Thursday, December 31, 2009

December 31, 2009

I've been really tired the last few days so, although I've played, I have logged off earlier than normal.

ToC 25 Regular (Priest)
On Tuesday we started in ToC 25 regular. We had an applicant again, so it was a trial run for him. Solace of the Defeated dropped. Of course, all healers wanted it, so it ended up going to someone else with higher loot priority. But still it was exciting to see the thing.

Nothing else to note about the run except I got a Trophy of the Crusade and finally upgraded my tier gloves. Since ICC is opening up slowly, I figured I might as well get these gloves now since it could take a long time for me to get the new ones. I thought the upgrade was minor but it ended up improving things quite a bit. I'm now at 716 haste!

ICC 25 (Priest)
Next stop...Icecrown Citadel. Full clear, as expected. Nothing special to report about it.

During the run, however, I had a strange conversation with our guild leader. I won't write it all out here (I'm too tired to do so). But just so I will remember it I'll say it had to do with promotion/demotion and attendance.

Ulduar 25 (Priest)
We ended the night by killing Ignis for the weekly quest.

After the official raids ended I would normally have gone with my 10-man group to ICC. But, I was just too exhausted to do so.

Ulduar 10 (Priest)
Last night my 10-man group headed into Ulduar. We've decided to focus on getting to Algalon and also on getting a Rusted Proto-Drake by doing all the achievements in Glory of the Ulduar Raider (10 player). It will be nice to fly around on a faster drake. It will also be nice to have that cool Starcaller title.

I got several achievements last night. So many that I don't have the energy to write them all out and make them clickable links like I normally would (I did mention how tired I am, right?). Suffice to say that I'm very close to getting to getting the proto-drake -- only five achievements left. Of course, the final one is going to be a doozy for sure. But glory is not easy. :-)

Tonight is New Year's Eve so I'll probably not play. My husband and I will bring in the new year in style.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December 29, 2009

Last night was a non-raiding night and I didn't spend too much time online.

I finally got the Looking for Multitudes achievement on my priest and the Perky Pug that goes along with it. Woo hoo! I'm unsure how I'm going to do the random daily going forward. I think I'll just do it with guildies from now on, as much as possible. I'm getting my fill of pugs while leveling my shaman. I can't take much more.

I only ran one instance on my Shaman. She's now 42. Shaman items are hard to come by at that level so when a hunter took the mail bracers with intellect and stam on them, I must admit I was annoyed. Yeah it was only a green, but they were the first drop in days of pugging that actually made sense for a shammy.
  • I'll take this moment to apologize to all the shammies whose loot I took back when I was new to the game and leveling my hunter. Although Intellect was useful, I now understand it was much more useful to you. I sincerely apologize.
I ran random heroics on both my mage and druid, then called it a night.

Raid night tonight. I'm looking forward to it.

Monday, December 28, 2009

December 28, 2009

It was Christmas weekend, so most of my time was spent with family and friends. (ment) But, I did get some opportunities to play.

Shammie Girl on the Rise
I decided to burn through the rest XP I had on alts. Once I got the paladin's out of the way, I switched to my shaman. I put myself into LFG and a few minutes later I was in a group. What fun!

She was enhancement when I started off and I had been using the Bloodied Arcanite Reaper. It's not actually optimized for shamans, but I already had the weapon and it worked fine for her. Anyway...I noticed quickly a few things:
  • I don't like melee. Really, I don't. Positioning myself behind mobs is a pain in the butt. I much prefer ranged.
  • My gear was a mix of spellcasting and melee items -- meaning I wasn't great at either.
  • Getting into groups as DPS took forever.
So, I made plans to switch her to dual spec Resto/Elemental. Despite my low damage as enhancement, I made it through enough instances to gain 10 levels over the weekend. As soon as I hit 40 I paid for dual spec, sent the axe to my pally and got the Dignified Headmaster's Charge (once again, not the optimal weapon -- a mace and a shield might be better -- but I already had the staff...). I healed or dpsed my way through more instances and quit only 200 xp shy of lvl 42 when I had to switch for raiding last night.

Instances I saw were: Scarlet Monastery (all 4 wings), Razorfen Downs, Uldaman and Maraudon. I got very tired of Scarlet Monastery by the end of the weekend, but there's really no complaining about the amount of XP I got from each run. This new LFG system is great. I remember only a few months ago commenting on how hard it was to find a group while leveling my warlock. That problem is solved with this new system. Though, there is a shortage of tanks, that's for sure.

Speaking of tanks, I ran across several bad ones.
  • In a few groups the designated tank was actually a dps in disguise. Most times this lead to disaster, though on one occasion, the skill of the group as a whole made up for it.
  • There were a few tanks that were impatient. They'd run into a new area while the healer was still drinking. Then, the usual complaint about lack of heals when he died.
  • There was one who couldn't hold aggro at all, even though he was Prot spec. He admitted being new to the game and having no idea how to play. (I had a hard time believing that, considering some things he new really well, but whatever.)
  • There was the one that went into a room of mobs, aggroed them all, caused a wipe, then laughed and said obscenities to all of us before leaving the party.
I read an article the other day in which someone posited that the negative effect of the new LFG system is the prima-donna attitudes of tanks. I saw that first hand this weekend. Although being a jerk is never excusable, I do appreciate their plight. Until they can get dual spec at lvl 40, being a tank is tough because it's not easy to quest. Killing mobs alone as a tank is a slow process. No wonder so many could-be tanks choose to be dps. And then, when dual specs are available at lvl 40, it's still difficult to choose tanking over dps. At least as a healer/dps I can pretty much share my equipment across specs. Hit rating isn't really required until much higher level, so switching between resto and elemental for me is a simple change of specs. Tank/dps folks must keep two sets of gear. That must be tough.

Anyway, enough about the LFG system. What do I think of playing a Shaman? I love it! The last time I played her I had gotten to the point that I was frustrated. There were too many totems to think about and I was having a hard time killing mobs quickly enough for my tastes. But this time around, I was in the right mindset to figure out how to play her.

First thing was to recognize that my equipment choices (as explained earlier) were the cause of my slow mob killing. Once I switched to Elemental and put on spellcaster items, kill speed went up quite a bit.

Although this didn't come until I hit lvl 40, Call of the Ancestors really helped. Now I have two totem bars. One is for my standard set, the second has some choices switched out. Then, in my regular bars I only have those totems that don't appear in either of my totem bars.

I also removed several of the buttons that I would never use, like Rockbiter Weapon. Previously, I had put every option on my bars so I wouldn't forget they existed. But, I will never use spells such as that, so who cares if I forget about them? My interface is much cleaner now. I feel I have a better grasp of what tools I have at my disposal.

Both healing and DPSing on this toon are a blast (no pun intended). I'll probably never raid with her, but I will enjoy getting her to 80.

ToGC 25 (Priest)
Last night was a raid night and we went to ToGC 25, since it was the only thing we hadn't completed earlier in the week. It went poorly...very poorly. Even though we had a full raid, our top players were not there due to the holidays. It was evident. It took us forever to get through the first two encounters and we stopped after a few attempts on Faction Champs. All was not lost though; I got a Trophy of the Crusade, with which I purchased my final tier item -- Velen's Gloves of Triumph. I had been putting it off, thinking it was only a minor upgrade to Velen's Gloves of Conquest. But, the net effect was higher than I expected when all was said and done. So, it was a good call.

After all the drops I got this week, my loot priority has dropped substantially. That's as it should be. I really made out like a bandit this week. :-) Unless strange luck smiles upon me, I'll need to sit back and accept that no drops will be coming my way for a few weeks. Just in time for the new bosses to be released.

I also purchased the Circle of Ossus with my frost emblems. Another good upgrade for me. I had been indecisive about saving them for tier items or purchasing regular frost items with them. In the end, it seemed like the best choice.

I'm considering switching my mage into my priest's guild. I had avoided doing so because I didn't want to lose the connection with the friends from the other guild. But, I've spent little to no time with them the last few weeks. And, when I do switch to my mage, it's to do an "alt" run with my priest's guild. We'll see...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

December 24, 2009

Kiting? Why?
Yesterday I had a very strange experience. I was going to blame it on the new looking for group system (or "dungeon finder" might be its new name). But, in retrospect, I realize this could have happened in any group, no matter how it was formed.

Heroic Violet Hold was the random dungeon and I was in there on my druid. The tank was a bear with some very good equipment. Clearly he was an experienced player, no question about that. First portal opens, out pops a mob. The tank gets its attention and we start dealing damage. Then, the tank proceeds to kite it around the room. I thought it was odd, as I've never seen a tank do that before. But, I shrugged and adjusted.

The next portal had multiple mobs. Time for AoE spells. Nope, no good. The tank pulled them away from the portal and kited them all around the floor. No chance to focus AoEs.

He repeated this on every pull. Finally, the mage in our group spoke up and pointed out that kiting didn't seem necessary and it was making it difficult for the dps to do their job. The tank's response was...well...something I wouldn't write in my blog. Let's just say the tank didn't like his methods being questioned.

As (horrible) luck would have it, our first boss was Xevozz. This boss requires effective kiting to beat. Can you guess what the tank did? He stood perfectly still, which eventually caused a wipe. He then said, "What? I thought you didn't want me to kite."


The group disbanded. Thank goodness you don't get the dungeon debuff if you leave a group while you're dead!

So...his asshattery aside, I'm curious why he was kiting the mobs. If any tank happens to catch this post, please let me know if you can give me insight into why he was doing that. On EVERY other time I've done Violet Hold -- I've done it 51 times on all my lvl 80s combined (13 on normal, 38 on heroic) -- no tank has ever kited regular mobs. Kiting Xevozz, sure. That make sense. But kiting the regular mobs that spawn through the portals. NEVER. Why did the tank do this? He was adamant about knowing what he was doing. But I'm hard pressed to understand his reasoning.

