Thursday, July 31, 2008

The New Guy

Due to various issues (some real life, some other reasons), we've had a few key tanks leave the guild recently. I think we spent about 2 days recouping and running ZA instead, but then we bounced right back up and killed Kaz'rogal on our first attempt on Tuesday night.

So, with the departures, there's obviously some holes that we had to fill. We did it with a few people respecing, a few people shuffling around, and some new recruits as well.

Not to single him out per se, but one of the new guild members was a little... shall I say... overly excited about raiding with us. His first night on a trial run, it seemed to be great. Enough so that we invited him in to the guild as an Initiate. The next night, things got a little more out of control with him. I think he annoyed about 1/2 the guild, and our guild members aren't shy about voicing it either. He ended up apologizing at the end of the night for his actions.

I don't bring this up to discuss drama or belittle him. It's obviously import to not only make a good impression on a new guild, but also to fit in. And if you find you don't fit in, then make the necessary changes or leave the guild. It's much easier to change yourself than it is to change 24 (at least) other people in the guild, especially if you're the new guy.

At any rate... Chick GM wrote a great post about it about a month ago. So, if you're that guy (or gal) in a new guild, you should definitely read the post. (Click here to read the post.) And there's even a lot of important things to read even if you've been in your guild for awhile.

For those that don't normally click links, here's her bullet points:
  • Avoid making it the "Me Show"
  • Know your Leaders
  • Do your homework
  • Mind the feedback
  • Make a friend

But seriously... go read the post.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


There's quite a few members in my guild that have expressed a desire to run some of the old world content. A lot of them didn't have 60's back in the day, and some of them (like myself) just didn't get in to a raiding guild back then or for whatever reason didn't see the things. So, there's been a lot of talk about it, and even some people going off and actually doing it.

As for me, I'm kinda torn. Yeah, it would be neat to see some of that stuff, but a lot of it is also such a push over for level 70's, that's it's really not a challenge. Furthermore, there's not really anything it for me, per se. Just some fun times, right?

There's a number of old world raids that I haven't completed. Heck, I've never even set foot in BWL or Naxx. Last night, however, after our raid, a guildie asked if I wanted to do AQ40. I got summoned just after an attempt at the Twin Emperors. They said they had worked for a couple nights on it, but the fight just looked trivial. There was 20 of us that easily took down the Emperors. After that, I was kind of bored. We pulled some of the trash mobs after that. Bug mounts dropped like crazy. I even got a cool yellow one. It's a shame that you can only use them in AQ though. Oh well.

I guess some of these old world instances are basically like a few of the 5-mans. Yeah, I could go in and solo Mauradon, but why? I've never completed Wailing Caverns, Ragefire Chasm, Razorfen Downs, or Razorfen Kraul, but I don't feel that I really have to. I find it more of a challenge for the 25-man content we're in now.

I guess that's the beauty of this game though. Everyone plays it differently, so it appeals to many different people and play styles. But hey... at least I got a cool bug mount. :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

New Class Spells

One of the things that I liked (or the way I remember it) about Everquest II is that you got new spells every level. Not only were they new, but you got them instantly, and they had new graphics. They weren't just higher ranks to new spells, they were actually new spells. You'd cast them in a different way than you would other spells. Sure, they'd be upgrades in disguise, but they were still new. You'd take that old spell that had the same effect and same cooldown, and you'd replace it with that new, shiny spell... not just a rank upgrade.

Don't get me wrong. I actually like Blizzard's approach. It's more simplified. You know immediately that you're replacing Frostbolt Rank 1 with Frostbolt Rank 2. Sure, you have the same animation of the spell, but Wow was never meant to push the limits where only the elitist of the elite could run at full graphics. And does a different casting animation make a game more fun? Probably not.

