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Slow Weekend

Didn’t do much this weekend. Took my DK in to a few regular HoL runs to help level Mikata’s and Mach’s alts. Grabbed an item or two and didn’t do too bad, even for a scrub DK. I’ll be the first to admit that I know rotations for Frost and Blood, but not much more than that.

Otherwise, I spent a lot of time on my druid getting her to 45. I think I was at 37 or 38 on Friday. I have to tell you that the two heirloom pieces sure make leveling faster. Now if I could just get Horde to leave me alone it’d be even faster.

Anyway, what’d you guys do?

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For Mikata; And On Another Note

I hear somethin’ sayin’

(Hooh! aah!) (hooh! aah!)
(Hooh! aah!) (hooh! aah!)

(Well, don’t you know)
That’s the sound of the shaman working on the chain he-e-al
That’s the sound of the shaman working on the chain heal

All day long we’re singin’
(Hooh! aah!) (hooh! aah!)
(Hooh! aah!) (hooh! aah!)

(Well, don’t you know)
That’s the sound of the shaman working on the chain he-e-al
That’s the sound of the shaman working on the chain heal

All raid long I work so hard
Sniping heals from our resto druid
Healing tanks, the healers, and the DPS
Smiling ‘cuz it is what it is
You hear her moanin’ ’bout the total heals
Then you hear somebody sa-ay

That’s the sound of the shaman working on the chain he-e-al
That’s the sound of the shaman working on the chain heal

Can’t ya hear them singin’
Mm, I’m goin’ see one of these days
I’m goin’ see geared tanks and deeps
Healing Wave, love so dear
But meanwhile spam Chain Heal right he-ere

(Well, don’t you know)
That’s the sound of the shaman working on the chain he-e-al
That’s the sound of the shaman working on the chain heal

All day long they’re singin’, mm
My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my, my work is so hard
Mage gimme water, I’m thirsty
My mana’s run dry

On Another Note

Apparently I was even more clueless than I originally thought. Tensions behind the scenes were evidently higher than the average guildie like me could see. Either that or years of tuning out kids has taught me how to ignore others.

I still don’t know all the details, nor do I ultimately care, but since I like trying to turn things into lessons learned, here’s my take on it.

Guild Go Boom?

Ever since leaving Icestorm and shedding the mantle of being an officer, I stopped looking at the Guild Log. People come and go and I’m not responsible so I don’t worry about it. As an officer you obviously do since you have to be aware of any potential adjustments that will need to be made. As such, I was surprised to get a whisper from Mach asking if I’d been around when the latest batch of people /gquit. I wasn’t.

Apparently a few more officers and members have quit the guild and over a simple post in the Officer forums. As you’ve read on our blogs, we’ve had some trouble this summer running 25 man raids. It’s been stressful to officers like Mach, Amber, and Atropus who have had to pick up the slack. Some changes needed to be made and Mach posted some ideas.

Here’s the lesson. Whenever anything happens to upset or shock you, stop whatever you’re doing. Right now. Stop! Seriously!!! Take a deep breath. Think why did this happen or what is the cause. Instantly realize that you’re probably wrong. Approach those involved and calmly ask the why. LISTEN to the why. FYI, listening means shut your piehole! Respond AFTER listening. Respond calmly and even if you don’t agree with the other parties involved, at least be open to the idea that their point of view still matters.

Take what I’m saying about our situation with a grain of salt. I’m not privy to everything. From what I can tell it appears we had several people do exactly the opposite of the lesson above. They apparently read or heard about Mach’s proposed ideas and rather than discussing it with him decided to /gquit.

Mach called for as many people to be in vent that could be as there weren’t a lot of us online. He asked us to be honest about what our intentions were since he wanted to plan for the future. Zoja and Amber were informed they didn’t have a choice. 😛 As for the rest of us, we spoke up that we weren’t going anywhere. Although I’m a raider and a 25-man raider to boot (10s are OK, but 25s are what I like) I’m not going anywhere even if we can’t pull a 10-man raid together, which I don’t think will be a problem. 25s will have to be backburnered until we can pick up the pieces and recruit again.

Guilds Go Boom, But They Don’t Have To Die

This isn’t the first time the guild has had trouble apparently and I doubt it will be the last. Guilds live in cycles because people change and interests change. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just a part of the game that everyone has to learn to accept. It’s too bad that some friendships have been strained, but some of these guys are real life friends so I’m sure when the embers die down and the smoke blows over, some will come back and others will just remain friends.

