'm still struggling to get my tranquility going with aspect of the fox and Hand of Protection on me. Ultra asks if I need fox and I reply but often I don't hit the PTT button properly or something and I THINK I've got the buff but I don't and then muck up my tranquility.  Yuuda suggested using 2 healer cooldowns for that phase which is a good idea since we aren't going to use them anyway till phase 3 and that made our healing a little easier. Kaillynn had not done Blackhand but was too shy to speak up and poor thing, it was noticed she was running around unsure of what to do sometimes!

We made some progress - at least we got a siege engine down with no fire! Still a whole day on Monday to wipe on it and  make a I hope that I can get my tranquility right.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Even more Warcrafts (and gifts) to feast your eyes upon

Luxy and I were chatting about our favourite recent Warcrafts and there have been some real cool things out there lately which can also make really cool gifts.  Etsy is such a great place to see people's creativity :D

This custom L'il Tarecgosa is made by Magnastorm (who does Plushie commissions) and this one is exceptional! She is 24" long with a 35" wingspan - close to what it shoule be actual size!
This plush Pepe made by HollyIvyDesigns is for sale at her Etsy store, and is absolutely adorable! Apparently a little bit too heavy to keep perched on your head though...
This druid inspired chain mail bracelet with tiger's eye beads is made by @Ketsuki_WoW and her Etsy store is full of WoW inspired bracelets and lanyards - she has been busy making heaps or orders for people for Blizzcon!
ParadoxYoga has a ton of custom WoW print leggings in her store and they have gotten some really good reviews!
My friend Euphyley has been making a lot of steeds out of polymer clay lately and this Dreadsteed looks fantastic!  Her Headlesss Horseman mount is also really cool :D
Now this is a cool luggage tag!  Handmade by Jameson at LudoModernLeather, he has some other WoW inspired handmade leather items in his Etsy store, including leather notebooks, iPad sleeves and keyring fobs.  His leather is made with organic and water-based treatments wherever possible, making his products fully biodegradable and natural (except for the metal bits of course).
These cookie cutters by StarCookies are made with a 3D printer are constructed of biodegradable plastic.  You can buy the alliance or the horde one! Great for cake decorating too!
It Came From the Internet has lots of cool WoW inspired items in their store, including these keyrings, and also rings at quite affordable prices.  I could imagine using these as stocking stuffers! 
What have you seen lately that was crafty and could make a good gift for your WoW crazy friends? Would love to hear about any other cool things!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A guild run of Blackrock Foundry

Well, we finally got the achievement for finishing BRF as a guild, when we did Blackhand on normal. It felt messy to me, but I was just glad to be home and raiding.  We had a few goes at Blackhand on heroic but didn't get very far.  People need to be moving in the right directions and not standing on bombs - me included.  It was nice just to get back into the swing of things... and the week off did wonders for my seals, as now I am sitting at 9.

And we also had under 20 people.  Not that I was particularly concerned, since we have a ways to go before we'd even look at mythic, but are we suddenly joining the ranks of those guilds being unable to do mythic because of numbers?  There are a few people who will probably be unable to commit to mythic raiding - which will require things like a full time commitment and no leaving early or starting late - totally different to how this wonderful flex business works for casual raiding.

Even so, I have never touted ourselves as a mythic guild. It will certainly be interesting trying to heal heroic Blackhand with 3 druids and a paladin/holy priest.  I wonder how next week will be!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Making the most out of the new Ashran

Ashran as Horde now has been pathetic now. I can't get into groups, I can't get any Conquest, I can't kill their faction leader. What is there now to do in Ashran except work on my Gladiator Sanctum achievements?

So I feel the only way now to get any Conquest is to release the prisoners.  It's a long slog just to get the 75 conquest points from releasing all 3.

So, I dragged Aimei, Sev and Ultra into the prison so that we could release the prisoners.  But while we were waiting for the Prison Guard to respawn we decided to take some selfies in the prison.

It was weird in this picture, Ultra was taking a selfie but he looks like he's pointing at something.

So I have been reduced to just doing the objectives on the edges for gold and honour. However, then I went with Gunnar into Ashran and he showed me that a bunch of items that are like the treasures around in Draenor, which contain artifact fragments.

