Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Firefighter Down!

Last weekend we finally did it! We beat Firefighter on 10man! We were on our 11th try, and every try seeemed to go just that tiny bit better. We even brought someone who had never even seen this fight before, and though it was about >< this close, we did make it! Wooooot!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Random thoughts on Tradeskills

Lately all these random ideas have been floating around in my head, so I figured I would write them down. That way I'll get them out, and they might stop bugging me. I'll start with a couple of skills today, and prolly finish the list at some later time.

Boss loot drops are the enchanters' mining nodes. They're the flowers for herbalists and the skins for skinners, and yet somehow people often seem to feel that they have a right to the enchanting materials that come out of disenchanting a loot drop, but nobody ever roles for ore, flowers, or leather.

When I levelled my enchanting in Wrath many guildies sent me materials to level my skill. Still today people send me mats, and in change I enchant their gear. But if you're not that lucky with your guild, and you rely mainly on pugging to get your enchanting supplies, it's hard to get enough to level.

On top of that you're not making any money on boe greens since they're all becoming mats for skillpoints, whereas people without enchanting skill either sell them in AH or get them DEed for their own profit. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Onyxia Revived

What we know:

There will be a 10man and a 25man version, but no heroic modes.

The Ony Mount has an equal chance to drop from 10man and 25man.

The chance for the mount to drop is about as big as the chance of "being struck by lighting on a sunny day and attacked by a shark, all while in the presumed comfort of your own living quarters" .

Loot items will be of the same item level as stuff in the Colliseum.

Loot will look like the orginal stuff that dropped of old version Ony.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Guild Reasonings

It’s while ago already that Thror and myself applied to a guild with our EU characters. This guild was looking for a tank and since Thror tanks, we figured we would apply. At that point we weren’t even level 80 yet, so we didn’t really expect anything of it, but figured we would offer anyways.

Naturally the guild said no, they needed a tank now, and we just weren't ready. Also Thror and myself are a package deal, and they just didn’t have space for a pallie tank and disc priest. Fair enough. I replied back that I completely understood, and that if they did get space for pallie/priest combo that they could look us up in the future. I never expected to hear back from them.

But surprise, surprise, last week I got an email, saying that they would now have space for a pallie/priest combo, but that Thror would have to go ret. The recruiting officer had armoried him and had seen that he was ret, if this was a problem.

Well, no, not to Thror and me, this definitely wasn’t a problem. However, what was a problem was that this guild was expecting recruits to already be geared before they would even get into the guild. I sent a message back explaining that we weren’t in a raiding guild, and that all the gear we had came from some pug runs.

They had no space for us. Oh well, understandable, they had no time to gear up people, we simply didn’t have the gear they needed on characters.

It continued with me suggesting that it would be cool however to already join the guild so that we could get to know people a little, maybe run some heroics. Not actively raiding would be fine with us.And then in the future we might actually be able to help out. After all we both do have the skill for these fights, well the fights they were on and more I must say even.

The answer I got back amazed me.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Not a Success

So I think most people agreed that the floating side bar wasn't so succesful. (shoulda heard my colleague "I have no taste, butuhm" ) I've been working hard on a new one (yes, I got rid of your scary floating face), but it isn't done yet.

Silly comments need customization apparently.

Oh well, at least I have my bullet points back...

Oh special thanks to The First Angel, she gave me permission to use her image for the header. Go check out the rest of her art, it's pretty amazing.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Bullet Points are lost!

As you can see the new layout is in. I didn't lose any posts, nor any comments.

But I somehow can't seem to find my bullet points back o_O

They were nice and round, and I used lots of them.

If anybody happens to run into them let me know, because it would save me quite a bit of searching for them in the CSS.

Not entirely ready, buttuhm, whatdayathink?

Work in Progress and a little Blog Love

Been working on a new blog layout yesterday. Needs a few tweaks still, but it's getting there. Same feel different colors. I enjoy fiddling with that sort of stuff every now and then, but it is quite a bit of work. Been blogging since April now though, I know that I'm not going away anymore, so it'll be worth the time to get it right ^_^.

But with that in mind it could happen that my blog is down somewhere this weekend. I'm scared shitless that I lose a post, or worse, one of the reader comments. So I've been working on getting everything backed up.