Nothing much else to note from last night. I did random daily heroic on each toon then spent the evening snuggling with my husband. :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

December 23, 2009

What A Difference A Day Makes!
I have to say, yesterday will go down as one of the most memorable days/nights I've ever had in WoW. So much has changed in less than 24 hours.

Promotion Time
Before we started raiding, our guild leader announced three promotions. I was grats-ing the people whose names were called. Then suddenly I realized the last one was mine. What??? I was promoted so soon??? Yowzah! Just yesterday I was talking myself into being patient while I waited for the possibility of being promoted in a month or so. I was shocked and excited. Woo hoo!!!!

ToC 25 (Priest)
We started in regular ToC 25. Quick and easy run. We had an applicant along with us who was amazed at our speed and efficiency. It really is true...the guild is great. We got to Anub'arak and I held my breath. Would he drop my coveted Misery's End? No! :( But he did drop Armbands of the Ashen Saint and I got them!

ICC 25 (Priest)
Next stop, ICC 25. I half expected to sit out, but luck was on my side and I got in. While clearing trash, I got the Stiffened Corpse Shoulderpads. Item #2 for the night.

Then Lord Marrowgar dropped the Frozen Bonspike. I stopped breathing as I waited to hear the outcome of the rolls. I won it!!!! Item #3. No more waiting for Misery's End! I won an even better weapon. Yay!

As icing on the cake, I reached Honored with the Ashen Verdict and got the upgrade of my ring: Ashen Band of Greater Wisdom. Item #4.

Ulduar 25 (Priest)
We ended the official raids by going to Ulduar to kill Igniss for the weekly raid quest. I had forgotten that he was the only boss in the starter area that I had never killed. I got 4 achievements upon his death: Shattered (25 player), The Siege of Ulduar (25 player), Stokin' the Furnace (25 player) and Hot Pocket (25 player). I got a lot of friendly ridicule for spamming the guild chat with all those achievements. :)

Next up...10 man team.

ICC 10 (Priest)
With all my new healing gear, ICC 10 went even more smoothly than the week before. I noticed an immediate improvement in my healing throughput. Also, my haste jumped almost 200 points and I could feel the difference in my "rotation". Previously I could count on casting PoM, followed by 3 Flash Heals to proc Serendipity. At that point my PoM would be off cooldown. Last night I did the same rotation and when I clicked PoM the second time, it wasn't yet off cooldown. Woo hoo! Haste has changed things for me. Gotta figure out a new rhythm to get into.

We easily got the achievement Boned (10 player). Not really a hard one to get, if your dps are quick to react.

The final boss, Deathbringer Saurfang, dropped Thaumaturge's Crackling Cowl. Item #5 for me that night.

I can't remember any night when I've gotten so many items. My gearscore went from around 5110 to 5344. A jump of over 200 points. Woo hoo! But, more importantly, my SP went up by around 300 and my Int and Spirit increased too. I can't wait to see how well I do in Heroic ToC 25!

Ulduar 10 (Mage)
The final activity of the night was an alt run to Ulduar 10 to defeat Ignis. I hopped on my mage and we downed him so quickly that we got Stokin' the Furnace (10 player).

Phew! What a night!!!! A promotion, lots of loot and lots of achievements. Fun fun fun!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thoughts on Loot Distribution

I've been mentioning my frustrations lately with loot distribution and I thought I'd put some more positive thoughts down. I spoke with a guildie the other day about my being so far behind everyone else and how upsetting it was to see two weapons I need be rewarded to another priest. (I mentioned that in a previous post...I felt I should have gotten one of the weapons, since the priest who got them was just going to trash the first one after he got the second one.) My guildmate encouraged me to take a deep breath and wait. My time for loot will come when I get a promotion.

Here's how loot works in my guild:

Rank: First, your rank matters. So, let's say there are ranks 1-4. 1 is for officers and 4 is for newbies to the guild. I'm currently rank 3. The priest who "got my loot" :) is rank 2. When the two of us are rolling on the same item, he gets it, regardless of the roll.

EPGP Loot Priority: Second, your EPGP loot Priority matters. So, let's say two people of the same rank roll on an item. The one with the higher loot priority is the one who wins it, regardless of the roll. This supports the effort/loot balance.

Roll: Third, if two people with the same rank who have the same loot priorty roll on an item, the one who wins the roll gets the item.

It actually seems fair to me. But it's very very frustrating for those of us in the lower ranks. I still have more than a month to go before I will be considered for a promotion to the next rank. So, as we go into ICC 25, I'm almost guaranteed to get nothing for a while. I will only be eligible for an item if no one of a higher rank wants it. That's not likely to happen, since all the people in the higher ranks are still getting gear there. But, the stars might align...

But, the beauty of the EPGP system is that my loot priority will continue to rise. Even with the weekly decay, as long as I'm getting EP and spending no GP, when I reach the next rank, my loot priority will be higher than everyone else's and I'll get loot right and left. I just noticed this phenomenon when the guild leader posted the latest EPGP numbers. Last week I was near the bottom of the priorty list. This week I'm in the top 5. That's because the higher rank players are getting loot in ICC, thus lowering their priority. It has no effect on me now, since rank is still considered first in loot distribution. But, over the next few weeks as they get more and more loot, their loot priority will continue to lower and mine will continue to rise. When I'm promoted, I'll be near the top on the priority list. Then, I'll get first pick of loot among people of my rank. Woo hoo!

So, does this system work? Let's compare it to how my mage's guild does things:

Whenever we go into a raid, the reward system is a clean slate. How much loot you got last raid does not matter. When an item drops, you roll for main spec and show the item you will be replacing. If there's one person for whom it is a bigger upgrade (based on iLevel), it is given to that person. So, let's say a level 232 item drops. Four people roll on it, three of which have ilvl 226 items and one has an ilvl 219 item. Automatically, the person with 219 wins it. If everyone has the same ilvl, then the highest roller wins.

A friend in my mage's guild pointed out that the likelihood of him getting loot any time soon is pretty low. His gear, although below the level that drops in the raid we were in, is higher than that of our other guildies. So, even though drops are all upgrades for him, they are bigger upgrades for everyone else. He can't win. He won't be able to get items until they pass him up. For example, his gear is all 226. The raid drops 232. Our guildes are mostly in 219 gear. When items drop, they will go to the 219 folks, not the 226 ones. So, those with 219 will jump to 232. Those with 226 will have to wait until the others are at 232 before they can start getting gear. It's demotivating for him. Even though he and I are both waiting for loot, he has to wait for a very different reason. For me, there's a definite date on which it will change. For him, there's no end in sight. He has to wait for others to gear up, which could take forever in a casual guild with semi-regular turnover. As long as there are people with worse gear than his, he can't win loot.

Is this method better, worse or as good as the one used by my priest's guild? A plus side (from a player's perspective) is that it means you always have a chance to get loot -- no waiting until you get to the right rank. A plus side is that it's possible for loot to be more evenly distributed across the raid group. (Though one person in Friday's raid got three items because all of his gear was ilvl 200.) A negative is that good loot can go to a fly-by-night guildie, whereas the method used by my priest's guild pretty much ensures that most loot goes to those members who have proven their intent to stay for the long haul. This helps the guild gear up more evenly, whereas my priest's guild's method favors gearing up the top ranked players.

Is it better to have some ultra-geared members and many not so geared? Or to have no one ultra-geared but everyone around the same level? For example, I'm the lowest geared healer in my guild. My healing output makes that very evident. Is the guild's progression hurting because of this? Is it good to have such a big difference between my output and theirs? I think the answer might be "yes". And, as mentioned above, as soon as my rank changes I will be able to get lots of loot to bridge the gap (assuming it actually drops!). So, in the scheme of things, it's a risk the guild takes. While I'm proving I'm here to stay, they'll continue to gear up their loyal players. Once I've proven myself, I will be brought up (closer) to their level.

Oops, I got distracted. So, I was comparing the two systems and trying to determine if either was better than the other? I think the answer is "no", neither is better than the other. The reason: the goals of the guilds are different. My mage's guild is not focused on progression. They're very casual and focused on having fun and doing what they can. There's no overarching need to be the most progressed guild on the server. So, spreading loot evenly (or as evenly as possible, considering the randomness) is not going to hurt their goals. My priest's guild, on the other hand, is a progression guild with the overarching goal to be better than the others on the server. Loot allocation is very important. We don't want to risk giving a good item to someone who will turn right around and leave the guild (though we recognize anyone, even the most loyal, can do so). Giving loot to the loyal players helps ensure that the guild will continue to progress. And, while loot is going to higher ranks, the lower ranking people are gaining loot priority that will kick in when they get promoted. It works.

Phew! I got that all out. I feel much better about the loot system. I just have to stick with it and look forward to my impending promotion!

December 22, 2009

I Hate Spell Reflection
Yeah, yeah, QQ more. I know. But, nothing sucks more for a mage than spell reflection. Not even silence or disrupt effects. At least with those, you know you can't cast, so you can do something else. But with spell reflection, you often don't realize it until it's too late....when you've taken damage. Then, you don't have a clear idea when it is gone and you can start casting again.

Yeah, I know. There are usually visual signs...and often if you look at your target's buffs, you can see the effect and at what rate it is expiring. But still...I hate it. It hurts! :-)

I'm just QQing. I think it's a useful mechanic for the devs of the game, so my complaint is really just whining, nothing else. It keeps me on my toes and breaks the monotony of AB-AB-AB-AB-ABARR/AM.