At least it's something to do when I'm there, and at least they give me honour which I can spend on buying stuff to disenchant.  But I don't want honour... I want my 200 conquest for the week!

I was lucky just the other night because I went into group finder for PvP and under Ashran there was one group - an oceanic group - and I joined them and yay, I got a group!  Unfortunately they were in a different instance of Ashran to me - we had found this issue when we Frostwolves grouped up to do Ashran, but it would be fixed by zoning out of Ashran and zoning back in.  So I did that and was in their instance which was a lot better than the one I was in - where Alliance was whooping our asses and people were asking for groups but none were being made.  So if worst comes to worst, I think it's a good idea to drop it into the Ashran group finder - I think if I do group up with some guildies we might do that, and go around doing events or something.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Non WoW - A few days away from civilisaton

It's Easter break and my family is away for holidays in the wild Australian Outback, checking out the red centre of Australia.

At Uluru we stayed at a resort, then moved on to some glamping as we moved outwards to explore other places.

There were a few days where I had no internet and no phone reception.  I thought I would be having dreadful withdrawal.  But I was too tired from walking all day to worry about logging in to do stuff.

Even now back in civilisation at Alice Springs, I haven't been able to logon - once I lie down with the kids I all asleep (and there is nobody to wake me up for raid time) and then when I wake up at 1am I feel bad if I start tapping away on the keyboard and wake up everyone since we're all in the same hotel room.

Today we're going to be taking a long train ride to Adelaide in luxury (with exorbitant price to match) and hopefully I'll get to meet up with some guildies there.  I am glad to see that there was some heroic killing going on whilst I was away - I noticed three bosses went down - and that there was a little patch and they introduced the WoW token.  You know, the first thing I thought when I saw that was "Well, Luxy will never have to pay for WoW time ever again!"

Well, it's always going to be easier for me to buy my time with real money than with game money. The ability to make money in game in large amounts still eludes me :D  Though with the garrison I do make some money!

Monday, April 6, 2015

27k Conquest done!

I felt a bit strange this season, getting this achievement.

I have never done any of the "Conquest" achievements without doing a buttload of arena games or RBGs, and this season I was really lazy. The Gladiator's Sanctum gave me a decent amount of conquest, as did Ashran.

But, I must have done more arenas than I thought because I did manage to do my 100 Arena games for the mount back in February and get my Rainbow Raptor.

And also the Coliseum threw in a fair amount of Conquest too.  But I've only done it once.

And it's been a crappy season for me. I haven't been trying very hard to arena, and I haven't enjoyed doing a double caster arena.  I have really liked a melee/caster comp (though I wonder what a double melee comp would have been like).

I did a couple of games as Boomy but it's not really my thing so I didn't enjoy it.  I don't mind so much being Boomy for battlegrounds though, but I still think I do best in games where I'm healing.

The achievement itself is quite easy to do if you cap every week.  You don't even need to do extra cap, like get rating in RBGs or Arenas.  It makes me wonder if they should make it a little harder just to show you put in the extra yards for the achievement.  If that had been the case maybe I would have put in some extra yards for it.

That still leaves Sev without his 100 games.  His ambivalence about playing doesn't help me get motivated, and the lack of a willing melee DPS (especially a DK coz I love DK afflock) makes it a difficult also.  We did try a few pugs a few weeks ago - one paladin was decent but terribly condescending - it started out with him telling Sev to play demo and berating me for not healing him when he was next to me.  Got rid of him. Then we did a carry arena which won a few games but mostly were losses. Anyway, I will hopefully feel a bit more motivated next after this holiday!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Guildleader chores - When one door closes, another opens

I am feeling really lucky at the moment. Feast or famine, drought or flood, that's what it feels like when it comes to recruiting.

With one ranged DPS leaving earlier this week, the balance between ranged and melee was rather grim.  In fact, we raid very melee heavy usually which isn't always great (though at least they are all bunched up for easy healing).  We usually run with 2 DKs, enh shaman, ret pally, 2-3 warriors and 2 monks. Though in recent times, I have been using the enhance shaman (Sars) and one of the monks (Punchynok) to heal to get the balance a bit more even.

AAAAND another ranged DPS stepped down from heroic raiding - Dragonray has a lot of busy IRL things to do and just hasn't got the time to commit to raiding even though she says she would love to raid. Hopefully things will settle down and she can return, or maybe she can come to casual runs on the weekend.