I also should get an about page setup (the new layout will have a real menu with home links and everything! \o/) Anybody any idea how I make about pages? The only thing I've come up with so far is created a post, and link through to that. ( I say this I might have a different way as well, we'll see)

Anyway, I figured I would give out some blog love, since I haven't gotten round to posting something too constructive myself:
  • Righteous Orbs has discovered a conspiracy (well, it's a good read anyway)
  • Discover some of Jong's Wisdom, it's not too often he displays it :p
  • Mikato from Resto-Melee is working on an RP blog, looking forward to reading some
  • The explanation why quite a few gamers stay single (tip! good way to start your day)

  • And finally a non-wow related blog I've been following for a while now. She writes about travelling, and this month she's been writing on a 30ways in 30days thing. At first I got interested in this blog by her starting posts. She quit her job and she and her husband went travelling and working while doing so. She gives out all handy sorts of tips, so if you one day plan to do such a thing, go check it out.

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009

    From Twitter and some apologies

    Jooov: Apparently our "blog war" cost us a reader; who felt the need to post about how childish we were. But who's blog doesn't allow comments. (8 minutes ago from TwitterFox)

    Jooov: I'm torn between "idc" and "qq moar, way to miss a point"... Probably a good thing their blog doesn't allow comments. ;) (7 minutes ago from TwitterFox)

    Arrens: @Jooov Really? He commented on your blog about it? (5 minutes ago from twhirl in reply to Jooov)

    Jooov: @Arrens No, but checking stats this morning, I see "SHAME ON YOU I'M NEVER READING EITHER OF YOU AGAIN BECAUSE UR MEAN" linking to us (6 minutes ago from TwitterFox in reply to Arrens)

    Shyraia: @Jooov blog does allow comments, and your 'blog war' just didn't make me feel good, but it seems I misunderstood things (5 minutes ago from TwitterGadget in reply to Jooov)

    Jooov: @Arrens So of course I look. And try to comment (because hey, way to miss a point) but no dice. (5 minutes ago from TwitterFox in reply to Arrens)

    Shyraia: @Jooov it happens, it might just be cultural difference (4 minutes ago from TwitterGadget in reply to Jooov)

    Shyraia: @Jooov and oh, I didn't think I worded it that way, but if you want I can clarify my post of course :) (3 minutes ago from TwitterGadget in reply to Jooov)

    Jooov: @Shyraia Frankly, you're entitled to your opinion. I'm sorry if you missed the humor in the situation, it was a continuation of an earlier+ (7 minutes ago from TwitterFox in reply to Shyraia)

    Jooov: @Shyraia +Twitter battle. I've been teasing @ILikeBubbles to go holy for... months. (6 minutes ago from TwitterFox in reply to Shyraia)

    Jooov: @Shyraia If it made you uncomfortable, I can attribute it to cultural or language or anything else. But... it just happens *shrug* (6 minutes ago from TwitterFox in reply to Shyraia)

    Jooov: @Shyraia And no, your site doesn't seem to allow comments. It allows READING coms, but there's no link I can hit which allows me TO commnt. (5 minutes ago from TwitterFox in reply to Shyraia)

    Arrens: @Jooov @Shyraia It's Blogger's settings. Some firewalls prevent it from posting with its settings. There's a way to get past that (c) (3 minutes ago from twhirl in reply to Jooov)

    Arrens: @Jooov @Shyraia but I forget exactly what has to be done. (3 minutes ago from twhirl in reply to Jooov)

    Shyraia: @Jooov I use the Echo system, it's been giving me crap *sigh* sounds like I have work to do when I come home =/ (3 minutes ago from TwitterGadget in reply to Jooov)

    This comes from Twitter. I'm not sure why comments aren't allowed, but I will definitely look into this. Of course I allow comments. (Just not without me checking them before I allow them publicly, I did learn my lesson with that early on.) I'll check into my commenting system when I get home from work.

    But yeah, apologies if I misunderstood. The posts made me feel ergh inside. They made me feel as if people were just throwing mud at each other, which in turn just made me go, yugh don't want to read this sort of stuff. I guess my sense of humor is not the same, and I guess as long as both parties are happy with it, all's right in the world.

    Shame that this sort of stuff so badly translates in text. There's enough people in the world who call others idiots and throw mud. But these people apparently throw friendly mud, or something....