Brotherhood of Oblivion still has a strong, solid core. It’ll take a little time to recover, but once the officers solidify where the new direction is headed we’ll recover quickly. So here’s my shameful recruiting plug. If you’re interested visit the website or go bug the hell out of Amber since she’s the recruiting officer. We’re currently raiding Mon/Wed at 7pm server (Central Time) and usually an off-raid/non-progression raid on Thurs again at 7pm.

We attempted to get input from members on adjusting those raid days, but had trouble getting responses so I’m sure we’re open to other nights, although apparently some of these guys aren’t “old” and think social lives on the weekends are important. Weirdos.

*Oh and for those who are concerned about PvP servers, take it from someone who isn’t a fan of PvP. It actually isn’t that bad. Most Horde gank you once and move on. It’s annoying as hell, but you can learn to get over it. I finished leveling a priest, shaman, and DK on this server without too many problems. If I had my preference, sure I’d be on a PvE server, but these guys are pretty cool and make it worth it.

Fun Raiding

Last night was raid night. Ulduar25 was a pipe dream as only 16 people signed up. *sigh* But we did go in for Ulduar10 and man am I glad I got to go! I was afraid that it wasn’t going to happen, but Amber’s cranky tank (a.k.a Zoja) graced us with his presence and I personally think it helped a lot.

Although he probably gets a bad rap for being cranky, it’s also somewhat true. But Zoja seemed to be in a pretty good mood last night which helped for a fun raid. Stay tuned for screenshots Amber will probably be posting. 🙂

To add to the fun, Zoja let me take my shaman along. Atropus wanted my shaman for the heroism and the fact that of my three healers, Erdkrieg needs the gear a little bit more. I finally got the stupid healing trinket from regular ToC right before the raid, so only 3 more blues to get rid of! Woot! Then the mp5 trinket drops off FL and we did one tower for the first time which was kinda cool. We tried two, but couldn’t quite pull it off. Yeah, old hat for most of you, but a first for me! Then Ignis, the poor bastard with eternal crotch rot, dropped the bracers!!!

FINALLY!!! I’ve replaced those Stormhide whatchamawhozit blue bracers! Blizz you really dropped the ball imo on that itemization for resto shaman. There was only one true upgrade from those in Naxx25 until Ignis. Man am I happy! Only one more blue to replace and it’s a ring. Guess, I could splurge on the Kirin Tor, but still working on getting those cloth items crafted for my priest. The shocking thing was WoWHeroes now has Erdkrieg listed as more geared than my other two healers…uh oh.

Anyway, I feel like I made out like a bandit last night which is always a plus, but the real fun was in the tone of the raid. It feels like it’s been forever since we’ve had a really fun raid. I’m sure it’s not, it just felt like it after last night. Last night there was joking around (which hopefully you’ll see some of from Amber’s screenshots), a few wipes (on 2-tower FL and crazy cat lady), and CHAIN HEALS!!!

That’s right! CHAIN HEALS FTW!!!

chain heal

On XT, Mikata started commenting on my chain heal ability*. Seriously, someone needs to put her in her place because she’s just mean**! Anyway, during the heart phase when no one was taking damage and everyone was at 100% health, Mikata received a few extra, well placed chain heals for good measure. 🙂

It was a good night!

*Actually it was more the “spamming” therof.
**On our forums she called me “old and bald”. She nearly made me cry. 😛

It’s Just A Game

Football Season

my favorite teams

I love football*. I loved playing football. I was stocky, but I was quick. I wasn’t the best. I wasn’t the biggest. In fact, while playing for my freshman football team in high school there was only one kid shorter than I at the time.  I carry my love for the game to pro-football. I love the NFL season. My two favorite teams if you haven’t guessed are the Indianapolis Colts and the Dallas Cowboys.

I grew up in southeastern Idaho. My friends liked the Cowboys. So I liked the Cowboys. We were farmers. We were like 6 yrs old and we all wanted to be cowboys. ‘Nuff said.

In ’89 my family ended up in Indiana. The last of many, many moves as a family**, but definitely not the last for myself or my sisters. My parents still live there. Although I only lived there for four years, I finished up High School and attended one year at Indiana State University (ISU), which was jokingly known as ‘I Screwed Up’***. But my life in Indiana brought me to like the Colts. And I’m probably a bigger fan of the Colts than the Cowboys.

Could I have ended up in a more inconvenient place to live? Let me explain.

