Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June 30, 2009

News Flash: Tiny warlock seen wreaking havoc in Northrend.
OK...corny heading, but that sums up what I did last night. I didn't log into any of my mains, I went straight to my warlock and had a great time.

I put myself in LFG for Utgarde Keep as soon as I logged in. I knew there was little chance that a group would snag up a lvl 68 warlock, but just in case... The quests in Borean Tundra were insanely easy. It might be because it's my fourth time doing them, or because my gear, including the two heirloom items, is better than the gear I had on my mage. (I'll not consider my priest's gear, since she was holy the entire way, and therefor not very powerful.) Whatever the reason, I finished all the starter quests in record time. I hit 69 pretty quickly.

Soon after hitting 69 I noticed that there was a UK group looking for more. They had a lvl 80 and a lvl 79, so I figured they wouldn't care too much about my low level. I asked if they were looking for DPS and boom! I had an invite. The run was fun. I forgot to pick up the quests before starting, so I'll have to return to do them. But that's no problem, considering how much I enjoy instances. I got a new dagger which I'll start using as soon as I hit 70. It's not exactly optimized for a warlock, but it'll be a nice upgrade, nonetheless.

After we finished UK, I hung around the area and did a bunch of the starter quests there.

I played until 1:00 a.m. Although I'm only a few quests away from lvl 70, I was too exhausted to continue.

Tonight is our regularly scheduled Naxx 10 run. If I can make it into the group, I'll be doing that instead of leveling my warlock.

Monday, June 29, 2009

June 29, 2009

The only raiding I did this weekend was on Friday night. OS25 was the first, and that went well. Naxx 10 was the second and...that did not go well at all. Casual versus serious raiders. Add alcohol and stir... I won't even go into it. (Sorry readers for being so vague. As I stated in the introductory post on this blog, this is really intended to be a diary, not a forum to discuss things. So, in this case, there are enough clues in the above to fully remind me of what happened. I'm going to have to keep you in the dark on this one.)

My Warlock Makes it to Northrend
I spent some time on my warlock this weekend. He went through Zangarmarsh and several Nagrand quests. When he was 67 I went to Northrend to see how he would do. I was sadly reminded that quests do not become available until 68. But, I was able to kill a few mobs fairly easily, which was very encouraging.

I want back to Outland and continued to plug away at quests until I finally dinged 68 at 12:30 a.m. I contemplated going to bed then, but just couldn't miss the opportunity to step back into Northrend and get a few new pieces of WotLK gear. I did the first few starter quests and upgraded my main hand weapon, my helm and...hmmm...something else. I can't remember which item and the Armory still lists my toon as lvl 65, so it hasn't been updated since early yesterday.

I'm so looking forward to leveling in Northrend. If for no other reason than to be with other players! Over the weekend I did Slave Pens, Underbog and Mana Tombs. Despite being in LFG for the entire time I was on, I only found three groups to go to instances with. The old world is so empty. :( On the upside, I was able to raise my mining skill with no competition for nodes and I only had to compete for mobs on a couple occasions.

I started the quest for the doomguard the other day, but realized all the mobs around the area were elites. Too tough for me to deal with alone at that level. So I have yet to finish that.

But I am glad to have learned Soulshatter and Ritual of Souls. I've already used the former a few times in instances. I only just last night learned the latter. I can't wait to distribute lock candy with it soon. :)

One thing I don't look forward to is travel time. My hearth has been set to Dalaran for a very long time. I've been able to quickly hearth there then port to any capital city I've needed. Now that I'm in Northrend, it's suddenly not so convenient since you can't fly from Dalaran to one of the starter areas without having the FPs in between. Tonight I think I'll try to hit the necessary FPs. Otherwise, I'll have to make a habit of hearthing to Dalaran, doing my bank business and/or profession training, porting to Stormwind, doing my class training (or whatever), then taking the boat back to Borean Tundra.

Yeah...I think it'll be worth it to run to the FPs tonight. I might do some corpse running, but I'll make it eventually.

Friday, June 26, 2009

June 26, 2009

Naxxramas (Heroic)
Fail fail fail. That was the word of the night. We reconvened last night to continue through 25-man Naxx. It took us over an hour from start time to get organized and on our way.

We wiped once on Loatheb. Then, after a brief re-explanation of how we were going to kill spores by groups, we executed it perfectly the second time.