    So while I'll definitely keep skipping those type of posts, I'll look them up for their theorycrafting and other posts.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009

    Sometimes I just have to say something...

    even though I know it might not be the smartest move. World of Snarkcraft, a blog that I normally enjoy reading has decided to pick on another blog I like reading.

    Apparently it's a scandal to have a blog called 'I like bubbles' when you have been a holy priest at some point. And while I smartly ignored the first post, after the second all I could think was 'are you really that childish? wow.'

    I thought this sort of stuff would be below you Seri and Jov. Unfortunately Ambrosyne didn't entirely rise above it either.

    Sad to say I now have two less blogs that I read :(

    Rivs, I'll take your snarkiness above this sort of nonsense any day....

    Monday, September 14, 2009

    How to be a good PUG

    So I run a lot of pug groups. Thror and myself play mostly on a USA server, and we live on EU time. Meaning: when we are on, not an awful lot of our USA guildies are. And while it has gotten better with the forming of Pugtastic, we do still pick up people from LFG quite often.

    We did another half-pug in heroic ToC yesterday. It was the daily, and we figured we would pick up our champion's seals and emblems at the same time. So we asked in our Pugtastic channel and one of our loyal druids happily came along. Left us with 2 spots to fill still.

    Being that we're just slightly over-geared (and maybe overconfident?) for the instance we normally figure that it doesn't really matter who we pick up for these runs, anybody will do really.

    And to be honest, most of the time we're pretty lucky with whom we pick up. I also fully believe that there are more cool people out there then there are idiots. And to be fair, both of the pugs we picked up were pretty ok, except that one of them made a pretty big mistake in my books...

    He went afk for just a moment. And I bet we all know these 'moments'.

    5 things you should not do when pugging
    • Don't join groups when you know you will have to leave halfway through the instance

      There is nothing more annoying than the pug who announces halfway through an instance that they have to leave. Here you stand with a half-cleared heroic, almost impossible to find a replacement (cause they want all the badges most of the time) and you're stuck with an incompleted daily heroic. Say byebye to your emblems of triumph for that day.

      If you cannot go for the full run at that time, then don't go at all.

    • Don't go afk for just a moment, and then come back 10 minutes later

      This is my pet peeve. If you go afk, and have 4 people waiting for you for 5 minutes, you have just wasted 20 minutes of people's free time. Imagine your boss telling you to wait around every day for 20 minutes in your free time. Just waiting, not even doing something useful, nope, just waiting.

      Doesn't feel good, huh?

      Enlarge this scale. You got invited to a 25man pug raid, and you make them wait for 5 minutes. That's 24 x 5 = 2 hours of free time wasted, just because you had to go afk.

      I mean, fair enough if you have to go potty, but dude, communicate it properly. 'brb bio' is easily typed, and should not take you 5 minutes. (exceptions there of course).

    • Don't need on stuff you cannot possible use, unless the achievement 'Needy' has come up or something

      If you're not sure about the loot system used, just pass. Nobody likes ninja's and you will be regarded a ninja if you just need on loot you cannot use without discussing it before hand.

      Well....either it shows you're a ninja, or what might be even worse, they think you're an idiot for needing something your class cannot even use properly. (No, spellpower is not for ret pallies).

    • Don't pretend you know fights you've never done before

      If the raidleader asks if there are people who have never done a fight before, 'fess up!

      I mean really, there is nothing wrong with not knowing how the charges work on Thaddius, what is wrong is if people all say they know and turn out to have no idea so the entire raid wipes due to a wrongly charged person.

      We have all started somewhere, and if you have a good raidleader they will give you chances to prove that you can understand explanation. But you do have to give the raidleader a chance to explain.

    • Don't opt for fights you're not ready for

      There still is a certain progression through the game. If you're a new player, don't try to step into a raid without understanding group mechanism. Go do a dungeon first.

      And without ever having done Naxx, don't try to get into Ulduar groups. Go do that Naxx first, at least once to get a feel for raiding. Even if you have had guild groups carrying you through content up to 80, and you feel you have gear, go do that boring Naxx.

      Learning how to handle mobs cannot be boosted.

