Friday, May 29, 2009

Warlock Aggro

I finally learned a lesson about warlock aggro last night. But, before I get to that, I'll give some background.

(Good) Healers are always aware of who is drawing aggro in a group. And in my previous guild there was one warlock who couldn't control himself. I remember gritting my teeth in Mana Tombs, chiding him one more time for not having given the tank long enough to secure aggro before he went all out. In my early days of healing I'd do what I could to keep the warlock alive as the big bad boss was pounding on him. But I quickly learned that doing so was just suicide...we all know that once the warlock went down, the boss turned his focus to me.

After dozens of guild runs, he finally got it. Then he went to the other extreme. Instead of casting, he would use his wand. There were two reasons for this. The first was to control his aggro, which I appreciated. The second was that he had no idea how to use Life Tap...but that's another story altogether.

Then Wrath came and the cycle started all over. He got this wonderful new spell that turned him into a demon. He would blow that cooldown at the very beginning of almost every boss fight. And, consequently, he was the first to die. I was so convinced he understood threat in the game, but I was sorely mistaken.

We're no longer guildies and I rarely see him anymore. But I thought about him yesterday.

You see, I was in Zul'Farrak yesterday on my lvl 47 affliction warlock. As affliction, my dps on trash is naturally low compared to that of others in the group. As we worked our way through the instance, I kept watching the gap between my dps and that of the others continue to widen. My ego began to suffer. I didn't need to be on top of the dps chart, but I couldn't accept being so far behind.

So, what did I do? I started dotting everything. Of course, I know how threat works, so I *cough* gave my tank time to gain aggro before dotting. But, for some unkown (lol) reason one or two mobs in each pull became interested in me. How could that happen? Why was the tank so bad? *cough*

My dps was rising...slowly. And so were the amount of heals directed my way.

Then we came to Gah'Zrilla. A big boss...time for the affliction warlock to shine. I'd be able to load him up with dots and the fight would last long enough for me to reapply them.

Tank goes in. I fire shadow bolt. I figured the casting time would be just enough for the tank to draw aggro. Aggro meter: 20%.

I cast Curse of Agony then Corruption. Aggro meter: 35%.

I cast Immolate. Aggro meter: 70%

I cast Life Tap then Drain Life.

I was dead about 5 seconds later.

Time to apologize to my old warlock friend.

Patterns of Behavior cont.

(another non-WoW post)

So I finally called my mother and my sister yesterday. I just couldn't postpone doing so any longer. In their voices I could hear disappointment mixed with joy. Joy for finally hearing my voice. Disappointment for having had to wait so long to hear back from me. It was painful. But, as each conversation ended I thought, "That was nice. I'm glad I spoke with them."

All is well, right?

No. I fear (know?) I've just reset the cycle. My sister's birthday is coming up in a few weeks. Will I call her on her birthday? Or will I wait until it passes then give an excuse as to why I was so darned busy on her birthday that I just couldn't take 5 minutes to call her? And, when I do call her, if I don't reach her, will I pick up the phone when she calls back? Or will I let her leave a message and then wait days or weeks to respond?

Or will I finally act like a responsible mature adult and do what's right? I want my sister, my mom, my family, my friends to all be happy. Why do I willfully do something that hurts them?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

May 28, 2009

Vault of Archavon I'm not a good raid organizer. I really am not. Leader? Sure. Organizer? Nope, no can do. Last night our raid organizer didn't show up -- kind of expected, considering his current home situation. So, I took over. And I sat there staring at the screen. I saw all the acceptances but I had no idea who to actually invite. I couldn't do a group invite since I didn't have the right access to the invite. And I shouldn't have invited everyone in the invite list anyway -- we were doing 10-man VoA and more than 10 people signed up.

So, I invited those few I knew then gave them the ability to invite. After I told them they could do so (and it wasn't out of line to do so, since the two to whom I gave the ability are from the two other guilds that were attending the raid), there was silence. No one was invited...nothing. I asked if any of their guildies who had accepted were online. They said no.