Then we decided to move on to military. I'm not sure why, considering we only had one priest. Praying that they wouldn't ask me to switch to my priest, I waited while others discussed the pros and cons of each of them stepping out. I didn't feel too bad about not offering to switch to my priest. I was #2 on the DPS chart, so it made sense for someone with lower dps to make the switch. After over 20 minutes of negotiations -- yes, negotiations, promises were made regarding who would get which drops in order to convince two people to bring in their priests. The original priest also switched to an alt for the fight. It was all too confusing for me.

So...we get to Instructor. Wipe #1 - one priest went in before the tanks and was slaughtered. Wipe #2 - priests kept losing mind control on the understudies, so Razuvious' attention went to the rest of the raid. Wipe #3 - a little gnome mage got bored and decided to aggro instead of letting the tanks start the encounter. Wipe #4 - the gnome mage had left and a hunter had gone to eat dinner while his toon lay dead on the floor. So, we went tried again with 23 people. It went better, but we still wiped.

That was is for the Naxx run. Over 2.5 hours spent in there and only one boss down. Not a good night.

I Haven't Been Forgotten!
After Naxx on the mage, I logged in as my priest to cut some gems for a friend. As soon as I logged in I received a whisper from the raid leader who had invited me to several 25-man Naxx raids and the 10-man raids for which we were trying to get the Undying title. I had been noting lately that she seemed to have forgotten me. It was nice to see that she hadn't.

Unfortunately, the invite to Naxx 25 didn't pan out. The raid leader didn't want to invite any more people to the group. She apologized for his grumpiness and we agreed that I'd join them next time. Yay!

Slave Pens
I logged into my Warlock to see if I could do a quick Ramps or Blood Furnace. But I noticed that Slave Pens and Underbog were now available to me. And...there was a 4-man group looking for dps! Woo hoo! Not much to say about the run itself, other than the other people in the group didn't seem to be very familiar with the place, so I ended up leading the group through. But, we made it without a wipe -- and my dps was above the tank's! hehehe The group wasn't as well geared as my previous groups, so the bosses didn't go down as quickly. I actually had the opportunity to refresh my DoTs on them. So I finally got the chance to see how my sustained dps and damage looks. Pretty good, though I still ended up just above the tank.

Just like with Ramps and Blood Furnace, stepping into Slave Pens brought back many good memories. Things were so much fun when my Priest was leveling through Zangarmarsh. That was the golden age of my previous guild. There were always just enough of us on to do 5-mans without others feeling left out. We were all roughly the same level, so we did lots of stuff together -- questing, farming, instancing. Guild chat was fun, supportive and lively. We were a family at that time. After I stop playing this game and think back on my experience, it's the time spent in Outland with my old guild that I will remember most fondly.

OK...since a couple of my guild members are reading this blog, I'll take the opportunity to write a special note to the guild leader. Darling, you know I love you. I always look forward to seeing you online and catching up with you and hearing about what's going on with your children. Your friendship is one of the reasons I followed you back to the old guild when ours imploded.

However -- yes, you knew the however was coming -- this behavior of yours during raids is really off-putting. Last night you got bored and wiped the raid (as mentioned earlier in this post). You did the same thing a few weeks ago on Patchwerk. You were bored of waiting so you pulled....and caused a wipe. I can understand boredom. I can understand frustration. But, I can't understand the selfish action of pulling and wiping the entire raid because of these. What do you accomplish from doing that?
  • You make the raid even longer since everyone has to come back and rebuff
  • You raise everyone's repair bill
  • You piss people off
I think the last point is the most important. When you did that on Patchwerk a few weeks back, everyone kinda laughed it off but were disturbed by it. Last night when you did it again, they were pissed.

Please, as your friend and fellow guild member, I beg you to stop doing that. If you're so bored and frustrated that you feel like wiping the raid, please just bow out instead. It'll be less frustrating to just continue with 24 people than it would be to wipe, regroup, rebuff, etc.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Level Check

Level check as of today:

Death Knight
72 (+1)
(no talents)
(no talents)
(no talents)
63 (+17)
(no talents)

June 25, 2009

Naxxramas (Heroic)
On Tuesday we went to Heroic Naxx. It went well. We cleared Arachnid and got all the way up to Heigan in Plague. We were making very good time until our first attempt at Heigan. So many people died during the first dance that when we got back to the stage, only one person was able to cure the disease. I, along with the majority of the others still standing, died within seconds from the disease. Then we watched...and watched...and watched...as 4 people tried to bring him down. Two healers on the stage, the tank and one tank-turned-dps (druid tank that switched to cat form during the fight). It was going to take forever! After each round, they were only lowering him by 2% and they were at 25%. I read a book while waiting. Then about 20 minutes later when the tank-turned-dps died to the lava waves, I finally suggested they wipe it and let us try with the full group again.

