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I’m Still Here

It’s been a while since I’ve posted and I hate that but Real Life reared it’s head this past month in a very real and scary way.  First of all, a month ago, my father in law had a stroke.  He survived and just came back home this past week and is improving every single day.  He still has some loss of movement in his right hand/arm/leg but it’s coming back little by little.  He lives an hour away from us and the hospital he was in was about an hour and 40 minutes away so a lot of traveling ensued.  We even had to cancel a raid which hasn’t happened in years but I have the best raiders who are incredibly understanding – I mean Real Life comes first!

 

And then last week there was a shooting outside our house – something unheard of for our neighborhood, and thankfully no one was hurt… it’s just really disturbing to have that happen twenty feet from where you’re sitting in the living room.

 

One of the brightest spots this past week was receiving a pet from my friend Navi who literally made my day.  It was an expected and welcome Dragon Kite – level 25.  I named it Rawr.  It seemed appropriate and it CHANGES COLORS.  SQUEE!!!  And as you can see from the picture below is that I also got my Hearthsteed which I think is just GORGEOUS.

 

Rawr

 

Anyway, I’ll get to more posts later… I have quite a few in mind – including the new Diablo 3 expansion and the new game Heroes of the Storm which is in technical alpha at this point.  Ven and I were lucky enough to get invites.

What Would Make You Stay?

Over dinner the hubby and I had a discussion about a thread I’d found on the forums.  It was yet another thread complaining about tanks leaving LFR – presumably one of the reasons being that they’d already killed the later bosses in a section.

 

So I asked him “What would entice you to stay?”

 

His answer “Give me personally max determination on any bosses I’d already killed.  I could help the kill be assured and go faster.”

 

For me personally, short of having friends in the raid or an assured specific mount/pet/10k plus gold, I don’t really know what would.  But I thought that was a neat idea.

 

And this is all presuming that the ability to choose In Progress or Fresh raids is out given the LFR changes Blizzard made when people were queue fishing.

 

Would a max determination self buff make you stay for the last boss you’ve already killed?  What about wiping the slate clean and giving you another roll at loot off that boss if you remain?

This week our raid team in Band of Misfits [Azuremyst] had a rocky start.  We started on Galakras and just had things going wrong left and right.  We finally overcame it and one shot Juggernaut too.  Dark Shaman has been our nemesis for a few weeks now.  We’ve been two tanking it and regularly were getting to 15% or below… once as low as 10%.  We tried three tanking with several different people – as we’ve been told by a multitude of sources that it makes the fight easier – and like often happens, found out the strategy didn’t suit us as well.  That happens… it’s historically happened to Ven and I in our years of raid leading.  One of the jobs of the raid leader is to find what works for your raid and your people.  Sometimes it’s “normal” and sometimes it isn’t.  I actually find it more fun when it isn’t… though I worried on twitter earlier in the week about how our Thursday raid might go.

Thursday night everyone was on a few minutes early, so we walked in and started clearing trash to Shamans.  Halo Hilarity Ensues.  With three priests, two of them running halo depending on the fight… well… halo didn’t actually wipe the entire raid but it does keep us as tanks on our toes :P.

Finally the trash is cleared and our unholy dk says  “We’re gonna one shot this!”

We start the fight and suddenly I realize the Shamans are popping bloodlust… 25% and no one is dead!  Holy crap!  Naturally I ended up being the first to die but they got me a rez and I got trapped and died again… so yeah, not the cleanest kill… at all.  But it was done!  And all before the guild flex run that runs opposite us on Thursdays was even formed up :D  Yay!!!!

Onto Nazgrim!  The trash to Nazgrim is fun.  At least I like it…  Nazgrim is a bit of a pain but we got him too!  All it took was tweaking the strategy a little bit… tanking him in the middle of the room [a little closer to the adds], being sure Ven and I swapped the second our debuffs were gone.  We even accidently pushed 10% with adds up but hero/burn boss worked well :)  Sadly no mastery 2h for me!  Granted, we haven’t seen a normal mode 2h weapon yet… or the strength trinket off Norushun… or the spirit mace or the tanking shield… or or or or.  Yeah, to our annoyance we don’t see much beyond the normal 2-3 pieces per boss.  Which is sad since we shard all the leather drops.

So yay Team Dippy!

Malkorok and Spoils are next!!!

A New Perspective on LFR

Over the holidays the hubby and I have been letting our son play WoW with us.  We have a third account and he’s got a mage on it and a hunter I just finished leveling today [and they both have cele two piece].  He’s only five years old but he’s remarkably astute about some things.  But he’s also given me a little clue into some of the stereotypes I see in LFR.

1. Time Warp popping mage.   My son’s “main” would be his mage I expect.  He tools around on some of the lowbies on the account, and the hunter but most of his small amount of game time is spent on the mage.  He loves the mage because he can make everyone in the group BIG.

2. Summoning of things – He loves dropping the table to feed everyone.  Just about every pull.  He also loves summoning his friends [mirror image] so he can have help.

3. Needing on everything – He’s pretty good about greeding stuff but occasionally he just NEEDS to “get a present” from the boss and will forget and need everything.  That’s not a big deal in Ulduar or ICC.  We just have him trade something if someone else wants it.  And frankly, it’s irrelevant in LFR now but more for LFD.

4. Incessant bouncing.  Doesn’t matter what toon he’s on he’s bouncing everywhere.

5. Randomly following a pet around during a fight/not dpsing the boss – there are more interesting things than boss fights!

6. AoE on single target fights – because arcane explosion [number 9] is fun!

7. Pulling for the tank – because starting the fight is important and fun!  Besides, he has to drop a flare under the boss and “set them on fire”

8. “GOGOGOGOGO” – because he’s five… and can’t sit still.