The reason that I bring this up is that I kind of have that same expectation, albeit subconsciously, about expansions for Wow. I expect all these new spells that will "fix our class" and make us Battle Mages that wear plate, etc, etc, but that's just not how the game works. In reality, Mages got 3 new talent spells and 6 new base spells in the expansion, and one of them (Ritual of Refreshments) was actually patched in later. Hmm... come to think of it. For 10 levels, that's actually a lot of spells.

But we haven't even seen all the new spells for all the classes yet. Again speaking from a Mage perspective, we've seen the 3 new talent spells revealed, but who knows how many changes there will be to those by launch. And for the level spells, we only know about 2. Hmm... I'm guessing that Blizzard isn't quite done with that yet.

So, for all those that are analyzing the heck out of all the data that's coming out about WOTLK and calling for the end of the world, you might want to wait until the world is actually created. I'll admit I'm not super excited about only 2 spells, but I'll also willing to bet that they're not quite done yet.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Death Knight Starting Pictures

I think I mentioned that one of my good friends is in the Beta for Wrath of the Lich King. I got a couple of screen shots from him that I thought I'd post. Yes, yes... I know there's plenty of them out there already, but I thought his was so cool, so I'm posting them.

This first one is how the DK looks when you first enter Azeroth. It's the starting gear for DK's. And before you ask, yes I PhotoShopped the names out to protect his identity. But yes, it's a real picture of the Beta used with my friend's permission.

Then, once you finish the starting area, you're not only better geared and probably about level 57, but you look freakin' hot too! Tell me... what other class/race looks this cool when coming out of the starting area. Oh that's right... only the Death Knights. Maybe that's what makes them the Hero Class.

Next, we have a picture looking down on Stormwind Harbor. For some reason, I just think it's cool that the world is changing. That the people of Stormwind are actually creating something new with their city. And... it's a breathtaking view.

A Public Apology

When I first started this blog, I thought it would be important to have an e-mail address posted so that people could get in touch with me if need be. So, I set up an e-mail account just for this blog. I checked it dilligently, making sure I got back to the masses of people that e-mailed me (which there were very few if any). Because of the overwhelming amount of e-mails that I got (maybe 2 per month... and those were junk mail), I completely got out of the habit of checking that e-mail account. Furthermore, it was a g-mail account which is blocked here at work, so I really dropped the ball there.

Well, it's been about 6 months since I've checked it. On a whim, I thought I'd check it just in case Blizzard somehow sent the e-mail to that address... because they wanted a loyal blogger to participate. That wasn't the case, but I did find a few people had e-mailed me asking about various things. And to them, I wanted to apologize for not responding sooner. It's not that I was ignoring you, it's just that I was too lazy to check.

So, I've removed the e-mail address. If you want to contact me, you may do so in game, or by leaving a way for me to contact you in a comment. I'd use another e-mail address on this blog, but it would have to be one that I could check regularly at work, and the ones I have here aren't very good at filtering junk e-mail (gmail's usually pretty great at that).

And if you have questions about our guild, you can always go to the guild link below in my links.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Death of Spell Crit?

If you've been hiding under a rock since last Friday, you may want to come out and see all the information that's coming out regarding the release of Beta for Wrath of the Lich King. Unfortunately, I have not gotten a beta invite yet, but I'm still hopeful. My brother and his wife both got invites, so I'll have to head over to their house (about an hour's drive) to... umm.. observe them play. Because of course, it would be against the EULA (or whatever) for me to play on one of their accounts. :)

At any rate, I was looking at some of the pictures that have been mined over at MMO-Champion. Rhie-ay's Clutching Gauntlets (pictured (am I alowed to steal graphics like that?)) for example, presented some interesting data. I've already read that plus healing and plus spell damage will be joined into one stat called simply spell power. Okay, that makes sense. But now, there's no longer a Spell Critical Strike. It's just Critical Strike. Go ahead... click on the picture again. And it's not like some Mage is gonna start busting out his dagger, so I'm pretty sure that it's working on spell damage.

