Saturday, April 29, 2006

My guild scares me.

There's nothing we can't do. Tonight, on it's 2nd serious Razorgore attempt, they kill it.

I say "they" because, mid-raid, I gave up my spot for another Shaman. I figured if we were learning, he could learn some too, yada yada yada, they down him next try.

First try we'd gotten all by 8 or 12 eggs. Second try we got all the eggs and Razorgore to 69%. I left the raid then to give my spot to someone else. Some minutes later they announce Razorgore went down.

My guild scares me how good they are.

Sadly, I missed the 1st Rag kill, I wasn't there the 2nd time they took him down, and now I missed the 1st Razorgore kill.

Next Friday. They're going to have to pry me out of the raid group with iron crowbars or something. I'm going to be there and get the screenshot.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Why is that Shaman in MC gear beating up on piglets outside of Orgrimmar?

Ah, he must have respecced.

In anticipation of a move overseas I'm making a few adjustments in playstyle. Since we started raiding, since about October of last year, I've been Restoration specced. 0 in Elemental, 11 in Enhancement for the 2-Handed Axes and Maces, and 40 in Restoration, giving me the best in healing and the raid-important Mana Tide Totem.

And I heal real well. Only +350 Healing now but I still manage to top the healing charts raid after raid. It's not even *if* I am going to top the healing chart on a raid. I do, every raid. Granted I'm not decursing like the Priests are, but I hold my own really well against Benediction equipped Priests. It makes me feel like I'm contributing to the raid so I knocked myself out healing.

The other night we 5-manned Live Strat. I was the only one healing. I never dropped Mana Tide Totem once.

But, lord knows, I couldn't melee worth a dang with that build. And if I am going to be 6 hours ahead of server time my days of steady raiding with my guild are over.

So, last night I redid my talents. 0 in Elemental since I'm really not much of a caster type. 28 in Enhancement taking Flurry, Parry, Improved Windfury, and Improved Rockbiter. 23 in Restoration getting me Nature's Swiftness (and an insta-heal every 5 minutes), Improved Ghostwolf (to help me skidaddle), and the reincarnation every 40 minutes (instead of 60) talent.

Before I could work on maces the guild went to AQ40. Happily, I'm on top of the healing chart again. HOWEVER! I ran out of mana slightly more quickly it seemed (though geared in my MC healing gear) and no means of getting it back. (And those winged things suck mana out of you anyway, so hardly a good test.) The real test on how this impacted my healing will be our weekly MC raid. I suspect I'll come down some on the chart, but I'm shooting for the #1 spot nonetheless. (That's my goal.)

Anyway, after we left AQ40 I returned to Orgrimmar and began beating up on stuff to get the Mace skill up. (The Doomulus Prime I got as a quest reward at the Hold.) Ona, a shaman guildie msg'd me "RFC ya noob." Oh, yeah. "Good idea!" So I took my mace through Ragefire Chasm getting the skill up to 220 or so. If RFC is good, how would the Wailing Caverns be? With my Zulian Stone Axe I got my 2-H axes skill up to 230 or so, and my 2-H maces skill up to 260.

When Flurry procs, and your hands go red, and you get this real satisfactory THACK and the thing just drops like a sack of potatos. Sweet. I was playing around with Rockbiter buff (first time in ages!!) and got some record crits, and with Windfury (444+1002+1024 in a single swing!) and I ran through WC wacking every boss, killing the dinosaur, and then rescuing, again, that sleeping druid guy, I was walking tall.

Oh,I've run people through WC in Resto spec, but it took a few more swings to kill things. With this build I'm one-shotting Druids of the Fang really often. (I also collected the leggings and chest armor of the Fang. I might farm WC and complete the set. For grins.)

Anyway, that's why I, a MC geared Shaman, was seen outside of Orgrimmar last night, wacking on piglets. Every time I respec my 2-H Axes and 2-H Maces skill is dropped back to 1.

And those piglets? Don't worry, they're okay. I checked on them later and they were all back snuffling about in the dirt. I left before visions of a BLT overwhelmed me again.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Took a bit of a vacation. Down Florida way. Beachside condo place. Small. No elite Sharks patrolling off shore. No murlocs even. Just some porpoises out there. Seemed so ... safe.

Came back to find the new iteration of my guild downed Ragnaros. Twice! In a week! Wow. Not bad at all. That little shake up. A new guild name. A couple new faces, and wham, bam, we're doing stuff we've never done. Our first and second Ragnaros take-downs.

Last night I joined them again and we raided Onyxia. She's been giving us a few problems. We in fact had a new Warrior tanking for us. ("All those dots are driving me crazy! They keep bumping good debuffs off her." "The Warlocks are singing your praises in the Warlock Channel." :) Change isn't bad.) Onyxia went down in 15 minutes. It's been a while since I was there and they downed her. Maybe Blizzard toned her down a bit too?

Then, on the heals of that success, before we'd even left her lair, I made plans for AQ20. I needed to collect a little venom off Kurinaxx. Last two times we went, he'd been really tough. Last night, Onyxia went down, then Kurinaxx went down. I got my venom, and turned it in along with Venox's, and collected my new 2-H Mace. Yowza. What more could we do?

We then arranged a 5-man group to Live Strat. 2 Shamans (I healing, the other melee and backup), 2 Mages (more sheep than an Arab wedding), and a warrior. Woot. Got the Archivist (and completing that quest for me), we got 3 Righteous Orbs, some odds and ends, and the other Shaman got the Crown of Tyranny he was after. That took like an hour. So easy in MC gear.