But it still hurts!

Forge of Souls (Heoric) (Mage)
First thing I did last night was log on my druid. I'm determined to get a random heroic in on each of my toons each day. But, before I could get into a group, a friend of mine asked me to help run some of his friends through the new instances. Before we got inside, one of them suggested we try non-heroic first. In retrospect, we should have. It was a disaster. Complete disaster.

The only other time I had been there as DPS I was on my priest. It seemed easy. But, most likely because everyone was geared enough for it. This run was anything but easy. Partially because of not enough DPS, but mostly because of lack of attention to the details of the fights. The worst example was the Bronjahm fight. On the first two attempts, I was the only person dpsing the souls. The first time is excusable -- they didn't know the fight mechanics. But, the second time? It seemed like two of the dps thought it would be alright if they stayed on the boss while the other two of us took the souls. Well, that meant I was the only one dpsing them AGAIN. Third try was better...everyone did their job, but we still failed due to lack of DPS.

We exited, switched it to normal and completed it.

Halls of Reflection (Heroic) (Priest)
The first random heroic I did on my priest was heroic Halls of Reflection. I joined a group that was in progress. I couldn't help wondering why the previous healer left. I found out quickly. We barely survived the first encounter. Then, when we got to the "escape the Lich King" encounter, we wiped...twice! I know I haven't done that instance many times yet, but I've never failed at it. /sigh

This LFG system is good and bad. It's definitely easier to find spots in PUGs more quickly than before. However, the quality of the PUGs has begun to decline for me. I really like the new system. So, I think it's just a matter of accepting the bad side of it.

Raid night tonight. I hope we do ToC 25 first so I get a chance at an upgrade. You never know what the officers will decide though.

Monday, December 21, 2009

December 21, 2009

What a Fun Weekend!
I had a really good time in game this weekend. Such a good time that I didn't even realize how much snow had fallen outside. Seriously. I saw the snow on the windowsill. My husband commented on the amount of snow. But, I was so focused on the game that I didn't know the true amount of snow until this morning.

That's the sign of a good weekend in WoW! :-)

ToC 25 (Mage)
Friday night I logged in with my Druid to transmute a gem when one of my friends in my mage's guild asked if I wanted to go to ToC 25. I switched to my mage and went to a raid for the first time with this new guild.

It was a fun and interesting time. Fun because I was with my friends whom I haven't partied with in weeks. Also fun because it was the first time being in there with my mage. We got through Northrend Beasts and Lord Jaraxxus fine. The funny thing was that both encounters were completely chaotic. No positioning determined ahead of time. No strategy involved. Just chaos. They were successful, which is what matters in the end. We stopped after a few tries at Faction Champs.

After the raid, I spoke with the guild leader and offered to give him strategy tips if he ever decided to try hard modes. His response was that this guild isn't the type that will attempt hard modes. Fair enough, I offered to help out whenever I can. He seemed very appreciative.

Ulduar 25 (Mage)
After ToC, we went to Ulduar to do the weekly raid quest. We earned the achievement Shutout (25 player). Then we headed straight for XT for the quest.

I had a good time with them. Though there are a couple things they did that made me really glad my priest is in the guild she's in.
  • They called others out when they made mistakes -- by name. Not the guild leader, actually, but the guild members. So, that's a good indication. But, they were relentless. So much time was spent after each attempt ridiculing the people who had made the mistakes. It got very annoying. In my priest's guild they are much more professional (if you can use that word in this context) about it. We wipe, we run back. The raid leader explains what went wrong, without naming names, and we move on.
  • They use no strategies, as mentioned above. They just go brute force. It works for them because it's normal mode and some of them are very geared. So, I can't say they're doing it wrong. But, it's not an environment that makes me comfortable. I'm a Virgo. I like order. In my priest's guild, it's all about organization and strategy. Or course, we do hard modes, so it's absolutely necessary to be organized.
After Ulduar I did a random heroic on my mage then switched to my priest.

Hyjal Summit, Black Temple, Tempest Keep.
Within minutes of me logging on as my priest someone announced in guild chat that they were doing Hyjal, BT and a TK mount run. I jumped at the chance. It was a very fun night. As with my Sunwell experience a few weeks back, I couldn't help wondering what it must have been like to do them at the appropriate level. Not only did I see exciting content and get achievements for it, but I also got to spend time with guildies in a relaxed situation. They really are a fun group. We stayed up until almost 4am doing that. No mount drop, though. :\

Winter Veil (Priest)
Saturday morning I got up and was simply going to kiss one of the Winter Revelers. But, my plans changed quickly when I got Mistletoe from them. Finally! So, I couldn't resist the opportunity to go use it on the Brothers for the achievement. Meanwhile, I queued for a random heroic.

Cutting out the boring details, two hours later I had finished Bros. Before Ho Ho Ho's. Then I headed over to Ogri'la to finish the requisite quests leading up to the bombing one. Luckily for me, I found the achievements website on Friday. In it they list the specific quests you need to do this.

Meanwhile, my druid and hunter buddies from my mage guild came on and they invited me to do a run of the three new instances. So, I did that then went back to Ogri'la and finished Fa-la-la-la-Ogri'la

And got my Merrymaker title!

Break Time
Snide comments from my husband made me realize it was time for a break, so I logged and spent time with him, ate and took a nap. A few hours later I was refreshed and ready to play again.

Ulduar 10 (Mage)
I logged into my mage and immediately got a tell from a mage in my priest's guild. They were doing an Ulduar alt run for the weekly raid quest. She invited me to go on my mage. I got three achievements on the run: Shutout (10 player), Must Deconstruct Faster (10 player) and A Quick Shave (10 player).

It was an interesting experience to be with my priest guild but on my mage. I wasn't incognito; they knew who I was. At one point, one of the officers made comments about me not having my alts in the guild. It was said in jest, but I could tell there was a little truth to the statements. I suspect it will eventually become an issue -- at the very least I won't get invites since alt runs are technically supposed to be for guild alts. With the changes to the guild ranking system, I can understand why a guild would not want to help non-guild toons get achievements and such.

Anyway, I got a drop off of Razorscale -- a nice trinket. It made me realize how far behind, gear-wise, my mage is from my priest. I was excited to get it!

...the Patient
On Sunday I go the title "the Patient" that comes along with the achievement Looking for Many. Although I like having yet another title, I have to admit I was disappointed. I thought the Perky Pug came with it. Now I realize I'm only half way there. /sigh More random pugs! The good thing is I've only run across a handful of bad pugs with this new system. So, it's not going to be an onerous task.

And More Random Dungeons
Pretty much the rest of Sunday I spent doing random dungeons on my druid and my mage. After posting during the week that I had been neglecting the two of them, I decided to make a concerted effort to play them -- even if it's just to do the first random heroic each day one each for the Emblems of Frost.

It feels like ToC and Emblems of Triumph all over again. I remember getting two a day and wondering how long it would take me to get enough to buy anything. Now I'm going through the same thing on my druid and mage. With no real chance of going into ICC on them, the frost emblems will be slow in coming.


Icecrown Citadel 10 (Mage)
Yep...I actually got my mage into ICC 10! This is going out of order, but it follows the previous paragraph perfectly. After our Sunday raid (more below), we went on an alt run to ICC. Once again, I was the only non-guildy in the run. This time, however, there were no comments about my toon not being in the guild. We got down the first two bosses and I even got a the Scourgelord's Baton off the second boss. It was a very nice off-hand upgrade. Woo hoo!

Interesting note about the loot distribution. On the first boss, a very nice dagger (Frost Needle) dropped. The only two people rolling for it were me and the raid leader. He won the roll so he won it. He apologized to me in a whisper and promised the next mage-ish drop would be for me. Well, when we killed Lady Deathwhisper and saw the off-hand item drop there was a long pause. The raid leader finally said, that, even though he was interested in it, he was a man of his word. He gave it to me. Woo hoo! Props to him!

Oh and, I can't forget mentioning that we got a totally awesome achievement: Boned (10 player). Considering I didn't miss a single bone spike, I'm proud about having contributed greatly to that one. :)

ToC 25 (Priest)
OK...back to earlier in the night and our regular raids. We started in ToC 25. I was the third healer to get an invite. Woot! We cleared the place, which is expected since we technically have it on farm. I got a new belt, Cord of the Tenebrous Mist. With a belt buckle I got two sockets in it! A big upgrade for me. Woot!

After that, the officers announced we were finished for the night. The anxiety around Faction Champs was something they wanted to avoid as we went into the Christmas holiday week. So, they opted to split up and do other things. (Personally I think they cancelled it because many of the top players weren't on.)

So...this lead to the most exciting news of my entire post:

ToGC 10 (Priest)
My 10-man team went back to ToGC 10 to try to finish Anub'Arak. We had 24 attempts left when we started. And we finally killed him with 22 attempts left! Woo hoo!!! Yippee!!!! Hoooray!!!!!! I didn't get any drops, but that didn't matter. I was just so excited that we did it! Call of the Grand Crusade (10 player) baby. Yeah!!!!

Afterward it was pointed out to me how amazing it was that we did that with only two healers. Another reason to be proud. :-)

A very good weekend. Lots of fun. A couple drops. Lots of achievements (I didn't even mention some of the minor achievements that I got -- like # of raid emblems and stuff). Lots of accomplishments. Woo hoo!!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

December 18, 2009

Yesterday I sat out for most of the raid. The raid leader made a point of apologizing to those of us who didn't get a spot, explaining that they're doing their best to mix people in so that it's not always the same people all the time. Although I believe that they are doing that. I also noted that the person who was chosen over me was that new healer that I feel so threatened by. (I'm being little dramatic, though there's a level of truth in it.)