Football Fans

I live in Virginia, but still in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area. A good majority of the people living here are understandably Redskin fans. The Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys have had a famous rivalry for years. Most of it is in fun and fans of both teams poke fun at each other. So as a Cowboy fan I’m in the minority here. 🙂

There are also Baltimore Ravens fans in the area, although not as many as in Maryland and the closer you get to Baltimore the more fans you find. I actually lived about 10 minutes from M&T Bank Stadium a couple of years ago. Looking back, having an Indianpolis Colts license plate holder on my car wasn’t the brightest idea I’ve ever had because once long ago Baltimore was home to the Baltimore Colts…

Although there’s always two sides to every story, the bottom line is Baltimore Colts fans are still extremely upset to this day with the way the Colts left them. Robert Irsay took the Colts from Baltimore in the middle of the night, leaving an empty shell of a gigantic legacy behind, and took the team to Indianapolis. I mean this team had Johnny Unitas arguably one of the best quarterbacks of all time!!! There was no warning and the fans to this day still feel betrayed. I have friends that were young kids and remember the shock they felt when told their team had left. Most of them have let it go because they were so young, but their older siblings and parents haven’t. To them it was more than just a game. To them they lost a part of their identity.

It’s All Situational

To the rest of us, we might respond “It’s just a game, get over it!” In the big scheme of things it doesn’t really matter does it? Perhaps not if your “big scheme of things” is God, family, country, work, and friends. So it’s really the situation that dictates when it’s more than “just a game”.

For example, pre-season football is a funny thing. In reality, it’s supposed to be a time for the coaches and owners to evaluate new strategies, plays, and players. You can do things in a pre-season game that you can’t do in a regular season game. Regular season games count towards getting you into the playoffs. If you lose too many of those, you don’t make it. If you lose a pre-season game, it doesn’t matter because it doesn’t count. But to whom?

To the players, coaches, owners, and everyone else relying on football for a living it is definitely more than a game. And it’s definitely important to the guys trying not to get cut before the regular season. To all of these guys it’s their livelihood at stake. It’s the way they put food on the table. For the fans, it’s for fun, a diversion, a way to escape or enhance other aspects of their lives.

So while those directly involved will tell you that pre-season matters, the fans are a little more fickle. Fans will trash talk each others teams and talk about who is good and who isn’t. The basic stuff you expect from football fans. Then if they win a game, it’s all about what a great team they have. If they lose, it’s pre-season and ‘just a game’. 🙂

It’s Just A Game…

It’s the situation that determines how we attempt to nullify disappointment by saying ‘It’s just a game’. And wouldn’t you know it? We do this in Warcraft too.

Games are designed to be entertaining. It’s why we play them. It’s why we play WoW. Do any of you actually play WoW in an attempt to not be entertained? Of course not! Unfortunately games have a way of creating winners and losers and our society has instilled in us that losing is not fun. And even WoW has it’s fair share of losing.

I’m not even talking about PvP here. Sure I’m guilty of being annoyed by PvP. I’m on a PvP server. I feel no need to prove myself by killing lowbies, but apparently some do. For them it’s fun. It’s how they “win”. I “lose” and it isn’t fun for me. PvP is fairly cut and dry.

Although not as apparent PvE has it’s winners and losers too. One might be inclined to think that 25 people on a raid that kill bosses means everyone wins. They only lose if they can’t down bosses. But if that’s the case how does loot drama occur?

…So Treat It Like One

Just remember if you’re going to use the excuse “It’s just a game”, then that very same excuse applies to EVERY SINGLE ASPECT of said game!!! You don’t get to pick and choose!

You didn’t get loot? Fine, it’s just a game. You didn’t get invited to raid? Fine, it’s just a game. It’s a wipe night? Fine, it’s just a game. You got ganked for the 57th time in Stranglethorn Vale? Fine, it’s just a game. You got stuck with the same idiots in this BG as you did in the last 10? Fine, it’s just a game. You shared a lot of helpful auction house information with a competitor and it cut into your profits****? FINE, IT’S JUST A F***ING GAME!!!

But before you use that phrase, remember one thing. One aspect of it might be “just a game” to you, but to someone else it might be something a little more serious. It doesn’t make them noobs. It doesn’t make them elitists. It’s just an aspect of the game they find enjoyable and remember if it’s “just a game”, then it’s for that enjoyment.

So if you’ve been harboring a negative attitude about certain aspects of the game, certain people and their abilities, and overall what anyone might consider an elitist attitude, and then things don’t go your way and in your indignation you proceed to remind everyone “it’s just a game”, all I have to say to you is…

F*** YOU, IT’S JUST A GAME!!!

