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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!!!

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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…

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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.

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Moar Ghostcrawler QQs

Ghostcrawler is at it yet again… first it was mourning the introduction of flight into the game and now it’s the fact that people can develop every profession and not have to rely on other players… oh QQ more please.

1. But it gives some people an advantage!!!!

Yes, it does.  Just as doing dailies, grinding reps, running heroics, running raids, doing PVP – all that gives benefits and advantages to those that do it.  I can’t expect to go into a PVP match with the same gear and practice as someone who specializes in it – not without putting some time and effort into gearing and becoming practiced at it.  When I hit exalted with Shaohao, I’ll have the advantage of having a mount.  It’s really the same principal.  And while you may not have an engineer to make the new shiny mount, you’ll be able to get it cheaper on the AH as a result of more people having the profession.  And usually, the benefits of me having developed all the professions on my main server go toward my guildmates and friends more than myself.  Heck, I’ve even helped out random people because so many alts = lots of extra mats I don’t need.

Consider also, leveling 5 death knights gives me an advantage as a death knight, just as leveling multiple paladins gives my husband more practice and advantage there.  Should we then restrict alts?  Or perhaps we should eliminate them entirely?  Yes, going to an extreme here, but not everyone is going to be equal in terms of game, nor should we try and force them to be.

2. But Profession alts don’t get played actively!

For most people. do alts really get played to the level of their mains?  I mean, I know a few people, including some bloggers like this who CHOOSE to maintain a few alts to near the same level based on what their raid might need.  However, most people don’t play their alts as much as their mains.  I know several people who leveled alts to 90 strictly for the Quintessential Quintet achievement and people who leveled a horde simply for the Double Agent achievement [and let's not even discuss the "Master of All" achievement wholly endorsing having all the professions].  People who didn’t use their time to do that don’t have the advantage of those achievements… not that there’s anything really to them other than the points.  These alts don’t often even HAVE professions and hit 90 and are forgotten, so they’re played even LESS than profession alts.

Playing alts is an important part of some people’s gameplay.  I know that I love mine and the Alt Appreciation weeks have shown that a number of people enjoy them as well.

3. But you don’t understand!  You’ve developed all the professions on your server.

On my main server, yes.  On my 2 alt servers I’ve been left to fend for myself.  Alliance side Argent Dawn, I’m having to live without a Jewelcrafter, Scribe, or an Alchemist.  The fact that there are a number of JC’s and Alchemists tends to drive down the prices there to affordable levels [though glyphs tend to be pricey].  I make a little bit there selling pets and enchants and manage to buy what I need, or a cheaper version of it.  I don’t like having to ask for help from guildies but I’ve been fortunate to be able to find someone there when I’ve needed something.  Eventually I’ll probably slap a profession on one of my professionless alts there and level something.  I get in the mood to profession now and again.

Horde side Argent Dawn and Alliance Thorium Brotherhood [my old server] – These servers are so dead that if you don’t have it or can’t make it – you just go without.  I know people who have sat in trade for large parts of their game time for days trying to find a JC who can make a particular cut.  Forcing people to sit in a city, looking for a particular item… well isn’t city sitting why they were trying to get us out in the world?

4. One other consideration people are forgetting [and that I touched on above] is that limiting professions in such a way will cause supply to fall drastically and prices to skyrocket.  Some of the very people who provide items on the cheap do that in multiple professions.  And if you think I won’t use my two professions in the two profession scenario to make money to cover my other expenses and then some, you’d be silly.

In summation, the more time you put in, of course the more advantages and benefits you’re going to have [and the faster you'll attain them].  I don’t disagree that some changes could be made to make professions a little better – perhaps making them align more with leveling or make them more meaningful for the character that has them, but forcing people to choose only two per account or some such just to be limiting and eliminate the work of others is just asinine.

Besides, having those alts can often lead to discovering new joys in the game – it’s how I discovered that I enjoy tanking for instance – I got dissatisfied with my warlock and the hubby needed a tank and well I had a max level dps dk who I could swap to tank and well… there you go.  And with the profession benefits it allows a small measure of customization of an alt – something that seems to gradually be going away with all the homogenization going on.

Personally I find it somewhat interesting that Ghostcrawler is so offended by these things that would just about be impossible to remove from game without major subscriber loss.  It seems as if perhaps he’s either no longer interested in playing personally or that perhaps Blizzard wants to get rid of some of its player base.  I mean the logical conclusion to all this is that we end up with one toon, no alts.  And I think we all know that’s not practical considering the number of people into alting.  And for people not interested in endgame raiding/LFR/PVP – that’s about all they have.  I see a lot of wistfulness for the “good old days” but I submit that while they are the “old days” not everything about them was as “good” as people want to remember.

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While neither hubby nor I have been overly into our hunters…  the class has always been a big part of our raid experience because we’ve had the joy of running with a number of stellar hunters… no huntards be here.  Here are our current regular hunters in raid – all of whom are very talented!

Here are our raiding hunters!

Here are our raiding hunters!

And yes, we run a ten man with a potential three hunters if the make up works out that way :)  We’re raided with more hunters of course – some of whom I know read my blog from time to time, so hat tip to you guys!  I think you all have me spoiled for my expectations from the hunter class :D

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The key to surviving an expansion without completely going insane is to manage your expectations.  Expect it to suck and you dread the drop date.  Expect it to be the neatest thing since sliced bread and you’re bound to be disappointed.