It's all good. It was a progression run, so the best of the best need to be there. When it's on farm, I'll get in. It does make me sad, as it's a catch 22 situation. I can't rise to the level of the other healers without better gear ( is really a question of gear. Specs, gems, enchants, build and "rotation" are all the same). I can't get better gear if I'm not there to get drops. (Side note: last night during their progression run a belt dropped that is on the list of things I need. It went to a DPS. Although it was an appropriate item for her (and I'm glad she got an upgrade, even though it was minor), it would have been a substantial upgrade for me. /sigh)

I'm not the first to deal with this situation and I'm definitely not giing to be the last. There's nothing really to say about it other than it's frustrating. I'll be patient, though. In time it will come. Though I fear that I will always be behind the other healers because I'll never get the opportunities for gear that they get.

OK...enough self pity...on to more positive things:

Winter Veil
While the others raided, I took opportunity to get some Winter Vail stuff done. As I mentioned in a previous post, I only have three achievements to get.

Bros. Before Ho Ho Ho's -- I started off by /kiss-ing Winter Revelers for the first time this year. I was reminded quickly that Mistletoe is really hard to come's all a matter of luck. Throughout the night I got in three kisses. None of which resulted in mistletoe. It's going to make this achievement difficult to get. I'll just have to make sure to take every possible opportunity to /kiss revelers. Sitting out for raids has a silver lining -- I'm free to kiss the revelers when I can.

Fa-la-la-la-Ogri'la -- I'm not 100% sure yet what to do to get this one. I never opened up the rep quests in Ogri'la, though on there was a post saying it wasn't necessary. I looked in Ogri'la for the quest giver, but couldn't find it. I'll spend some time today on checking to see if there is a quest line I must follow first. While I was in Ogri'la I got invited to the raid. (more below about that).

With a Little Helper from my Friends -- I finished this one this morning. I went into a couple BGs last night and got up to 24 HKs. Each time I died and lost the gnome form, I /afk-ed to exit the BG. Yeah, I know it's rude. But, I wasn't in there to farm honor. Like so many other people, I was just there for the achievement. Anyway...I'll be rude no longer because I finished it this morning.

ToGC 25 (Priest)
As mentioned above, I was called in to the raid eventually. Faction Champs. They're our brick wall. Not much to say. We didn't get it down. It's very frustrating.

ToGC 10 (Priest)
Several more attempts on Anub'arak, and still no success. Our team makeup was slightly different than the night before and we didn't seem to be doing as well. We still have 24 attempts left. Hopefully we'll get it on Sunday.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

December 17, 2009

Oh What a Night!
Last night was a fun fun fun night! First, the finale of So You Think You Can Dance was on. I love that show. This was the best season so far. And I'm not just saying that to follow the hype. The talent was top notch! time in WoW was exhilarating. I stayed up much later than I should have, but it was well worth it.

ToC 10 (Priest)
The night started with my 10-man going to ToC 10 regular. I DPSed my way through while one of our warriors healed on her priest alt. It was pretty much a cake walk. It's amazing how much easier it is now than it was when ToC came out. I can remember going in there on the first day and being overwhelmed by Gormok the Impaler and his pesky snobolds! Experience + gear + skill = success!

Ulduar 10 (Priest)
We then headed over to Ulduar 10 to do the Deconstructor fight for those who still needed the weekly raid quest. We killed FL, Razorscale and Deconstructor. We were a bit cocky and actually wiped once. But it was all good. We focused later when it was necessary.

ToGC 10 (Priest)
Alts were switched out for mains and we went into ToGC 10. Beasts? Pfft! Lord RNG? Or cockiness carried over from Ulduar? A few wipes later... Faction shot! Twins...two shots! Woo hoo!!!!

It was really late. I mean, really late. I shouldn't have stayed. But, I did. I couldn't abandon the group right before our first attempt at Heroic Anub'arak. So, hoping my husband wouldn't file for divorce, I continued on. We made several very commendable attempts. On a few of them we had him to about 300k hp. Soooo close! We finally had to call it when others had to go. We have 30+ attempts left, so I think we might get him down this week.

So friggin exciting! Yeah, I know, it's old content at this point. But, we're a 25-man guild, not a 10-man one. So, this is personal progress.

10 Man Core Group?
Last night I had one of my lack-of-confidence moments during our raid. When it was close to the time that I had originally intended on quitting, I told the raid leader I had about an hour left. About 15 minutes later another healer logged in (one that I mentioned in an previous post who is newer to the guild than I but much much better geared). The raid leader said, "Oh, so and so is online. She can replace the healing spot when the time comes."

My first reaction to that? I was convinced there was relief in his voice. Her healing output is much higher than mine. Of course, she provides more assurance that a raid will be successful. (I'm also basing this on the fact that when she's in 10-mans with us, I'm assigned to DPS.) I couldn't keep myself from thinking that he must wish he had her instead of me as a regular member.

Then today I got a delightful surprise. I saw that on our guild forums my raid leader listed me on his list of core members. Not only am I on the list, but I'm #3, right after him and the top dps of the group. He mentioned the other healer, but only indicating that she fills in when needed. Woo hoo! I really wish I didn't have these moments of self doubt. They're so unattractive. :\

Tonight is raid night again. ToC25 and ToGC25. I'm praying that I get a good drop...hopefully Misery's End. I won't hold my weapon drop luck has never been good!

I hope to play my Mage and Druid this weekend. It feels like it has been forever since I've played them. But...I have to do holiday stuff on my priest.

So much to little time!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December 16th, 2009

Icecrown Citadel 25 (Priest)
Last night I was delighted to get an invite to ICC25. I really expected not to get a spot but somehow I lucked out. Woo hoo! It was a ton of fun. We only wiped a few times -- one was intentional since someone activated the ship event while some of our raid members were not yet on it. I got the Storming the Citadel (25-Player) achievement.

I had terrible disconnection issues last night. I disconnected several times throughout the Lady Deathwhisper fight. I was sure they were going to replace me because of it. But, during a 10 minute break I rebooted my computer router and modem. No more disconnects the rest of the night! Woo hoo!

I didn't get any drops (more on that below). But, I got to see the content, which is awesome. :-)

Ulduar 25 (Priest)
After ICC we went to Ulduar 25 to do the weekly raid quest (or whatever it's called). Deconstructor was the goal. I got two achievements from the run: Must Deconstruct Faster (25-player) and Three Car Garage (25-player). Others got Unbroken (25-player), but I already had it.

Onyxia 25 (Priest)
We then knocked out Onyxia really quickly before calling it a night.

Icecrown Citadel 10 (Priest)
After the 25-man raid was over, my 10-man team gathered. We sailed through Icecrown Citadel in an hour and a half. Pretty good, considering it was my first time in there as DPS. It's a heck of a lot easier than ToC. Of course, I am playing with some top notch players...and it's only the first quarter of the instance.

I didn't get any drops. /sigh

Also, as I mentioned above, I was DPS for the run. That's a mixed blessing. On one hand, it makes me self conscious that I'm relegated to DPS for these 10-man runs lately. Though, I can't deny the fact that the other two healers are much better geared than I, so it's best for the raid.

On the other hand, it's a great way to see the DPS side of things. In the past, I've only understood the DPS role in raids based on listening to raid leaders describe things to the DPS team. Since I'm doing both healing (25-man) and dps (10-man), I'm getting both perspectives. It was really helpful last night. When we did the gunship encounter on 25-man I had no clue what was going on. I just healed. But after doing it as dps on 10-man I figured it out. That fight, by the way, is very fun. :-)

So...if I'm going to be mostly DPS in our 10-mans, I better get some dps gear. Triumph Badges are easier to come by now, so I think it will be easy for me to get the non-trophy tier gear from ToC. DPSing with my healing tier gear is definitely hurting my effectiveness.

Mage Guild
So, last night before I logged in with my priest I logged on my mage. I said goodbye to the guild members that were on. I /gquit then joined the guild my fellow officers had joined. It felt weird...but I'm glad I finally did it. Of course, I couldn't stay on because I had to switch to my priest.

Winter Veil
Winter Veil started last night. In order to get the Merrymaker title, I only have three achievements to get: With a Little Helper From my Friends, Fa-la-la-la-Ogri'la and Bros. Before Ho Ho Ho's. Doesn't seem too hard. I hope I get can do it!

What's Good for the Guild...
I need to vent. I have no right to be bothered by this. Before joining the guild I read the loot distribution rules. I signed the application form stating that I understood the rules and agreed with them.

That doesn't mean I won't sulk about them sometimes.

Last night there was only one priestly drop -- the Frozen Bonespike. I rolled for it -- it would have been a great upgrade over my Plasma Foil. Yeah...after all these months, I'm still walking around with an Ulduar 10 weapon. My luck with getting weapon drops is abysmal. Remember almost a year ago when I tried day in and day out to get the mace in Nexus? /sigh

I rolled on it, not really expecting to get it, knowing the rules of loot distribution. As expected, it went to a higher ranking priest. It's all good...that's how it works in this guild.

So what irks me about this? The guild leader recently gave a speech about loot distribution...stating that "for the good of the guild", in addition to the normal loot rules (rank first, EPGP 2nd, etc.), the relative upgrade of an item will be considered when deciding who gets an item. In other words, if two people are rolling on the same item, for the good of the guild, the loot council might decide to give it to the person who would be getting the biggest upgrade from it, regardless of rank or EPGP.

