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!

November 23, 2009

Gobble Gobble!
Turkeys everywhere? It must be Pilgrim's Bounty!

So...after getting the Hallowed title, I've now got the achievement/title bug. I happily started doing the quests for Pilgrim's Bounty. After getting most of them done, I hit a wall on two of the achievements:

Turkey Lurkey -- I have a major bone to pick with Blizzard. The Turkey Shooter. Why do they not note in an item's description that it is "one time use only". On top of that, why does the item say it has a 1 second cooldown? If it's one time use only, what's the point of a cooldown? Yes, I understand that, if you have multiple turkey shooters, it's good to know that you must wait 1 second between using them. But, still, isn't that intentionally confusing? Also, why doesn't it say anything about not working on a rogue that has already been turned into a turkey?

Needless to say, I wasted my one shot on a rogue that was already a turkey. Now I have to wait until I can do the dailies again. What's the likelihood of me actually finding the rogues in time for the achievement?

The Turkinator -- This one's even worse. It took me forever to get even 8 charges up. I can't imagine being able to get 40! I'm sure there are some young folks who are really good at it. But, I am too slow. And there's so much competition around. Yes, doing it early in the morning is more advisable, but even then there's going to be competition. Especially since turkey meat is needed for the dailies. So, it's guaranteed that people will be shooting turkeys every day of this event.

Bitter much? Yes!

Trial of the Grand Crusader 25 (Priest)
More bad news. We used up all of our attempts in ToGC 25 last night. That darned Faction Champs encounter is just insane. I know that other guilds have gotten past them, so it's not impossible. But, seriously, they can kill us in two hits. But we have to dps them like mad to even make a dent in them? Something's wrong there.

Lots of practice did pay off, though. I have macros for targetting, dispelling, targeting the target of, etc. each of the champs. That helped a lot towards the end. I had a sense of pride and accomplishment when I heard the Raid Leader call out that the main target was finally going down and I knew that was because I dispelled him at the right time.

But, I was still amazed at how quickly people went down. I can't count how many times I went to heal someone and they were dead before my spell got off. Even instants!!

Are we still undergeared? Are my heals not up to par (though I know we were failing during the week when I wasn't in the group)? Did we just get a bad combo of champs?

We'll go back again this week, if enough people are online. Maybe the next set of champions will be more beatable.

Trial of the Crusader 10 (Priest)
After the official raid last night, my 10-man group reconvened to try to get the Faction Champs down in ToC 10. Aren't we gluttons for punishment? In my last post, I reported that we couldn't get them down during the week. Well, we one-shotted them this time. I think the party makeup was exactly the same. So, I think there were two factors that helped. (1) We had so much practice on the ToGC 25 Faction Champs, (2) I dispelled less. I learned while doing the ToGC 25 FCs that the person who dispels draws tons of aggro. This time around I never got silenced nor did the warlock pet attack me. I think it was directly related to the number of dispel I did not throw out compared to during the week.

We cleared the instance. No drops for me. :-(

Ulduar 25 (Mage)
So frustrating. So very frustrating. Time to go back to 10-mans.

ToC 5 (Heroic) (Druid)
I got an upgrade for my druid the other day: Boots of the Crackling Flame.

I think that's pretty much it for what happened this weekend. Although there was a large amount of frustration, I had lots of fun.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

November 19, 2009

Ulduar 10 (Priest)
Last night I went with my 10-man team to Ulduar. It was a saved instance, so we started at General. We got him down, though our execution wasn't good enough to try on hard mode yet.

We made a few attempts at Yogg. By the last one, we got the "avoid the clouds" thing down. But, we failed on the second phase. We'll try again another day this week.

ToC 10 Regular(Priest)
We ran through Northrend Beasts and Lord Jaraxxus with no problems at all. But Faction Champions? We just couldn't get it. I don't know what was up. I couldn't keep up with the dispels. It seemed like i was either dispelling off of allies or dispelling off of enemies. I rarely had time to throw out an actual heal. And to top it off, I was constantly being silenced, stunned, or attacked by the darned warlock pet.

The raid leader got very frustrated with the team and went on a rant, for which he later apologized. I don't know. I'm thinking I need to worry less about individual dispels and heal more.

