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I Need Cataclysm

Man I need Cataclysm. I do. I caught myself double checking my account status just the other night. Apparently my six-month subscription terminates at the end of May. I found myself considering letting it expire.

So Cataclysm apparently is going to be released this year. Well, not to be pessimistic, but I’ll believe it when I see it. But I sure hope it does. I need it.

Why?

‘Cuz Cataclysm is gonna save the world by destroying the world!

Yeah OK, again I’ll believe it when I see it, but I do need some change.

I’m burned out. Recent guild drama drained me emotionally. It isn’t anyone’s fault, it’s just part of the job we do. I signed up for it when I agreed to be an officer. I knew this would happen at times. But unfortunately it is not helping the burnout I’m feeling with raiding.

For me right now, raiding is about signing up, showing up, and downing bosses or pounding my head against a brick wall. I don’t read strats. I don’t read up on the latest glyphs, specs, enchants, gear, etc. I haven’t done a gear plan since Naxx.

In Burning Crusade I was all about reading boss strats, gear strategies, stat priorities, talents, etc. That was fun! I remember looking at Atlasloot and WoWHead on a daily basis trying to figure out the best way to plan my gear progression. I analyzed my gear constantly on websites. It was fun!

Why can’t I plan gear now? Well, I can but there isn’t any point to do so.

First, you can farm heroics for gear in the matter of a couple of days. In BC it took me weeks to farm one piece. Three hour heroics for three badges didn’t allow for quick gearing.

Second, because of limited time buying a piece of gear was a real investment. Sort of like how Frost Emblems are now to a certain extent. You were nearly guaranteed to get the drop you wanted the day after you spent your badges. And when you just spent 2-3 weeks farming the badges you really had to think about your choices.

But there was the fun! At least for me. Maybe not for everyone.

You can argue whatever position you want about gear progression in Wrath. Emblems are great! Emblems suck! Most of you know my position. It doesn’t mean that I disagree with those on the other side, it just means this is how the current gear system has affected my game.

Working my ass off to get one piece of badge gear was a feat! And no one can argue that I didn’t earn it! I remember that people were upset with badge gear when it came out. Supposedly it was just as good as T5 or better, although based on my own experiences I really didn’t think most of it was and still had to farm Kara for stuff.

The point is I had to research my gear. Plan the best course. Was it better to buy that badge gear or wait for the boss to drop loot? So researching and planning was an important part of the process. But even more importantly it was half the fun!

Gear in my opinion is messed up in more ways than I can count. It occurred to me that although I can reconcile my issue with quick gearing, what I can’t reconcile is my lack of interest.

Wednesday night I was bored out of my mind. I had no mana issues whatsoever and for you GearScore fanatics, I think my GS is around 5200. I don’t even have the best gear available to me.

So why bother? Why bother to do all that research in gear, talents, glyphs, gems, etc. to eek out a couple more points in spellpower, mp5, intellect, etc. when I’m just gonna faceroll my way through the content anyway?

Oh sure, there’s the argument that on the progression fights it’s important to get every last bit out of everyone and it is. Problem is our progression is never really an issue about gear, talents, gems, enchants, buffs, etc. It’s always about skill, paying attention, and fighting the lag boss. So again, why bother?

I miss the need to research boss fights. I miss the need to research specs. I miss the need to research gear. Maybe you don’t feel the same and think the way things are in end-game right now are great! Everyone’s seeing the content! And I agree that it’s great. I just disagree with how it’s been handled.

For light’s sake this is Casual Hardcore! Casual in play, but a hardcore attitude towards raiding and the endgame. I lost the drive that pushed me towards the hardcore. The game got too easy. And that’s why I need Cataclysm.  If for no other reason to have a solid breaking point where I can say I’m done with the endgame and just play to hang out.

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Naxx 25 Is SRS BZNZ!!!

So our ICC25 continuation didn’t happen because well…we’re BoO and people don’t show.

Since we had potential recruits listening in we decided we should probably not completely fail so why not do the weekly with the 14 people we did have? Anub’Rekhan is gonna die!

So we have 14 people and don’t want to sit 4 of us so let’s just 25 man it. What’s the worst that could happen? …

In true BoO fashion we run in and wipe to the first two groups of spiders because…well we’re BoO. What other reason could there be?

Because not only are we BoO, but we have potential recruits listening in on vent.

So we run back in and get to the boss. Last minute buffs and mana. Then the pull…

With the confidence of a million Lich Kings we decided to ignore the adds and dps the boss not remembering that the debuff stacks. Our add tank starts taking massive spike damage and almost dies, but our epic heals keep him alive as we readjust our strategy to down the adds.