Not a big deal to most classes. And I doubt I'll have Rogues needing on my cloth because of the crit, but that seems pretty huge to the Pally community. Your Critical Stike stat now goes towards spell damage and your melee damage. You don't have to get stats in both. I can't think of another current class that that will benefit as well, but it will also help the Death Knights. Seems like a good change... and hopefully people won't have issues of misreading bonuses since they'll all be the same. :)

Locked Up

Well... I got my alt-guild vault back. Then I transferred the GM-ship from my wife's toon to my bank alt, and I lost all the items again. And now I'm locked out of my toons. My Shaman was the first to succumb, and then on Sunday, my bank alt cannot be found.

I can see them both in the Character Selection screen, but when I try to enter the world, it loads, and then gives an error message of "Character Not Found". /sigh.

Oh well... at least it will get fixed soon. The Game Master I was speaking with on Saturday said that the guild vault issue has been going on for awhile (pre 2.4.3), and that it's usually taken care of in weekly maintenance. (Glimpse of what they actually do in the downtime? lol.) And with the planned rolling restarts that started this morning, maybe it's already taken care of.

It's kind of an inconvenience, but I know it will get taken care of.

One funny story from one of the Game Masters I spoke to. He asked if I could switch toons, and I was in the middle of an instance or something. I told my group that I would be right back after that fight. Then I told the Game Master something like "One second", and then "brb". Just as I was logging out, he said something like, "Using words like Hurry Up and Now can buy you a vacation to the couch. I suggest you be patient." Since I am always aware of the generally irate people that file tickets (whether it be in WoW or your local Help Desk), I am cautious as to be extra nice to them. So, it was an obvious Mis-Tell. But since there was only about 5 seconds before I logged out, I didn't get a chance to call him out on it before I logged out. When I came back on the other toon, he ignored my inquiry about it. heh. I just thought it was funny.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Naga Stole My Guild Vault

I decided to do some realigning of some of my toons and the guilds that they're in. I have a guild that's basically just a 1-tab guild vault, but I have my 70 Shaman and my wife's toons in there. Not sure why... it just ended up that way. So, I decided to hand the reigns over to my bank toon, who just got her horse on Tuesday.

In order to do that, I had to pass guild leadership to another account (my wife's account), and then back to mine. By coincidence, I checked the guild vault just after I had given the guild to my wife's toon. And there was nothing. I checked the log to make sure nothing was taken out (there's a few other RL friends that are in that guild, but they rarely log on, and never use the vault), and nothing was.

So, once again it was off to open a trouble ticket with Blizzard. They had me delete those special WTF, Cache, and Interface folders in hopes that it was just my computer. I backed them up... it was not the problem. I'm sure it will get fixed, it's just a minor inconvenience more than anything. I mean, I can see the log right in WowArmory. I could calculate and tell you exactly what's in the vault. Well... what should be in the vault.

On another note... as a recent 70 with both my Resto Shaman and Holy Priest, I really have to stop just greeding on all greens in instances. Some of them (a lot actually) are pretty good upgrades. Leiandra is just to epic to notice anything that's a blue, so the greens don't even enter my mind. I really need to change that so I can gear those two up. lol.

I ran Shadow Lab last night in a Pug with my priest. It always helps to have a good tank, which we did. The rogues (yes two), kept hitting everything, so that was kind of annoying that I had to heal them as much as I did. The Hallowed Garments dropped off Murmur. But I don't think they're really all that much better than the Mooncloth Vestments. Oh sure, there's also the good amount of Spirit. At any rate... an upgrade is an upgrade, so I should probably start wearing the new ones.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

WoW on Resume

So, as I mentioned, I had a job interview yesterday. I think it went pretty well, for the most part. We'll see if anything actually comes of it. A few months ago, I decided to start including my experience as a World of Warcraft Guild Leader in a "Management Experience" section of my resume. I spend far too many hours doing this to not count it. :) So, here's what I came up with:
World of Warcraft 5/2007 – Present
Guild Leader
• Nightly coordinate a group of 35 people.
• Research and determine appropriate solutions based on resources available to help members overcome complex problems.
• Participate in all aspects of bringing on new members, including marketing, interviews, and orientation.
• Oversee that managers have properly coached subordinates to perform their given tasks.
• Handle and resolve personnel issues that may arise, including disciplinary actions when applicable.

