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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.

#WarlockWeek and #WarriorWeek

Yes, once again I am hideously late to this party of appreciation for our alts :P.

Warlocks:

My first raiding toon and real main was a warlock.  This is Carlyn whom I rolled on Thorium Brotherhood back at the end of vanilla.

carlyn

She started raiding in Burning Crusade and continued to be my main all the way into Naxxramas in Lich King, at which point I swapped to Askevar.  I loved being a demonology warlock but being demonology was more important than continuing to raid on the toon, and since Ven needed an offtank, I changed mains.  Catching up on achievements was a royal pain – I will say :P

I have many fond memories on Carlyn – first stepping into a 25 man raid and later leading one, hubby and I finishing the epic mount questlines for our classes, watching our raid leaders and learning from them… the epic mistype in Magtheridon’s Lair by the raid leader.  There were some not so good – getting picked on because I prioritized stats differently and getting treated like dirt by the other warlocks when I outdps’d them with the different priorities… become an officer and then getting a lot dumped on, and the 1% wipe on Gruul we had to walk away from.  I doubt I’ll ever main a warlock again, but I’ll always have a fondness for this toon.

 

In that vein, I rolled another warlock a long time ago on a different server.  She has yet to reach max level and not sure she will but here she is in her gnome cuteness.

gnomelock

 

 

Warriors:

Besides rogues, warriors are probably my other least favorite class.  It hasn’t helped that the vast majority of the ones I’ve run into aren’t terribly pleasant – not all of them, mind you.

Anyway, I decided back when that I needed a male character…  and my night elf warrior was born.  Truth be told, I’d race change him if I cared enough… I do NOT like him.  Now that said, I have the fond memory of dressing him entirely in pink plus a pimp cane, RP walking him into Warsong Gulch’s horde base and doing /dance while my teammates grabbed the flag and capped it.  The horde all targeted me, in shock I think, and left me alone until they realized I was a distraction.  It’s a true story :P

warrior1

 

To my surprise I have another warrior hanging out on my account… I think I rolled it to experiment with lowbie pvp back when warriors were OP [are they still?]  Because I love gnomes:

gnomewarrior

 

And then there’s the Panda warrior I started to level for a guild achievement.  I actually am leveling her prot and am enjoying it quite a bit.

pandawarrior

Tanking Misogyny

I’ve been accused more than once of not having my own mind. Anyone who knows me knows how ridiculous that statement is. But since I’m a Stay at Home Wife and Mother and since I often defer to my husband in public, the accusation comes about.

We’ve been called backwards because of how we handle our marriage… because I address any issues in private rather than make a fuss in front of friends. Even because we made the choice that I stay at home with any children – something I was told that I’d never be satisfied or fulfilled by doing [boy were they wrong]. I mean, my husband is also my best friend – I should have his back and he should have mine and we do. Bringing that kind of teamwork and attitude to raid is a blessing.

And yet, despite being called backwards and such, we keep running into these strange creatures in WoW… these strange creatures that seem to believe that woman’s place is behind the controls of a healer – or caster dps and has no business being in the tanking business… that’s for the menfolk don’t you know?! Which one is actually backward there?

I see the topic come around occasionally in the blogosphere as it has recently on Blessing of Kings and Hypercriticism.

Back on our old server in our first guild, my husband actually tried to get me interested in tanking… kept saying I should give it a go because I might like it. I never gave it a second thought until I stopped enjoying my warlock and my husband couldn’t keep a reliable or sober offtank. That part you’ve heard before, I know. I got a few reactions of what amounted to “Look at the cute little girl trying out tanking” but my husband was determined that if tanking was what I wanted to do, he’d help me learn how… just as he always has with every dream I’ve pursued or goal I’ve had.

I was the offtank for my husband in our ten man and the alternate tank in the 25 man… meaning most of the time I was paying my dues by going dps back then. I wasn’t great at it then either but it was a casual guild so it was alright. Our main tank at the time was our GM who played a paladin. Our main offtank was another DK who was blood. Ven was the third tank in the 25s. I wasn’t given much thought for a few weeks until our normal DK couldn’t show up for one. Ven moved up to the secondary tank position and I consequently got the third position. I was psyched. And then our GM lost a piece of tanking gear to me. And suddenly I was a threat. It was all fair and by the book – we used a straight SK system for 25 man and he’d lost pieces to OS tanks [both of the tanks for the third raid were MS dps] before and it had not been an issue… but I was a woman. This, somehow, made a big difference.