*American football. I like soccer as well, but it just isn’t as big here in the States as it was in Germany. Man I still remember the streets in Dortmund in ’96 when they won!
**By this point I had now lived in 6 states and 3 countries, although I couldn’t remember 2 of the states or Germany where I had been born. I’ve now lived in 9 states and 3 countries of which only 2 states I can’t remember having returned to Germany later on.
***Indiana has a lot of well-known, respected colleges like Ball State, Purdue, Notre Dame, and Indiana University to name a few. With so many fantastic colleges, ISU seemed like a copout and it’s in the same city as my High School so it got more than it’s fair share of crap from the local students. It is a decent school though.
****And apparently has left the server as he’s no longer on my friend’s list. And no I don’t think he got deleted as he wasn’t a level 1 toon.

Cataclysm

World-of-WarCraft-Cataclysm

Cataclysm: a momentous and violent event marked by overwhelming upheaval and demolition.

Yeah, I’d say that describes the blogosphere right about now. 🙂

Seems like half the people are excited about the upcoming changes and half the people aren’t. In fact, in guild chat yesterday one guy was happy that Blizzard was making raiding more accessible to the casual player, but was complaining about how Blizzard is now making things too easy for noob players with the new expansion. I pointed out that ironically all the hardcore players said the same thing about him since Wrath. 😛

A little later another guild member was complaining about all the changes and how it’s going to destroy the game. Then he complained about Heroic Gnomeregan. I pointed out that they aren’t making a Heroic Gnomeregan as they only announced the two new heroic old school dungeons. His response was that could change. I said so could everything else, so why get worked up? 😛

You can make some of the people happy all the time, all of the people happy some of the time, but you can’t make all of the people happy all of the time.

Bottom line, it could all change tomorrow. Every announcement they made, they could discover that it won’t work for various reasons or will upset their customer base too much that it could cost them millions. Who knows? Besides the release date will be over a year away. We still have Icecrown and anything else they might throw at us in the meantime. So why get worked up?

Excited? Yes. Ready? No.

Yes, I’m excited about the expansion. I like Azeroth. I hated questing there though because of the horrible drop rates for some quests and the abyssmal questlines that had you run from Point A to Point B back to Point A only to have you run back to Point B to do another quest! And that’s if you were lucky enough to not die and run back from Point C which was further away from Point B than Point A was. (I’m looking at you Redridge Mountains!) The worst were the ones where Point A was in Eastern Kingdoms and Point B in Kalimdor and vice versa. So having Azeroth redesigned with hopefully better quest design, ability to fly, and seeing those areas left incomplete (i.e. Grim Batol) are exciting prospects.

But am I ready for it all? No. I still haven’t finished Ulduar-10, only having beaten 3 of the Keepers, and it doesn’t appear that will happen for a while as we are still attempting Ulduar-25. I haven’t seen the inside of the new raids either. On top of that we still have Icecrown and Arthas to deal with which I’m looking forward to.

On top of raiding, I really want to have a fourth healer. I’ve finally got my DK to 80, learned the cloth boot and belt tailoring plans, and am now collecting mats to craft them. So it’s back to leveling my druid.

It was pointed out that leveling in Cataclysm will be much easier than it currently is, due to new quests and the obvious redesign on top of heirloom gear, so why do it now? Especially, with Worgen druids available. Well, Cataclysm is at least a year away and what the hell else am I going to do for a year? Dailies?! I don’t think so. I think BBB said it best, “because it’s fun to play NOW”.

Why I’m Excited

  • New level cap – Hey who isn’t excited to level…ALL of their toons…again? 😛 At least it’s only 5 levels, right?
  • New races – Since I play Alliance, I really like the idea of the Worgen. Goblins are kind of cool too, but even though I’d love to level a Horde someday, I just don’t think it’s ever going to happen.
  • New race/class combos – Dwarven Shaman. Dang, I want one, but I already have a shaman. Otherwise, I really don’t care that they’re opening it up. Worgen Druid. I’ll have an 80 druid by then…
  • Removal of stats – This one cracks me up as it seems to be the biggest complaint out there. It’s especially ironic since number crunching of these stats will stay the same because the stats still exist. We just don’t see them. Spellpower still there, apparently influenced by Intellect. By how much? Let the ElitistJerk geeks figure it out and believe me they still will. Just tell me how each stat weighs in compared to others and I’m good to go. Seriously, how many of you do your own calculations vs. how many of you just read that Intellect is more important than Haste is more important than mp5? Although the removal of defense confuses me to be honest. And items like Haste now controlling regen of mana, rage, energy, runes, etc. doesn’t that just make things a little more interesting and still make you have to think about stat weights? I don’t think it’s as easy as some people are initially thinking. It’s just simpler.
  • Guild Changes – Seriously cool! How many of you have lost particular items that set you back as players gquit? And some of the guild abilities like Summon Raid? No more excuses! Woot! Lots of potentially useful items here, but I wonder what happens when a guild disbands? Who gets the guild heirlooms?
  • Archaeology – It’s a secondary profession meaning everyone can learn it and besides who here hasn’t wanted to be Indiana Jones?
  • New Raids/Dungeons – Seriously, I’ve joked about Heroic Deadmines for two years now. It’s perhaps the best done vanilla dungeon in my opinion so it’ll be fun to go back. If they only made it a 25-man raid…

There’s other things to get excited about as well, but like I said it’s still a ways off and I have many other things to do until then. So for the time being I’ll enjoy myself and wait patiently for the expansion.