      And if the raidleader then tells you that you might not be up for this or that fight, based on you not having experience, accept it. Most raidleaders I know do know what experience, gear level, etc is required for a certain fight. Don't go for ToC if you've never seen a dungeon, even if you're an alt. Go play your character in the simpler group setting first before taking him/her out to get the big baddies down.
    5 things you do do when pugging
    • Be polite

      Nobody likes people who are just rude. If you have nothing normal to say, then just say nothing.

    • Ask if you have a question

      I know most people prefer pretending they know everything already, because god forbid you look....unexperienced.

      Really though, if you went for the right content for your experience progression there is nothing wrong with asking questions. Make sure you're clear on what is expected from you. We all had to learn how to play this game, and there is a lot to learn as a newer player.

    • Make sure to know the loot rules

      When I first started playing on my EU server I too had to ask about what the going loot rules were. Having played for quite a while now I knew enough with only half a word, but if you're used to passing and then rolling, everybody using the need/greed system will definitely rubb you the wrong way if you don't know that this is the custom on that server.

    • Offer knowledge, but only if asked for

      Sure, you know all the fights, you will teach this pug how to do it! Right?

      Wrong. If your goal is to just have a good time you can offer some friendly hints and suggestions, but nobody likes know it alls. So if you step into a group and start telling them that their all noobs and that they should do it your way, don't expect to get invited back.

      Instead you could whisper the leader and ask if it would be ok if you explain the strategy you're used to using.

    • Be prepared

      If you're sticking yourself into LFG and you get an invite you should be ready to go there and then. Not tell the raidleader/groupleader that they should hold on just 2 minutes until you've finished so and so quest. No, shouldn't have stuck yourself in LFG if you wanted to quest, or except that you will finish the quest after the instance.

      Also, if this is a raid you're going for, make sure to have flasks, potions, vent, etc. Making people wait is bad, not having flasks if needed is worse.

    I'm sure I've missed points on these lists, but in general treat people in game as you would want to be treated IRL and you're normally fine. That PUG group you joined are real people on the other side of their screens, with real feelings, and real annoyances.

    Monday Morning

    It's Monday again. Had a 3 day weekend, and spent it doing....well, not much useful stuff. I was nice and lazy and played a lot of WoW ^_^

    - 10s: We killed the entire instance easily, then switched to hard mode. In hard mode we took down the first 3 bosses, and got stuck on Twins. Not so much because we can't do that one, but more because we were running out of time. But wow do those orbs do a lot of damage >_<

    We also did Freya - Knock x3 which went amazingly well. In fact, it went so well that we not only got Knock x3, but we also got Conspeedatory at the same time for some people who didn't have it yet. Guess we did the whole place, including Freya in under 20 minutes, not bad.

    - 25s: We cleared ToC25. It was such a satisfactory moment that Anub went down, especially since we had seen him at like 2% 3 times already. I think everybody cheered on vent.

    I have to admit, this guy is a lot harder on 25 then on 10. Funny how some fights remain easier on 10 and others are just a lot harder when you have less people.

    - Loremaster: 501/700 in Kalimdor. I'll get there one day, but boy do they have you flying all over the place >_<

    - Wintersaber: 1525 rep away from revered. Doing a little bit each day prevents me from going insane. And I will get a wintersaber cat.

    - Quel'Dorei Pony: I got my pony! It's pretty and white, and woah now I have to get even more tokens to finally get that tabard. But I got my pony!

    - Warlock Alt: I also finally got into the flow of killing stuff on my warlock. Guess the thought of race changes coming in so that my gnomie can finally grow up to become a humie has something to do with that...Or maybe those two heirloom items and the epic flying I got her helps? It certainly makes it go a lot faster. She is now 73.

    Also, why on earth does Demonology exist? o_O I can't even imagine that being a good tree for PVP. I mean taunt in your demon form? Why? Seriously, why?

    Levelling in Affliction, which really makes me wonder why all the raiding locks are destruction. I guess they feel they do more dps? I wonder though, I'd already decided to become an affliction lock since I created a pre-made one on the PTR and scored close to 4K dps without glyphs or proper enchants.

    - Troll Shammie: My Dranei shammie is now a troll shammie, she has gorgeous pink braids. I should somehow find the time to go see those horde quests in Northrend. After all this is the entire reason I changed her to horde side.

