Wednesday, January 14, 2009

January 13, 2009

Obsidian Sanctum
Went to a 10-man OS last night with guild #2. One shotted it. Not a single death on the run. The druid and I sure do make a good healing pair. :) I only got emblems, but that's OK, other than the 22-slot bag and the satchel of spoils, the only thing I really want from there is the cool amulet.

It took a while for the run to start. I listened in vent while the guild mini-drama took place. First, apparently a calendar item was made for people in the guild to attend the raid. Many people didn't respond and of those who actually did, a few didn't show up. Additionally, one of the reasons it took so long was that 4 of the guild members were in an heroic instance PuG. The guild leader and the main tank were miffed and began questioning what they should do. I just sat there quietly like a fly on the wall.

They picked up an off-tank from LFG. He had the strangest accent. It was a mixture of southern and French. Maybe he's from New Orleans? Anyway...he was a little annoying, as he kept telling us tactics throughout the run. After the fourth or fifth "lecture", the other raid members stopped responding. i would have loved to have seen the guild chat about him. I could tell no one appreciated his "advice" considering we've cleared the OS a few times already. And...the fact that we one shotted him speaks to our understanding of how to do it right.

Not a single run last night. The guild leader tried to organize a run but I was in OS while he was doing so. When he realized that, he made a comment about it then said, "Guess nothing's going to happen tonight."

I get it. My PuGging of raids is causing frustration. I'm not sure what to do. As soon as I was done with the raid I announced in guild chat that I was free to help anyone with anything. No one took me up on my offer. For now, I think that's all I can do. I really do want to help these guys progress, but I also want to progress. Ugh! It'll be interesting to see in a few months where this all stands.

The Oracles
I reached Revered with The Oracles this morning. So, I got me a little mysterious egg. In just 7 days, I'll either have me some Aged Yolk, one of the 4 hatchlings, or a new mount! Maybe my luck with The Oracles will be better than my luck with the dailies in Bruunhildar Village. Been doing those for weeks and still no polar bear!

Biker Chick!
One thing I almost forgot. The druid healer from guild #2 gave me a ride in his chopper last night after the run. Fun fun fun! :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

January 12, 2009

After waiting around for 45 minutes, our 25-man Naxx run was cancelled last night because we couldn't get it filled.

Being fairly new to raiding, I wonder if this is common for the Monday night runs to be the toughest to fill, since all raids reset on Tuesday. The thought being that any progression you make on Monday night will be null and void when the bosses you've downed that week reappear Tuesday morning.

Was it a sign that making 25-man PuGs is just difficult in general?

Were people watching Monday night football? (Is this football season?)

Or was there no lesson at all to learn in this other than sometimes things just don't work out?

General Raiding
So, this morning all the raids have been reset. Now I'm in a quandary. I've offered to be available to two different guilds for this week's raids. Luckily, guild #2 is only into 10-mans and guild #3 is only into 25-mans. So, I won't have to choose which one to get saved with. But, I might have to choose which one to spend time with if they both want to raid at the same time.

Things I'm considering while making this decision:
  • Guild #2 is the one I enjoyed interacting with most. They seem a nice group of friends who love playing together. I really liked that energy. Guild #3 has a lot of nice people, but it doesn't seem to have the same energy. Perhaps, though, that's due to the fact that there are 15 more people in guild #3's raids.
  • I am less likely to lose a spot in a 25-man raid than I am in a 10-man raid. As soon as guild #2 gets a raiding priest, I'm likely to no longer get invites. That's the nature of being a free agent, as it were. Guild #3 does not seem to be close to filling all healer spots from within the guild. So, although there can come a point at which they won't need me, it's likely that time is further off.
  • Guild #3's raid leader is very responsive to my whispers. Guild #2's raid leader sometimes never responds. I've mentioned this in an earlier post, giving him the benefit of the doubt that he just missed my whispers. But, it has happened more than once.
  • The loot is simply better in 25-man raids. I will not deny that loot is a big motivator for me. Honestly, if it weren't, I could quit raiding now because I'm very well geared and can do all heroic 5-mans easily.
  • Emblems of Heroism are much easier to come by than Emblems of Valor. You can draw two conclusions from this. 1. I should continue with 10-mans so I can more quickly get enough emblems of heroism to get the heroic loot. or 2. I should take every opportunity to get emblems of valor, since they take longer to get and provide better loot than those of heroism.
  • Guild #2 is well geared and able to get through content fairly quickly. Guild #3 is not so well geared (they seem to have gone from 5-mans right into 25-mans), and the PuG people they get are also not so well geared. This means progression with them is very slow.
When looking at all the points, it seems clear that guild #3 is the one I should consider higher priorty. But, my gut tells me to stick with guild #2 for as long as possible. Tonight I'll make that fateful decision. :)