We wiped, went back and downed him in three dances. So much time wasted...

I got the Sash of the Parlor, which I'm not sure is much of a helpful upgrade from the Plush Sash of Gusbah. I've lost a lot of hit by switching it out. I'll see how it works out tonight when we go back to finish Naxx.

Obsidian Sanctum (normal)
After Naxx on Tuesday I went to a quick OS run. The DPS was so good that we decided to try to do it with 1 drake up. We tried three times, but we just weren't getting it. It was fun trying though!

VoA (Heroic)
We went to 25-man VoA last night and killed the first boss with just enough time to distribute loot before we were booted from the instance. We wouldn't have been so close if half of the raid hadn't chosen to go to Ulduar right before going to VoA. It annoyed me because the raid invite that they sent out was so stern about everyone showing up 1/2 hour before starting time, but the organizer and her guild were the ones who went to Ulduar. They didn't get out until about 10 minutes after the time we were supposed to start -- so they were technically 40 minutes late!

Warlock Leveling
After the VoA run I logged and watched So You Think You Can Dance. When I returned it was fairly late so I was only going to do a few things on my lock. I ended up playing him until 2:00 a.m. Yikes! I joined a Ramps group which went well. My dps was at the bottom...even below the tank's! But it was all good because we flew through the instance. No drops...but a lot of fun.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

June 23, 2009

Warlock Fun
The last few days I've only played on my Warlock. He's level 62 now. For several levels it was getting a bit boring since all skill-ups consisted only of higher levels of existing spells. I had been hoping for new spells to change the experience/rotation. I finally got something new -- Haunt. It has been fun to see the healing come from mobs and I've been enjoying trying to maximize the amount of healing it gives. I also just last night got Fel Armor, which should make my DPS go up.

Last night I found a Ramps and Blood Furnace group. They both went well, though I was really disappointed with my DPS. There was a Demonology Warlock in the group as well, so I was mostly comparing myself to him. And, considering he was one level below me, I expected to have higher DPS on bosses. (I ignored trash DPS, since Affliction locks don't have enough time for their spells to ramp up before trash dies.) So, on bosses I did the recommended rotation of spells, followed by refreshing them as they expired. His DPS was in the 500s. Mine was in the 300s. Very disappointing. The bosses went down fairly quickly, which might have made a difference. Affliction locks are all about sustained DPS over long periods of time. I can see that against raid bosses I'll do a decent amount of DPS. But, my guess is that I'll never get impressive numbers in 5-mans because the bosses go down far too quickly.

Why does this concern me? Because I want to make sure to get invited back to groups, especially when I hit Northrend and start finding more grouping opportunities. If my DPS is low in 5-mans, people will not want to invite me back.

I'll have to do some research to see which spec is the best for 5-mans. Perhaps I'll need to dual spec, saving the Affliction spec for raids. I'm still 18 levels away from raiding, so I theoretically have a lot of instances to run before then.

On another note, I got my first complaint about life-tap from a healer last night. First, he asked me and the other lock in the party why our life suddenly dropped to 1/2 health. Oooh...it brought back memories of me asking the same question when I was leveling my priest. The one warlock in our guild had never used life-tap, so I was completely surprised to encounter it when healing a PuG (this was a LONG time ago). I remember how concerning it was as a healer to see someone's life drop suddenly.

So, the other lock and I explained how the spell works and assured him not to worry about us -- we also had Drain Life and Haunt, so we could generally take care of healing ourselves, unless we were actually taking damage.

After a brief pause, he responded, "Please stop using it in combat."

Ah...the memories. I completely sympathized with him. I remember how long it took me to get used to Warlocks and their fluctuating health. (As a healer I watch both the health and the mana of Warlocks. If I see a drop in their health but no increase in their mana, I throw a heal on them, knowing that they are actually taking damage. Also, if I have mana to spare, I'll throw a Renew on them if they're just tapping.) I tried to kindly assure him that he really could ignore our health bars unless we were getting attacked directly. But, he insisted. And it got to the point that he refused to heal us when we life-tapped. The funny thing was that between battles when we life-tapped, the tank used bandages to "heal" us. I couldn't help but laugh.

It's so good to see the game through the eyes of each class. It makes you understand why they do certain things that are foreign to you otherwise.

Naxx (heroic)
This week is our 25-man Naxx week. So, tonight I'll stop hiding on my lock and go to Naxx on my mage. I hope it doesn't take an hour to gather 25 people!