At this point I have to admit that I failed to get out of Locust Swarm completely forgetting how bad that is. As I stand there unable to cast I calmly await my demise when I finally instantly die along with four others. It’s not long after that the rest of the raid dies only getting the boss down to…yes, roughly 600k…

At this point several of us are laughing hysterically as we regroup, run back in, and then Hunt decides he needs to repair.

Amber, in true leadership fashion, points out to Hunt that “It’s customary to repair before a raid” and chastises him in front of everyone.

After a couple of minutes she announces that she will “Berb (BRB)! Since it’s not a good thing to do the chair peepee dance.” And if I’m not mistaken this is almost a direct quote!

As she gets up to leave, I calmly announce that “It’s customary to go to the bathroom before a raid” at which point everyone dies laughing. Unfortunately no demotions because I believe she missed the comment, but you gotta love karma! 😀

Anyway, an ICC10 formed and a real raid actually happened, but those aren’t as much fun.

I’m Back; And I Carry My Guild

So last week apparently was really bad for our guild’s first attempt at ICC25. Apparently we didn’t down a single boss. Oh and I wasn’t there.

Last night’s attempt saw us succeed in downing two bosses plus Gunship which doesn’t count. Apparently I carry my guild. 😛

Even though we wiped several times on Marrowgar it went quite well and I had a ton of fun. Cuz of crap like this. 😀

How Much Is That Doggy In The ICC?

Priceless! (Best in show apparently as well.)

So last night we blow through the first four bosses and worm our way towards Festergut (who we didn’t down btw, in part due to time and in part due to HE F”ING KICKED OUR PATOOTIES!!!) I actually think my new favorite pulls are the two dogs, the mini-Gluths. Let’s face it they’re cute, right?

OK it’s more because they can actually cause a wipe. Seriously, I’ve missed hard trash.

So we pull Precious first because she’s supposedly the harder of the two. As she heads down the stairs she drops her first Decimate. So the healers are spamming their heals to get everyone up, but instantly 4 people die. There’s a groan for the impending wipe.

As we get the tanks up, future decimates and incoming damage takes out one of the tanks and the other healer. The frustration ramps up as the impending wipe turns to the guaranteed wipe.

But no! With determined arrogance, and a little humor I might add, the trusty shaman pops Heroism as a few people laugh while the lone tank, healer, and two dps tough it out. But with great skill comes great responsibility as the epic shaman spams Riptides and Healing Waves on the tank! And Precious goes down!!!

It was epic! 🙂

OK, maybe it wasn’t so much about the healer’s skill because let’s face it, madly punching hotkeys is not skill. But the tank popping cooldowns at the right time to keep himself alive as my heals heal him for a whopping 10 health due to a health debuff? Now that was skill!

One of our tanks hates those pulls because he feels Blizzard’s way of making encounters harder is to increase the RNG factor. Forget skill, forget gear, just make an encounter randomly do something so devastating that a group will die regardless.

I however love those pulls because they make me work. I have to pay attention. They’re exciting!

And besides, I had to use Heroism on what’s technically a trash pull. Heroism!!!

The Most Important Role Of All

OK, so Gordon ignited a spark under our collective blogging butts which turned into a raging wildfire over the past week with his guest post. The first time I read it something bothered me, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. And to be honest, I thought of it as just another post expounding on the idea that tanks and healers have the most difficult roles and sort of let it slide.

Then the proverbial manure hit the fan! Blogger after blogger had their own say on the topic although the topic has about run its course. Some responses were quite harsh and some were mild, but I think the general feeling is that Gordon is in the wrong.

I know Gordon was only trying to start an interesting conversation, but after reading SlikRX’s post (which I completely agree with btw) it finally dawned on me why Gordon’s comments bothered me.

Tanks and healers are the most important classes for any group. Tanks set the pace of the group, the flow of experience and man the vanguard as they lead the team into battle. Healers mend the broken bones of their companions and keep the tanks a live – without the healers there could be no tanks and there could be no group. These are the two most important classes that exist in any MMORPG. But the DPS? They’re just meat in the room.

This is Gordon’s opening statement. This set the tone of the post. This is why I have a problem with it.

Tanks and healers are the most important classes for any group.

This statement bothers me. To top it off it’s the very first sentence. But before I go on as to why it bothers me let’s look at why Gordon believes it so.

Tanks set the pace of the group…as they lead the team into battle.

