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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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Happy New Years!

New Years. Well it’s here! Did you stay up for it? Did I?

HELL NO! I’m old, remember?

I don’t drink. I don’t party. I have a family and that’s who I’d rather be with anyway. Aww sentimental, I know.

Anyway, I didn’t mean to fall asleep, but I just had to lay down for a little while and next thing you know it’s 6am. /shrug

Recapping the Old

So looking back, what did I do last year? Well lots of things.

First, I reflected back on 2008 and all the drama that unfortunately brought with it. Looking back this really started to foreshadow how the beginning of my year was going to be.

Being an officer at the beginning of the year, my blog was a lot about guild leadership. It was constantly on my mind. One of the biggest things we had problems with was how to motivate members which ironically continues to be a really hot topic and my post continues to gets hits on a daily basis. Sadly I probably didn’t give the answer everyone was hoping for, but the answer is still the same. 😛

I also talked about other things like gquitting, started my Newbie Raider Guides of which one ended up being quite popular, and after several rants, burnout, etc. I finally posted a farewell to my guild.

In May I didn’t have much responsibility and so I started finding a lot of free time on my hands. This inevitably led to my experiment which was refined over the next few months.

In June, my shaman started to become my “main”. *grumble…heroism whores…grumble* 😛

Then somewhere along the line I got asked to be an officer again and apparently absence breeds stupidity because shortly thereafter I remembered why I shouldn’t be an officer. I don’t hate it as I enjoy being a part of the process. I’m very opinionated and who doesn’t like to be heard? 😛 And now that Amber’s GM I feel it necessary to provide that buffer between her and the rest of them. Seriously! It’s scary! ROFL!

Looking Forward 2010

Holy crap! Is it really 2010?! I remember when 1999 was never going to happen because it was so far off!

Yeah, yeah. Shut your trap! So I’m old! Don’t make me beat you with my cane!

What am I looking forward to?

  • Killing Arthas
  • Leveling the other 5 classes
  • Cataclysm – let’s face it, I’m curious. But here’s advanced warning, Amber. I may quit raiding. We’ll see.

But if there’s one thing I’m looking forward to more than anything else, it’s hanging out with the friends I’ve made in my guild (in no particular order): Amber, Zoja, Mach, Atropus, Evis, Rivs, Cel, Myss, Hunt, Kotakh, Missbubbles, Wolvarine, Oasic, Phase, Pyxy (if she ever comes out of hiding), Welgar, El, and Zuki appears to have returned too.

Now if I can just avoid getting angry enough to quit… 😉

The 2009 Meme

D was very kind listing me as one of her favorites and tagged me for this interesting meme. I’d like to return the favor and point out she is one of my favorites as well. 🙂

My Warcraft Year in Review Meme

Please leave a link to your meme post in the comments here. Please tag 5 other folks to complete the meme and copy these instructions and the questions into your blog with your answers.

What did you do in the World of Warcraft in 2009 that you’d never done before?
What was your favorite new place that you visited?
What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
What was your biggest failure?
What did you get really, really, really excited about?
What do you wish you’d done less of?
What was your favorite WoW blog or podcast?
Tell us a valuable WoW lesson you learned in 2009.

What did you do in the World of Warcraft in 2009 that you’d never done before?

Server transferred. The whole idea was weird at first. First, you make me pay money to buy a game. Then you make me pay money to play the game every month. Now I pay money to take a toon I’ve played for two years and transfer them to another server? Actually it ended up being three transfers…

What was your favorite new place that you visited?

Grizzly Hills. I love that zone! I love the feel and atmosphere. It’s a well designed zone with excellent quests. Actually most of the zones and quests are well-done in Northrend and I have no complaints with any of them. I’ve already leveled 5 toons through it and can’t wait to get the next 5 there!

What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

24 competent players more in tune with my progression attitude. And while I’m fantasizing, I want this all in my current guild.

For the most part, our guild has competent players. Competent enough that I’m satisfied anyway. 🙂 Not competent enough for hardcore elitist guilds. Unfortunately, I don’t have 24 additional competent players to consistently run a 25-man raid without going to pugs. And as we all know pugs can be a crap shoot. But even with good pugs I still want to run it with guildies. For me it’s about teamwork, not the loot and even though pugs can be part of the team it just isn’t the same.

As for attitude, I’ve been very vocal about experiencing challenging content more than seeing the latest content. Even with the end of Icecrown on the horizon I could care less if I see it now or 4 months from now. I just want to experience it in the order it was meant to be experienced in.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Not quitting.

What was your biggest failure?

Not quitting. 😛

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Happy excited? Having four healing toons! Bringing in over 200k on the AH over the summer (granted 150k was spent on mats and epics)! Starting to level the last 5 classes to 80!

Angry excited? Gear pollution. I want accessibility, but who says that Icecrown needs to be accessible to every single raider on day one? There’s a reason for stages.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Playing. Yes, I spend too much time playing WoW, but I also spend too much time doing other things if I don’t. Almost all of those things are time wasters, but I miss some of those other time wasters.