Monday, June 22, 2009

We've Had Our Time To Shine

A wise boss once told me, "As a manager, you should no longer expect to do the fun and interesting stuff. Our staff members do that now. We've had our time to shine. Now it's their turn."

I've been thinking that way about WoW recently. I think I might have had my time to shine.

I didn't hit max level until a while after BC was released. So, I missed raiding in classic WoW and, by the time I did hit 70, people were mostly past Kara and into Sunwell. I went into Kara on my hunter a handful of times, but my focus wasn't raiding back then. It was mostly leveling alts, doing dailies and saving lots of gold. During that time I also leveled my priest. But by the time she reached 70, her gear was completely inferior to that of other healers. I couldn't get into a heroic or raid to save my life, except for one or two Kara runs.

Then Wrath was released. Everything changed. The best decision I ever made was to level my Priest first -- and to do so as Holy the entire way. Even though I had only one epic from BC on her, her healing skills were definitely needed and appreciated. I found groups easily and, by the time I hit 80, my friends list was full of people to group with. I flew through Heroics long before most of my guild mates. And I was the first in my guild to get into Naxx. Even before I had cleared 10-man, I started going to 25-man Naxx.

Naxx was difficult at first, but I loved it. It felt like Kara all over again. As my gear improved, it got easier. I became a very well geared priest with a reputation as a good healer. I was getting invites right and left from various guilds (as you can see by reading previous posts in my blog) to run with them. I was on the top of the world.

Then Ulduar was introduced. Everything changed again for me. I've been on a handful of Ulduar runs and have only been able to down the first boss. The second one seems close to impossible, at least with the groups I've been running with. The other guilds I was running with are either deep into Ulduar without me or still doing Naxx, but on alts now.

And Eye of Eternity, I've only tried it a few times and it has been beyond hard. Just this past weekend I tried it again and I kept running out of mana. I just couldn't keep up with the damage. And then the part where you mount the dragons? I'm completely lost during it. I am simply uncomfortable with being forced to play in a way other than that which I have chosen -- I'm a priest. I want to cast my spells, not sit on the back of a dragon and figure out how to target and cast its spells. (One thing to note is that some of the difficulty I have with it is that I have no easy way to target players. Using Grid/Clique and with party frames off, I am unable to select players easily. Next time I go there, I'll have to make some adjustments.)

People have said for a while that Naxx is easy mode. I shook my head at that at first. But, seeing how difficult EoE and Ulduar are, I'm beginning to see what they mean. Naxx is not easy, but it's simple. The strategies are not complex and, given the right gear, they are simple to execute.

But, Ulduar, ugh.

As I look back on the month following Wrath's release, I see myself in my glory days. I felt like I was on top of the world, raiding every chance I got, getting shiny epics right and left.

Now, a few months later, I'm still in Naxx, unable to move into Ulduar.

Perhaps I've had my time to shine.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

June 17, 2009

I only did one thing last night -- 10-Man Naxx.

I went to our weekly run of Naxx. We've started an alternating 10-man one week, 25-man the next week schedule. So, last night was 10-man. It went swimmingly. :) I got two new shinies. A flashy new cloak and a much needed new trinket.

I love being an enchanter...I get an new item and seconds later it's enchanted and wearable.

I'm now substantially over the hit cap again. So, I might swap out a gem tonight to increase my SP again.

The trinket has been awesome so far. After equipping it, I quickly made a Power Aura to let me know whenever it procs. It says Speedy! upon proc. It came up several times, so the proc rate seems decent. Also, there was one point at which it procced while I was under the effect of Icy Veins and heroism. The speed at which I was casting was INSANE! I loved it. hehehe

We got through Arachnid and Plague. In Construct we stopped after an attempt against Gluth. We didn't have the right party makeup to effectively handle the zombies in the back.

Going back Thursday -- we'll see what the party make up is then.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

June 16, 2009

In my last post I pointed out that a guildie or two seemed to have found my blog because they were making vague references to it. They also criticized our sister guilds and the people in them. I was tired of all the complaining so I dealt with the issue by sending an email that explained how things had developed into the current state of affairs. Things seem to be better now -- one of the guildies even apologized to me -- but I'm not 100% sure what's behind the peace. Is it that they truly understood my perspective and how unfair they were being? Or is it that they think I'm a loon and they're just keeping quiet with their opinions around me. I guess the motivation doesn't matter -- the end result is I'm not hearing complaints about people I like, which is a good thing.

