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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?

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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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My main’s doing quite well at this point in the expansion.  I’m exalted with all the reps except Shadopan [16k/21k] and August Celestials [9k/21k].  I’ve maxed out every profession at least once, so I have access to them all on my main server.  I’ve gotten two alts to 90 – including my horde alt on another server [yay achievements!]

I’ve killed Heroic Nefarian, finished the “Glorious” achievement of killing the rares, managed Galleon kills two times [got nothing], am best friends with everyone on the farm and even have my second alt to 90 exalted with the tillers [and all I did on her was login, replant her farm and do the tiller dailies in 15 mins or so].  I’ve done a couple Firelands retro runs, and even killed the first boss of Mogushun Vaults with whomever we could pull together in guild and a couple out of guild friends.  We also got the second boss to 26%.

Pet Battles have been what’s fallen to the wayside.  I know they’ve captured most people’s attention instead of all the other but for me it’s been the reverse.  I really want to do more for that in the coming few weeks as I’d like to get the upper level pets and I’d be ready for 5.1.  It just… well the grind to get a level 25 pet seems so painful looking.  My highest level pet is 10 right now.

I would post some screen shots, but at the moment I am without my computer :(  The hard drive died and since I have the laptop [and access to Venoym's computer during the day], we decided it would be easier just to wait till the weekend to swap some drives about.  So, when he can move the data over, I will have some screenies, though I have posted a few things on twitpic.

National Novel Writing Month is this month and I have written a bit thus far…  I’m still not sure I’m participating.  I’ve already written 125k this year [my goal was 100k, but I revised that and raised it to 150k] so I’m not sure I want to push myself to cram another 50k in but I’m writing daily as is…  I may just see what happens.

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Askevar is 90… hit it Friday in fact [with Venoym].  This was the fastest and hardest we’ve ever pushed to level.  I know a lot of people like to savor initially, but we both prefer to just get our main to 90 and worry about savoring later with alts.  That’s why they exist after all?  Anyway, Askevar’s main set is going along well.  I do a couple scenarios a day as well as a heroic or two in the evening.  All my pieces, save a 442 blue ring, are 450 or better, with several 463 items.  I’m doing my daily rep grinds and I’ve maxed all my professions both primary [Inscription/Jewelcrafting] and Secondary [Archaeology, First Aid, Cooking, Fishing] and I got access to the end food for the Way of the Oven [aka the tank tree].  I also have all my on server alts parked at Halfhill to farm various veggies to max the other ways or to create the max Oven food.  By the way, if you do this, the Outpost Zhu flightpoint in Krasanger is the one that connects the Jade Forest initial town to Halfhill.

For that matter, I’ve now maxed out every profession on my account except Blacksmithing and Skinning.  Suffice to say, our guild has the heirloom legs already, and not just through my efforts either.  Sadly they are only good through 85, which I think is a little silly, but I was able to buy a pair for my level 20 monk.  Oh, we also have the guild shirts because a group running scenarios last night saw we were only two away and decided to finish.  They’re kinda cute but you can’t see it with my armor on [as it should be for a tank].

My offset gear is crap [its unholy now, gave up frost] and a quarter to half the pieces are still level 85 stuff that I need to replace, but, on the flipside, I’m quite a hardy tank right now.

Honestly, I don’t see any of my alts getting to 90 very quickly.  I’ve got 2 at 86 – my bank alt/gatherer and my horde pally [the horde pally would net me 2 account achievements].  With our guild not even discussing raiding for another two weeks, I might get one leveled but who knows?  My main priority, as always, is going to be getting Askevar’s tank set raid ready – everything else is bonus.

Sundays have become achievement night and due to lack of interest from our guild [a lot of people are still busy leveling and that's alright], we’ve been pulling from cross realm friends.  We’ve gotten a lot done though and we’ve had a blast doing it.  We even managed to 9 man Heroic Chimaeron just before MoP hit – with 3 healers, 2 tanks and the rest dps – and that’s what we managed to get… we had intended to 2 heal, but with everyone wanting to try out their mainspec, extra heals never hurt :D.

 

I will admit, at times the dailies feel almost endless, but once I get the reputations to max, I’ll be gold.  I’m already revered with Order of the Cloud Serpent and well into honored with most of the rest so it’ll get there :)  And I’m not finding these dailies near as painful as some have been in the past either.