For the tank, while the rules may change and your abilities may change your job stays the same.  You are the one taking the hits so the rest of your team is able to do their job and take down the mobs.  You are the protector, or in Leverage lingo – the hitter.

Now I’ll be honest right here and say that I have spent basically no time on the PTR.  I have done very little in terms of actually getting ready to have Askevar be able to seamlessly do her job when the prepatch hits on the 28th.  It sounds like we’re heading back to the Burning Crusade school of tanking – where the tank has to be hit to get threat and the more they get hit, the more threat they generate.  What this likely means is that tanks are going to need a moment to wrangle aggro.  [That conclusion is based completely on what LITTLE I have heard and read btw, so may not be accurate].  And this whole active mitigation thing?  Sounds a lot like what I’m already doing.

Yes, I know things are going to change… but after surviving so many expansions hitting, it loses it’s upset factor in many ways.  Just creates headaches.

I’ve proven to my guild that I’ll do what it takes to get my job done and then some.  My guildies have proven that they’ll do the same and have my back.  I feel like we’re in a good place :)

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Flame Warden of Outland
Blade’s Edge Mountains – Sylvanaar
Hellfire Peninsula – Honor Hold
Nagrand – Telaar
Netherstorm – Area 52
Shadowmoon Valley – Wildhammer Stronghold
Terokkar Forest – Allerian Stronghold
Zangarmarsh – Telredor

Extinguishing Outland
Blade’s Edge Mountains – Thunderlord Stronghold
Hellfire Peninsula – Thrallmar
Nagrand – Garadar
Netherstorm – Area 52
Shadowmoon Valley – Shadowmoon Village
Terokkar Forest – Stonebreaker Hold
Zangarmarsh – Zabra’jin

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Flame Warden of Northrend
Dragonblight – Wintergarde
Crystalsong Forest – Windrunner’s Overlook
Howling Fjord – Fort Wildervar
Sholazar Basin – River’s Heart
Storm Peaks – K3
Zul’ Drak – Argent Stand
Grizzly Hills – Amberpine Lodge
Borean Tundra –  Fizzcrank Airport

Extinguishing Northrend
Dragonblight - Agmar’s Hammer
Crystalsong Forest - Sunreaver’s Command
Howling Fjord - Camp Winterhoof
Sholazar Basin - River’s Heart
Storm Peaks - K3
Zul’ Drak - Argent Stand
Grizzly Hills - Conquest Hold
Borean Tundra -  Bor’Gorok Outpost


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As anyone who reads the blog knows, I’ve been playing SW:TOR on the side.  And I’ve quite enjoyed it… especially the low level questing.  The story lines are engaging and game play is fun.

My main, a jedi knight guardian is sitting at 47 [49] right now and well… that’s going to be changing very slowly.  The reality is questing now has become: 1. Accept a bunch of quests  2. Kill four to ten times the mobs required in quests just to complete the basic objectives.  Completing the bonus quests is simplistic now.  When I need to kill 30 bad guys as a bonus and end up killing 200… yeah no brainer.  But that slow trek through questing gets old quite fast.  Thirty minutes toward quest objectives and I’m exhausted and/or agitated.  Not to mention if I happen to die or I get sent back to the very area I just went through.  Respawn rates are annoyingly random.  Most mobs respawn behind me three packs back.  But quest objectives that must be shared in the world?  Well you can sit around quite a bit waiting on those [or they can be near instant].  I could play a lowbie alt I suppose… but I really want to get one toon to max before I start doing that.  Part of it is also likely my own fault… I’m leveling a tank as a tank.

2. All alone.  Our guild kinda died…  Some people have real life interfering and some quit the game and others like the hubby and myself are also playing WoW and often have evening commitments when others might actually be online.   It also doesn’t help that we’ve gotten more involved in our WoW guild of late as well as the fact that several WoW holidays have taken place recently… and we always get sucked into stuff there.  It’s fine and I understand completely, but I can’t deny it’s played a part.  I play SWTOR most often in the mornings and have since it came out…  when no one is on, I log in less… therefore people are on less.  So yeah, also partly my own fault.  It doesn’t help that hubby is much less interested in it than I am, and even I am being distracted by other things.

ETA: I will note that changing planets has helped with the questing.  Corellia is much more straightforward and I’m finding the questlines engaging again.  However, that said, I only play once or twice a week nowadays.  That may become more often when 1.2 hits but for now, it’s an interesting side game :)  And I hope to hit 50 within the next week or so.

World of Warcraft is something I find infinitely more engaging at the moment, even given the issues I have with the game.

 

I’m also going to note this entry was written a few weeks ago but I wanted to go ahead and post it anyway as it expressed my thoughts at the time.

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Pet Collecting

One aspect of the game that I adore and haven’t really discussed at all is pet collecting.  Askevar currently has 132 pets and I adore getting more.  It’s something fun that I do.  I’m excited about the new 150 pet achievement to give me a new goal to try and reach petwise.  I’ll automatically get the rewards they’re adding for the 100 pet and 125 pet achieves [which still leaves me 16 shy of the 150 pets].

How do I keep track of all these pets?

Warcraftpets.com!!!

You can customize the list to include the pets you’re interested in/have available to collect and you can check them off, rate the pets and easily find out where to get the ones you don’t have.

My Warcraft Pets Profile

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