I haven't actually played since Friday night, so there's really nothing to report from the game-play perspective. On Friday night my priest got a drop for the first time in ages. She finally replaced a blue wrist item with a purple. Unfortunately, I can't link it here because either the armory hasn't been updated or I mistakenly put my old bracers on before logging out.

Tonight's Tuesday, so raids are reset. I'm scheduled to go to a Naxx 10 run tonight.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Risk of Exposure

Last night some things were said in guild chat that made it clear to me that a couple (at least) of my guild members have found this blog and have figured out it is me who is writing it. I knew it was a risk, but lately I thought it didn't matter.

Well, apparently it does. At least one of the members is using what I've said in this blog against me.

The thing that I find most interesting is that they actually found this blog! I mean...honestly, I thought the likelihood of anyone finding it very remote. And, if they did find it, I assumed it would be so boring to them that they wouldn't read it closely or thoroughly enough to figure out that it was me.

I knew from the start that the risk was there. So, I'm not saying "woe is me". I'm just surprised it actually happened, considering how boring my "diary" must be to the outside world.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

June 10, 2009

Nothing much worth noting happened this past weekend or the last two days. I got a little annoyed when my Naxx spot was given to someone else because the invite for the return to Naxx hadn't been sent out until after I went to bed.

Naxxramas (Heroic)
I sulked a little then found a 25-man Naxx that needed heals. We sailed through Arachnid but failed miserably on Patch. The tank I was healing was killed with one hit -- three times in a row. I was seriously thinking it was my lack of healing skill. Honestly, though, how many times have I healed Patchwerk? Come on...I know what I'm doing. After the third attempt, the party started breaking up with lots of people accusing the tanks of "not doing their job". People were saying, "you didn't stack!".

Honestly, I don't understand what they were saying. But, I'm relieved to know is was the tanks at fault, not me.

So...another wasted Naxx 25 raid id.

Naxxramas (normal)
I healed a Naxx 10 group for Guild #2. We did a full clear. Easy as pie. Of course, my priest didn't need any of the drops, so it was all in the name of fun and helping friends. Meanwhile, the group who gave my mage's spot to someone else also cleared all of Naxx. So...definitely no opportunity for her to get anything until this week.

Naxxramas (heroic) -- new week
Last night was our first organized Naxx 25 run. It took until about 45 minutes after the scheduled time for us to gather all the players. It included two of my guildies who just last night returned from sabbatical. (More about them below.)

This run was almost exactly like the one I did over the weekend. Arachnid went down easily. (Though one funny thing was that I was master looter but didn't know it. So, after the first boss kill we were all waiting for the master looter to do her job. I was about to say something when someone asked me when I was going to start. Oops! lol) Then we moved on to Construct and failed on Patchwerk -- in exactly the same way as the previous group. The tanks went down more quickly than any heals could have saved them. Once again, "stacking" was identified as the key reason. I'll have to read up on that.

So, we skipped Patch and went to Plague. Noth went down easily. It was there that we stopped for the night.

Drops? None. Though I'm beginning to wonder if that's my fault. There were several items that I could have rolled on but they had Spirit on them. Figuring spirit equipment is usually for Priests, I didn't roll. But, I noticed afterward that other mages rolled on those items. Maybe I need to stop waiting for the +hit equipment and just roll if something is an upgrade.

As I mentioned above, two of my guild members are back from sabbatical. Although I'm really happy to see them, I was reminded during our Naxx run how not-so-nice they can be.

The husband complains constantly about not getting any loot. He's completely intolerant of others, so if anyone suggests something that he doesn't agree with he starts writing bad things about them in Guild chat. He also threatens constantly to leave raids because of anything that is making him unhappy -- no loot, stupid raiders, too slow, boring, etc.

The wife is much nicer, but she has her moments. Last night she got tired of waiting for the group to be ready for the boss fight, so she jumped up and pulled. Instant wipe. What was the point of that? All it did was make us wait even longer since everyone had to get a res or return and rebuff.

I don't know. Once again I ask myself, "am I in the right guild"?

None at all. None on my priest. None on my mage. None on my warlock, even though he gained 5 levels over the weekend.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Hit Cap - My New Obsession

Yet another post about +hit -- my new obsession.