Azjol-Nerub (Heroic)
After the Naxx run was canceled, I ran a couple instances. The first was Azjol-Nerub. I had never gotten through this instance on Heroic before last night...and we barely made it through. The first major encounter at the entrance is so close to impossible, it's not even funny. After a few attempts, we made it past them...the furthest I've ever gotten on heroic. The rest of the run went fine. It was tough, but not unbeatable. I walked away with a new wand. As soon as I equipped it, I got the Superior achievement. The wand is definitely going to make soloing a lot easier since it does twice the damage. And, although it raised a couple of my stats, it lowers my Spirit a little since I have a 27 Spirit gem in my previous wand, resulting in slightly lower mana regen. I might toy around with swapping back and forth with my previous wand.

Ahn'kahet: The Old Kingdom (Heroic)
This was a disaster. We didn't get past the first boss, the one that summons all the spider adds. One of the DPS blamed it on the tank for not being able to hold aggro. He was geared very well (6000+ in Pawn value). But maybe his gear didn't match his talent. Or, maybe the DPS weren't good enough at getting down the adds? Whatever the problem, we failed.

Nothing much to report about the guild. One of the members is leveling his priest again, which will take some pressure off me. We also did a run late last night together that went fine.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Weekend Update

Why I Love Playing a Holy Priest
I simply love playing a holy priest. Love it. Here are reasons why:
  • I enjoy the challenge of healing. It's very different than the "challenge" of DPSing. My first main was a hunter. I played her for quite a while before I decided to raise a priest alt. Honestly, the only challenge with a hunter is making sure to feign death at the right time. (Of course, I'm referring to group play, not solo grinding...but even then, feign death does get used.) Tanking, of course, is alien to me. I don't want to do it. Too much pressure and too chaotic for my tastes. I think it takes more coordination and better reaction time than I have. Anyway...back to the priest healing. I love how each situation is different and that I have all the tools to deal with anything. I have a heal over time. I have group heals. I have hard hitting heals. I have fast heals. As a hunter I mashed only a few keys, one after the other, over and over again. As a healer, there is no single rotation. It all depends on what's happening.
  • I love being able to group at will. This is not really a reason to play the class, but since I love healing, this comes as an incredible benefit. Often within seconds of logging in I'll have one or more whispers from people asking me if I want to join them in such-and-such instance or raid. I'm able to see so much more content than I would had I continued to consider my hunter my main. DPS, though definitely needed, are a dime a dozen. Nobody's going to whisper me as soon as I log in to come to a Naxx run because "we need a hunter". My experience is that you need connections to get invited to raids as a DPS. But, as a healer, you just need to be logged in. Win win win! :)
  • I love receiving thanks for good heals. People rarely say "great dps!" or "great tanking!" But heals...those they give thanks for. Once again, not a good reason to play the class, but definitely a great side benefit. As a side note, knowing how good it makes me feel to get thanks, I try to make a point of thanking the dps and tanks for doing good jobs. Because, in the end, it's a group effort. My heals are only a part of what makes an encounter successful.
  • I'm good at it. I say that with all humility. I think I'm good at it because I have the knack for it. And because I enjoy it. Not because I'm this super awesome l33t (did I spell that right?) player. No, in fact I have no doubts that there are hundreds (thousands?) of better healers than me. But, that doesn't negate the fact that I'm good at it. There are times when I question my ability, most especially when I'm in a PuG and we wipe several times. But, when I'm with a good group in a challenging encounter, I can heal their butts like there's no tomorrow. So, I must remind myself that it is a group effort. No matter how good I am at healing, there ain't nothing going to make up for bad playing or being undergeared for content. But, I digress. I dislike criticizing other players. I simply mean to say that I know I am good at it and when there are wipes, they could be my fault or they could be the fault of others. But they don't mean I'm a bad healer.
Naxxramas (Heroic)
Saturday and Sunday nights I went to 25-man Naxx with guild #3. During last night's run I got a beautiful new cloak. After I put it on I realized it was only slightly better than the one I already had. Considering how many people rolled on it, I felt kinda bad. It might have been a bigger upgrade for someone else. Oh well, I can't cry over spilled milk. No one complained to me, and I won't be able to roll on loot tonight because I won something last night. So, it'll work out. And as someone said at one point, it's good when the healers get gear. It means better chances of everyone staying alive. :)