To me, that's a pretty solid example of management experiences. Sure, go ahead and provide feedback as you feel is necessary, but I think it's pretty solid.

Apparently, the recruiter I'm working with didn't see it the same as me. She had forwarded an edited version of my resume that did not include this experience. And she didn't send me a copy of the edited resume either. So in the interview, I referenced World of Warcraft because of our guild web site where I installed the phpbb forums and customized it, showing my familiarity with different languages, and my ability to research and solve problems. Bringing up a video game reference from seemingly thin air probably made me look bad at first, but it brought attention to this part of my resume (since I handed them one of my copies at the start of the interview) and one of the interviewers plays Wow. :)

I'll hear back in a few weeks. I suppose if I get the job (or at least an offer), I can really start to preach this. I know there's the guy from Yahoo that got hired partly because of Wow, but how effective is it for the rest of us? I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

New Time Keeping

Time is super short today because I'm driving down to San Diego for a job interview, and I'm only at work for about 2 hours. But I found it quite amusing how many people wanted to hide the new clock that has shown up around the mini map with the latest patch. There was almost a hatred to the clock. Why is that?

Personally, I have too many mods that have another bubble around the mini-map, so it's almost covered up. It just means that I have to reorganize them so that I can see the clock, and I think it's a good thing. I like to know what time it is. Heck, it will probably help me go to bed earlier, because "Oh my gosh, it's 2 a.m. already!" probably won't happen as much. What are your thoughts on the new clock?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Patch 2.4.3 - End of Raid Herpes

I'm not sure how I missed this part of the patch notes before. I thought I read it; I usually do. But in the released Patch Notes for today's patch, it reads the following:
"Zoning into an instance on a PvE realm will now drop your PvP flag."
It's possible that I didn't read it because it's listed under the PvP section. But still... No more, getting on a bird before we summon you. No more having to have the entire raid flag PvP because somebody forgot to unflag. I'm not sure I've ever had a PvP flag and set off Raid Herpes, but it's nice to know that it's no longer an issue.

But it does raise a concern. I can easily see the exploit here. There's generally a ton of people parked just outside of any major instance. Karazhan is the first one that comes to mind. With just one person flagged, it usually causes some form of chaos. Now, you can flag, start to fight, and then if you're low on health, just run in to Karazhan and come right back out... unflagged. Just seems, well... kind of cheap.

I think I would have rather have seen the implementation that you don't get flagged PvP while buffing/healing a party member that is flagged PvP while in an instance. But then that sounds like a heck of a lot more code that Blizzard would have had to have write. And being that I'd much rather that they work on other things... it makes a nice change... for now.

p.s. Oh, and "Summon Warhorse is now available at level 30." Yep... you can guess the first thing I'm doing tonight.

Monday, July 14, 2008

4th "Final" Ding and New Career

Well, I got my paladin her final level this past weekend, so she's all ready for her mount with the next patch. So, she's once again going to retire to Stormwind to pursue her career as a banker. Even last night, she made a phenomenal find on the AH.

On my server, Primal Water goes for about 30g each. I found 8 posted for 9g, which I quickly bought. I was thinking about sending a tell to the person, but when I got the Primal Waters out of the mail, the message disappeared, and the name was lost. About a minute later, I get a tell asking, "Did I just sell 8 Primal Waters for 9g?" I started to feel kind of bad, but then again... she did post them. And there was a small justification because I was using them for my wife's Shadow Embrace set, and not just turning around and selling them. Thinking about it now, I'm kind of a jerk. But should I feel bad?

She didn't ask for them back. She didn't ask for additional money. At one point, she said "oh well". And I found out it was a female because I told her that my wife thanked her for helping her craft her Shadow Embrace set (hoping that would ease the sting because it wasn't turned around and sold for cash), and she responded that she'd just make her husband go buy more for her.