So, what happened last night? The priest who just two weeks ago won Misery's End, and then last week won a dagger (I don't remember which), is the person who was awarded this dagger. Was that decision in line with the loot rules? Absolutely. He is a higher rank than I and has more Priority in EPGP.

But what about all that stuff about "what's best for the guild"? The upgrade he got last night was relatively minor. It would have been a MAJOR upgrade for me. My healing power already fell far short of his. Now the gap is going to be even wider.

So what's better for the guild? To further increase the effectiveness of one of the top geared healers? Or to increase the effectiveness of one of the lesser geared healers? Is it more beneficial for his healing power to go higher? Or for mine to be brought up closer to his?

Since we're exploring new content, it's going to be like this for a while. Like I said, I understand the loot distribution rules. When I joined the guild I confirmed that I understood them.

That doesn't mean I have to like them.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 15, 2009


(another disjointed stream of consciousness-type post)

Yesterday I mentioned being in an odd place regarding my Mage and Druid. I've been thinking a little more about that post and am now thinking it's just another phase. Obviously it's partially fueled by my reluctance to /gquit on the mage when someone else in the guild is on. But, that's really just an excuse. I'm reluctant to play the other toons because I feel like I should be on my priest.

I didn't want this to happen when I joined the big guild. But, it has. Take last night, for example. Mondays are not raiding nights, so theoretically I should have had the night off. I logged in with my priest to do dailies and to do the new 5-man dungeon quests. I had every intention of switching to my mage when I was finished.

But then a guildie called out to form a group to do rep farming in ICC 10. Rep farming? Oops! I hadn't been keeping up with the changes in 3.3. Suddenly there's a new faction to gain rep with.

As a member of a top raiding guild, I am expected to maximize everything. That includes rep farming when doing so means top end gear. Sure enough, this new faction gives rings (like Kara) as you gain rep levels.

So much for switching to my mage. I spent the rest of the night with guildies killing the trash mobs in ICC. I achieved friendly status and got the Ashen Band of Wisdom. It increased my haste, which makes me happy. But it lowered my Spell Power and Spirit slightly. I'll take it, though, as it is an upgrade in other respects. point being that I ended up only playing my priest last night. Tonight I'll most likely only play her since it's raiding night. Wednesday night I'll probably do 10-mans with my priest -- or take the night off to spend with my husband.

What happened to the days when I had enough time to play all three of my main toons? Or at least the days when I could choose between my priest and my mage? Will they come back? Or are they gone now that I'm in this top raiding guild?

Is this just a phase?

Being honest with myself, I know I'd be playing my mage more often if she were in the raiding guild. Recognizing that, I do have to point out another thing that's going on. I currently feel like I'm not well connected in the big guild. There's a core group of people who interact a lot and I am just someone who fills one of the 25-man slots. Reasons for this are:
  • I am still fairly new to the guild -- one month tomorrow.
  • I spend time on toons that aren't in the guild (mage, druid, warlock).
  • I am not on the "A" team.
Those are just some possible explanations. For the purposes of this post, I'm focusing on the second point. Any time I spend on my toons in other guilds is time not spent connecting with the members of this guild. Last night's rep run, for example, was a casual impromptu run. For about 2-3 hours I interacted with those guys. It was a 10-player raid, so it was much more intimate than 25-mans. I'm not going to overstate it and say that it was major relationship building. But, people do know me a bit more than they did before we went. Had I not been on my priest, I would have missed the opportunity.

I went through something similar when my priest was in her previous guild. I was an officer to make it worse. But, in that case, I freely spent time on my other toons. I did so partly because I didn't need to do anything to establish my identity in that guild. I was an officer. I was on the "A" team. I didn't need to do relationship building. (In retrospect, I should have -- but that's not relevant to the point of this post.) I had all the gear I could get, save that which could only be gotten in our weekly raid runs. So, there was no need to play my priest on off nights.

But now it's different. I have to establish myself, unless I'll be content being just a slot-filler.

Is this a phase? Will my daily activities be different a month from now?

Monday, December 14, 2009

December 14, 2009

Boy did I miss an exciting week! I was out of town when patch 3.3 hit. I'm glad that I missed the patch day rigmarole, but I do feel like I'm behind everyone. With that said...

Patch 3.3 Stuff
Not wanting to log in with any of my known toons, I chose to go on my warlock. I did a /who to see where my friends were and I saw them in places I didn't recognize. instances!

I got the quest right outside the Dalaran bank and tried to find the Icecrown Citadel. On a slow flyer, it proved to be too annoying. So, I went to WoWhead and got the answer quickly. After much circling up and down the structure, I finally found the the raid area! D'oh!

I went straight up and found the 5-man area. Then...I tried out the new LFG system. I'm not 100% sure if I like it or not -- I'll give it a chance. But, in the case of my warlock, it was a god send. I only had to wait 10 minutes for the first group invite. We went through the Forge of Souls in about 20 minutes. I could tell immediately that the people in my group had already been there (and it was later confirmed when I was the only one who got the achievement). I died a few times due to me having no clue about the fight mechanics. But, I made it through.

Next up was the Pit of Saron. This time around, I made a really stupid mistake, which I think is partly due to the fact that they put the quest giver inside the instance. :( While waiting for the group to form, I entered the Forge of Souls, thinking it was the Pit of Saron. Then I exited and tried to get into the right one. Well, the game didn't like my instance-hopping, so I got a big fat message saying I had entered too many instances. The problem was that I ended up stuck on the wrong side of the portal. So, I couldn't do anything but wait. Luckily, when my group formed, I was able to enter the instance without a problem. Phew!

I got the quests inside Pit of Saron but didn't have time to read through them before the group ran away to clear it. Stupid me...I missed the fact that I was supposed to free captives. We cleared the place before I realized this so, I went back afterward to free them. Unfortunately, the NPC was no longer there for me to turn in the quest, so I have to go back and turn it in another time.

I got a new pair of boots, though. So, it wasn't a total loss. Of course, it's on a toon that I don't play often, but that's OK.

Because of the problem with turning in the quest, I couldn't go to the third instance. So, I decided to take a break and prepare myself for raiding.

ToC 25 (Priest)
We started our raid night in ToC 25. I got an invite right away. It didn't surprise me. I assumed I wouldn't be invited to go to Icecrown Citadel since the higher ranked raiders would get those spots before me.

Nothing really to report, other than we cleared it easily. I didn't get any drops.

Icecrown Citadel 25 (Priest)
After the ToC raid, I wasn't immediately booted from the raid, so I headed over to ICC. I was glad I had found the place on my warlock earlier, so I didn't look completely stupid. I stood outside for a while, fully expecting to be booted. But, then I thought I should be more assertive. And...I was curious to see the inside of the place. So, I zoned in.

They had already cleared the first three bosses of the Lower Spire during the week. So, I was able to take the portal to the different areas. Not much to see, really, since all the trash and bosses (except the last) were cleared. But, I at least got to see what the place looked like.

I stood with everyone else in the Deathbringer Saurfang area (I can't remember what the zone was actually called, but that's the boss). Then, to my surprise and utter delight, the final raid switches were made and the EP/GP counter started. I was in!!!! Woo hoo!

We wiped once, which was fine, considering there were a couple of us who hadn't been there for the previous attempts during the week. And considering they made many attempts that first night... But, we happily defeated him on the second attempt. Woo hooo! I didn't get the achievement that most of the others got, but at least I got to see a new boss down. Yay!

The tier token for priests, paladins, etc. dropped. I didn't have a chance, but I needed it anyway. Our main tank won it. Woot! I'll get mine some day. :-)

I was really really happy that I got in. I'm very conscious of my healing numbers being so much lower than the other healers. Until I can get close to their numbers, I know I'll expect to be left out. I won't blame them. It's better for the guild to bring our best healers, dps, etc. when doing new content. So, I will enjoy my invites when I get them. Yay!

ToCG 25 (Priest)
Since the rest of ICC isn't open yet, we moved on to ToGC 25. I maintained my healing spot (yay!). We cleared Beasts and Jaraxxus. Then we gave a shot (or two?) at Faction Champs before calling it a night.

No drops for me. :\

ToGC 10 (Priest)
My regular 10-man group had done ToGC 10 during the week. They were at the Twins. We tried several attempts. I was DPSing for the first few, then I switched to heals. We didn't get them down. :\

I know I just got back from vacation yesterday, and Mondays are usually my "blues" days. So, I shouldn't take any negative thoughts too seriously. But...I am curious about my decisions lately with respect to the toons I'm playing. I've basically been avoiding my Mage and Druid. For some reason I'm very uncomfortable about changing guild with the mage, despite the fact that all my fellow officers moved to the raiding guild. Why don't I just get past this?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December 2, 2009

Last night I logged in and had a brief chat with my previous guild leader. I assured her that I would be moving my mage to the new guild soon. But I had to raid last night on my priest.

Onyxia 25 (Priest)
Our Onyxia 25 run wasn't as smooth as it could have been, but we one-shotted it, as usual. No drops for me.

ToC 25 (Priest)
I healed all boss encounters in ToC 25. I got a Trophy of the Crusade, which I used to buy Velen's Cowl of Triumph. I socked it with a +34 Spirit gem. But, I might change that to a Spellpower or Intellect one, giving up the socket bonus. We'll see.

My darned mace didn't drop -- hmmm...always seems to be my luck when I'm hoping for a certain mace. Ah well, maybe in two weeks (next week I'll be on vacation).

I can't decide if going for the 4th piece of the Tier set is worth it. It only improves the first tick of Renew by 10%. Not really that much of a benefit in the scheme of things.