I didn’t really understand what was going on… I was feeling pressure but I was having the most fun I’d ever had in game. I’d discovered my true role… and yet somehow I was being treated as a threat. One of the officers finally pulled me to the side one day and explained that our GM believed that women didn’t belong in tanking or in the officer corps. That’s “just the way he is”. Basically that I was going to have to fight for every scrap I got. I was going to have to work twice as hard to be thought half as good. Whatever. In truth, I was really upset. I mean I’d looked up to our GM and he’d been right good to me, until I started tanking.

I didn’t give up – obviously. But I did have to fight every step along the way. Worst of all were mornings – especially if the GM and I were the only ones online. I’d finally made officer at some point in this mess. Ven had gotten promoted probably 7-9 months before based on raids that we organized together. Anyway, I started logging into an unguilded alt to see if any officer besides the GM were on because if it was just him and I, Officer chat was pure nastiness. A Vault of Archavon pug we both happened into one day sealed that deal. They made me the main tank and he gave me nothing but grief in officer chat. Oh how bad I sucked… oh how I couldn’t keep threat off him going full bore… despite pretty badly outgearing me. The group lit into him for refusing to tank swap and I was ready to throw up my hands and leave… but the taunting in officer clinched that I was absolutely going to stay this time.

Why didn’t I ignore him? One of the rules of the guild was that you were not permitted to ignore any guildies – it was literally grounds for a gkick. Most of the other officers supported me… we needed the tanks around and our GM was being simply ridiculous. A couple of them taught Ven and I how to raid lead and organize raids – sometimes by showing us the best way and sometimes by showing us what not to do. And then our GM took a hiatus.

By ToC our other DK had dropped out… he was apparently upset that I had managed to match him. He came back later on a resto druid until one of our druids outhealed him. At this point I did what every tank was supposed to do – when you find someone of your class interested in your spec, you mentor them and help them. We had a caster who was interested in going to his blood dk and he came to me for advice. I was thrilled beyond belief. Until I started getting reports from his raidmates that he was infatuated with me… and he was friends with Ven, knew we were married and started hitting on me in a creepy way anyway. It was a very weird situation that ended with him leaving guild to my relief.

Our GM came back during this period and was with us into ICC. Tanking with him in ICC was an exercise in frustration. Imagine the stereotypical LFR pug tank. Any mob I was assigned, he’d taunt off me – even with his own still up. Not many people would dare give him what for over vent but Ven had had enough by this point and told him off. It still kept happening periodically when he thought Ven wasn’t watching. Ultimately he ragequit his own guild, leaving a friend of ours in charge. Lots of animosity ensued.

I still run across the same breed of person now and again. You know the “get back in the healing/caster dps and make us mana cakes” type? They still exist and it’s a sad thing because you should be able to do what you love in a game [how does this bode for these people in the real world?]. Some of the best healers and caster dps I’ve ever known have been men. And some of the best melee types – whether dps or tank have been women.

Just because Jaina is a mage doesn’t mean I need to be. if I want to be a tank, I can be a tank.  I am a tank and I am a woman.  I am proud to be both.

Weekend Achievements

Guild Level 25 whilst snagging Candy Buckets!

Guild Level 25 whilst snagging Candy Buckets!

So quite a few things over the weekend in terms and achievements and goals and such.  First of all, my bank guild finally hit level 25.  Hubby logged on and was helping me run around getting candy buckets on a couple of his alts.  One of my major goals for this expansion was to have it leveled to 25 so quite happy it’s done.  I’ve had a few friends help out now and again – Endy, Rok, Kan, Black, Ra and I hope I didn’t forget anyone.  Ven leveled a couple alts there but most of the work was my own.

 

Saturday night – just after midnight… well I guess that’d make it Sunday morning… I saw a note on my battlenet about getting a group together for Rabble Rabble Rabble.  Naturally, Ven and I jumped in for that!  To get the achievement you have to have 20 plus people queued up for a Brawl fight.  The portal lasts something like 5 minutes but it was nice to get this!

Rabble

 

 

And this morning I go to run Sunwell, as I do weekly on my hunter [almost forgot it this week] and when I killed Kiljadean I looked away for just a moment only to see something flash across the screen in my peripheral vision.

 

thoridal

 

Yup it dropped!

 

thoridalask

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