But with the 2 new paladins, Kaillynn and Ragnarokk, it's been great.  Ragnarokk has been masquerading as ret but his healing offspec is fantastic.  My healing problems are over!  Except that I have no disc priest (and at this stage, we seem to be coping well without one).  I have enough offspecs to cover in times of strife, and they are all good offspec healers too.

But there is MORE.

I had another holy paladin asking to join the guild recently (who is the friend of another guildie) - looking for something a little less hardcore than their current guild.  I feel bad, I want to have him, he seems ok, but do I really have the room? I hate to waste a good player, and this guy seems nice (if not a little... monotoned when spoken to). I told him to wait until his mate is back and then could bring them on together - who knows who will be sick of raiding by then, right?

The other night Yuuda said he had a friend who would be interested in joining.  His friend, like him, was an ex-hard core raider, but stepping back because he'd had 2 young kids. He was currently unable to raid regularly because his guild raids from 730pm which for anyone with 2 kids is a really crappy time, which is why we raid so late (all my fault, really).  He was quiet, was happy just to be able to raid a few times a week and have people to talk to.  I went over the guild rules with him, and he seemed a little bemused by them, but was fine.  And last night, he transferred over, on his boomkin.  I mentioned it to my work colleague today (Cav, who was guildies with Yuuda on alliance) and when I told him the name, he asked if it was his disc priest who came over, because he was excellent.  Unfortunately it was not (I don't need healers right now!) but I hope that his boomkin is good! Anyway, he's here now. Maybe our ranged DPS will be more evened out!

I also had a previous member want to return to the guild.  However, I am a bit confused why they want to return.  When they first joined they left within a few weeks.  Then they came back, and then they left again.  They said that work made it difficult for them to raid with us, but now their job has changed but I'm not sure if they would just come here and then leave again whenever some other thing changed for them.  If they left so many times, surely the guild isn't what they're looking for, right?  I dunno, it's a funny situation but they haven't gotten back to me about why they wish to return.

We also had a member returning to the guild - Lunasee - who has moved to NZ from the UK, and she is playing her rogue and is hoping to be able to raid.  Catching up is always a bitch, but if she is keen to raid I think she will level quickly. I had hoped that Shoushiro would raid but he hasn't been turning up lately...

I feel fortunate we are not in the situation that a number of guilds on the server seem to be in - hovering at the 17 mark, finished heroic Blackhand and unable to do mythic.  We still have a ways to go before Blackhand goes down, so I won't have to worry about that magic 20 number for a while yet.  Though I tell you I am not looking forward to it because then comes the awkward sitting people out business.... I hope that people will be cool about it like we were in Siege of Orgrimmar. Or I could speak too soon and have a bunch of people quit raiding.  Either way, it's a good bunch at the moment and I couldn't be more pleased! :)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Raiding - A good 2 days

Holidays always put a dent on raiding, and with Easter coming up we weren’t sure what was going to be happening over the holidays. I knew what was going to happen – I was going on holidays so that means no raiding for me!

Wednesday was a funny day – Koda was not there nor was Duck. And we had Ant and Frostie come so we thought it would be good to do some easy bosses first. For a change we started with Gruul then Oregorger and went down to Beastlord, Thogar and then Iron Maidens. Unfortunately, Iron Maidens was difficult to do, even with 2 people who were not that well geared and we had to drop them so we could get Maidens down. It didn’t feel as tidy as previous Wednesdays where we did 7 bosses in a night so I was think it wasn’t a great start to the raid week.

Then Thursday came around and we only had 19 in raid. No Arelion, as he was out, no Yuuda as it was his birthday. it was over to Hans and Franz, Flamebender, Kromog and then Blast Furnace. With Yuuda out we were down one healer, but we ran with 2 paladins and 2 druids for Hans and Franz, got Punchynok to heal for Flamebender and then got Crooked to heal as well for Kromog. We did wipe once on Kromog and then I was feeling a bit bleh about Blast Furnace. I think everyone was not feeling very optimistic. Kaillynn and Koda had missed the kill last week, and Duck hadn’t been there either. It might take us a few goes.

It took only ONE.