 

Goldwise – I’ve already spent a ton between buying the Grand Expedition Yak and speed leveling some professions.  Despite that, I’ve actually managed to make money on Askevar and I’ll make back the rest and then some when I level the alts, so it’ll all work out.  Hey, don’t look at me that way… I saved and ground for that Yak for several months before MoP dropped and I’m darn proud of it!  There is nothing like achieving a goal you set out to complete.

 

Speaking of achievements, for the first time since I was maining a warlock, I have finally passed my husband in total achievement points.  Now, so it’s said, that won’t last as he’ll do all those achievements and catch right back up… but for once it’s nice to be ahead!

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Had a few interesting things go on this week.

LICH KING:
First off, we got the Lich King down to 30%.  We’re making progress every week and we can all taste it so badly it’s not funny.  Right now the second transition phase throws us off balance.  And whoever gets taken into the sword seems to just die.  It can be frustrating wiping for a few hours but it’s also exciting… because we’re working on the end boss of an expansion for the first time!  We have been scheduling a second night when we can manage but it’s dependent on everyone showing [I'm not going to replace someone and cheat them out of a LK kill].

RAID ID CHANGES SUCK
The change to the raid ids seemingly killed our 25 man but several people are showing interest in doing an alt version.  Hubby and I don’t have time [or more likely energy] to wrangle a whole new set of toons together, but we’ll see how it turns out.  Worst case, we may have enough alts to do another temporary ten man on Saturdays.

LOWBIE LEVELING
I have been leveling a lowbie disc priest again.  [Wow is anything not OP at low levels right now?].  It’s been fun and mostly drama-free.  It did become a little frustrating hitting SM- Graveyard because the tank never seems to be willing to leave combat… and that can be rough on the mana regen.  In fact, one group wiped because I simply ran completely out of mana, despite me saying OOM a couple times.  Naturally, it was my fault.

The only other drama I had was in SM-Library – a boe tanking shield dropped.  The tank, naturally, needed on it – as did the druid and lock in the party.  I took a notion/chance and needed on it myself, won it and then traded it to the tank – which wasn’t a popular move with most of the party, but the tank appreciated it and equipped that thing immediately.

HALLOW’S END
At the beginning of Hallow’s End, I had 5 toons that needed either the squashling, the helm or both to complete their violet protodrake.  Thanks to some lucky trick or treating [none was completed via the HH daily], I have finished four of the five of them now.  Only my pally remains incomplete… so I shall be working to get that for her.  I will be helping hubby as well.  One of his toons is short by toothpicks of all things…  And a couple more need the helm.  So I’ll be hitting those to trick or treat some during the day for him.

HORSEMAN’S MOUNT
My shaman and Askevar2 have both gotten the horseman’s mount.  My mage has snagged it as well – twice.

TANKING
Tanking on my DK is feeling better and better – probably as I get more practice :P.  Rune regeneration isn’t a problem any longer [annoyance if that].  I am probably going to swap my paladin’s main spec to ret and her offspec to prot…  I no longer enjoy pally tanking.  If anyone thought DK rune regeneration was bad… go try pally tanking…  Sitting there and WAITING forever for abilities to come up so you can have something to do and praying you hold aggro is annoying.  I have yet to really test druid or warrior tanking.

PLAGARISM
is bad mkay?  See this and a few other most recent posts on treebarkjacket.

LINKS TO STUFF
BBB has a great post musing on the expectations we had for the quality of 4.01.  Though he got a troll or two [what blogger doesn't occasionally?] the discussions and concerns raised in the post and the comments are worth reading.

Don’t miss Bee Pit Bingo over at Murloc Parliament.  Given that I’ve got a lowbie toon again, I might have to make more bee pit jokes…

NoMoreNoob has the work around macro for the Horseman DC issue.

For those still working on their candy buckets, Revive and Rejuvenate did a candy bucket tour post for the alliance for Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor.

And this post is a couple weeks old, but it doesn’t get old “How Leading a Raid is Like Coaching Little League” over at Forever a Noob.

Priest With a Cause created a worksheet where you can tell just how fail your Halls of Lightning Pug is…

I also wanted to put forth Looking for More’s suggestion for November activities if you’re bored with WoW.  Nanowrimo is definitely fun and worthwhile!  I’ve participated in it several years myself and it’s fun.

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Last night I tried to random on my priest and got what amounted to a group of very juvenile teens from 4 different servers.  The tank decided to pull 2 groups at a time in H-OK, while not putting any damage on the spellflingers and saving both for last.  I asked them to target the spellflingers first and explained briefly why.  Second pull – same thing – only this time it killed me.

“Idiots, kill the spellflingers first or they’re going to kill me”.