Worrying about others. The whole reason I quit a guild, left a server, and left good friends behind was because I got caught up in the worry of others. I worried constantly about keeping others happy, keeping them raiding, keeping them progressing, and keeping it fair that ultimately I wasn’t fair to myself. If I had been just a little more selfish I’d probably still be hanging out with those good friends. I’d probably enjoy the game a lot more because I’d be doing things I want to do and not what others expect of me. I’m not saying that being totally selfish is the way to go, but I wish I had found the balance.

Bitching. Negativity is contagious. Start bitching about something and you’ll find something else. You’ll also feed someone else’s negative attitude which will then feed your own in a neverending cycle.

What was your favorite WoW blog or podcast?

I don’t listen to podcasts. I have listened to a few minutes of Twisted Nether at times, but I really can’t find the time to devote to listening to an entire podcast so I don’t. It’s unfortunate, because what I have heard over at Twister Nether is good.

As for blogs/sites, there’s too many to choose from. I did a quick count of my Google Reader and I have 146 blogs/sites I’m currently following. Unfortunately several haven’t updated in months and a few have even quit posting altogether, but they remain there just in case. 🙂 And if you’ve commented on my blog somewhere, you’ve been added to my reader and I’m following, even if I haven’t commented. 🙂

But for the purposes of tagging others, I’ll just go ahead and list my guildies: Amber, Mikata, Cel, Rivs, Myssidia, and Eviscerate. Hopefully I haven’t left anyone out because we keep finding bloggers!

Tell us a valuable WoW lesson you learned in 2009.

There are good people online. I cannot judge the majority by the few asshats I run into all the time. The reason I run into asshats is because they are asshats. They can’t help but put themselves out there either for attention, e-peening, or because they get some thrill out of being a jerk. The good people are polite enough not to force themselves on others.

Belated Anniversary

No, not that one thank the light! I have a few more months until that one…the big 10! No the one I’m talking about is Wrath.

Wrath released November 13th, 2009. It’s been a year!

wotlk_logo

Actually, you ever have that feeling where you can’t believe it’s been that long and at the same time you can’t believe IT’S ONLY BEEN THAT LONG?! Yes, Wrath has been wonderful and with some respects it feels like it’s gone really fast. In other respects it feels like I’ve died and gone to hell only to suffer for all eternity!

OK, it’s not quite that bad, but it has been an eventful year. So I’m thinking a recap is in order.

November 2008

Started leveling Kyrilean through Northrend. Within two weeks I was 80. Sure wasn’t the fastest in the guild or on my server, but then again I had real life duties to attend to like work and family. Damn real life!

The two things I remember the most vividly about those intial experiences were questing and the new dungeons. The quests were varied and amazing! Drops were more prevalent than they had been in BC and definitely better when compared to Vanilla. No more grind fests!!! 🙂 And the dungeons were…easy. I remember running Azjol-Nerub the first time. It was the first dungeon I’d run and my friends were bugging me to come heal it. I really wanted to keep questing and wasn’t looking forward to a 2 hour grindfest at the moment, but I went anyway…and we were done in less than 30 minutes!!!

All I can remember is thinking, “That’s it?!” To this day I’m disappointed in the 5-man dungeons. Sure they were at least a little challenging at first, but we didn’t have to utilize any strategy like CC!!! It was run in, faceroll your keys, and unless you were really bad the bosses died. They were definitely an improvement on the 3-hour slugfests that were a lot of BC runs (man I hate Shadow Labs*), but less than 30 minutes?! Hell, even Ramparts took the better part of an hour until you geared well beyond it.

December 2008 to March 2009

Naxxramas and the gear grind. Gear plans. Class study. I even posted my series of Holy Paladin guides, which are way outdated btw. This was also unfortunately the start of the end for me.

With a few exceptions, leveling guilds level at different levels. It’s inevitable. Everyone spends a different amount of time on questing, instancing, and afking. I for one spent every second reading every letter of quest text. I’d just spent a nice chunk of change on this expansion and was going to get my entertainment’s worth. Others I knew flew so fast past the quest text that when others asked questions about quests, they had no idea what you were talking about.

Because everyone hit 80 at a different time, that’s when the drama started. Although my memory is probably somewhat fuzzy and more than likely jaded to an extent, I put all the drama squarely on the shoulders of three groups of people.

Group 1 – An officer tank and a pvp’ing, flirtatious mage that had said officer tank wrapped around her little finger.

The mage had joined our guild due to her friendship with the tank. Due to some luck she geared up quickly in Zul’Aman and mysteriously was unavailable for raids after that, although she spent 5-6 hours each evening in battlegrounds. She and the tank were also the first to hit 80 and grinded out heroics while everyone was still finishing leveling. They then became unavailable to assist others in the heroic grind, going so far as to play alts on another server or at least the other faction in an effort to avoid us according to rumor, but crawled out of the woodwork as soon as we were ready for Naxx.