Other than the heroic daily, that's all I did last night.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

November 18, 2009

ToC Burnout
No, I'm not going to say I'm getting ToC burnout, but I suspect the time will come. Currently there are 4 flavors of the same thing. ToC 10 Regular & Heroic, ToC 25 Regular & Heroic. I can't even keep track any more of which ones I have run in a given week. It's all a blur because they're all the same friggin thing!

And the gear? Talk about lazy. All the designers did was make the exact same gear -- name and design -- with slightly increased stats. Where's the creativity and variety in that? Hmmm...wait a second. Maybe I'm getting annoyed by something that isn't new. Come to think of it, when Naxx was the only raid, we had Heroic and Valorous equipment. Basically the same stuff with set bonues. So the only difference now is maybe that this time they didn't go through the trouble of naming the higher versions differently. So that just makes it more obvious...hmmm...

Anyway...onto what I've been doing lately:

ToC 10 Heroic (Priest)
Thank goodness for Achievement tracking, otherwise I wouldn't be able to tell you what I ran on Monday night. As mentioned above, all the different ToCs are a blur to me.

With that said, I did ToC 10 heroic with another guild (current rank 21, not that that matters lol) on Monday night. I had been planning to make it an early night but I got tempted by emblems and loot. :-) We did fairly well and I picked up the Three Sixty Pain Spike (10 player) achievement. We got all the way to the twins then had to call it a night. I didn't get any loot :-( but I got more emblems, which I sorely need.

There was one annoying player in the group. He was probably in his teens and he played a warlock. Every single time Incinerate Flesh was on him, he cried out in panic. I got so tired of it and finally told him, "We healers see it, no need to yell it out." Then the raid leader said, "Yes, {warlock}, we don't bring blind healers to our raids." That made me chuckle.

Onyxia 25 (Priest)
Last night was the beginning of our raiding week. We started with a quick Onyxia run. I got the head, which I traded for the Polished Dragonslayer's Signet. It was only a marginal upgrade, but it's still cool to have it. I also got the More Dots! (25 player) achievement. Such a change from the Onyxia runs from the weekend.

ToC 25 Heroic (Priest)
Next, we went to ToC 25 Heroic and had a blast! Last week I only listened in on Vent while they were attempting it. They kept failing on Icehowl. This week I was right there with them, and I'm proud to say we got down the Northrend Beasts! Yay! I was there to experience the guild's progression!

Then, the icing on the cake was getting down Lord Jaraxxus after 8 attempts. Woo hoo! More progression! I tell ya, Incinerate Flesh is so much more deadly in heroic. Yikes! It was the cause of a few of the wipes, despite us healers going wild on the healing.

Motivation point: I need more haste!!! Had I been able to heal faster, I would have been able to heal more of the Incinerate Flesh and possibly avoid a wipe or two.

We gave a couple attempts on Faction Champions, but couldn't get them. We'll try again on Thursday night. I suspect it will take a while for us to get past them. Something encouraging to note: The raid leader from my old guild is constantly whispering me to brag about his new loot. We're now in a healthy competition to see whose guild can progress faster. It's encouraging to know that they're as far as we are in ToC 25 Heroic. They're stuck on Champions. I hope we get them down first!!!

Onyxia 10 (Priest)
After the raid, my 10-man group gathered to do a quick Onyxia run. No loot, but I did emblems, so it was well worth it!

It seemed that my chances of getting a Trophy of the Crusade were pretty high, since none of the senior members of the guild need them anymore. So, I held off buying a tier item with my accumulated emblems in hopes of grabbing one last night. But, luck was not on my side. So, after the raid, I splurged and bought Velen's Gloves of Conquest. They raised my haste and my spellpower up, which is good. I took a slight hit to mana regen, but I think I can handle it.

Upcoming Stuff
Tonight my priest's 10-man team is doing our weekly stuff. Since we did Ony last night, we'll likely do VoA and ToC tonight. Maybe we'll even try ToC heroic? I want badges badges badges! :-)

Monday, November 16, 2009

November 16, 2009

Playing with the Big Boys Now!
Let's see, since the last time I wrote, I wonder if anything big happened. Hmmm...well...maybe so. I got into one of the top guilds on my server! Woo hoo! Thanks to my lovely friend who was already in the guild, and to my incredible luck a month or so ago healing for a Heroic HoL pug (the guild leader's husband was the tank and was so impressed with my perfectly timed PoH on Loken that he asked me right there if I was interested in joining), I submitted my application and a week later I'm a member!