There was a bit of tension around the start of the run. A couple of my friends from guild #2 had joined us on Saturday night. So, last night we were all going to return. When we were gathering to do it, my guild #2 friends were in another raid. We decided to go in and kill trash up to the first boss while we waited for them. When they finished their raid, the invites started going out. Earlier the Raid Leader had given me the ability to invite people to the raid so I threw an invite out to my friend. He accepted, then confusion ensued. Apparently, he wasn't one of the people they had been waiting for. Luckily, the raid leader is a good guy. When he was reminded that my friend had been with us the night before (and had done excellent dps), the raid leader decided to kick someone who had not been in the night before. To me that seemed the most ethical way of handling it. Though I realize there are lots of people who would not have done so. The raid leader earned a lot of respect in my book for that act.

We got a new guild member this weekend. (De verdaj, es uno que ha vuelter escondij -- intentionally poorly written Spanish.)

We did a few instance runs. Tried an heroic but failed. I think that was good. It showed them that they need to work on better equipment before I can start inviting them to join me in heroics and raids. I did try to get a couple of them into the Naxx run but the raid leader looked at their armories and felt their DPS was not going to cut it. I wasn't surprised, but it was worth a try. (ment)

Other Instances
Throughout the weekend I did a few PuGs. A few failed, a few succeeded. One notable one was late last night I went to Nexus on my mage. We had a lvl 80 resto druid with us, so it was sure to go well. The tank (and I use that word loosely) was obnoxious. He (or it could have been a she, I couldn't tell 100% by the voice) kept telling people how to play their class. We wiped three times on the tree boss. He refused to walk back with us, leaving us all to contend with the respawning flower pods. He even fell asleep at the keyboard. VM!

I also learned a mistake I had been making in Naxx last week. I mentioned in an earlier post that we tried to do Grobbulus but we kept wiping. Well, I think I contributed majorly to that. You see, when he puts the poison on someone it shows up on my interface as a magical effect. My natural reaction was to dispel it. So...on several occasions I did just that. I learned on Friday that dispelling it makes it blow up immediately. Bad bad bad. Normally, the player has about 10 seconds to run to a position to safely blow up in. My dispels were ruining that...making them blow up before they had positioned themselves...and resulting in very poorly placed poison clouds.

Bad priest. Bad priest.

Friday, January 9, 2009

January 8, 2009

Add-on Changes
So, I spent the day reading up on recommended alternate add-ons for healing. I remembered from reading posts on ElitistsJerks that Grid/Clique was their recommendation. I read about PitBull and several other add-ons. But in the end I decided two factors were important to me.
  • Not too many changes at once.
  • Go with something for which there was a written guide.
So, I went with Grid/Clique. And, I love them!