ToGC 25 (Priest)
After easily clearing ToC 25, we moved onto Heroic. /sigh We couldn't get past the beasts. Definitely an off night for us. I found something interesting -- the incredible healer I mentioned in yesterday's post was not invited to the progression portion of the raid, though I was. I really truly expected them to favor her over me because her numbers are much more impressive. But they didn't. I'm impressed. Perhaps they truly do go by fairness. The Raid Leader did ask me before every encounter if I needed something from the upcoming boss. Whether it was items or emblems, I needed to be there. She agreed and included me. yay!

Onyxia 10 (Priest)
Although it was late, I once again joined my 10-man team right after the guild raids. It's a bad habit I'm getting into, but I don't want to turn down the opportunities.

First stop was Onyxia. There were a few amazing things about the fight. First, we got through Phase 2 without any Breaths. This means that our dps was so high up there that we burned her more quickly than expected through that phase. Then, after coming down for Phase 3, we killed her lickity split and earned More Dots! (10 player). That was without a shaman to give us Heroism. Woo hoo! No drops for me.

VoA 10 (Priest)
We quickly killed the first boss in VoA 10. Nothing to note.

ToC 10 (Priest)
We finished the night by running through ToC 10 real quickly. I won an off-set boot item. It was so late that I can't even remember what boss it was from, so I can't tell you which boot item it was.

I went to bed at 3:16. Ugh...another day of sitting her at work, fighting to keep my eyes open.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December 1, 2009

Mage Guild
Uh oh. I'm in one of those hiding phases again. Last night I didn't log into any of my known toons. Why? Because I'm avoiding the guild situation on my mage. I've said I'll switch guilds with her so I can be with the players I enjoy. But, for some reason I'm reluctant to /gquit on her with others on. They all know what is going on -- raiding toons are switching to the sister guild, while alts are staying in the main one. But, still, I don't want to have to interact with those people still in the main guild. I don't know how how they feel about the who switching guilds thing. I want to /gquit when no one is around so I don't have to discuss it.

Tonight I'll have an excuse not to deal with it -- raid night on my priest.

I'm such a wimp sometimes.

Alt Leveling
So...last night I hid on my Pally. OMG shoot me now! I know I've said this before, but this time it's really getting to me -- leveling is so mind numbingly maddening. Again with the same quests? Again with the long distances between quest giver and quest objective?

The only change of pace would be to switch to a Horde alt and level on that side. But, when I switch to my Horde server, I stare at my toons and can't decide which to play. They have no money and they have no heirloom items. Leveling over again is frustrating do so by starting from scratch? Get the f*(k outta here!

I'm considering paying for a faction transfer for my pally. If I go through with it, I'll give her all the heirloom items she needs and a wad of cash. That way she'll be pretty set. I'll be able to experience Horde side leveling without starting from scratch. But...I'll permanently cut her off from my other alts. Do I really want that? Or will she end up becoming one of those toons I never play?

Anyway... I got her to 30 last night. I can't remember if I can get fast mount speed on her at this point. I can barely remember what it was back in BC. Was it mount at 40, fast mount at 60? Then flying at 70? Sheesh! I can't believe I've forgotten. I remember it was such a big broo ha ha when they lowered the requirements. But, for the life of me I can't remember what they used to be and what they are now.

Getting old is a pain.

Note: Right after publishing this I checked out Wowhead. I swear, it's the best WoW db site out there. They have a full explanation of the riding skill levels. I don't get epic mount riding until 40. Ah well, so much for speeding up travel time now that I'm 30.

100th Post!

As I pressed the New Post button I noticed that I was at 99 posts. This is my 100th! (Well, one post isn't actually published -- it's a "draft" that I use for notes. But, that's just a technicality.)

I think this is the only diary I've ever consistently written to. I remember my first attempt at one back when I was living in Modesto (Central California) one year as a child. I created the diary by first writing the date on every page of a notebook....fully intending to make an entry each and every day that year. I learned quickly how naive that approach was. Two obvious problems with that system were:
  1. Many pages were going to be wasted, as I obviously wasn't going to write in it every day.
  2. It didn't allow for those days on which I had more to say than would fit on one page.
I abandoned that diary within a week or so of creating it.

I created subsequent diaries without pre-dating the pages. But, they still flopped.

What has made this one different? I think it's because it's a diary with a specific focus. It's not a diary about my life, though I do occasionally write personal things like I am today. It's specifically about my experiences in WoW. And, since I play it several times a week, on average, there's usually something to say.

I wonder if I'll have a 200th post?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Getting Myself Worked Up...

So in my post from earlier this morning I mentioned being concerned about my healing compared to that of the other healers in my guild. I've been thinking a lot about it since then and I'm getting even more worried.

Last night there was a non-guildy there healing with us. I noticed immediately that she was at the top of the healing charts, even higher than our top healers.

Today, I was looking on and noticed that the healer had joined the guild last night. Once again...another applicant that's invited to the guild after only one night.

The new healer was previously in the #2 guild on the server (we're currently #7). She's really well geared.

So what worries me about her being in the guild? She's one more person competing for a healing spot -- and with her performance, she's likely to win.

This guild has a very rigid structure based on time with the guild and raid attendance. Just this past week I was promoted to the next level based on raid attendance. At first, I thought this meant that I got priority when it came to raid slots over people of the level below me. But, I've just re-read the by-laws of the guild and realized there is no mention of raid spot priority -- only loot priority.

What good does it do me to have priority with respect to loot if she's likely to be chosen over me for raid spots? I'll never be there to get the loot I need. :-(

My only consolation is that the raid leader has a track record of asking people to sit out on runs if they don't need loot. This way people who do need loot can have their spot and hopefully get what they're looking for. If she continues this, there's a chance that I'll get a spot over the new healer because it looks like she has most of the loot she needs. Then, on ToCG 25 progression runs, she'll get the spot because her heals are more likely to help us succeed than mine would.

Another thing that has me worked up is something that was mentioned last night after the raid. The raid leader announced that the "first string" 10 man group would be raiding next. It made me painfully aware of not being a member of that elite group and the low likelihood of me ever being in it. I ended the night sad, wondering how much I'll progress in this guild. The "first string" group are those that have the fancy titles and raid achievements because they are the 10 best players in the guild. The rest of us are unlikely to get those achievements and titles. Now, if they'd leave a spot open each week for someone outside their clique to run with them, maybe we'd have a chance. I'm just sayin'....

I'm also worried that when Icecrown Citadel becomes available, which could be any week now, that I'll be relegated to "second string". Once again, in the interests of the guild, we should send in our best team to progress. I understand that. But, what does that mean for me? How long will it be before I can get in to see it?

Cold hard facts to face
  1. I chose not to join a hard-core raiding guild until just recently. My choice. I had offers, but I rejected them. My choice. Consequences of that choice: I'm far behind on raid progression, experience and gear. I'm at the bottom of the totem pole in this raid guild.
  2. This guild is big and I'm just one of the many members. I shouldn't expect to be treated special.
  3. There are many members who have been with the guild longer than I have. They deserve priority over me.
  4. New members that come from bigger guilds with better progression, experience and gear are more valuable to the guild from a progression standpoint. My heals are less effective than theirs. It is in the guild's best interest to put them first in the progression runs.
  5. I am in the "second string" 10-man group. At least I have a regular 10-man group to run with. Many in the guild are not in the same boat.
  6. I've only been with the guild for a few weeks. I have no idea what the future has in store for me.
  7. Although they appear to play favorites, I know full well that they're favoring the better, more skilled players. And, they have every right to. They're not a casual social guild. They're a serious progression raid guild. Of course the most skilled should get priority over others. It's in the best interest of the guild. My personal satisfaction is of little interest to the guild.
So, I have my worries but I recognize I'm responsible for the situation I'm in now. I'll try to convince myself to make the most of what I have. Enjoy the opportunities to raid when I get invites to the 25 mans and make the most of my 10-man runs.

Heart, listen to the Mind. It's telling you some good stuff.

November 30, 2009

Correction: In a previous post I stated that I had gotten a pair of boots and wondered why they didn't have a socket in them. I realized now it's because I was looking at the wrong boots. The boots I actually got were the Boots of the Grieving Soul.

Back from Thanksgiving
I don't often post non-WoW stuff, but I just want to remember this Thanksgiving. We went to the in-laws in Connecticut and spent the night there. Our nephews are so adorable and the 2 year old is talking (babbling?) incessantly. His brother just sits and stares. We had a great time with them.

Pilgrim Title!
Early Thanksgiving morning I earned the Pilgrim title. We weren't leaving to the in-laws until early afternoon, so I logged on early in the morning. I had three achievements left: Turkey Lurkey (only a troll rogue was left), The Turkinator and Terrokar Turkey Time.

Armed with Tracker Snacks, my first stop was Elywnn Forest. It's amazing how quickly you can get the achievement when you can see the Turkeys on your mini map and when no one is in the area competing with you.

Then I went to Ogrimmar and camped outside the main gate. I was determined to catch a troll rogue going to the feast tables or innocently stepping outside the city. It only took about 1/2 hour of patient waiting and boom! along came a troll rogue! I feathered him and got the achievement.

I then asked in guild chat if anyone was interested in running Setthek Halls. We two "manned" it and within a half hour or so I got the last achievement, the title and the adorable Plump Turkey pet. Woo hoo!

Miscellaneous Alt Leveling
The rest of the weekend we were either with family or at home relaxing. I played very little WoW. And, when I did, it was on alts. I gained a level or two on my dwarf pally. Nothing too exciting, mostly just killing time between naps.