The process of joining them was interesting. First, it started the night before I actually submitted my app. They were running Naxx 25 with hopes of getting some achievements. My friend suggested I join them so they could see my mad skillz. :-) It was a lot of fun. It gave me an opportunity to get to know them a little while they watched my performance. I walked away with a couple new achievements: And They Would All Go Down Together and Subtraction. We stopped after the Horsemen because people had to go.

Late that night I submitted my app to the guild, which was going to be reviewed the following day at the officers' meeting.

On Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday I joined them on several runs. During Thursday's General Vezax hard mode attempt, I received an invite. I sadly said good bye to my old GM and happily switched to the new guild. (Note: That GM promptly left the server to join another on which friends of his have a good guild.) Woo hoo!

TOC 10 Regular (Priest)

TOC 25 Regular (Priest)

Onyxia 10 (Priest)

TOC 25 Heroic (Priest)
Still having troubles with Northrend Beasts. We'll get it this week (or they will, if there's not a spot for me).

This weekend I spent a lot of time with them. We ran through Gruul's Lair, Tempest Keep and Sunwell Plateau -- I'm glad I finally got to see the Kil'jaeden encounter. It wasn't too hard for us, but I remember reading about how it was the guild killer when it was first introduced.

They are a really fun guild. I'm so glad I joined them. They complained about low attendance this past week, so I'm a little fearful that they might be heading for trouble. But, I'll cross my fingers and hope for the best. They're good, friendly, efficient, skilled -- everything needed to get the job done.

Oh...and last night I got Call of the Crusade with them! Woo hoo!

Dora the Explorer
OK, so Dora is not my toon's name. But she's still an Explorer. Yep, I got the title on her yesterday afternoon. Yay! The final spot was The Bleeding Ziggurat in Ghostlands. Why the sudden interest in getting that title? The new guild. Since I'm still a low rank, I'm not guaranteed a spot in raids. I have to be online waiting for an invite. So, to pass the time, I started exploring. Then it became an obsession this weekend. It was really easy with Cartographer lighting up the areas I hadn't explored yet. Now I have two titles! LOL I shouldn't say that out loud to my new guildmates, who all have multiple raid-related titles.

Now onto my other toons:

Ulduar 25 (Mage's guild)
On Friday my mage's guild went to Ulduar 25 as a multi-guild event. Fail fail fail. We wiped a few times on Flame Leviathan before finally getting him down. We tried Deconstructor once or twice -- no dice. Then we wiped a few times on Razorscale. Ugh! Meanwhile, tensions were rising high. Multi guild events are so difficult because people don't know each other and are quick to accuse the other guilds of messing up. /sigh Well, at least my mage got the Leviathan Fueling Manual. So the trip wasn't a complete waste.

Ulduar 10 (Mage's guild)
On Saturday we decided to go to Ulduar 10 as a guild run. As expected, not enough guildies showed up to fill it out, so we got in 4 or 5 non-guildies in. One was from a guild we've run with several times. He ended up raid leading for us. It was a good, easy going, fun night. Flame Leviathan, Razorscale, Deconstructor and Kologarn are all dead because of us. We're seriously considering extending the raid lockout so we can just move on. We're tired of starting from the beginning each week.

Onyxia 25 (PUG)
Last night I tried to PUG Onyxia 25 on my priest. I joined a group that was being organized by members of a guild I know through my mage's guild. I had high hopes. But, I saw the writing on the wall when the raid leaders were insisting on high gear scores but they themselves were barely over 4k. Yes, I know that gear scores are not an indication of skill. However, they do give an idea of the potential of success. You get too many undergeared people and it's just going to fail, no matter how skilled they are. After four ugly wipes (on all of which I am glad to report that I didn't "fail" according to the fail-reporting addon someone was using), I dropped out. It was late for me anyway.