So... yeah. Should I feel bad? Or just move on. Even if I do feel bad, I'm not willing to do anything about it. So, I guess I'm not really going to feel that bad anyway. lol. Anyone have any other stories about profiting from other people's misfortunes?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Doing Hated Quests

The leveling of my paladin is coming along slowly, but that's okay. Just clarifying yesterday's post, I probably only lvl the pally for about 30 minutes or less at a time. 5 minutes before I need to get on Leiandra to start sending out raid invites? No problem, kill a few mobs with my paly. Things like that. I still keep my normal regime of raiding, playing with my wife and getting her geared up, etc. It's kind of a side-hobby, if you will. That's kind of the background in case you start thinking "Why is it taking him forever just to get another 1.5 levels?"

Last night, I went and did The Cursed Crew. This may sound strange, but I think it's one of my most hated quests. Why do I have such a hatred for a level 29 quest?

Part of it is the fact it's underwater. I don't particularly like underwater quests. Unless you're a shaman, druid, or warlock, you have to come up for air every 60 seconds. Sure, I could also buy an underwater breathing potion, but that seems like such a waste for just one "easy" quest. Then there's the fact that sometimes in the close quarters of the ship and being underwater, my camera gets disoriented or whatnot, and sometimes I just get trapped in the lower decks of the ship.

Also, a lot of the underwater boat quests have mobs tightly packed in to the boat. So, it's not only that you have 60 seconds to kill a mob and get back up for air, but that you have 60 seconds to kill, avoid adds, and get back up for air. I also recognize that you can move back up to the surface once you've engaged a mob, but sometimes it's just not possible, or maybe just inconvenient.

Part of it may be that I don't like getting cursed (mage and druid obviously excluded), and having to be... essentially undead. I'm a human, for goodness sake. Hmm.. maybe it's partly I don't want to be undead. lol.

But the reason I hate The Cursed Crew up in Wetlands is that I dislike the quest (for the above stated reasons), and yet I do it EVERY time I'm questing in the Wetlands. Why, oh why do I subject myself to this displeasure? Is it the cool quest reward I get at the end of the chain? Nope. Is it because it's easy xp? I suppose to a degree, but there's other quests out there, so not really. So, the reason I hate it is because I dislike it, I do it every time, and yet, I have no idea why I do. How's that for insanity? lol.

Please tell me that somebody else out there has at least some similar insanity about a quest. Please?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Free Mount Goal

For quite some time now, I've have my level mid-20's paladin be my bank alt. For some reason, I just never got around to leveling her, and I probably never will. But, as you can read from yesterday's post (a lot of good suggestions, btw), I've been thinking about mounts.

And why shouldn't I be? In the next minor patch, the first riding level will be reduced to 30 from 40. That means that my paladin is pretty close to getting her free mount. I took her out to level her just a bit. She's currently 28; just 2 more levels to go. The funny thing is: the only thing she had in her bags when I had this great idea was a hearthstone and a mining pick. (Oh, and some lvl 70 greens that I hadn't put up on the AH yet.)

So, no water. No potions. Kind of au naturel, if you will. Well, she still had all her armor and Verigan's Fist that I had obtained shortly after hit 20 a long, long time ago. So, when I am low on mana or whatnot... I just take on one mob while I got my mana back. If I am low on mana and health, I simply get to a safe spot and go do something else (fix food, check mail, etc.) while everything goes back. It's kind of a relaxing way to level. I couldn't imagine doing it all the way to 70, but it's a change of pace.