With Grid I can actually see the names of the toons in the raid, which was one of my biggest problems with Healbot the night before. It is also much more customizable than Healbot, which is great. It even has an option to group by class, which was a big improvement for me. The tanks were pallies and warriors. Having them grouped by their respective classes made it so much easier to find and target them. Additionally, as you'll see later, it also helped me see DPS classes together. Bravo!

And Clique, well, the fact that it works within your Spellbook (read: no typing required), is the biggest selling point for me. It's so easy to use! The only problem I had was that initially I lost the ability to right click on my portrait. At the end of the raid I couldn't figure out how to leave the party because every time I tried to right click on my portrait, I'd start casting Greater Heal. I spent a while looking for a / command for leaving party. But, when I found a post on the WoW forums from someone who had the same issue, I realized it went beyond just leaving a party. It was everything else in that right-click menu, (e.g., Inspect, Trade, Whisper, etc.).

At that point I was so glad I stuck to goal #1 - Not too many changes at once. If I had loaded several new addons, I would have had no idea which one caused this issue. But, since I had kept it simple, it was easy to find. The setting was in the Frames option of Clique.

At this point, the only thing I don't have that I had with Healbot is the ability to track buffs like Inner Fire and Prayer of Fortitude. I downloaded a Grid add-on for doing just that, but it doesn't seem to work. So, for the time being, I still have Healbot running just for that functionality.

Another quiet night for my guild. Although I love raiding, I hope guild #2 doesn't ask me back to Naxx tonight. I hope they wait for later in the weekend, or Monday night. That way I can spend time with my guildies tonight. I know, I could just say "no" to their invite, but I also don't want to give up the opportunity to see Naxx content and get the gear. I'm already saved to Naxx, so I need to accept their invites when they come. Also, if I start saying "no", they might dismiss me and move on to another healer.

Guild #2
Speaking of that other guild. I was a little annoyed last night. Before I agreed to go back to OS with Guild #3, I wanted to first make sure that guild #2's tentative Thursday night Naxx plans were on or off. I sent a whisper to the guild leader asking him that. And, even though his toon was never AFK and he was moving from zone to zone, he never responded. Now, giving him the benefit of the doubt, I am also guilty of missing tells/gchats/pchats when there's so much going on. So, I totally understand that he could have missed my whisper. But, since we had tentative plans to return to Naxx, you'd think he would have at least sent me a whisper at some point to tell me whether or not we were still on. After waiting 15 minutes, I agreed to go to the OS25 run. (Side note: Guild #2 never went to Naxx last night. So, at least they didn't go without me.)

Obsidian Sanctum (Heroic)
We did it! 25 people coordinated their efforts and brought down that lava-wall-calling dragon! There were several new DPSers in the raid. And right before we started someone pointed out that the DPS was much stronger than the night before. It might have been true, because the kill went relatively smoothly. We did wipe the first time, but we chalked that up to so many people being there for the first time. But, on the second attempt we won.

Personally, I think my performance was improved over the night before for several reasons.
  1. I had watched the video during the day and saw that the best positioning was to stay back in the path of the left side gap, only moving up when necessary for the right side wall. I was able to heal without a problem from that position and I minimized my movement as a result.
  2. Grid/Clique made it easier to actually see who was who and, more importantly, to see the heals that others had on them. I wasted less heals because of this.
  3. I focused more on actual raid healing and left the tanks to the tank healers. #2 above helped me do this, but I also had to remind myself that the DPS and healers were relying on me to heal them. If I let them die because I was focusing on the tanks, I wasn't doing my job. Also, less DPS would have meant more chances of failure. Although several people did die, I think I did a good job of keeping most up.
  4. I stopped casting whenever a lava wall came up. It was more important for me to stay alive than it was for me to get one extra heal in. I can proudly say I didn't get hit by a single wall.
  5. I wasn't as tired as the night before.
I got a shiny new trinket. It looked to me like a DPS trinket and I almost didn't roll on it, but then I saw the other holy priest in the raid roll. So, at the last second I rolled...and bam!...the trinket was mine. I feel kinda guilty, as a DPSer could have really benefited from it. But, I can see how it's going to benefit me tremendously. Since it raises my spellpower by 26 on every cast, I can technically have it increased by 260 for much of the time. This is amazing. I'm thinking this means I can swap out some of my +Spellpower gems for some +Spirit gems again. I'll have to play around with it a bit to see. Thank goodness I'm a miner and a jewelcrafter. It's so easy for me to make gems and swap them out without spending money.