So I sat there, looking at the screen. What to do? I felt so out of my element. I don't know these people. I can't keep track of who is what spec. But, most frustrating of all was all the people who signed up and either
  • Were not logged on.
  • Had already done it with another group.
Why oh why do people sign up for these things then bail without notice? Is it so difficult to go into the invite and change your status to Declined? I won't get offended. I won't ask why.

Luckily for me, we were close to losing Wintergrasp. So, in the end, we decided to skip this run and wait to get Wintergrasp again. I logged off and ended up going to bed early.

Learning HTML
So...I fixed yesterday's post by downloading a free HTML viewer and creating the table there. Thanks to the suggestion from the first commentor on my blog! Yay!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Level Check

I just read another blog on which the author does regular level checks for his toons. I thought I'd do the same for myself. As of today (5/27/09), my toons are as follows:

Death Knight
(no talents)
(no talents)
(no talents)
(no talents)

I tried to format that with tables but found it impossible do so without having tons of space at the top. Grrr.

Those with "no talents" are either too low for talents or I haven't assigned talents since the last patch that reset them. That's a good indicator of which toons I actually like to play.

UPDATE: 5/28/09 I downloaded a free HTML editor, created the table, copied and pasted. After some minor tweaks, I got it to work.
  • Removed all line breaks (after reading the Help section on tables on this site)
  • Set border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"
  • Reset column widths

May 27, 2009

Last night was an out of the ordinary night for me. I didn't level my warlock at all. Instead, I was bound and determined to actively seek 25-man opportunities on my priest. So...

VoA (heroic)
I put myself into LFG for Heroic OS and Heroic VoA. I had just started my dailies when I got the first invite -- VoA. They summoned me there and I saw that it was pretty much a PuG. They were standing in front of the "new" boss. I took a deep breath and called to mind the video I had watched earlier in the day. It looked so easy in the video...

We stepped forward and it was total chaos. I just couldn't figure out where to stand. Everyone kept saying, "you're a NOOB if you can't avoid the Lightning Wave." Where the heck does one stand to avoid it? Grrr... Wipe #1.

We regrouped and after huge criticisms regarding healing, they gave assignments. I was on the MT. Easy enough...I was the 2nd most geared. I could handle it. We walked in and I lost track of the MT. I assumed he was going to be on the boss. How the heck did I know he was going to be on the minions? Wipe #2.

After replacing the several people who left in a fit, we attempted it again. This time I was on the OT who was taking the minions. (Funny how they slipped in the change of strategy.) I healed of the charts. OT and I were the last two to die. Wipe #3.

We once again replaced several people and made one final attempt. We step in, DPS draws aggro immediately. OT and I are once again the final two to die. Wipe #4.

End of run.

I wonder, is the encounter that hard? Or are people still confused about the mechanics?

UK (heroic) and VH (heroic)
I was about to resume my dailies when I saw leader of guild #2 ask for a healer in Heroic VH. Having a soft spot for my friends, I offered to heal. We switched to UK at the last minute, since it was the daily. We cleared UK then headed to VH and cleared that too.

It had been a while since the last time I had healed a 5-man. It was fun helping friends out. I'm no closer to my goal of having more 25-man equipment or Emblems of Valor. But, at least I had a good time with friends.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

May 26, 2009

Naxxramas (Heroic)
Over the holiday weekend I played a bit. I finally got a new piece of gear on my priest -- Cowl of Vanity , which was a much needed replacement for the blue headpiece I was wearing. It was a spur of the moment run with a guild I had never gone with, though I know a few members from when they were in another guild. It was a quick and efficient run. I was afraid I might perform badly on the Instructor fight, but fortunately for me, the raid ended on Thaddius. Some people just couldn't get the fight down. I'm so glad it wasn't my fault!

Naxxramas (normal)
On Saturday I was unable to make the beginning of the Naxx run, but when I logged in later they had a spot for me. I joined them right before Heigan, on which we failed. I died right away, which is annoying since I know I can dance well. We gave up then went to Construct quarter. My added DPS was what they needed, so we got him down. /bow We did Grobbulus then got to Gluth. The kiters in the back could not keep the zombies under control, so we wiped twice. At that point they called it a night. Ugh...I got a couple emblems of heroism, which are pointless for me now. So, other than the raiding fun, it was a waste of time.