We one shot Blast Furnace, and I am wondering whether having 2 paladins is part of the difference. Healing was smooth, cooldowns were good and it seemed so tidy! Kaillynn got a bit excited at the end and was up with the melee when we kept trying to get her back to the ranged, and left some unfortunate slag on the ground, but we all ran through it and we survived! Man, that was good!
I managed to roll the tier pants and was lucky and got a socketed version! Now I can use my useless 4 piece tier and still wear my cool Haste/Mastery helm from Highmaul.

So what do we do now? It was only 1020pm!

Whilst Hwired did loot, the other officers had a quick discussion about what to do – attempt heroic Blackhand, find a save for normal Blackhand (unfortunately it was Yuuda with it), or do Mythic Highmaul - and we decided to do mythic Highmaul. However, the stupid maker of that decision forgot that there were only 19 people in the raid (yes, that was me), and then one left and we were down to 18 so we couldn’t do it anyway. Hwired laughed at our stupidity and we ended up calling it a night early, as a lot of people were very close to getting their legendary rings and wanted to get them. I also had not packed for my trip. So I went to go do that and came back to find a number of guildies had their ring, which was great!

I thought that they would work on Blackhand next week, because turnups may be a bit sketchy.  But you never know, they might have enough for a heroic farm of a few easy bosses!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Faction changing does NOT make you lose your follower traits

Before 6.1 there was a lot of comments about what happened to your followers in your Garrison.

In December 2014 there were heaps of posts in various places about follower abilities being randomised after a faction change.

Probably the biggest "bug" on the list, ALL your followers abilities and traits get randomized, even the neutral ones. Followers always have 1 predetermined Ability and 1 predetermined trait and the others are random depending on what quality your follower is. All followers keep their quality, level and Ilvl but the Alliance specific ones get turned into their Horde counterpart. These followers are pretty much never the same class on both sides and have completely different main abilites so these are pretty changed (Understandable) but their other traits/abilites are also randomized.

- Krabban (source: Reddit)
However, ALL of their traits changed.
I had some really good lineups, now half of my epic followers are useless.

- Tassit (source: Wowhead)
I now have 12 followers with "Danger Zone" ability and only one with "Wild Aggression". I had 3 Scavenger trait-followers but now only one.
Bodyguard reputations reset, I no longer have any rep with any bodyguards.
These problems are the ones I have noticed so far.. I'm so sad.
- Quickwitted (source: Reddit)

From Blizzard WoW Support, the article on Faction changing says (updated 25 March 2015):
Your followers and completed Garrison buildings will not be lost.
Unfinished missions or buildings, or incomplete work orders before changing factions will be lost.
Faction-specific followers are replaced by an equivalent follower from your new faction. Follower traits stay the same when changing factions, but follower abilities may change.
We had a new boomkin transfer over from Alliance yesterday and he said all his traits were preserved.  He was worried about losing all his epic mount, scavenger and treasure hunters, but when he checked his followers, he still had the same amount of traits that he had previously - obviously all his followers were converted to the Horde equivalents.

So that is a big relief!  So now you can safely faction transfer and keep all your traits.

One other thing about followers:
For Harrison Jones and Garona, they have set traits (Harrison has Mentor and Garona has Master Tactician). These traits are NOT rerolled with a trait randomisation.  They are permanent.  I rerolled the traits on Garona today and still kept my Master Tactician.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

A Veteran Frostwolf!

There was a lot of hype a couple of months ago about the veteran statue to long term players.  I saw a lot of people talking about it on Twitter, and I didn't know that anyone in Australia that had one.

Until now.
As a way to thank our most loyal World of Warcraft players, we are sending a physical gift to players that have stuck with us since the very beginning. Eligible players have received an email at their registered email address. If you did not receive an email, your account does not qualify for this gift. 
These gifts have been sent to the physical address associated with eligible accounts. To be eligible for this gift, a player must have created a World of Warcraft account within 60 days of the game launching in the NA or EU regions, and maintained their subscription or game time for all ten years. 
Eligible players have been sent tracking information for the gift. If the shipping address on that email is incorrect, you will need to contact us with your updated information.
- Blizzard Entertainment 

So one member of Frostwolves is a Veteran Player!  He sent me a picture of his statuette and was rather chuffed about it.