And once she hits 30, she'll head back to Stormwind to manage the financial affairs of Leiandra and my other toons. But when the patch goes out... she'll have a horse. :) (At least, I hope she will.)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Mount Jealousy

I'll be the first to admit that I've always been jealous that paladins and warlocks get free mounts. Yeah, sure... it works great in lore and whatnot, but why just those two classes? You could also argue that Druids have a type of increased speed via travel form, but more on that later. This probably shouldn't bother me because I've been past level 40 on the toons that I play for quite some time now. Heck, they've basically all hit 70 and have flying mounts, but that's not the point. So, today, I'm going to look at "mid-level" content and explain the new mounts as I see them. (Yes, this is completely made up; to my knowledge Blizzard is not looking to implement any of these mounts.)

They already get travel form 10 levels earlier than anyone else. Not sure if this is changing in the next patch since basic riding skill can be learned at 30, but they've enjoyed years of outpacing other people early. Plus, with the instant-cast, it gives them the jump to begin with. But where's the epic travel form? They have a flight form and an epic flight form, but no 100% increase (or say 90%) in land speed at or near level 60. Hmmm... interesting. I could see how this would be extremely overpowered in WSG, but that flag is pretty heavy.. maybe it would slow them down when carrying the flag.

Let's start off by saying that Aspect of the Pack and Aspect of the Cheetah are pretty neat, but I wouldn't really call them "mount worthy". So, let me get this straight: a hunter can tame a wild animal to attack all sorts of monsters and enemies, but they can't figure out how to tame a mount? Furthermore, I see almost endless possibilities for these master-tamers. Boar mounts? Wind Serpent mounts? Warp Slicer mounts? Clearly, the Hunter community (all 0.5% of Wow players) have been without these mounts for far too long.

I'm a freakin' master of arcane, ice, and fire magic. Talented correctly, I can summon a water elemental. I can open portals to various places (still not sure why I can't open portals to pretty much anywhere I've been, but whatever). But I can't figure out how to use my powers to summon some raw energy that will carry me throughout my adventures. Arcane Orb mount? Fireball mount? I truly need to learn more in order to become a true master.

You get a mount at 40. Granted it's a long quest chain, but you get another one at 60. Furthermore, you get increased mount speed as well. No more mounts for you.

Is there really a reason why Levitate (A) requires a Light Feather, and (B) cannot go faster than running speed? By your divine powers, you can levitate. What's to stop these powers from pushing you faster along? So, maybe Magic Carpet mount? lol. Or just no mount at all, but some type of Divine mount.

You're sneaky. You pickpocket things. You can even distract. But you can't figure out how to steal a mount from the mount vendors? For shame. Rogues should be able to steal their mounts. Yep, that's right. You rogues are all criminals in my book. Go steal your mounts. Any mount sold at any vendor.

Master of Elements, huh? What? Grace of Air can't actually lift you up off the ground? Oh come on! Give them an Air mount! Stop gimping the entire Shaman class. (See what I did there?)

Moving on.

This class was a bit more challenging for me. Surely they couldn't fly around on their rage like Mr. Furious. But they can Intercept. So, at level 40, they figure out how to run at 60% speed. At 60, it's 100%. Maybe for the 3 second mounting cast timer, we can let them tie their shoes or something.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My "New" Push-To-Talk Phone

For those of you that aren't on an RSS feeder, this is my second post of the day. Just thought it was funny, so had to post.

My wife just called and asked me for a password to a website. I was sitting at my computer here at work, trying to guess the password. Then I noticed that I was holding down the "`" key every time I spoke. Yep, you guessed it. That's my push-to-talk key on Vent. Think I've been raiding too much? lol.

In my defense, I was watching a strategy video on Kael (even though I've read it like 10 times), so I guess I was in the groove. Yeah... you're right. There really is no defense on that one, huh?

Progression Explained

So, after all the progression we've had in Black Temple and Mount Hyjal, we're now moving "back" and starting on Kael in TK. The plan for last night was actually to clear the 3 bosses we have downed in TK. We killed Al'ar, fine. We went and did VR...

Wait, what? VR? We've farmed that bad boy for months, are there really people that still need him? Unfortunately, this revelation didn't hit me until we were about to engage VR, so I didn't bring it up with the other officers. But then I started to really question Solarian.