Note: I just read the notes for the upcoming patch. This item is going to be changed to proc for 20 SP (down from 26) on each spell cast. So, I'll be raising my SP by 200 for much of the time. Still awesome. And...after reading the comments on Wowhead, I'm feeling much less guilty. General consensus is that this item is just as useful for healers as it is for DPS. So, I had as much right to roll on it as the others. Phew! :)

Nexus (Heroic)
After OS, I got an invite to an Heoric Nexus run. Another chance to get my mace! It was an awesome group, so unlike the group the night before. The only deaths came when we were surprised by a pat. Otherwise, it was 100% smooth and efficient. mace dropped! But someone else won the roll. :( Oh well, at least now I can say I actually saw it drop. hehe

One funny thing that happened was that when the druid ressed each of us after that surprise wipe, two of us ended up resurrecting in Westfall. I'd heard of that happening before, but that's the first time I saw it in action. While in Westfall, the tank complimented me on my healing skills and invited me to join his raiding guild. I said I'd think about it (though I will not leave my guild, I'm dead set on that). I checked on and saw that his guild is ranked 30th (equipment-wise) on the server. Not a bad one to get invited to. :)

One observation: Boomkins & Pallies provide amazing buffs for me. I want them in every one of my parties!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

More thoughts about 25-man healing

So, I've been thinking a lot about last night's experience healing the 25-man Obsidian. My thoughts are below. They're unorganized, but I want to at least get them down.
  1. I definitely need a different addon to heal with. Healbot just wasn't cutting it for me. I did a fair amount of reading today and I think I'm going to try Grid/Clique. We'll see how much of a difference it makes.
  2. I realize I might have been overhealing the tanks last night. As I pointed out below, I was assigned to raid healing, but I spent a lot of time healing the tanks. I realize now it might be because I couldn't see the incoming heals from the other healers. It's very possible that many of my heals were wasted. I wonder if that's something Recount can show me. Also, I'm not sure this is solved by switching to Grid/Clique. From what I understand, it's a question of having similar addons so they talk to each other.
  3. I watched a video of the OS boss fight today. I noticed immediately that the tank positioned the dragon about the same spot as the tank last night. I also noticed, however, that the ranged/healers all stood most of the fight at the spot where the left-side gap is. They only move forward as necessary to get into the right-side gap. Also, the off tank downed all the adds right there with the group of healers/ranged. They never brought the adds to the dragon, like my group was trying to do last night. I think that helped keep aggro under control.

January 7, 2009

Nexus (Heroic)
Even though I really didn't have time (was expecting to go to Naxx), I accepted an invite to join an Heroic Nexus PuG. I was told they were on the third boss, so it was 10 minutes, tops. Of course, I completely forgot that there's an additional boss in Heroic Nexus, so in reality they had 2 mini-bosses left and then the final one.

I joined and within 5 minutes I knew I had made a mistake. Something was really off. After the first wipe on Anomalus, I had to give a quick speech about letting the tank get aggro before DPS attacks. The hunter got defensive saying he got attacked by the boss right away and I didn't send him heals. I explained that the only reason the boss attacked him was that he hadn't given the tank enough time to establish aggro. And, since it was clear he was going to die quickly, any heals I sent his way would have been aggro magnets for me as soon as he was down.