The tank thought he was Blizzard’s gift to Arathor-US. He thought he was the best tank out there and ten times better than our current main tank Zeza, who I’d venture to say is probably still the best tank I’ve ever met. I’d even heard him say he was better than Zeza and was upset about the whole thing. Ask the healers and we all said he was a good tank, but he was not as good at grabbing loose mobs, nor was he as good at avoidance. The guy took spiky damage at the weirdest times and would get two shotted more times than I care to remember.

After a huge blow up with a drunk GM, things were said and they quit the guild to start their own raiding guild telling us off and that they would do much better. I don’t think they ever recruited ten members. 🙂

Group 2 – Wife/husband combo.

I recruited this group. They’re good people. Even today I think they’re probably good people. But drama followed those two like flies after a manure spreader!!! I remember the wife bitching and moaning about loot given to lesser geared people when rolls were won by her or her husband. We had a loot council system back then. You rolled if you were interested. Loot council made the decisions at that point.

They were good players. It only made it more frustrating that we needed and wanted their heals; one was a druid, the other a shaman. So enter pressure. We needed them. We wanted them. It’s my own damn fault for letting them get to a point where they could dictate to an extent how things were run because I was so afraid that we’d lose them.

Group 3 – All the little whiny ass, snot-nosed kids that felt entitled.

I hit 80 first, I deserve to go to Naxx. I shouldn’t have to run with the “B-group”. I needed that item more than the guy that won it. I shouldn’t need to gem and enchant my gear until I have all purples. I don’t need to bring food buffs, someone’s got fish feasts. I don’t have time for dailies and can’t afford flasks.

But you sure as hell feel entitled to anything and everything the guild officers are working so hard to give everyone, don’tcha?!

March 2009

I wanted to raid, but didn’t feel like raiding with any other guild on that server. I wanted to raid with my friends, but the drama and self-imposed responsibility of trying to keep everyone happy finally broke me. I didn’t want to raid with any other guild on that server. I still wanted to raid, but knew I’d run a /who search every night to see what they were doing and that wasn’t something I could live with. I knew I’d go running back to them eventually and I couldn’t do that. Why?

I never admitted this to my friends, but a year has passed and perhaps it’s time to admit it. I couldn’t raid with them because of Group 2. I was so sick and tired of the drama those two caused that I was done. They had gotten so bad that I almost canceled my account. I was quitting a game over two people I had never even met! How fucked up is that?! But on the other hand, I couldn’t give my guild an ultimatum. It wasn’t right for me to say “Me or them.” So I left the server to prevent myself from going back to the guild and living in misery. I was too addicted to quit.

So it was with a lot of thought and heavy heart, I made the decision to switch servers.

March 2009 to present

Naxx25 runs with my new guild were a lot of fun. They were almost always full guild runs and we flew through them relatively easily, but not easy enough to make it boring. When Ulduar finally hit, raiding went to hell. Granted we lost people to summer, but even still it was worse than expected. Ulduar was tough the first few weeks and people disappeared when the content got too hard, but they came back with a vengeance for ToC…

In the offtime, I had spent a lot of time gearing up other toons, going after achievements, and just learning to play the game around things other than raiding. I also learned how to play the AH and brought in over 200,000 gold in less than four months. Granted I spent 150,000 of it on mats and other items. My guess is that 110,000 of it was mats and the other 40,000 was for “loans” and craftable gear for me and friends.

But that got boring too and after having leveled all four healing classes and a DK, I continued on with the other five classes leveling 5 levels at a time before switching. What this means is that I can play all classes, but know nothing and suck at all of them too! 🙂

What’s Next?

Well, as much as I’d like to get into heroic ToC (and damn it I really do) I’m concerned with the next step. If it’s too easy, I may just quit raiding altogether. If it’s too hard, I’m afraid others might. On top of this you have the holidays and all the joys it brings!

Real life events will interfere to a certain extent making raiding a little harder. In some cases, it might get easier. Add to that the holiday releases of new games and who knows what will happen? I know I for one will be on less when I finally buy CoD: MW2 tomorrow. And the wife is getting me Assassin’s Creed 2 for Christmas so…yeah. 🙂 But it’s kind of scary when I log on and I’m the only officer around. It’s not that the others have disappeared from the game permanently, but when the officers** don’t make regular appearances I begin to wonder what members think. I know I’d be concerned.

So I think 3.3 can’t come soon enough. My guild needs it.

*LOL, I only have to run it about 5 more times to hit Exalted with Lower City! Soloing it is kind of fun! 🙂
**Actually one of them just RPs a lot on another server and needs to come back and entertain me on Vent if nothing else!!! Hell, Amber’s GM now and should be on Vent to entertain me too! And I’m too poor to transfer 10 toons to another server!!!