Sure, there's like 3 people that need stuff from her, but I thought it would be better to move on, and start killing more bosses. So after one pull towards Solarian, we did a U-turn to head towards Kael.

It was already a bit late, and we still had trash to kill, so we only got two actual attempts on Kael. It's a 5-phase fight, so it's super complicated to explain. Our generally long-winded raid leader did a great job at explaining the minimum, and getting us moving. Phase 1 was pretty much a joke, but the legendary weapons fighting us got out of control fast. They wiped us on both attempts. And then we called it for the night.

So, why would anyone care about this? What's my point? The point would be that as guild leadership, you have to determine when is the best time to be moving on. You can wait until 100% of the raid gets all the drops they want, but then you're likely to be boring 24 people every week because that one warlock wants some random item. But if that's your guild rules/guild culture, then go for it.

For us, it's about progression. We want to see new content, kill new bosses. Al'ar, for example was great last night. I saw a number of people running around in their little Broken disguises, so they could continue progressing that quest line. Once we down Kael and Vashj, there will most likely be 25 people that will get an upgraded ring. And yes, there's still a few new people that need VR, but if we waited until everyone got everything, there'd be no way that we'd be in Mount Hyjal/Black Temple now. Heck.. I still need the Mongoose enchant. Let's go back to Kara! lol.

So, Progression for us is about going as far as you can go, as quickly as you can, while learning the necessary skills and obtaining the necessary armor to progress on to the next boss. Do we really, really need Kael and Vashj? No, but it's one of those notches in our belts that we'd all like to see. Give us one full night of tries, I'm guessing we'll down Vashj.

Note: Because we were only doing the 3 farmed bosses, we actually didn't have our strongest squad in there either. A number of people were on alts, etc. So, I see a cleared TK in the near future.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Filtered Reading Ahead

I've always enjoyed playing the mage class. Sure, from time to time I get frustrated with certain aspects of it, but mostly... I'm a mage. I just like the idea of being a mage.

I understand there are a lot of great players out there that are mages in pvp. I'm not one of them. If it's me vs. pretty much anyone else, I usually just jump off a cliff. (I heard they don't get credit for the kill if I do that.) If it's more like PVE where I have a healer, and a "tank" to help mitigate some damage, I do well. But pure pvp, I'm just not that practiced.

Before TBC came out, I was reading a lot on the official forums. "Mage is broken!" they'd yell. Post after post, that was all I read. And had been enjoying my mage until I had read so many "you suck" posts. So I did what any self-respecting mage would do. No, I didn't re-roll a warlock. I stopped reading. I stopped letting the mob mentality seep into my thoughts. I stopped caring what this mass of trolls on the Internet was saying.

With the next expansion coming up, I've noticed some of the same trends coming up. "Buff this class!" "Nerf this class!" "Make mages king of DPS!" What's wrong with providing constructive feedback, you ask? Nothing, but "you suck" isn't constructive. And while there are a fair number of people that can dps higher than me in my raid, I still enjoy playing my class.

I'll admit that I'm not all that excited about becoming a Living Bomb, but WoTLK is only in alpha. Who knows what will be of the talents when they're actually released. Furthermore, it seems that almost all talents are useful some of the time. Maybe it's one of those that are cooler once you try it. I wasn't super excited about Dragon's Breath either, but when I was fire and I finally tried it, it was a very useful spell.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Calling It... No, Wait!

On Tuesday night, we started our weekly farming and got through the first two bosses in Mount Hyjal (yeah for more Hearts of Darkness) and then Naj as well. This set us up perfectly for another quick kill on Supremus last night, and then hopefully some work on Shade of Akama.

It took us a bit of time to get through the trash to Shade of Akama. Only afterwards did we realize that we can get teleported through to the middle so we wouldn't have to face some of the bigger, uglier packs (and probably save a ton of time too). We went over a different strategy (needed way more DPS on the Channelers), and then tried it out. It was much better, but a few mobs got loose, and we eventually wiped.