ToGC 25 (Priest)
Last night was our regular raiding night and we returned to ToGC 25. We got Jaraxxus down after only one or two wipes. Then we spent the rest of the night on the Faction Champs. I think we're doing better than last week. Either we're getting more proficient at it, or the group makeup was easier this week. We got down two of the champs on a few of the tries. We'll get them all some day. :\

I hope I don't just have the Monday blues, but I'm feeling very self conscious about my healing skills compared to the others in the guild. I know most of them are better geared than I am, so their HPS is bound to be higher. But, sometimes the difference is too big to ignore. I don't know if the powers that be watch HPS or something else. But, if they are, I'm screwed.

I'm saying this because I remember several months back my mage friend stating that she hadn't gotten a promotion in this guild because the officers were disappointed in her lack of increase in DPS. I'm afraid the same might happen to me because my numbers aren't improving significantly. Of course, the Faction Champs is a real tough encounter to base performance on.

It's a catch 22 situation. I can't improve without getting gear. I can only get gear if we kill bosses. We can't kill bosses without having the right gear + skill.

Lord, I hope it's not skill that I lack. :\ (Yeah, Monday blues time...I'll get over this.)

Guild Stuff (Mage)
My mage's guild has gone through a slight transformation. After weeks (months?) of failed plans to raid, our guild leader and a few officers took their mains out of the guild and put them into one of our "sister" guilds. I found out about it when I returned to the game last night. I'll probably move my mage into the new guild. It's kind of sad, but I think it's a good move. If it works out as planned, we will all get more opportunities to raid with those toons.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

November 25, 2009

I Need Caffeine!
I'm running on about two hour's sleep this morning. All because of this stupid game called World of Warcraft! :-)

Because it's Thanksgiving week, our raiding opportunities are minimal until after the holiday. So, what do we decide to do? Run everything we can until we fall asleep at our keyboards! Well, since I'm probably the only East Coaster in the group, maybe I'm the only one who risked falling asleep. :)

Let's see, I finally lay down in bed at 3:16 a.m. Then, because of the adrenaline pumping and my mind racing with recap thoughts of the night, I tossed and turned for a long while. Against my better judgment, I took a Tylenol PM at 5:00 a.m.. It didn't kick in until about 6:00, right before my darned alarm went off. I went right back to sleep and woke up at 8:00. I'm still groggy from the pill and am exhausted from lack of sleep.

Was it worth it? It sure on!

Onyxia 25
We started the night by gathering for Onyxia 25. There were lots of people on, so there was a good chance that I would be sitting out. But, to my surprise, I was the first healer invited to the raid. Woo hoo! I suppose that means the other healers don't need anything from her. We wiped on the first attempt. Someone hit a taunt button when they shouldn't have... Second try went smoothly. And I walked away with a fun off hand piece -- the Antediluvian Cornerstone Grimoire. I'm sure there are better items for that slot, but it was a nice upgrade for me. So, it was worth it. Though, after I won it I became painfully aware of the effects on my EP/GP PR. More on that below.

We had a couple applicants to the guild running with us. I was a little annoyed to see that they got an invite to the guild after only one run, as compared to me having to go on several trial runs before I got the invite. I won't fret, though. I'm in the guild and that's what matters. And I got my first promotion last night.

VoA 25
Next we went to VoA since we had Wintergrasp. Nothing to note, other than the fact that the Priest legs dropped -- the ones I used emblems to buy last week. :\ Oh well, I got them sooner than I would have and ended up benefitting from them sooner as a result. It's all good. (Plus, I didn't use GP!)

ToC 25
We followed VoA up with a quick and easy ToC 25 run. After each encounter, the guild leader asked if anyone didn't need anything from the upcoming boss. This was to allow people to swap out for those who actually needed loot. I felt bad that I still needed loot from very boss. I did offer to sit out anyway, but she kept me in. And I'm so glad she did!!! I got Boots of the Mourning Widow off of the Champions encounter. Woo hoo! I had desperately needed to upgrade from the lvl 213 boots I had been wearing. And that put me over the 5k gear score mark! Yay!

Note: I just realized I think something is wrong with the boots I got. They're supposed to have a Blue slot. But I didn't see it last night and the darned Armory is not updated so I can't verify what I'm wearing. Hmmmm....

The mace that makes me salivate dropped again. And suddenly I felt the effects of using GP. It was awarded to another healer in the raid. /cry I know I can't complain, since I did win two other items last night. But of all things, *that* was the item I wanted most. Ah well, next time! :-)

ToGC 25
Next we regrouped for ToGC. I watched some of the better healers get raid invites, so I knew I'd be asked to sit out. As I've said before, I don't mind that at all. I understand that on pure progression runs, we need our best geared/skilled players. And even with my gear upgrades this past week, I still am not reaching the healing power of the other healers. (Darned that elusive mace!)

Sure enough, about 5 minutes into the raid formation I was asked to sit out. I bowed out gracefully and stepped outside. I stayed in Vent so I could listen to how they were doing. Then something surprising happened. One of the main healers -- the one who got my mace last night! heheh -- was not ready at the start of the run. His wife explained that he was "down stairs and would be up in a minute". There was silence for a few moments then I was invited back to the raid. I don't know exactly why the officers decided to put me in his place. I strongly suspect it's their rigorous upholding of the rules. All raiders are expected to be on time and ready for each run. He was neither. So, I got his spot.

The other possibility is that his wife explained in a whisper that he wasn't going to be able to make it back.

I like my first explanation better, so I'm sticking with it. :)

Anyway, we were doing well on the first attempt at Northrend Beasts, until someone didn't move out of Icehowl's way. He enraged and we wiped. The second attempt was as close to perfect as you could ask for.

Lord Jaraxxus, however, was clearly angry at us for beating him so easily last week. He won each encounter against us.

We hit the end of the raiding time so we called it for the night.

ToC 10
I was contemplating going to bed, but invites went out for my 10-man group. How could I resist? Considering the rest of the week is going to be a tough one for getting groups together.

We started with ToC 10. For some reason my healing was erratic and I was running out of mana quickly. I'm not sure what was causing it. Did a recent item change have that effect? Was the raid taking more damage than normal? Or was I just tired and being stupid about mana management? I'll have to watch more closely.

One noteworthy situation was the Twins fight. Our pally healer died about 80% into the fight. Suddenly, I was solo healing. During this fight there is constant raid damage on everyone (yeah, I know that's implied by "raid damage", but I wanted to stress it). As I mentioned above, I was having mana management issues already. This fight was really taxing me. Then when I was the lone healer, my skills were put to a real test. I kept the raid alive until 98%, then I died. Luckily, they had enough health (and cooldowns) to stay alive for the final 2%. We beat the encounter with no heals in the end. Woo hoo! I got lots of praise for my healing skillz for that.

Adversity makes us stronger. ( waxing philosophical.)

VoA 10
We did a quick clear of VoA 10. As wit VoA 25, nothing special to report.

Onyxia 10
And finally, we ended with Onyxia 10. One shot easiness. I got one half of the trinket set. Thank goodness we don't use EP/GP for the 10-man runs. It would have been a waste of GP. It's nice and all, and summons a fun but useless skeleton. I don't think it will be something I actually wear very often.

At that point it was already 3am, so it was time to call it a night.

EP/GP Love it and Hate It
OK...a few times in this post I have mentioned EP/GP and RP. Even though I've used the addon in raids for a while, I only found out how the system works a couple days ago. In a nutshell, you earn EP (effort points) in a variety of ways (determined by the decision makers in your guild). When you win items you gain GP (gear points). At any given time your PR (loot priority) is determined by dividing your EP by your GP. A more thorough explanation is here.

Yesterday I found on our guild website the page that lists everyone's EP, GP and PR. Before the raids last night I had 20 EP (from attending raids) and 2 GP (1 by default + 1 for the trophy I won last week). My PR was 10 (20/2). The list on the website is conveniently sorted by PR, so you can quickly see where you fall in loot priority. I was painfully low -- only 13 people had less than I. Some people have so much EP that I can't imagine ever catching up. (Though, as described in the more detailed explanation of the system, we do use decay -- which makes it impossible to hoard EP and PR indefinitely.)

After last night, I think my numbers are now: EP: 31, GP: 4 (2 from before +2 from last night's drops), PR: 7.75. So, I got two items and went down 2.25 PR. But, the PR for all those people who didn't get items went up. So my relative PR dropped even lower.

Yes, I see that it's very fair. I like the system. But, so many people had led me to believe that, since all of the senior members had pretty much all the loot they wanted, I would have my pick of items soon. But, that's not exactly the case, is it? I mean, it still boils down to PR...and mine has just gone lower relative to everyone else's. On the other hand, one's PR is only a priority. Meaning, if something drops and I'm the only one who wants it, I'll get it, regardless of my PR. PR only comes into play when competing for the same item. So, maybe it's not as bad as I was thinking last night in my sleep-deprived state.

Oh I remember why this has me so concerned. That darned incredible mace. When there's something you REALLY want, but you know others REALLY want it too, that's when your PR matters quite a bit. As long as my PR is lower than that of other healers who want the mace, I will never win it. So, I have to be careful not to gain GP unwisely. For example, if part of the 2-piece trinket set drops from Onyxia 25 next week. I really shouldn't roll for it. I should instead save my GP for items that I really want. I should allow my PR to get higher so that, by the time the mace actually drops again, I might stand a chance against the PR of those rolling against me.

Anybody reading this who already knows the EP/GP system might wonder why I'm making a big deal out of this. Please don't misunderstand my thoughts on it. I like the system. I'm just working through in my head (and in this blog) how it actually works and suddenly understanding the consequences of getting loot.

One thing is for sure, when Icecrown Citadel opens, it'll be a long time before I'm able to get loot in there. All the senior people's PR is so much higher than mine. But that's as it should be.