Onyxia 10 (w/guild #2)
Guild #2 (wow! It's been a long time since I've mentioned them) invited me to Onyxia 10 on my mage. (I had already done it on my priest with her new guild.) Another utter failure. The guild leader insisted on tanking with his DK, even though he's DPS specced. I didn't balk at the idea since my old guild's raid leader could handle the whelps by himself in his DK's DPS spec. But, then again, he's extremely geared and skilled. This DK? Not so much.

I really don't understand why people do that. I remember guild #1's guild leader would do that (and still does). He ignores the fact that the game is based on optimizing gear and specs. In other words, DPS specs cannot tank effectively, DPS specs cannot heal effectively, etc. Or someone in a tank spec but wearing DPS gear cannot tank effectively. You want to tank? Choose the right talents and wear the right gear. You want to heal? Choose the right talents and wear the right gear. Of course, as pointed out above, in some situations some very skilled players with the right spec and gear can cross roles. But, that's not common.

So...why try it? Why put a raid run at risk of failure by not being honest with yourself about what your current spec+gear means? It would be like me trying to tank or heal on druid, wearing all of her moonkin gear. Possible? Yes. Likelihood of failure? High.

Needless to say, that run failed.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hit Rating Notes

These are just notes for me regarding my target hit ratings.

Mage: 289
Druid: 263 (remember to cast improved faerie fire!)
Priest: 263

None of these takes into account bonuses from other toons in the raid (like Heroic Presence from Draenei), but that's OK. I'd rather first shoot for the safest number.

Note: All of them require zero (0) hit for heroics. They have enough with talents.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Level Check & Goal Check

Death Knight
80 (+7)
Ret 24
(no talents)
Enhancement 31
Affliction PvP
(no talents)


✔ Level him to 80.
✔ Get into at least one raid.
✔ Get him to max Tailoring (well, not really achieved, but the carpet mount was the actual goal.
✔ Make a carpet mount.

✔ Level her to 80.
Get into at least one raid.
✔ Dual spec her boomkin/resto. (Though I switched from resto to feral soon afterward.)

✔ Get a little further in Ulduar than I have so far (which is only past the first boss). (So far we got all the way to Yogg.)
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: 544.85.

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.

In October I focused mainly on my Druid. I got her to 80 then caught the PvP bug on my Warlock. So, when not raiding on my priest, I've been switching back and forth between the two of them.

In the coming month I hope to get my priest into a good raiding guild, continue to gear my druid, and continue to progress in pvp with my warlock. I'm not currently motivated to play the other toons.

November 5, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust
I logged in this morning to find a message from my priest's gm saying that the guild was no more. The events of the past week have built up to this, unfortunately. The most poignant are:
  • Friday night: Raid leader gets totally disgusted when we are short 5 people for our 25-man. (27 had signed up). He cancels the raid. This infuriates a number of people...they feel he's punishing the people who showed up, not those who neglected to show. Several people left the guild as a result.
  • Saturday night: The guild master lead a ToC 10-man. He was completely drunk out of his mind, barely able to speak coherently. The group couldn't get past the first set of encounters. Several more people left as a result.
  • Sunday night: The raid leader left the guild "to join one with a raiding schedule that worked better for him". Several more people left as a result.
I wasn't on for the early part of this week, so I have no idea if anything else significant happened Monday through Wednesday. But, when I logged in this morning I saw that only 20 members were left in what was previously a 120+ member guild.

It was fun while it lasted. The golden days for me were back in August when I first joined. The guild was active and the core team really clicked. We got all the way to the last boss in Ulduar. And then in September we got ToC 10 on farm. My honest assessment as to what happened: the raid leader ruined the guild. His caustic attitude turned off the original core members. He did attract many recruits but they didn't click with the core group. Most of the core group left because they couldn't tolerate the raid leader. Then we were left with a group that lacked cohesion.

Oh well. The game is fluid. On to the next chapter.

What to do? What to do?

I really do love the people in my mage guild. But, I don't want to put my priest into it. She's my main raiding toon. I want her to be in a bigger guild with the possibility of seeing content. My mage's guild is smaller and will progress in time. I'm glad to continue to run with them on her.

With that said, where do I go? What guild do I apply to? Decisions decisions.