I think we can agree this is a pretty important thing to have. But it isn’t tanks that should set the pace,it’s the Raid Leader. Ironically, it just so happens that a good majority of raid leaders are tanks. I firmly believe that tanks and healers are raid leaders and guild leaders because the personalities of those attracted to tanking and healing are more often than not the personalities of leaders. I’ve not personally run into a raiding guild led by a pure dps player that didn’t fail within two months. I have to believe they exist, but I haven’t personally run into one.

Healers mend the broken bones of their companions and keep the tanks a live – without the healers there could be no tanks and there could be no group.

A very true statement. Healers have an extremely important role and I think we can all agree with that. Because of the way the game is set up, there really wouldn’t be a group without the healers.

But the DPS? They’re just meat in the room.

Manure incoming! DUCK!!!

This is the statement that I think really got everyone’s goat and for good reason. He just said that dps doesn’t matter. If this statement were really true, then I want to see an ICC10 raid with 4 tanks and 6 healers. Now I’ll bet there is perhaps a group out there that could figure it out, but I’ll bet 95% of us couldn’t make that work.

Perhaps he meant that DPS are a dime-a-dozen, which is a pretty prevalent sentiment. But the bottom line is he obviously believes that they are less important.

Tanks And Healers Are The Most Important

BULLCOOKIES!!!

We spend a lot of time with our online avatars. We invest a lot of energy, emotion, and pride into them. It becomes very easy to look down on the other guy. It’s human nature to point the finger. It’s human nature to want to feel important. And this is where the whole game falls apart for me.

Why do so many people believe that they’re any more important to the game than any other? What happened to teamwork? Are we all star athletes such that WE individually are the team and the others don’t matter?

It’s a concept that I have a harder and harder time understanding as I get older.

EVERY single player in your group is important. EVERY single player in your guild is important. EVERY single role has worth.

As a healer, I guarantee you that if the DPS doesn’t avoid fire/aggro/baddies, then they will eventually die as I make choices to save others and/or run out of mana. As a healer, I guarantee that if DPS dies and/or overall dps is lower, then I will not be able to heal through the enrage. As a healer, solid DPS players are just as important to me as solid tanks and healers.

NO ONE is more important. It’s the team that counts.

Gearing Up

Oh last night I went into ICC10 for the second time. Yeah last week was bad. Didn’t even get saved because we didn’t kill bosses. A second group went Thursday. Well I went to help the 2nd group last night and killed my first boss. Oh. Yeah it was Saurfang. Talk about doing this instance backwards…

Hey, remember I had a druid I leveled to 80? Yeah I almost forgot too. She got neglected once she hit 80. I tried to gear her up by buying crafted items and trying a heroic or two, but that didn’t go very far. I burned out around that time so there she sat with a WoWHeroes score of 1700 or so. That’s pretty much ilvl 200s with 2 ilvl187 blues and 2 lower greens.

Well, 3.3 hit on December 8th and on Friday the 11th I tried my first random heroic.  Well I didn’t have a lot of time that night so it was only the one, but it was fun. So on Saturday I started farming. With a little luck, really quick runs, and on two weekends I geared my healer to 2638. For you GearScore nuts, that’s just a few points shy of 5000. I replaced every item except for one trinket. Darkmoon Card: Illusion. I need to find something else. I also have a cloth belt and boots, but haven’t been able to find anything better yet. Braid of Salt and Fire and Prelate’s Snowshoes.

It was a blast! The random tool has got me playing again! Call it what you will, but it worked…at least for now. I’m still upset about the entire gear pollution thing. Although I think they’ve done a better job this time as I’m geared in T9 equivalents and it’ll take a really long time to gear up into T10 unlike the fiasco that was ToC. So I guess my priest is next, then my paladin, and my shaman.

Oh and did I mention that she now outgears my main raiding toon, the shaman?

Yeah…two weekends…what gear pollution?! F*$#!!!

Old Wives’ Tales

Several months ago I heard an amazing tale that obviously couldn’t be true. Apparently there were once raids that had lots and lots of mini-bosses that rarely, if ever, dropped loot other than cloth and gold. These mini-bosses were often referred to as trash. The story was so fantastic that it obviously couldn’t be true. It was an old wives’ tale.

I’m here to tell you that this particular old wives’ tale is real!!!

We went into Icecrown last night as 25s. The first boss kicked our asses, but there was trash! Literally mobs that fought us before we got to the boss! And the instance had rooms! THAT’S ROOMS AS IN PLURAL!!!

I haven’t had this much fun raiding since Naxx was brand new…again. And WTF?! I have to actually fly from a graveyard to the instance? You mean it takes a little time? I’m not right outside?!

Real raiding. Damn I’ve missed it! 🙂