9. Trolling the tanks – “I’m sorry daddy, I didn’t mean to press the button and start the fight” [Mimiron].  Next week: “I’m gonna push the button again!”

So… just pretend everyone in LFR is five years old and is just learning to read.  Whole new perspective.  Now he just needs to discover how to turn growl on and Aspect of the Pack on his hunter…

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Warbringer Hunt!

Well this weekend I decided it was high time I sat down and finally got at least one of the warbringer mounts.  My experience grouping for those has not been very good.  This weekend however was pretty much just me with hubby joining me on a few circuits.

I managed to net two of the three mounts in the process – And while I occasionally saw people farming them or camping the Dread Wastes one, they’re up a lot on my circuits – even on the weekend – so it’s not a horrible time to farm them.

But anyway, here are the two I managed to get…

Jade Primordial Direhorn
jade

Slate Primordial Direhorn
slate

 

Game, Set, Match!

The week Part 4 of LFR came out, we tried to get through it.  We got up to and pulled Garrosh a number of times… I think we were up to 4-5 attempts when we just ran out of time.  The group was pleasant enough but we just couldn’t attempt anymore, and the person who’d been leading it had put themselves in charge of the add on the side and missed it a few times, causing most of the wipes.  I wasn’t particularly upset – just assigned one of our people to help after a couple of those.  I mean, it was new of course – so no rage induced there.

I requeued later and got the most fantastic group I’d had up till that point.  We walked through every boss with no more than a few wipes – 1 on Siegemaster, 0 on Klaxxi and 3 on Garrosh.  Everyone was upbeat and excited about the content [an attitude that is contagious by the way though I suppose it would only work for new LFRs] and on Garrosh it was “Okay what did we do wrong?  Okay let’s fix that!”  I think we only had a couple people leave on the Garrosh attempts.  And we had a leader who had done the fights before and knew how to boil it down.

After carefully listening and watching, I was pretty sure I could walk an LFR group through the Garrosh encounter if they’d obey mechanics and listen.

Wednesdays are typically our LFR night but we’ve had people sick and we’ve had to play catch up for a few people who missed earlier sections.  So we caught a few people up in parts 2 and 3 and then hit part 4 last night.  I have to admit, I was a little disheartened when we got to Siegemaster and asked which dps were doing the conveyer belt and got no responses.  I can say I haven’t done that so I can’t explain it.  I probably should sometime so I CAN explain it.  I know one of the three adds has to die and it determines what other two abilities hit the raid.  I know you can die if you get off the conveyer wrong or something, but I don’t know.  Anyway, that aside, Ven assigned a couple of our dps in vent to take care of it.  All good.

Random healer: “OMG CAN WE PULL ALREADY OMG THIS IS TAKING TOO LONG”

Irritation rises for a split second, but I push that away and ignore them.  They’re one person and ironically died every fight multiple times and were by far the lowest on heals [perhaps because they died so much].  Suffice to say a healer we picked up on Garrosh outhealed them overall.  We should probably have kicked them but I didn’t even realize it till after the run was over.

We one shot Siegemaster – messily but done.  All good.  We move on and kill all the Klaxxi trash and before we can blink, someone has clicked the crystal and the encounter is engaged.  Probably would be wise to only permit queued tanks to click that.  But no matter, we one shot it too.  Ven and I threw out enough aoe in the beginning that we both ended up with a couple stacks of vulnerability to our respective targets but 20% extra damage taken didn’t prove to be fatal :)

We got to Garrosh – and by the way, the trash to him has been massively nerfed since we were last in there.  Or we had amazing dps and healers.  Or both.  We were able to pull the humanoid packs and not die.  Those reaper stuns are ANNOYING as a tank though!

We get to Garrosh and now it’s time to prove what I’d bragged to the hubby about.  Here’s how I explained it, in case it helps any other LFRs.

I put two marks down on either of the center [where the little points come out] and told the dps and healers to stand on one until a weapon appeared, move to the other and dps the weapon down.  Rinse repeat.  Melee focus on killing the riding add [it heals the boss].  I had one of our dps assigned to the side add.  I did forget to mention that the melee should mind the fel iron star, but they seemed to learn after the first one or two.

When you get sucked into the scenario, run to the end, kill all the things, don’t stand in Garrosh’s smash aoe.

In Phase 2 and 3 don’t be off by yourself.  The boss will MC three people and they will start to MC the raid.  DPS them out and interrupt.  [We almost lost control of that once but the raid recovered very well].

Other than that… don’t stand in bad.  I think that was pretty much it.

We lost a few melee to that first fel iron star and lost one person in a scenario who managed to hit every one of Garrosh’s aoe smashes… how I’m not overly sure.  Because of battle rezzes we ended the fight with two dead and one shot it.

Maybe that’s not a big feat because as people tell me, it IS LFR but my alting friends in vent were saying they don’t want to go back without us there leading it.  The truth is ya’ll were there to back us up and take those utility roles that might kill your dps.  Group effort!

My point is that a little leadership and organization can really make or break these LFRs.  Ideally you shouldn’t have to, but at times it’s been the choice between suffering a horrible extended floundering run or adding just a touch of organization [raid permitting] to just get it done.  And I’ve organized Lei Shen kills on a healer and a dps.  I admittedly haven’t done much Siege on alts but I think the principle applies.  And I’ll grant, if you’re not a tank you don’t automatically have marking and the tools to lead.  And if people won’t listen, it doesn’t really matter what role you are.  And by leadership I don’t mean bossing people around – I mean giving the raid what direction it needs.  Some LFRs need very little  beyond a mark on the floor and clarification of that and some require more handholding.

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