Patch 3.3 On The Other Hand…

Introducing the Cross Server LFG System. I will admit that it’s system with potential. Lower level instances may now be a little more accessible with a larger pool of people to pull from. (Although I never level in instances. I only quest.) And seriously how is ninja’ing going to be any worse than it already is? I’ve read several complaints about how introducing people from other servers will increase ninja’ing, but I doubt that. Just because you can’t bash them in trade chat afterwards won’t make it happen any more often. On the plus side, you can group with your friends you don’t often get to play with unless they limit it to battlegroups.

The thing to be up in arms about however is the additional reward for leading a successful pug group. Seriously, WTF?! First, everyone will want to “lead” a group. I think it’ll make it harder to form groups than it already is. Second, what makes that guy so special? If Blizz thinks it’s that hard to lead pug groups that they feel the need to reward the leader, they’ve got a larger problem going on. I’d seriously like to see them consider scrapping that idea if it’s anything other than 10 achievement points.

Aaaaaaannnnnndddd 4!

DK 80

And what are my plans? Nothing. Only needed to hit 80 to learn the Ulduar tailoring recipes. I will admit that I’m tempted to learn how to tank with him, but I’ll be headed back to my druid now.

Nothing To Prove

I was reading through my Google Reader this morning and something caught my eye. Birdfall was writing about some trolls in public forums, but the issue at hand that brought out those trolls was a topic about improving PvP in the future. Birdfall plays on a PvP server, not for the PvP, but to play with friends. Obviously not being a fan of PvP presents it’s own problems when on a PvP server.

If it hadn’t been for Amber, I would never have transferred to a PvP server. I don’t like PvP much. I got into it a few months ago because I was bored and it was something new to do. I was doing well as a Ret Pally in battlegrounds often topping the damage and kill charts, but it got old. I wanted to try out arenas, but although it was a little fun I just couldn’t get into it.

It isn’t that the PvP servers are all that terrible. Yes, ganking does occur, but most people I’ve encountered don’t camp so it becomes a minor annoyance. That said, it’s still an annoyance and one I’d much rather prefer I didn’t have to put up with, but as long as I’m friends with Amber and company I’ll deal with it.

My solution to resolving future PvP would be to limit who can attack who. If you are a certain level and in certain zones on a PvP server, you cannot be attacked. This is a nice little feature that Blizzard has to prevent level 80s from camping level 1s in their respective starter zones. Why not increase that to include all levels? What I’m saying is how about keeping a 5 level buffer zone for example? That means level 80s cannot initiate an attack on anyone level 75 or lower. A level 60 couldn’t attack a level 55 or lower. Now if the same level 60 wanted to attack an 80, then he deserves to die.

I’ll never understand the level 80 that flies around, sees a level 70, kills said 70, and then proceeds to laugh and move on. The image all of us have is of a little kid, but I’ll bet dollars to donuts that 95% of them are college-aged males.

Why don’t I understand? Take Tuesday night for example. I got ganked by a level 80 DK on my level 75 DK. The level 80 was epic’d out while I’m in my quest greens. Obviously you’re going to kill me. 80 vs. 75. Epics vs. greens. And to top it off you wait until I’m in full combat with a couple of mobs as if just flat out attacking me would have caused you to lose. This asshole did proceed to camp me until he realized I was getting another toon and then disappeared.

Every time this happens to me, I tell myself the next Horde I run across I’m going to gank. Last night a level 74 druid meets my 76 DK. I had plenty of time to attack while she was in combat. I would have killed her. But I couldn’t bring myself to attack, because why should I? I have nothing to prove. Even though I’m a complete DK’tard, I knew that I would have killed her so why prove it? All I’d prove is that I’m a dick for messing with someone minding their own business.

I think I’ve reached an age or at least a point in my life where I have nothing to prove anymore. I know what I’m capable of and know generally what others are capable of and I’m fine with it. I just wish others were. If you really want to prove something, then prove that you’re all that and a bag of chips by attacking your own levels and on level ground. Killing someone 10 levels lower or someone engaged with 3 mobs proves only that you’re capable of taking advantage and not that you’re actually good at your toon.