Then, last night they went back but didn't invite me to join. They say they didn't invite me because they saw that I was in an 5-man heroic. So they replaced me with another DPS. I can't tell you how annoyed I was. First, they didn't say they were going back. Second, when they decided to do so, they could have at least sent me a whisper asking how long it would take me to finish the instance I was in.

All was not lost -- I got two drops for my mage. Still blue items, but upgrades from what I had before.

Obsidian Sanctum
I did a 10-man Obsidian Sanctum on Friday night. I can't believe how poorly we did. Of course, it was mostly a PuG with people who had never done it before. But, honestly, it was bad. We wiped on trash! Ugh. Anyway...after getting all the drakes down, we knew we weren't going to get down Sarth. We tried twice then called it quits.

After OS, we headed to Ulduar, dropping most of the bad pug people. We tried the first boss like 5 or 6 times before giving up. Some of the people in the raid were just undergeared. Luckily for me, I'm still the one in the group with the most lvl 213 items, so I just have to sit on top of the vehicle and shoot. And now I have another 213 item, bringing me up to a total of 9. Woo hoo!

Obsidian Sanctum (Heroic)
Last night I went on a last minute PuG run of OS. The main tank was the same main tank / healer from my Naxx 25 runs. So, I knew it was going to go well. It did, for the most part. Even though most of us were dead at the end. :-) I got no drops.

While brooding over not getting a Naxx invite, I decided to go to the training dummies to try out my new equipment on my mage. I had never used those dummies before. It was an interesting experience. My new gear increased my SP and my crit chance but it drastically lowered my haste. In the end, I saw no difference between the DPS I was doing with either set of equipment.

I leveled my warlock a little over the weekend. I did a ZF run in a group with a lvl 80 huntard (and you know me, I love playing my hunter, so when I say "huntard" you know the guy was an idiot). I loved seeing the Recount at the end showing that my DPS on bosses was the highest of everyone (except the lvl 80 hunter, of course).

We spent Sunday up at the in-laws. The new baby is adorable. His older brother is insanely jealous of the attention his new brother is getting. We had a great time with them.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Patterns of Behavior

(a non-WoW post)

I wonder why we allow ourselves to repeat our patterns of behavior. For years now I have done the same thing. My family will call or write and I won't answer them immediately. Then, as the days go by I feel more and more guilty about not responding. But, I do nothing about it. Instead, I begin crafting the excuse for why I was unable to respond. As days go by, the excuse has to be more creative, as it must explain days or weeks of delay. I wait until the last possible minute to respond then feel horrible.

Why don't I respond immediately? Why do I always delay response? Currently, my sister is waiting for a response to an email and my mom is waiting for me to return her call. What in the world is my excuse?

I know one reason I avoid communication -- I feel I have nothing to tell them about. I do nothing at all in my life except work and play WoW. My husband and I occasionally go to visit his brother and his family in Connecticut. But, beyond that, he and I only sit at home watching TV or doing stuff on the computer. What is there about my life worth sharing?

While I sit avoiding contact, my family wonders if I'm upset with them for some reason. Why do I make them go through that?

Why can't I stop this pattern of behavior? Why can't I get off my arse and call or write them back?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

May 21, 2009

What's been going on lately? A whole lot and nothing at all. I'm in one of those out-of-synch phases. With the dissolution of my previous guild, the atmosphere in the game has changed for me. On the one hand, it's my own fault. I've chosen not to be aggressive about getting into raid groups. I've chosen not to log in with my known toons and interact with my friends. On the other hand, one of my current guild mates has such poor people skills that he's single-handedly ruining our guild's relationship with other guilds -- making me not want to log in and deal with the fall out.