“Sorry, that was my bad – I had lag”

“So lag caused you to twice pull 2 groups and kill the spellflingers last?”

“Yep lol – just shut up and heal.  It’s a heroic and just a game – I’ll do what I want – u r fail if you cant heal thru it.”

[All this whilst I'm laying there dead waiting for the pally to decide to rez me or whatever]

“I didn’t come here for a bunch of repair bills due to stupidity.”  I don’t honestly begrudge people new to an instance a wipe… OK is fraught with peril for the uninitiated…  A new tank might run into the wrong group, or pull 3 etc.  I DON’T tolerate wiping because “I’m going to do what I want regardless of all else”.

They finally rez me and actually stand there for five minutes telling me how stupid I am and how fail I must be not to be able to heal through two spellflingers wailing away on me… how it’s just a game and it’s past my bed time etc and so forth.  Some of it was even sexist diatribe.  I’m busy showing hubby the stupid – he advises me to leave – I probably should have as at this point they haven’t pushed the [VINDICTIVE DK] button.

I respond that the fact that I am geared does not give them license to be moronic and contemplate leaving on the spot.

One of the four responds, “hey, let’s finish.”  [Okay - I don't have time to requeue so perhaps I can tolerate this a wee bit longer if they'll focus on the dungeon].

“No, the healer has to promise to finish the instance or we kick.  Don’t you dare leave midpull!!!!”  says the tank.

Gee…  not that it had crossed my mind to leave mid pull…   I’ve done that a total of once – when the tank dropped mid pull in an instance one time, I left to avoid a repair bill.  That group was in heroic toc and all three of the dps together equaled about 3k.  But yeah, why WOULD I EVER want to leave an awesome group like this?  A group who stopped the instance run to tell me how horrible I am and call me all manner of names?

I replied that I’d stay and finish if they would start paying attention to important mechanics.  I just wanted my frost badges at this point.  And therefore they launched yet another diatribe at me… telling me how fail I am and it’s just a game and they want to do what they want to do.

“Fine then, just kick me.”

“Leave (bad language).”  [Oh, what happened to kicking me?]

“Make me.”  [Yes, they pushed the vindictive DK button in me... and I'm much softer and meltier on my priest].

Cue another [even worse] diatribe at which point I ported to Dalaran, put them all on ignore and walked away from my computer.  And I’m not sorry.  I’m one of the nicest most accomodating players you’ll find – as long as you treat me with basic respect – I do buffs, offer to do CC as needed, dps skull first, always /focus the tank to follow their target, misdirect/tot when appropriate; so on and so forth.

Eating a debuff after soaking up that much abuse, just to try and get two frost badges?  I’m not that nice.  Not anymore anyway.

And suddenly I’m remembering why I stopped running randoms… Deja Vu

As for lag, I know it happens.  It or a random DC has happened to me at some BAD moments before… but some things AREN’T lag.  Own up to them please.  Or at least make sure it doesn’t happen again?  I’ll settle for that.

Also, mechanics STILL DO matter in some cases – please DO pay attention to them.  Your healers will thank you :)

Mental note to self: Leave groups before they trigger VINDICTIVE DK.  Askevar doesn’t like when that happens.

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I’ve always been a big believer in rolling on the gear of the role that you’re playing in heroics.  I realize that gear in five mans is basically inconsequential at the moment – save for a few pieces in the ICC five mans.  But something happened today that made me think a bit.

I’ve been trying to get the tyrannical beheader for my paladin’s ret offspec.  She’s main spec prot but I queued her as dps for H-PoS.  20 Minute wait.  Queue finally pops and we’re in.  The group looks great!  The warrior tank is super geared, as are the other two dps.  The healer is a bit undergeared but within acceptable margins… and with an overgeared tank – that won’t be a problem.  Tank takes off and hollers that he’s going to chain pull this place and to stick close to him and follow his directions.  We start down the hill.  The hunter accidently pulls a group the tank tried to skip and the tank ends up pulling 2 more groups.  A warrior tank, plus mobs that won’t gather up… yeah bad formula.  Despite our best efforts to help and CC, we end up wiping and naturally, the tank drops.