I've done a lot of reading today and I've learned quite a bit about the hit cap. Two really important things to note:
  1. A Draenei in my party brings the hit cap down to 263 for me. That's 26 points! I knew Draenei were helpful, but I had no idea they provided that much of a difference.
  2. I don't need to wear any +hit gear when doing heroics. None, zilch, nada. Heroic bosses only require 6%, which I get from my talents.
This further confirms for me the complexity of gearing a dps toon as compared to gearing a healer. I'm now considering keeping three sets of gear:
  • One that has 289 hit.
  • One that has 263 hit (for when there's a Draenei in my party)
  • One that has 0 hit (for when I'm doing heroics)
Of course, I could just lose the obsession, stick with one set of gear that has 289 hit and never worry about it. But, that would be too easy, wouldn't it? :-)

Here's detailed information that I got from the WoW forums today:

Hit Cap (General)

Vs Level 83 target (raid boss):
Base hit needed to cap: 446 HR (17%)

Vs Level 82 target (heroic dungeon boss):
Base hit needed to cap: 158 HR (6%)

Vs Level 81 target (heroic dungeon trash):
Base hit needed to cap: 132 HR (5%)

Hit Cap (Mage with 57/3/11 build)

Without further aid, she will need 289 hit.
With Heroic Presence, she will need 263 hit.
With Imp FF/Misery, she will need 210 hit.
With both Imp FF/Misery and HP, she will need 184 hit.

She needs 0 hit. Only 6% is needed, and that comes from her talents.
There's also a spell hit section on wowwiki.com, but it's more info than I need. The above info is all I need regarding my mage.

Though it is worth noting that if I decide to dual spec my priest as shadow, she'll only need 263 hit, since she's Draenei.

Gearing Up -- DPS vs. Healing

So, I just lately am becoming aware of the differences in difficulty of gearing up for DPS and for Healing.

When I was gearing up my priest, my priorities were SP > Spirit > Int. Although a secondary goal was to keep Spirit and Int relatively equal, that didn't dictate my gear choices. In the end, if a drop improved one or more of these without drastically reducing one or more, I would roll on it. I would say, gearing up for a healer is fairly easy, as there are no absolutes to aim for.

The opposite is true for DPS. There is one absolute: Hit Rating. Even though SP, Crit and Haste are all good, they mean nothing if you can't actually hit the mobs with your spells. Hit means nothing to a healer. It's everything to a DPS class. As I mentioned in my diary post for today, I've been choosing not to roll on some items because they don't have +hit on them. And last week when I put on my three Naxx drops, I immediately noticed that my +hit had lowered. It was painful to have to replace SP, Crit and Haste gems with +hit gems.

My mage has been 80 for a while now, so it might seem odd that I'm only figuring this out now. The truth is that I paid little attention to +hit while I was leveling her. I had enough +hit for regular quest and grinding mobs, with the occasional missed spell. And, when I hit 80 and started doing Heroics, a couple of my guildies helped me with crafted gear to reach the 288 hit cap for Arcane. In fact, for a while there, I was 20-30 points of over the hit cap. As I've found new gear, my hit rating has slowly gone down, but never below the cap. So, it wasn't until last week when I got the Naxx items that I was suddenly faced with having to replace gems with +hit ones.

For DPS, each new item drop forces an evaluation. How does this piece of equipment affect my hit rating? If the answer is, "not at all", then there's no problem. But, if it affects it, either positively or negatively, it starts off a process of rethinking gems and other equipment in your bank or inventory. Should I swap out that +SP gem for a +hit one? Or should I just swap out my boots for those that have higher +hit that are sitting in my bank, even though they have slighter lower stats?

To contrast, the only reason I ever re-gem on my Priest is to try out new combinations. There is no one stat that has to be one specific number. So it's all just experimentation to find the right combo for me.

My conclusion? It really is more complicated, at least for me, to gear up a dps toon.

June 5, 2009

The last two days have been fun ones. I've been in Naxx on my mage most of the time, except when doing dailies on my priest. I haven't done a thing on any of the other toons.

Welcome Back to the Guild, Old Friend
So, for the last two nights I've gone to Naxx with on one of the "competing" raid runs. I'm the only person in the group who is not in their guild. And it's interesting because there's some history there. Their guild is actually the first guild I ever joined on my first toon. But I never felt a connection with the guild...and I stopped playing that toon when I found I enjoyed my hunter, then my priest, more.

Around the time my main guild was falling apart, I had gone on that other toon to get away from the drama. As I was playing her, I was watching guild chat and was totally offended by a situation that was going on and the fact that everyone was laughing at it. Having no strong attachment to the guild, I decided to just leave. Of course, there is one player who is an officer in the guild with whom I've been friends for a while. So, she was disappointed to see me leave.