We wiped 2 times on him before we got him down. But, I died at the last second. As I was running back, they looted his corpse and ran off to the next area. I still had to get my Emblem of Heroism so I ran back to loot the boss. (I was NOT going to walk away from the run with nothing!). They were so clueless about their surroundings that they walked right into a group, engaged it, then started screaming for heals and asking where the "damned healer" was.

I rezzed them then apologized, saying that my 10 minutes were up and it was time to go to Naxx. This time I was not feeling guilty at all for abandoning a group.

I'm not an elitist jerk by any means. But, the way these people played, they were clearly not experienced enough for heroic dungeons. I can only hope that the advice I gave them after each wipe will sink in and they will improve.

My First 25-Man -- Obsidian Sanctum!
I was waiting for word on whether or not I'd be going to Naxx with guild #2 when I got an invite to a 25-man Obsidian Sanctum run. I confirmed with guild #2 that they were not going to Naxx, then accepted the OS invitation with guild #3. What a fun experience!

The run itself was not at all like I've experienced in the 10-man version. Not because the encounters are different -- because they're not. But, because we wiped at least 6 times on the final boss and still didn't get it down. I don't think I've ever wiped in Obsidian Sanctum 10-man. How difficult is it to run to the gap in the lava wave? Apparently very difficult -- even for me. I was so mortified by my own inability to move to the right spot fast enough. In order to save face, I ended up using Guardian Spirit on myself so I wouldn't die from the lava damage. If I died one more time from it, I was sure they were going to call me out. Because they were making it clear that they were getting tired of the idiots who couldn't get to the gaps. Luckily for me, I was not the only one, but still. Considering I've done it a couple other times with no problem, I was surprised that I just couldn't manage it last night.

Now...not to make excuses, but I do think there are factors that contributed to my not being able to get out of the lava waves.
  • The tank positioned the boss in a different location than what I'm used to. In my previous runs, the boss was positioned at the far end of the space, turned left. This tank insisted on pulling the dragon a little further down so that his belly was located at the gap in the lava wave. This made it necessary for us to run to the dragon's belly for every wave coming from the right side. It was very disconcerting to run right up to the dragon and stand beneath it. I have to admit each time I did that I was not 100% focused on the gap. I was distracted by the huge dragon towering above me.
  • This was my first 25-man run. I know that might sound like a lame excuse. But, the truth is, it was a lot to take in for a first time. It was chaos everywhere. I rarely even noticed when I myself was taking damage, which is unlike me. There were times that the warning regarding the lava wave came up and it got lost on me because there was too much going on.
  • Raid Healing vs. Tank Healing. I was assigned to raid healing. That experience is very different in a 25-man than in a 10-man. Or at least it was last night. In a 10-man, "raid healing" really just means focusing on 7 other people. (Excluding the 2 main tanks and me.) I find it pretty manageable. I'm able to keep DPS alive while throwing a PoM on the tanks on every cooldown. Occasionally, I have to help keep up the main tanks. But, still, that's manageable. In the 25-man last night, my healing focus was all over the board. There were just so many more people to take care of. And they were all taking damage! As with the point above, there was just so much to focus on I found it difficult to pay attention to the lava flows.
  • Healbot's interface is not good for 25-man raids. I had always planned on downloading Grid/Clique before venturing into 25-mans. But this invitation came out of the blue so I did what I could to adjust Healbot to show all 25 players and 3 pets. My biggest problems were that I couldn't see the names of the people on the boxes and that, in some cases, I just couldn't see that they were losing health. Don't get me wrong, Healbot was accurately displaying loss of health. But, I couldn't see it because the bar was blending in with the background. This meant that I was spending more energy than normal trying to make sense of what Healbot was showing me, and not enough energy paying attention to my surroundings.
Those are the things that made it difficult for me directly. I realize the other players are factors too, so here are a few thoughts as to possible ways they contributed to our lack of success.
  • Not enough healing. As I mentioned above, in my 10-man experience I'm able to raid heal quite effectively. Last night I found myself helping out on the main tanks quite a bit. This meant that the DPS didn't get as much of my attention as they deserved. Was that my fault for not actually focusing on my assignment? Should I have trusted the tank healers to do their jobs without my help? Or were they actually unable to keep up with the damage and my help was absolutely necessary? Were they undergeared?
  • Not enough DPS. On the final attempt we actually did quite well with respect to the lava flows. No one (not even me!) got caught in one. Since that is the main trick to the encounter, failure had to be for other reasons. Perhaps the DPS just weren't putting out enough damage for the encounter. Several times in vent I heard people saying, "Kill the adds faster. Come on guys, not fast enough."
  • The tank couldn't keep aggro. Almost every time we did it, the dragon turned/moved and attacked others at least one time during the encounter. I heard people yelling in vent for tanks to stop taunting the dragon. It sounded to me like the tanks were making several mistakes. (At this point I'll note that I don't think I ever want to tank. It seems too complicated and requires coordination that I don't (yet?) have. Playing wack-a-mole with a healing interface is much easier than switching focus between several mobs, and constantly paying attention to what each mob is doing.) In my 10-man experiences the dragon stayed put...always on the tank and never changing focus. Was the tank not doing his job well enough? Were the other tanks taunting the dragon away? Was the DPS too high, taking away aggro (though I don't think that could have been the case)?
Mistakes were made... I'm going to try to learn from them. I would like to go back to 25-man raids. Now I know what aspects I find difficult and I can work on improving my ability to deal with them. In the end I'm not sure if the group was just not ready for that encounter or if much of it was my fault. But, the silver lining is that the experience was challenging enough to make me understand the areas in which I need to improve. I prefer this over starting with an excellent group that would have made up for my mistakes in their own me a false impression that 25-mans are easy.