We run back in and requeue.  I queue as dps, but throw on my tanking gear/spec.  I know that in the early afternoon it could be a ten minute wait for a tank even so.  We wait a few minutes, get buffs and take off.  My pally’s main set is VERY well geared for an alt and I know how to handle her.  My hubby’s been a pally since vanilla and he’s taught me quite a bit.  Suddenly the queue pops back up.  I requeue as dps, and the group leader fusses and said that she did that so I could queue as tank.  I replied that I was here for the tyrannical beheader only and that I’d queued as dps for that reason – because I didn’t want to deal with the QQ when I rolled on it as the tank.  First boss goes down and we’re almost to the second boss before I talk a guildie into coming and tanking for us.

But that begs the question of what I should have done?  When I go for the NES on any tanking toon for their offset I’ve always queued as dps.  I know a lot of people say role doesn’t matter… but there’s nothing more annoying than losing something you’re after to the tank or healer [or to a dps if you're a tank/healer].  After I replied, what I did, the group didn’t question it at all…  I know they were a bit peeved that we were sitting there waiting for a tank for quite a while and having to effectively 4 man things.  Had I not gone tank, given how long we were sitting it would have just fallen apart.  But again, I don’t want to be dishonest.  I spent the 20 minutes in queue as dps waiting for H-PoS specifically.  I paid the dues for a dps spot…  I was what I consider honest and ethical about trying to get a piece of offset loot.

Should I just queue my pally as tank for h-PoS from now on and roll on what I please?

What would you do?

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Why I Hate Oculus Now.

No, I don’t dislike the mechanics.  Nor do I mind the time consumed by hopping on and off drakes.  The instance itself is now short, provides extra badges, a chance at a mount and the gems that I use for transmutes.

What I do hate is the fact that I go through an average of 5 tanks if I’m on a dps or a healer.  It’s been as few as 2, and as many as 10.  I have no problems if I happen to be on one of my tanks when I get it.

I don’t begrudge the occasional tank leaving an instance.  After 5 times in one day of getting Halls of Stone, I was ready to leave it the next time I got it – and did.  Halls of Reflection – it’s to be expected.  But seriously?  Oculus iz hard rite?  I have so many tanks leaving when I’m in there that it’s very tempting to just leave myself.  With my alt army, it wouldn’t matter a bit.

And the tanks I do get, demanding achievements – often multiple voids – is ridiculous.  Every single time I give in and go along with the voids, we wipe on the last boss at 75% – at best and I end up either getting kicked, sitting and wiping or leaving and having wasted the last 20 minutes of my life.  If you’re going to demand achievements – know how to do them and know how to explain them.  It’s not hard to wowhead it or wowwiki it.  I’m not there to do achievements.  And it’s not my job to explain it, especially after getting laughed at every time because it’s LOL EASY and we don’t need a strategy.  “It’s just heroics”.

We lost a uber geared pally tank once because he was demanding voids and I flat refused – as the healer.  No one else seemed to care either way.  We got a bear tank with 25k health – BUFFED.  Guess what?  I healed them with nary a problem.  The biggest problem we had was the dps were ICC25 gearing and the bear was mostly blues and greens.  They had to be careful, but we got it done – and the bear got the Make it Count achievement.

I guess I don’t really have a point here – other than my personal irritation at the situation.  The sheer number of tanks dumping that instance staggers me.  I’ve been kicked from it once for refusing to go along with a “wipe till we get the achievement I want” marathon of a guild group.  And I’ve dropped it once when I had a group of all sub 200 gearing people who were collectively doing about 2k dps with a healer who couldn’t keep me alive – but that just happened to be Oculus – I would have dumped that group in any instance I got.

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I was a bit annoyed this morning, when hubby told me “oh servers are up, no patch, no maintenance message” and a couple hours later, I logged in to find all servers down with NO message.  But eh, I don’t really expect to play Tuesday mornings anyway, and get a lot of work done around the house in the interim, post the Ugly Pug weekly blog and what not.

But yeah, extended maintenance always causes much interesting QQ on the forums.  Good for a laugh if you’re bored enough.

As hubby told me, extended maintenance without an obvious patch usually means they did a server side patch that screwed things up pretty badly.  They want it back up probably worse than we do [I mean I seriously wouldn't want to be answering their phones right now], so while an annoyance [and trust me - I know.  By the time the servers are back up, my son will probably be up from his nap], there’s not much we can do beyond being patient.

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Shoutout…

Hubby on his new pally and I on my disc priest with two other guildies got into a H-HoR earlier.  The random thing is wacky of course  :P.  Well it gave us an awesome enhancement shaman Dwellana who was very patient and when I died [causing our one wipe] she immediately started throwing some heals.  In the most touchy parts she also threw a few chain heals to get us through.

So thank you Dwellana of Draka for giving us a very pleasant H-HoR run!

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