And Sunday Oddity took Droonda, his wife, to the Scarlet Monastery. She and another Shaman, Me, a Mage, and a Hunter. The other Shaman was off-tanking and meleeing, and Droonda, my wife, was playing the healer. She 35, the rest of us 40+. (Highest was the Hunter at 44.) I was pretty proud of her when the Shaman remarked "At least she's not a noob." Meaning she was playing real well. (It got slightly frantic a few times, nothing bad.) We cleared every part of SM, got all the bosses, collected all the books. We did good.

And I suspect my level 16 Night Elf Huntress has gained another PvP rank. (80 HK's in one WSG on the Saturday I got back. And then a few more runs. Hunters are fun.)

It's all good. Who needs an expansion to enjoy this game well after a year play time?!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Postscript of a guild. Or?

It was bound to happen. The usual end-game guild on the edge of a meltdown, forced to respond to new conditions, unable to go forward wearing it's old clothes.

A "casual" guild meant too many had become too casual in their raiding. That's completely untenable. You can't be casual in showing up to raid Molten Core or Onyxia's Lair. "Ah, why bother with the sign-ups, I'll show up, if they got a spot, great, if not, meh, not a loss."

Enthusiasm goes a long way. In the heady early days where we first entered the Core and the Lair everyone wanted to come along. And they slowly got geared up, and then, what's the point? Better to sit a raid out, or three, to let other people get their phat lootz. Now it's a job. Now it's raiding to gear up other people. We're disenchanting Nightslayer gear now. We've got three Giantstalker Belts in the guild bank.

So attendance falters, the people that do show up have to work harder, to make up for a lack of people, or to make up for the lack of experience among the new people. And even the people willing to show up, their attitude changes. "Hey. Not 40? Let's call it and I can go PvP." Or "Oh. I just discovered I have a family. I can't raid past the 2nd boss. You understand."

The new plan is to create a hardcore Raiders only guild. (With alts too. Huh?) But the old guild won't go away, it'll house the casual players. (Casual *and* raider won't be in the same sentence anymore.)

Collectively this guild rocks. The skill of these players is incredible. I sincerely hope our reinventing ourselves finds us successful in Blackwing Lair shortly.

This is the "make or break" moment. I'm curious to see how it will go.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Good Lord. Patch Day Again?

Albeit a small patch it still means I can't log on after loading it.

Was wanting to create a character on Sen'jin to check out the Bloggers. Might be fun. (And I would not be the oldest for a change! Woot!)

But, Alas, it's Tuesday at Blizzard and the servers are down. They're up. They're down. They're up. They're down. ... ...

Friday, April 7, 2006

When does the Fat Lady sing?

I've been browsing blogs for a few months now.

What I find surprising, but is no surprise really, is how reaching 60 can be quite a let down for some.

I remember when Kinless reached level 40. The noob hadn't been really trying to raise cash in anticipation of that day, and all of a sudden he had a requirement to find 90 Gold to buy his mount.

What's a Hunter to do? Grind on monkeys in Stranglethorn Vale. I spent a couple of days there if I remember it right. Just rolling through the apes and cats and skinning every last one of them. I crafted the leather (free) into leather goods (cost of thread) and sold them to the vendor. (I wasn't very Auction House saavy back then.) Well all this grinding also served to give me a lot of xp. I was level 43 when I finally dinged 90g. I travelled to Darnassus and bought the white spotted riding Tiger.

There I was! Woot! So I rode to the noob area thinking "Look at me! Look at me!" I jumped around the area a bit. Then I rode back to Darnassus, hopped the flight to Auberdine, and sailed to Menethil. Then I rode to Ironforge, and entered it's halls. I'd made it. Woo. That was a lot of work, getting that money to get that mount. But I'd done it. Yeah.

Hmm. Press the space key and the riding tiger yawns. Move forward and press the space key and he'll jump. On a run, if you jump, and twist midair, you can do a 360 in the air before landing again. And ... that was it.

Okay, ride to a raid on Splintertree Post from Astranaar, with the leet on their mounts, that was pretty good. But otherwise? It was okay I guess.

It was kind of a let down actually. I don't know, I was expecting a new game I guess.

I took a Dwarf Hunter, levels 18-22 to Warsong Gulch. For the hours I spent there I got Sgt! Woo. So I went to the quartermaster. The Sgt's cloak wasn't available to me until level 30. What's up with that? It's a piece of cloth. So he got deleted and I made a hunter that could Shadowmeld while her cat stealthed. That would own. But I don't play her much.

I've noticed some other Blogs, dutifully record ding after ding in their quest to 60. But when they reach 60, what then? They find they had a life, or their game card expired, and otherwise what was the point of all that time spent? :/

I was an altoholic on four servers. I now play on just two. I've got 3 Warriors on two servers. A Shaman, two Druids, two Hunters, a Priest, a Warlock, a Mage. A Rogue. Another hunter. (Last two I don't play on the other two servers.) Two Paladins on two servers. Okay. I'm still an altoholic. This is what lets me keep playing this well after a year of buying it and let's me hold out for the Expansion.

I found that some who'd appeared to be on the brink of leaving at 60 seem to rediscover the game by simply trying something new in the game. They made an alt, for example.

If I can no longer raid MC with my guild due to scheduling problems, I'll probably respec from Resto into something more Solo based. I'll go from the top ranked (healing output) healer on our raids to do 5-man PUG stuff, inspired by a video which has a Shaman tanking General Drakkisith. My level 60 Shaman will effectively become a new alt, going Resto to Enhancement will be like a new (again) class. Maybe try my hand in the Battlegrounds. Get a set of PvP gear and put the Earthfury into the bank for the day I might rejoin the raiding.

If you've just dinged level 60, or 40 even, and you see the Fat Lady lumbering up on the stage, but you like the game but you question still playing it, don't worry. Just try something new for a change.