    First impression is that the horde starting hold in Borean is redonkulously confuzzling (see Eternal, I used the word!). You arrive on the Zeppelin somewhere at the top, get told to speak to someone at the south side, but I am completely confused on how to get there. Did run into other quests on the way so started doing them a little. They get to ride Kodos straight in their Northrend starting area, my Alliance characters were all jealous.

    So yeah, haven't been blogging much, but wow, have I enjoyed myself in game ^_^

    Monday, September 7, 2009

    Raiders Suck at Leading!

    Kay the title is not meant as harsh as it sounds, but it's in response to Saresa with her post Raid Leaders Suck!

    In this post she explains what a lot of raid leaders do wrong from her point of view as a raider. I will put against this my experience as a raid leader, and will try to show things from the other side.

    I know this might come accross oddly at first, but bare with me.

    Raiders are like a group of young puppies sometimes. They are jumping all around and tumble over eachother, very excited to go out and find a tree to pee against. Problem with this is that if you don't have a person (boss) to actually tell these puppies what a tree is, and what really is the sofa they will cause a lot of issues, and frankly....all they'll create is mess.

    Raiders, like puppies, need structure. Structure and guidance. They need someone to steadily take the lead, stay calm when things go wrong, stay positive when wiping, and just generally a person who knows what he's doing.

    Raiders also need to be given their own responsibility. You can teach them a trick, but it is far, far more efficient to teach them how to think about something themselves. That way they will learn their own tricks, and will be able to apply it to the next time something similar comes along.

    There is a time for praise, there is a time for but slapping.
    Saresa complains that your raiders should always be praised, always reminded of what they were doing right. I agree.

    That is to say, in principle I agree. It is far more powerful as a raid leader to lead from reward and praise than it is to lead from fear and discipline. However, discipline is needed in a raid group. Especially if this concerns a 25man raid group (remember the sofa peeing puppy?).

    So while it is very very important to praise your raiders, it might be even more important to discpline them when needed. Not all the time, but decide on your own limits, and when they cross that line, stop them.

    Be stern and clear, but fair. There is nothing wrong with calling your raiders out on behaviour that is considered unwanted, or actions that cause the group to be compromised. There is also nothing wrong on calling your raiders out on bad performance. In fact the only way for someone to improve is to know they're doing it wrong.

    Provide structure
    Saresa is right on this one, mostly. A lot of raiders can think for themselves, but when you see that all the freedom you give them to think for themselves is mainly causing confusion, narrow it down.

    A good example is healing assignments. I often leave it fairly open, and instead of assigning very detailed I often give out the assignment 'fill up where needed' to one or two healers. However, you can only ever do this with healers that you know will be able to see indeed the gaps where their heals should land. If you give this assignment to a healer who needs more structure, you will only cause chaos in their head and nothing good will come out of it.

    This has a lot to do with knowing your raiders, and if you don't know them you should be able to guestimate it after one or two attempts. It's not science unfortunately, but if you lead enough raids you will get better at recognizing this.

    Also, give your raiders the option to ask for structure. It is perfectly alright to ask your raiders if your explanation has been clear, if the assignments are clear, and if they have any questions left.

    Understanding is the basis of doing
    Don't read out what an ability does, interpret it for your raiders.

    For example:
    Freezing Slash — Inflicts 25% Froststrike weapon damage (Frost or Physical, whichever will cause more damage to the target) damage to enemies within 6 yards in front of Anub'arak and freezes them in a block of ice for 3 sec. Instant
    Would translate to:
    Don't stand in front of him or you'll get frozen and will take damage.
    The last part is particularly important. Your raiders need to know what the consequences are of standing in the wrong spot so they understand what their doing wrong, but also what they can adjust when it does accidentally go wrong. If a raider has no understanding of the fight he can never compensate for any accidents, and all flexibility is lost.

    So yes, tell your raiders what to do, but mostly tell them why they're doing it.

    Be the leader
    People need someone to make decisions for them. Well, no, perhaps not on a person to person bases. But once you stick people together in a group they need someone to stick their head up and say "We will do it like this".

    They will have to look up at this person and trust this person to make the right decision. If the raidleader calls it, they will have to trust the raidleader has good reasons to do so.

    A small example.

    We were in ToC last weekend with our Pugtastic raid, and I had called it. We had wiped on Anub several times, and I could notice the attention span dropping. Some people almost begged me for another try, but I had already gotten tells of people getting desperate.