Well...I've now been raiding for the past two nights with that guild. And guess what? I've found out that they're really a nice group of people after all and that the bad eggs in guild chat that night were not representative of the guild as a whole. So, last night I rejoined the guild on my first character. This time I have a different perspective, now feeling a bit more connected.

As I said, I've been going to Naxx with my first guild for the past couple nights. It has been a ton of fun. They're a good group of people and they know their way around Naxx. So, we got a lot done. Another good thing is that they're mostly in my time zone, so they stop at a decent hour for me.

I haven't got any drops yet. There have been a few items I would have rolled on, but they didn't have +hit and, as I mentioned in a post earlier in the week, I'm hurting for +hit on items currently. But, I'm not complaining. I got three items when I ran with that PuG last week, so I'm doing fine. I'm on top of the DPS meters, so it's good that the other get items. It's amazing how easy it is to be non-greedy with loot when you are with people you like. I've been genuinely happy not to roll on items, knowing that the person who gets them can use them more than I.

Of course, if I lose my top spot on the DPS charts, I might be less generous. :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

June 3, 2009

Last night my main server was down, along with a bunch of other servers, due to problems with network equipment. So, I didn't go to Naxx as I had planned. I tried playing on other servers, but got bored. So, I took the night off.

But that doesn't mean I have nothing to say. :)

Gear In-Between Stages
It seems that as you go from 5-man gear to 10-man gear you encounter that "in-between stage" of not being optimized.

I remember it happening on my Priest. My mana regen had been great for 5-mans but as soon as I started getting 10-man gear I started having issues. It wasn't until I got decked out in 10-man (and some 25-man) purples that my mana regen settled. I'm at the point now that when I'm running low on mana I can throw out my shadowfiend and get it back. By the time I'm out of mana again, either the fight is over, or the shadowfiend is available again.

I'm now experiencing that in-between stage on my mage. I mentioned recently that I had gotten three nice 10-man epics. Although they increased my overall stats, I'm finding that my mana regen is poor. Of course, I can't forget that, on the advice of mage forums and blogs, I have stopped using Mage Armor (that allows for mana regen in combat) and have begun using Molten Armor (which increases crit based on spirit). As a result my dps has jumped quite a bit. But, my mana regen has suffered. The interesting thing is that it seems to be suffering more now that I have this better gear.

One possible reason is that this new gear lowered my hit rating. So, I had to use swap out gems that had previously given me other stats (like SP, Int, Mp5) for gems that gave +hit. Previously most of my hit came on the items themselves.

So...I'm suspecting that when I get more 10-man gear I'll start seeing hit on the items again, allowing me to swap out the +hit gems and it will all normalize again.

Why am I saying this? No reason other than I think it's an interesting phenomenon. As you get better gear, you get more powerful but lose efficiency. That is, until you get just the right amount of new gear to bring back that efficiency. And when that happens...your power increases greatly.

Can't wait for my efficiency to come back! :-)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

June 2, 2009

This past weekend had its high points and its low points. When all was said and done, it was a good one. :-) I don't even remember what I did on Friday night. I think that's the night that I tried healing a VoA Heroic but we couldn't get the new boss down. But, I really don't remember.

Have My Friends Forgotten Me?
On Saturday I logged in and checked the status of our Naxx invite. Everyone except two people had declined. Lots of them were on line. Several whispers later I understood what had happened. All of them had made alternate Naxx plans with the same people on the invite. Huh? Well, I guess with our Raid Leader on sabbatical most people started making other plans. Part of me understands this but another part doesn't. If we sent out an invite, doesn't that mean we're planning on going, even though our Raid Leader is on sabbatical?

Anyway...so I sat there wondering what to do. I had my heart set on going to Naxx and was now unable to. None of the other groups had spots for me. This brings me to the title of this section....have my friends forgotten me?

WARNING: Self Pity Time

After months of helping my friends in instances and raids, getting no equipment for myself but going just to be with friends and help gear them up, I find myself suddenly alone. No one is returning the favor. They're geared and in Naxx without me, not even considering inviting me to join them. I felt betrayed, abandoned, used, unappreciated. All that and more. I let these feeling fester until I couldn't take it anymore and I logged off.

The honest truth -- I was mad at myself. The whole situation was my fault for several reasons. I knew long ago that, if I wanted to raid, I should move my toons to a raiding guild. But I didn't. When my guild broke up I had the perfect opportunity to join an established raiding guild. But I didn't. Instead I went back to my previous guild of 5 people, knowing full well that a couple would have to go on sabbatical. (And, little did I know that the other couple would do the same thing.) So, I am now all alone in a guild. And I'm angry at myself for putting myself into this position.