Bottom line: I like EP/GP. You know exactly where you stand at any moment. And you are in direct control of your RP. Want more EP? Attend raids. Want more RP? Make wise decisions when asking for loot.

OK...that's enough for this morning. Time to actually get some work done! :-)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November 24, 2009

Last night was pretty low key. I only played for a few hours. During that time I:
  • Did the Heroic daily on my moonkin. Note: Gear scores in the high 3,000s are good enough for heroics. Of course skill does play a part in it, no doubt. But, I started the run last night concerned that there were no 4k+ gear scores. We sailed through with no problems. I learned something new. :)
  • Did the Heroic daily on my priest.
  • Did the Pilgrim dailies on my priest then widdled down the list of Turkey Lurkey targets to the Dwarf, Troll and Orc. I hope to finish those by the end of the week.
  • Practiced the Turkinator achievement and got to 26 of the 40 charges. Darnit. I'll try tonight with the tracking food to see if it helps...or tomorrow morning. I would have tried this morning but it's maintenance day.
That's it. I spent the rest of the night watching the end of Project Runway and falling asleep early.

Monday, November 23, 2009


It was WoW's 5th Anniversary yesterday and people on Blogs everywhere are posting about the memories through the years. I figured I'd put up my own, foggy as they might be. I will try to remember the course of events, though I know going into it that I have forgotten a lot. We'll see how well I do.

I started playing WoW in February of '08. I had been playing Neverwinter Nights and Diablo (all versions) for years. Friends from NWN and coworkers had been telling me about WoW for a long time, but I was acting in my typical manner -- not allowing myself to get caught up in they hype of the day. (I mentioned this in a past post regarding my reluctance to enjoy World Events in WoW.)

So, how did it start? I was at home sick with bronchitis. I was well enough to sit up for a few hours at a time but not well enough to go back to work. I had a long week or two ahead of me of sitting home bored out of my mind. I looked at the WoW installation disks and shrugged.

A few hours later the installation was complete and all the updates were downloaded and installed. I logged in and created my first character (yes, I called them "characters" back then, not "toons"). If I remember correctly, my first toon was my druid. She's currently at the top of the character selection screen, which is a good indication, and I don't remember having a toon before her that I deleted. So, I feel confident saying she was my first.

I remember standing there looking around, wondering what in the world I should do. I hadn't read anything about how to play, so I was winging it. I had played enough games to have a general idea. I spoke with the guy with the ! over his head. And so it began.

I remember being overwhelmed by the beauty of the Night Elf starting area. I also remember distinctly being afraid of approaching Darnassus. I thought big cities were dangerous and that, if I got too close, I'd be murdered instantly. So, I didn't go to it until someone told me about the bag vendor just outside of it. Hoping for the best, I approached it and found out that Alliance cities, especially on PVE servers, are safe zones. :-)

Later, I was in Auberdine and I was running by a group of people. I can't remember what our interaction was, but the next thing I knew I was invited to join a guild. My very first guild. (The cool thing is that my druid, mage and hunter are in the off-shoot of that guild, almost two years later.)

I remember one rogue in the guild needed elixirs. Since I was an Alchemist, I created them for him. But, I remember thinking how difficult and expensive it was to level alchemy, especially since I couldn't find the herbs I needed anymore. (I didn't know about looking for nodes on WoWhead and I didn't know about selling stuff on the AH.) I was still very very poor.

I remember getting the Aquatic form quest and having no idea how to get to Wetlands. A much higher level player passed by me and I asked him about it. He actually escorted me all the way on foot. I even died a couple times to the Wetland alligators (or whatever they're called) along the way. I was blown away by how friendly that guy was. I meant to remember him, but I sadly didn't know about the Friends list so I didn't add him to it.

Another memory I have of that trip to Wetlands was stepping into Ironforge for the first time. I was blown away at the enormity. The guy lead me straight to the flight path and I remember asking, "How in the world do you remember how to get there?" Honestly...Ironforge was amazing. I remember turning to my husband and saying, "Honey, you HAVE to see this." He was equally impressed.

I remember finding a shadowgem and wondering if I had found one of the most valuable items in the game. It was a green item, not a white or gray one. I went to work the next day and asked a coworker if I should keep it. He, of course, had been playing WoW for years, so he was long past finding shadowgems. He gave me a strange look and asked, "Do you need it for anything?" That was the day I learned about

I remember drowning in the canals of Stormwind on one of my toons because I didn't know how to swim and I couldn't figure out where the exit points were.

I remember running along the path in Ashenvale, heading to the Eastern end. I encountered my first horde character. We both stopped on the road and checked each other out. I, not fully understanding the difference between PvE and PvP servers, was convinced he would kill me any second. But, it didn't happen.

Then later I remember witnessing my first PvP raid in Goldshire. All of these high level hordies on mounts! stood at the edge, taunting all us alliance lowbies. Then a full-scale battle ensued.

At some point I created a human Paladin, because I wanted more survivability. That toon, however, is long gone.

I created a gnome warlock. I hated the gnome/dwarf starting area so much that I didn't get him past lvl 8. I parked him in Ironforge and he became my bank toon for a very long time.

I created a night elf rogue and leveled him to 29. But, I got terribly bored with him. It took forever to stealth in and position correctly before attacking a mob. And I never really could figure out which ability worked best under which circumstances.

I also created my hunter. She quickly replaced my druid as my main when I figured out how much easier it was to survive as a hunter. For months I played her almost exclusively, ignoring my druid and the other alts I had. (As is always the case with me, I created an alt of every class, just to experience the game play.) She was in the same guild as my druid until one fateful day. We had done a naked run from Auberdine to Astranaar. It was good clean fun -- one of the most enjoyable events I've experienced in the game. But then it degenerated into something ugly. The officers started putting dirty/suggestive comments in the Notes on people's toons. Many of them offended me. I kept removing mine, but someone would put something disgusting in it soon thereafter. I complained to the guild leader and he just called me an uptight prude. I /gquit soon thereafter on my hunter (though I left my druid alt in the guild).

I joined a different guild with my hunter and befriended an officer quite quickly. He was a lvl 70 mage with raid-level gear. He ran me through instances and helped me gear up. He was a very nice guy, but I never connected with anyone else in the guild.

Meanwhile, one person from my druid's guild became the closest friend I've had so far in the game. He taught me a lot about the game that I hadn't previously understood and helped me with countless quests, profession leveling, etc. I had some of my alts in his guild (not the same guild as my druid). For most of BC and into much of Wrath, his was my main guild. There was a core group of members that leveled together and did instances together. We had a blast.

Somewhere near the end of BC I finally got my first invite to a raid -- Kara. Before then, I had no interest in raiding. Or better said, I was intimidated by the idea of entering a raid, which was enough deterrent for me. I was content leveling my alts and having fun with my hunter.

Kara was an amazing experience. It seemed like the designers of 5-man instances were not the same people as those who designed raid instances. The details were stunning. And the encounters...holy moly! That first one when you step into Kara was deadly. By that time I had learned the importance of focusing on the assigned mobs. But, I still it felt like chaos to me. I was so worried about making huntard mistakes that I barely did anything at the beginning of each pull. At least that meant I made no mistakes. I remember how complicated the strategy was for Moroes and wondering how anyone could ever remember it. I remember loving the Opera event, thinking it was the epitome of creativity on the part of the designers. It was an eye opening experience for me. My hunter still dons some Kara gear -- she's still only lvl 71.

Oh this day I still get lost in Kara. I never fully understood how to get around in there.

On that first trip into Kara I learned two life-changing things. (1) There is something important called Hit Rating. :-) And (2) I love raids! My hunter was still in the guild with whose members I had no connection. The people running this raid were incredibly nice, supportive and fun. During our second day in Kara they asked me to join their guild. Having no real ties to my guild, I /gquit and joined the Kara raiding guild. I had high hopes for weekly raids, but that didn't end up happening. The raid leaders were distracted with real life stuff. Within a couple weeks of inviting me to their guild, they announced their need to take a few months off from the game. So I sat there all alone in a guild.

With nothing else to do, I spent much of my time questing and farming on my Hunter. I became very good at using the Auction House and made quite a bit of money at the end of BC. Enough to be the first of my friends to have epic flying. They were constantly spending money on the AH buying gear for the alts. I learned quickly that alts can level in any gear. Why waste money buying new stuff for them when they'd outgrow it within a few days? So my alts leveled in quest gear and drops, and my main earned and horded money.

Side note: Meanwhile, I would occasionally get bored and would go to another server on which I created Horde toons. I have a few of them at this point. The highest level one is a level 26 BE Paladin on Proudmoore. (Once it's possible to pass BoA items to opposite factions, I think I'll delete one of my alliance toons and raise a hordie on my server.) But, I'm too lazy to spend much time on them. The money grind takes too long. I'd rather stick with my main toons and fund alts with them.

At some point during all of this my focus shifted to my priest alt. One of the problems with my main guild was lack of healers. Creating a priest was my solution to that. I leveled her to 58 as shadow, then switched to Holy. I've healed with her ever since. I can't remember when I hit lvl 70 on her, but I think it must have been right before Wrath was released. I remember being excited about the possibility of raiding with her when I hit 70. But, I quickly found out I was too far behind to ever have a chance. I was still in quest blues while everyone else was in purples from the high-end raids. There was no way they wanted a new lvl 70 priest in their raids. Kara runs were almost non-existent. And I couldn't get into the higher ones. I was so disappointed.

Then Wrath hit. I leveled my priest to 80...and that is around the time that I started writing this Blog, so the rest is already here.

It has been a fun year and 9 months. A roller coaster ride in some respects. But there's no denying it, I've had a lot of fun!