Again, nothing. But, then again, I spent the entire time with other people.

Se murió el ratoncito. Lo ví en el suelo esta mañana. Pobrecito.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

January 6, 2009

Last night I had very little time to play. Didn't even get to finish all my dailies. /gasp

Gundrak (Heroic)
As soon as I logged in I was asked to heal for a Heroic Gundrak. After three failed attempts to get the first boss down, I gracefully bowed out. I've been trying to stick to my self-made rule of "3 wipes and I'm outta there." Of course, there are some situations, like in Raids, where that doesn't apply. But, in PuG 5-mans that I know I can do with a good group, I'm not wasting my time. I did feel bad leaving, but I think it was for everyone's good.

Obsidian Sanctum
I went back to OS with the other guild. We tried to do it with one drake up, but failed miserably. So, we took that drake down and finished the instance with no problems. Something to work towards. I got my Tier 7 Gloves. I'm still unsure whether they're actually better than the gloves I had on. I'll see how it goes.

We returned to Naxx. Patchwerk went down easily. Yay! We then moved on to Grobbulus. I hate to sound like a teenager, but Epic Fail! We had a guy in the group that explained the fight to us. We tried 4 times, but still couldn't get it. We did get him closer to death each time, but we definitely need to figure out how to better position the gas clouds. (I watched a video of it online today and saw a couple things we could do to improve.)

Vault of Archavon
We went to Vault of Archavon after giving up on Grobbulus. Easy 10 minute raid.

Nothing to report on the guild front. I felt kinda bad raiding with another guild tonight. But there weren't enough people on in my guild to pull together an instance. So, it's probably nothing to worry about.

General Observations
So, one of the interesting tidbits from last night was that one of the players in the other guild talked about being gay. Of course, it wasn't news to his guildmates, but it was news to me. I thought it was awesome to hear the banter between these guys. They obviously have known each other a long time, so they know each other pretty well. As far as I can tell, the other guys are straight. So, it was wonderful to see them interacting with no prejudice at all. Hoorah for them! In a game filled with teenage boys proving their "manhood" by killing one another, having better equipment, etc., it was refreshing to see this. I feel I'm lucky to have found them.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

January 5, 2009

Nexus (Heroic)
No mace drop...AGAIN!