Can you guess who was the Frostwolf?

I love this expression LOL! Congrats to Sevrus, who has continuously subbed to WoW for 10 years (well subbed within 2 months from the launch).  We have a number of people with Vanilla collector's Editions (Kyjenn, Disco) but those guys have had periods of unsubbing from the game, which meant they were ineligible for the Veteran gift.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Raiding - Blasting the Furnace!

It was a bad start to the night.  Two of my healers were unable to attend raid (Kaillynn and Koda) and I truly wondered whether we should bother attempting Blast Furnace.  I wasn't the only one.  A few others suggested we do normal Blast furnace rather than wipe all night on it.

Arelion and Sars were also missing and that was a shame because shaman DPS was amazing for Blast Furnace.

Our first few attempts were woeful.  People were dying and we hadn't even gotten to the second phase yet.  The sides were unbalanced. We juggled DPS around and poor Dragonray was a bit confused because Kyjenn told us at the start that he'd put us on the same sides as Thursday... except she wasn't and she didn't realise it and neither did Kyjenn!

Our first 4 attempts were very uninspiring.  I was OOM for one attempt not even getting into Phase 2. We did more balancing and then we had a really good attempt on the 5th go.  It was promising! People had been a lot better with moving the focussed Our following attempt was similar and then our 7th go was a 33% wipe on phase 3 and we were so pumped! On our 8th go I was super conservative on mana and managed to get to phase 3 with full mana (unlike my previous attempts) and we managed to kill it!

However, I don't feel like I healed it very well.  Yuuda said I should have taken Germination as my talent rather than Moment of Clarity, but MoC saved me so much mana that fight.  I'm not sure but I will figure it out I guess the next time.

Some people were lucky and got their tier tokens and four set bonuses. Everyone was so relieved and excited to get it down, and so with our remaining time we decided to look at Normal Blackhand. Yuuda had a save so we used that and had a few goes at Blackhand.

Well, we could do with some work.  But it would be nice to get that down sometime - and I think over the Easter break we may be working on it as a number of us will be absent from raid, including myself!

Anyhow, great work Frostwolves!  9/10 heroic!

Guildleader chores - Weakness vs strength

I hate to wash my dirty linen in public but I am just feeling irritated that people feel like they can advantage of me being nice but underneath it all still have a contemptuous attitude.

A month or so ago, one person (I'll call them exhibit A) left on rather bad terms - the raid had a number of mistakes, and this player gquit after the raid, after saying goodbye to one of his two friends in the guild. Then that person put on their battlenet broadcast "I don't have to play with f***ing retards anymore".  

I was already unimpressed with this person because they loved to point fingers and blame others. And this person was not a particularly stellar player, in fact, they would make just as many (if not more) mistakes than others and tons of AFKs, and unreliable to raid.  Why did I take them to raid?  Well, we always give people the best opportunity to improve and encourage.  And all you can hope for is improvement.

And then after I put up with all their crap, they think they are better than me.  That they can happily proclaim to the whole world that they think that we are a bunch of f***ing retards. Lovely. That's what I get for being kind and patient. Kyjenn took great pleasure in kicking all of his alts out of the guild - anyone who thinks it's ok to bite the hand that feeds them, well they can just go back to the pound. I don't mind being crappy towards me but I get very defensive towards members of my guild.

The other day there was a disagreement about the casual/alt run.  Two members were invited on their alt during the mass invite, and when inspected were noted to be a little bit under the ilvl we set as the minimum for that raid - and was told that unfortunately they couldn't come on that toon.  One person said they would work on their ilvl and switched to another better geared alt, the other one (that I'll call exhibit B) argued and said that ilvl was a poor way of judging someone and that they would do more damage than many others of higher ilvl.  However, rules are rules and there are reasons why they exist - if one person thinks they are above the rules, then everyone will think they are above the rules.  The officers comply with the ilvl rules, so why shouldn't everyone else?  A disagreement ensued, some heated words with swear words were said by the unhappy person, which unfortunately included the person saying that they had carried us for months and we couldn't even take them to a normal raid (bad words edited out).  Finally in anger the disgruntled person said in guild that "You guys have some serious muppets in this guild, true story".