    So I called it. Told them that I had full confidence that we could do it, but that we simply needed a bit of time to digest the information that we had gathered by wiping on him that evening. I know I left some people disappointed. But I also knew that if I had continued I would not have left them disappointed, but annoyed.

    Now I've left them with the feeling, no with the knowing, that we can do this, but that we just need a bit more time for it. And though they were disappointed that we didn't beat him this week, they know that we will beat him next week.

    I know this too, you know why? Because people aren't annoyed with the boss, and from banging their heads against it, just more eager to kill that bastard.

    If I had let the raid lead I would've banged our heads against it a bit longer, the people who were already starting to despair a bit would've not looked forward at all to going in the week after, and the people who did feel they had to go on would possibly have been so discouraged by it next week that they would already start with a negative positions. (positive thinking is half the deal).

    I know this group can do it, but it is important that they know as well, and feel it.

    So yes, while Saresa is right and you shouldn't get arrogant about it, you should be the leader, and you should be calling the shots.

    Allow for folly, but never never at the expense of others
    While this is generally a good advice for anywhere and any situation, it's even more true for a raidleader.

    To me all my raiders are precious. Each of them has their own spot, and their own role to play, and I value all of them. And within my 10man we even know each other well enough to actually make a little fun of each other with a good heart and have the best of times.

    I've known most of my 10man for 2 years or longer.

    Unfortunately most raids don't know eachother this long already. And as the raidleader you should never show bias to anybody, not even jokingly. Be very very careful about this, and better be darn sure if you do poke fun at someone that he/she knows it's meant as a pleasant tease.

    You want your people to be positive, and my experience is that no matter how well something is meant, if it goes towards the personal directed at a specific person side, it often is not taken as funny as it was meant to, and the atmosphere will become less good. Even if you don't notice at first, under water it will fester.

    And like Saresa is now waiting for her raid lead to chew her out, I'll sit back and watch for reactions from my raiders.

    And yes, you guys are MY raiders. My 10man leads itself practically, and while a lot of people think raid leading is stressful, with this group it's relaxation and fun. And pugtastic, pugs...well, hardly pugs anymore by now, they're so amazingly cool, that I'm very honored to be leading them.

    Sunday, September 6, 2009

    10man/25man disparity

    We managed to get faction champions down on 25 this weekend, and downed Twin Val'kyr after as well. Tonight we still have Anub to go. We also cleared ToC with our 10man and worked up to Freya, and we will be extending the instance lock for the first time this week so we can get extra time in on Mims hard next week.

    I got my first trophy of triumph as well. Which got me and Thror discussing about these things.

    In a full clear 10man ToC on normal and heroic you have a chance to win max 5 tropies. This is if you actually clear the place with 50 attempts left in the pocket (attempts left divided by 10 gives number of tropies in tribute chest), since all of these tropies come from the tribute chest.

    In a full clear 25man ToC on normal and heroic you have a chance to win max 5 tropies on normal, then 5 tier tokens on heroic. And this is without anything in the tribute.

    Theoretically once you can clear the whole hard mode without losing attempts this makes that 25s get about 3 times as many as 10, which is ok, since the 25s have more people.

    However, until you can do this, and you're in a 10man pure guild, and you cannot do a perfect hard mode (which I assume to be pretty impossible for most guilds in the beginning), you will get 1 or 2 tropies on 10, and still 10 tropies on 25.
    Sticking this back in numbers:
    10 players, 1 tropy = 10 % of your raid with a tier piece per week
    25 players, 5 trophies + 5 tier pieces + at least 1 from chest = over 40% of your raid with a tier piece per week
    I can understand that Blizzard didn't want the 25s to gear themselves up through the 10s too easily, but please allow the 10s to gear up through the 10s at least. This disparity is a bit too much to my taste.

    Besides that, not only do 10s get less loot, they also get worse loot. I keep wondering why since there are plenty of fights that are actually harder on 10 then they are on 25, simply because of the lack of extra bodies.

    I mean fair enough, a 25man is harder to organize than a 10man. But if Blizzard wants to reward that, the extra loot should go to the raidleader. They are the ones organizing.

    Until then it would be nice if Blizzard would stop seeing the 25s as more important and recognize the 10s for what they are. Good steady raid instances, that are just as hard to clear, only hard in different ways.