We returned to Naxx last night and did Patchwerk. And, even though the OT died at the last second, we still got him down. What I loved was that instead of asking me and the other healers why we couldn't keep him alive, they went right for the DPS. Though I think that's because the fight lasted longer than it was supposed to. So, it would make sense that it's the fault of low DPS. But, no worries. I got a cloak out of it.

Obsidian Sanctum
After Patchwerk, we ran over to finish someone's earlier saved Obsidian Sanctum. All we had to do was clear the re-spawned trash and then hit Sartharion himself. Piece of cake. I love running back and forth to the gaps in the lava.

The Other Guild looks like I performed well enough over the past week to secure an ongoing relationship with that other guild. I have no desire to leave my guild, so I'm hoping I can stay a "free agent" with the other one for a while. I know most guilds prefer gearing up people within their own guild. But, I'll not act like a loot hog and I'll do my best to show up when they need me. So far their loot distribution is entirely fair.

Nothing to report on the guild front. We did one instance yesterday. It went well. Most of my time was spent in Naxx and OS, so there wasn't much opportunity to interact.

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Year's Weekend

Bringing in the New Year
We spent New Year's Eve at the in-laws' new house in the country. It was insanely cold that night. We had a low key celebration by breaking in their fire place and playing with the baby. A nice way to bring in the New Year.

Then back home and more WoW.

I finally figured out how to open up the Oracles dailies. So, now I'm working on getting to Exalted with them so I can get that egg. It's going to take a while, as I'm only 1/2 way to Revered at this point.

Still no mount on the Hyldnir dailies.

Reached revered with Sons of Hodir, so I now have a Mammoth mount. It's huge and doesn't fit through doorways, but it's still a lot of fun to ride. :-)

I got a few achievements this weekend. The mammoth mount was one. The others were all instance related. At some point I'll go back to the old world instances and get those, but I'm too motivated by rep and emblems of heroism right now to leave Northrend.

Tried each night to go back to Naxx, but could never get a full group. Hopefully we'll do better this next week.

Lots of guild runs this weekend. Holiday weekends are good for that. I'm glad my guildmates are finally reaching high levels so I can run with them. As much as I enjoy PuGing (yes, I really do enjoy PuGs), I prefer going with my friends.

Speaking of my friends, I need to vent about something. We had the usual loot problems this weekend. Not the problems that other guilds have, but those that seem to be unique to my guild. Several of my guildmates are passive aggressive martyrs. Instead of following standard loot rules of "Need on items you need, pass if you don't (or Greed, if we don't have an enchanter in the group)", they greed on items they actually need. This is especially problematic when we have an enchanter in the group because he is always greeding for DE purposes. What this means is that the passive aggressive martyrs often miss out on loot that they could definitely use. The enchanter gets it and he DEs it. What a friggin waste.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for DEing the items that aren't upgrades for anyone. What annoys me about all this is the behavior of those who are greeding instead of needing. They then later complain about not finding any good gear and finding the content difficult. Grrr... I have to take a deep breath and let them play how they want to play, to not let it bother me. But, I honestly worry about what's going to happen when we hit heroics. They're going to be undergeared and they're going to not be aggressive about getting the drops that they should rightfully get, further gimping our progression.

It's just a game. It's just a game. It's just a game. It's just a game. It's just a game.

Honestly, there's a part of me that is sad about the rest of the guild reaching 80. In many ways, PuGs are easier than guild runs because of the loot antics and other things. Had we all leveled at the same rate, I can guarantee I wouldn't be as geared as I am now. Because they would be holding me back. I was lucky to hit 80 first and to be able to PuG with some great players with great equipment. I feel like a hypocrite when I say that. I truly do love my guildmates. So I'm torn between my desire to progress and my desire to hang out with them. I have to find a healthy balance for myself.

I rank!
I just found a new site today called For each server it lists the guild ranking and invidual player rankings. I filtered my server by priests and I see that I rank 45th of all the priests. I'm pretty proud of that! :)