It is one thing to have a disagreement. We respect your opinion, but it doesn't mean we agree with it, however there is no need to insult the rest of the guild. If they had left it with being upset at the officer probably nothing would have occurred, however, if someone had such a contemptuous view of our guild and its members it would probably not be comfortable for others because those feelings would surface one day and a poor guildie would be made to feel as if they were worthless by said person. There are many players in our guild who are not great raiders and who have personality quirks but at heart they are nice people and kindness is what we value, not your raiding ability. However, clearly both of these players thought that kindness was a weakness and player ability was a strength and for a lot of raiding guilds that is a strength, but not for Frostwolves.

The person was removed from guild and the sad thing was that their partner also left (which I think most people would do if their other half was kicked from a guild) which was a shame - both were good players, and the partner who felt they had to leave was fun and kind and never said mean things about people in public guild spaces.

When the partner told me they were leaving, they mentioned that I had written on my blog that I was expecting her to leave soon and now it felt like it was time for her to leave.  I wished her well, and I said I was sad to see her go, and I felt bad that she may have taken my post to feel she was not welcome, and that she was welcome to return at any time.  She didn't say more, but other members of the guild sent her messages when she left letter her know she was missed.  I was glad they had stayed up until now, because she and her partner had been a pleasure to play with.  They will be missed, but the guild moves on - the fond memories I had with both of them playing are all immortalised in my blog anyway, so they won't be forgotten.

But it is interesting to see our guild's values in practice. Whenever someone joins the guild, I tell them exactly that - that we are not a raiding guild, that we value fun and friendship over raiding ability and that we raid to have fun, and expect those raiders to have a similar capability. People say it's all fine, but when they see it in practice they want us to kick the bad people out of raids (bad meaning poor DPS or healing) so that we can progress better.  So they really didn't understand what our guild mentality was about.  Besides, that isn't what we do - we try to encourage and train and help the people who want to succeed and sometimes they do heaps better and it's great, but sometimes they don't and they have the insight themselves to see that and step down from heroic raiding to do more casual fun raiding. I don't view casual raiding as something to be ashamed about, and because I hold that belief, then hopefully the people who had to step down don't feel like they are some sort of failure.

One of the officers mentioned that when they he first came to the guild, he was used to a more aggressive verbal raiding environment.  There were people calling out others, if you were making dumb mistakes then those were pointed out mercilessly and there would be more than a few swear words and berating.  When he first started raiding with us, he thought "What is going on, where's the swearing and yelling? This raid isn't going to work..." and yet, it did.  And now, he has adopted the Frostwolf way and is probably one of the biggest advocates of what I try to achieve for our guild.

Yesterday I mentioned the drama to one of the guildies, a guildie who has had issues with the past about being frustrated with raid progress and having others not to their standard.  That particular guildie adopted some coping mechanisms (recommended by me)  - which included being on a chat program at the same time with another person so they could destress to them and not take it out on the whole raid. And since then their stress and outbursts or angry turns have been reduced a lot, and it's been great.  As I explained the series of events to them, they said that even though not everyone is a great raider, everybody in the guild is a great person and they would happily meet them in real life. And that, to me was exactly what I want from everyone in the guild.  I don't mind if that sort of thing isn't for you - after all, one size does not fit all - but for everyone who wants to play the game the way we play it, who wants to be part of a family and accept that we are all different and not be judgemental or look down upon others because of the way we play - then right here is hopefully where you'll find what just that.

Last week, Exhibit A got his only friend in guild to ask if he could return as a social.  Said that he wanted a home. Why did he want to return? Did he really think that he could insult us and return? Forgiveness is one thing, but when he didn't apologise, what is there to forgive? He was volatile, rude and unapologetic - I can't imagine that he would return and be any different.  So the answer was no. If he thought we were so weak, why would he return?

And that is our strength as a guild.  Those ties of respect and believing and knowing the capabilities and the best that we can expect of each player, and making the place a comfortable place to play. Maybe Exhibit A finally saw the light, but he had no friends in the guild except for one. Even if I wanted to invite Exhibit A back to see if he could improve, he had made too many enemies in the guild, and I can't see why Exhibit A would want to be in such an environment.

I do cherish each of our members, and I am always a little despondent after we have to forcibly remove someone or they leave, because I wonder what I could have done to make it better for them - but most of the time there is nothing I can do.