What have I done instead? I've dusted off my bank toon and have begun leveling him. Well, "begun" is probably not the right word, since I've been at it for almost two weeks now. In this short period of time I've taken him from lvl 8 to lvl 41 (remember, I work all day). The xp and the levels come quickly with the heirloom shoulders and trinket. Plus, leveling as an Affliction Warlock is the epitome of efficiency. I rarely have to stop to drink or eat.

I'm thoroughly enjoying playing him. I can't believe I gave up on my previous warlock. But, then again, when I was trying to level her I didn't really understand the game mechanics like I do now. I'm doing my best to experience areas of the world that I haven't gone to previous. For example, I'm currently questing in Desolace. I've been there on other toons, but I've never done all the quests there. I'm trying to stay away from the quests/areas that I've done time and time again on my other toons.

There are two drawbacks to leveling him:
  1. There's an incredible lack of people leveling low level toons. So, finding a group for an instance is near impossible. I remember the days when you could quickly find a group for most any instance. Now I wait for hours sometimes before finding others to join up with.
  2. Warlocks are just not as popular to group with as my priest was. This makes me wonder if I'll ever see the inside of a raid with him.
All that to say, I'm having a lot of fun playing a warlock. Though it's a very different experience from the one I had leveling my other toons. Times have changed quite a bit.

So, given the new atmosphere of the game -- at least for me -- I'm beginning to seriously wonder how much longer I will be playing. I thought it would be fun to write down some goals I have so I can look back in a few months to see which of them I achieved


Level him to 80.
Get into at least one raid.
Get him to max Tailoring
Make a carpet mount.

Level her to 80.
Get into at least one raid.
Dual spec her boomkin/resto.

Get a little further in Ulduar than I have so far (which is only past the first boss).
Get turtle mount.
Get Giant Sewer Rat pet.


Max out Engineering.

Level her to ??. (not sure how high I feel like leveling her).

I had wanted to get her to exalted with Ironforge for the novelty of getting a ram mount. But now that I created the dwarf pally, there might be no incentive. I didn't really enjoy playing her that much.

Mage goals, I suppose. Just continue getting better gear. Her current Imba score is: 393.41.

If I level her at all, go resto at 80.

Death Knight
No real goal. Fun to play, but no real motivation to get to 80.

No goals. I don't like playing him. I would say "get him to max leatherworking", but that would require me to level him.

So...some are pretty vague, those are my goals. I wonder which ones I'll achieve before I call it quits?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May 5, 2009

The Death of a Guild
Well, my guild died last night. After weeks (months?) of tension between those who raid and those who don't, the /gquits finally came.

The first started a couple days ago. One of the original members couldn't get over some stupid grudge he had against one of our best raiders. Something about a comment she made about his gear ages ago when we were doing Kara.

The second came soon thereafter when another of the original members decided she could no longer stand the atmosphere. (Dijo que no podía soportar leer los mensajes de la preñada -- porque había recien perdido un bebé. No sé si lo creo...)

Then last night all hell broke loose. We were continuing our Naxx run, having made it to the final two bosses on Sunday night. We were looking forward to getting them down. Our guild leader didn't show up at the designated time. We waited for him for over a half hour then finally filled his spot. We got down Sapphiron then moved on to Kel'thuzad. After a couple tries against him, one of our DPS had to leave. So we swapped in one of our guild ret pallies. Well, lo and behold, our Guild Leader was on line by that point (I totally missed his arrival) and noticed that he had not been asked to fill the DPS slot. After an incredibly inane conversation in which he claimed he could DPS, heal or tank on his Paladin (huh? three specs and equipment -- is he insane?), he started raging in Guild Chat. That was the proverbial straw...those of us in the raid typed /gquit. Then the GL booted all of our alts.

So easily it ends.

What's the next step? Probably we 5 raiders will re-forming our old guild. At least we will all have a common point of view regarding the game. That will make a big difference.

Oh...and we never got Kel'thuzad down. We're determined to get him down next week!

Speaking of next week -- three of us have been invited to do a Naxx run to get the Undying title. We weren't going to go, but considering we no longer have guild runs, we think we will. Oh the stay alive and to keep others alive. I'm excited and anxious at the same time.