    Friday, September 4, 2009

    I wuvs my tanks!

    While I had wanted to talk about faction change, and I actually did switch my dranei shammie to a perky troll with pink braids, I am going to talk about something else first.

    After this post on Aggro Junkie I was suddenly inspired to write about a different subject, so I figured I would just run with it, and go with faction change some other time.

    My road to becoming a healer.
    I started World of Warcraft as a warlock. A cute gnomie I figured would be cool to play. So while Thror started his pallie, I ran around being a destro lock. We both got our horsies at 40 that way. (this was in Vanilla, so yay for warlock and pallie horsies back then).

    I played my warlock till 60, and on the side I was levelling a hunter. The warlock was my main in the guild, and for the longest time my hunter was in a different, much smaller guild. I had made friends there which I wasn't ready to give up. The solution eventually came in introducing the people from my hunter's tiny guild to FP and they merged happily.

    TBC came and I ran my warlock through the gates of the burning legion, and started running around in Hellfire. My hunter followed only slowly. Thror and I went through Hellfire together, but halfway through Zangarmarsh something happened, and I suddenly lost the feel for my warlock.

    At that same time I had started levelling a shammie, I felt I had to do the whole dranei thing at least once, so why wouldn't I also play the new alliance class. She raced through content, it was amazing how fast I could level an enhancement shammie.

    She reached 80 before my warlock did, and I announced an official main change. I would be the dual wielding axing shammie. It was great.

    Until we started raiding.

    Though I did pretty darn good on my shammie, my group needed healers more and more often, and I was asked more to heal on my shaman. I didn't like it.

    Shaman healing was slow, and clunky compared to the fast paced enhance spec. Chain healing took forever, and chain heal was the only way to go back then. Besides that, I felt mostly like a walking trinket, since my totems seem to be the most important thing I brought to a raid. Of course it wasn't so, but everything I did on my shammie as a healer seem to take forever compared to what buttons I could press on my shammie as enhance.

    So one day I sat down, and started thinking. I spoke to my then raidleader, and said that I wouldn't mind switching to become a healer, but not on the shaman. If I would have to heal, I would do it on my priest.

    Problem... My priest was only 43 or so at that point. And we needed healers now.

    I put my shoulders under it, and started levelling. Within a week not only did my priest level to 70, she was also ready to start healing Kara. (And yes, I did have a job and other things to go to. )

    I was sold. I was addicted. I was a healer.

    I couldn't have done all this without having several tanks very ready to run me through dungeons, help me level, and help me get gear. She was lucky enough to get a pretty okish healing set kitted out through the level 70 dungeons, and my tanks were patient enough to run me through.

    The tank/healer relationship
    The moment you start levelling a healer you start developing a bond with your tanks. The tank's first responsibility is to keep the healers alive, and the healer's firs priority is to keep the tank alive.

    I ask my tanks things about their role and class, so I can do a better job, so I can heal them better. And in return they keep an eye on not running out of los. And the first thing that a tank will do when additional mobs run in is make sure the healer is free from agro so they can do their job.

    Communication is key, and not only the business like communication. As I've progressed in content, it became more and more important to know my tanks. To know how they would react to situations. To know how much health they had, and how much damage they would be able to mitigate, dodge, and block.

    Over time I also got to know which abilities of theirs I can call on to save lives. Which abilties are their oh shit buttons, and how working together will make the experience so much more fun.

    It did help that Thror went from healing to tanking in TBC and that I had a handy test subject available, but I could hardly expect there to be a paladin tank every time. So I started reading tanking blogs, and elitist jerks forums.

    This is from my healer point of view, but I know that all good tanks have gone through the same from the other side. They need to know which abilities they can call on from a healer if they need it. They need to have complete trust in their healer(s) to keep them standing, and to allow them to do their job.

    My tanks
    To me personally dps is a way to let go of stress, rawr! But nowadays within a dungeon I can say that as long as one of the very good tanks I know comes along, we can basically bring any 3 people along to a heroic, and we'll make it. If need be the tank and myself will finish it together.

    Of course dps is important. And the dps in my 10man (or in pugtastic nowadays for that matter) is very dear to me. Good dps makes the fight easier. The better the dps, the faster a fight goes, the less shit you have to deal with since there is less time for a mob to throw out shit.