Raise the dead. Buff... Oh wait. One of the tanks isn't rezzed yet. Well, X-perl says that he's been rezzed. "Hey Tank? Did you get the rez?" Crickets. Okay, he must have gone afk. wait a bit. "You back, buddy?" Nothing. One of our pallies, who's his neighbor, volunteers to call him, but he doesn't pick up the phone.

Well, we had another tank online that could come in, but we'd have to wait for the afk tank to get disconnected or else our replacement tank would get the "Instance Full" message. It was getting rather late, and we knew this would be our last attempt, so we didn't really have time to wait for the disconnect. "/sigh. Alright guys, we're going to have to call it for tonight. Sorry about that. We'll get back in here and kill him next week." And a mage opens a portal.

Two people take the portal, and then... Did the tank just stand up?

"You there, buddy?"

Our tank starts moving around, and getting in to position. Alright, let's summon back the two people. (Thank goodness for in instance summoning.) We had one attempt... and we practically destroyed him. The adds got a big out of control towards the end, but Shade of Akama was headed straight for Akama, so we knew the DPS race was on. I pulled one Elementalist to try and control him, but quickly got pwned (Mage Tanking ftl). And without even an order from myself or any of the Raid Leaders, I was almost instantly Battle Rezzed. Looking at both health bars, we were way ahead and killing Shade quick.

Yep, Primogeniture is now 3/9 in Black Temple.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Going to Blizzcon

I can't believe I forgot to mention this to all my loyal, loving fans. For those that don't know, I live in Southern California. In fact, I grew up in and live in Orange County, which is the same county that Anaheim is in, which is the city where Blizzcon will be this year (and every year so far).

At any rate, I've kind of shunned going to Blizzcon for the past years. I don't know... I just couldn't justify spending the money to go. And who knows who else would actually go that I know anyway?

Well the seed for going this time was probably first planted by Sirsha (who lives in UT, btw) last year or so. Sirsha used to work with my best friend, Elinor; and the three of us, along with Justicar (Dadguy and another co-worker) and Dargus (Elinor's brother) pretty much leveled up to 60 together, so we all go way back. At any rate, Sirsha planted the seed by saying that him and his brother (another good friend) would come down for the next Blizzcon.

Now, it looks like Elinor will be coming down for the convention. And Dargus and his wife, that now plays, will be going as well. And for my birthday, my wife's present was to watch the kids while I go off and "play" at Blizzcon for two days. The "certificate" said something like (I don't have it hear, so I can't quote it), "Go have fun talking strategy with all your fellow dorks."

So, for anyone that's going, we'll probably have to figure out how to hook up somehow. And if you're my close friends, you've probably got my cell phone number anyway. lol. But come hang out with a fellow dork.

Oh, and Anadori? I love you. Thanks for the awesome present.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Which Way Did He Go, George?

Last night, we stepped in to Black Temple again to go play with our friend, Supremus. We hadn't really had any solid attempts on him. Mostly just one attempt after killing Naj and before everyone needed to go to sleep.

However, last night, things happened a bit too smoothly. We almost effortlessly cleared the trash leading up to Supremus. And then we 1-shotted him in about 1/2 the time of the enrage timer. (15-minute enrage timer.) Previously, we had a hard time in the transition back to phase 2 where the tanks need to pick him up again. And he'd start killing tanks right and left since the healers had run away. So, we tried a different strategy, and needless to say, it worked.

I really hadn't planned to go any further than Supremus. He was kind of the plan for the night. But we killed him so quickly that we had to press on. I had researched the Shade of Akama fight, but it had been awhile. Furthermore, I had no idea how to actually get there or what trash mobs we would be encountering. So, from maps, I took an educated guess, and we moved towards Shade of Akama. We learned as we went, and got through the trash, and had a couple of feeble attempts at Shade of Akama.

Sometimes our guild is just too good. I really need to overprepare for the boss fights so I don't get caught looking like I did last night.