    In fact, the content that my 10man is currently working on couldn't be done without our outstanding dps. But the tank/healer relationship is special.

    While I once thought about tanks as a meatshield way back when, something to make sure I could keep seeing the high numbers, as a healer my tanks are special to me.

    My tanks are my big, cuddly protectors who keep me safe from harm. Who make sure that the raid lives, and who throw themselves in front of the raid to heroicly stand up against the big baddie.

    They stand in front and shout out to the boss, "Hey dude, hit me, not my friends!"

    I suggest that we create an international 'Wuv your tank' day, and give them a little extra love.

    I wuvs my tanks!

    Thursday, September 3, 2009

    Faction Change Available

    Apparently the faction change feature that people have spoken about so often is already available in the US. So if I would want to change in my nightelf for an undead lady I could. Does make me wonder how many people would actually want to use it, and how you go about chosing your counterpart on the other side.

    I guess horde has never seen this many belfs before? I'll get back to it in a post later on the day, will have to spend some time thing about it.

    Things to check out in the meantime:
    In other news, some of the 5man ToC nonsensical stuff is going to be adressed in 3.2.2, woot!

    Tuesday, September 1, 2009

    Coliseum for Dummies: Twin Valkyrs

    We did Twin Valkys last weekend in our 10, unfortunately faction champions proved an obstacle in our 25s, and so we skipped out of the rest of ToC and almost full cleared Ulduar with that group instead.

    Tactics for the 25 are the same however, and from what I understood from the guild group who did get champions down on 25 they're as much of a pushover in 25s, as they are in 10s.

    • Divide into 2 groups, each with a tank and healer(s)
    • Group 1 stand at white portal, group 2 stand at black portal
    • Click. Group 1 will have white circles underneath their feat, group 2 black circles
    • Attack the Valkyr of the opposite color, next to the portal they are flying at
    • Grab orbs of your color circle, avoid orbs of the opposite color
    • When the vortex thing in the middle comes up, everybody should be the color of the vortex, so click on a portal to take that color (if you're already the right color you don't have to do anything)
    • When a valkyr shields herself everybody (except tank and healer(s) of the other valkyr) needs to switch to the color of that valkyr and attack to get the shield down
    • Rinse and repeat
    Special tip: pick up manymany orbs, it's a lot of fun and you get to zoom around like a mad man. At 100 you get a special buff.
    This really is a fun fight, and on normal not hard at all. A relief after champions actually. Enjoy!

    Project GenderBender by Rivs

    Rivs has started out a small project. He started a female dranei and is now trying to figure out if gamers react differently to female gamers then they do to male gamers.

    My personal experience is that it generally doesn't make too much of a difference, but sometimes you have those idiots...

    It goes something like this:

    "R u a grl irl?"

    I don't know why, but the people who feel the need to ask these silly questions hardly ever seem to be able to type full words.





    By that time they run out of stuff to say or they start telling me how sexy I am.

    "Ur so hot!"

    "Really? you go for pixelated then?"

    This is when you can almost hear them think what on earth that difficult word is.


    "Yah, go learn some English before you try to chat up intelligent females"

    If it does get to this point, generally they are getting annoyed with me or they wander off. I've had from ignores to "Biotch" things happen.

    Oh, and then there is the vent stories...

    My native language isn't English, though I speak it fluently, so yes, I speak English with an accent. So sometimes there are men (rarely women) who feel they should comment on how sexy my accent is on vent. I pug, quite a bit, and in my guild I've never had this problem, but on the pug vents I still run into this sometimes.

    And yaknow, if it would be once just to figure out where I come from, "Cool accent, where are you from?" type of deal, I would be totally cool with it. But there are a couple who keep drewling over it. I'm woman enough to ignore them. I am there to raid lead, but when it does get out of hand I do call them back and ask them to keep it in.

    I also once had a guy who went completely off his rocker with the /lick command. I suddenly knew where to find the /slap command as well. Which is a thing I would actually do IRL as well. There are just things that I cannot accept.

    Lets face it, most women know that they can expect some oddness from the male species out there once it's known that they have boobies. But generally it's not too bad, or if it does really bother you, all you have to do is say nothing ;)

    It's an interesting project Rivs has going, go read it ^_^