After taking a couple hours off to rethink it all, I logged back in with a better outlook. I reached out to the leaders of both of the "competing" raids and asked them to include me on their invites for the coming week. They were both very happy to invite me and...I got the invites by the end of the day.

Problem solved. Lesson learned: Passive aggression doesn't work.

Naxxramas (heroic)
Later that afternoon I got an invite to a heroic Naxx run that needed DPS. I was reluctant at first, considering my mage still didn't have normal Naxx gear. My reluctance was warranted. I was bottom of the DPS chart. And they noticed. The whole run is a blur to me -- I don't even remember which quarter we were in. I just know my DPS was so low that they chose to boot me.

With my spirits low, I persevered and spent most of the rest of Saturday in LFG, waiting for an invite to regular Naxx. Finally late in the day it arrived. It was a guild run with only two non-guildies. They were a very nice group. Very nice. I'm not sure which guild number I'm up to at this point. Maybe #5?

We started in Arachnid and got down the first boss easily. We wiped on the second boss. With trepidation, I spoke up and suggested they not move the boss so far from her minions, so she'd be close when we killed each one. We executed it flawlessly. My spirits began to rise.

Oh...and I was top of the DPS chart. :-)

We got to Maexxna. After three wipes (so reminiscent of our first guild runs), we finally got her down.

Then we moved on to Plague wing. No problems with Noth, but on Heigan I was so embarassed. I died on the first try because of misjudging a stopping point. On the second try my NAV activated and popped me out of the game. Though they were light hearted about it, they surely didn't believe my story. We got him down, despite my deaths. :)

Then we got to Loatheb. That was my first time on him as DPS. It was so much easier than as a healer. I remained at the top of the charts and I also got two drops -- tier shoulders and a shiny new staff with a living bat on the tip. I was elated at having gotten the shoulders...considering my priest who is decked out in 25-man gear is still wearing blue shoulders! And the staff, well, that was icing on the cake.

That was the end of the night...resuming on Monday.

Naxxramas (heroic)
I tell you, my memory is truly failing. On Sunday, which was only yesterday, I spent the day playing on either my mage or my priest. But, I can't remember anything that took place before I joined a 25-man Naxx run on my priest in the evening. Ugh...I hate getting old. It hasn't even been 24 hours and I can't remember what I did.

So...I joined a PuG for 25-man Naxx. It was a group that had already done Arachnid and had gotten as far as Heigan in Plague. So, after over an hour of waiting for all the spots to fill, we started the run. Heigan was a disaster. I can proudly say that I was the last to die on each failed attempt. Some days I can do the dance with no problem. Why can't I always do so?

Anyway...after the fourth attempt, I was ready to leave. I had already invested a few hours and we were still on the first encounter. People were just not getting the dance. But, I decided to give it one more try. Having been identified as the healing lead since my heals were highest and I was the only healer who could actually dance, I instructed all those who could do so to purge the disease. (I had noticed that, although 5 people in the raid could do it, only two of actually were.) The next attempt was successful. And I I got a beautiful new trinket. One of the nice things was that everyone was saying that I fully deserved it, regardless of whether or not I won the roll, because of my excellent performance, healing leadership and patience with them.

Any doubts about my self esteem were erased. I am good at this game! :-)

After several bad attempts at making it through the hallway to Loatheb, we finally had someone switch to his warlock. Loatheb went down -- boom!

At that point we decided to stop. There were lots -- LOTS -- of annoyed people. We had all spent about 4 hours and had only gotten down two bosses. That's what happens when you try to organize a 25-man pug. At least I got a trinket out of it.

Naxxramas (part2)

Last night after work I went back to Naxx on my mage with the group from Saturday night. There was some crisis (ment) at the beginning that had to be worked out, but we got on our way within a half hour after the scheduled time. We headed to the Construct quarter first -- brought down Patchwerk on the first shot. My dps was a respectable 3200. I was stoked. We followed up with a one-shot on Grobbulus.

Then Gluth. Ahh...Gluth. After two wipes, we switched a dps out for his tank. It's so much easier with three tanks.

Thaddius was next -- only one death. It was such an easy kill and my dps was way up there again. And....I got a fashionable new hat (which looks quite a bit like the one on my priest). Although the guys were really nice, I could tell they were not overly happy with me getting another item. It was the third for me for the week, but the only one from yesterday. And, since the loot tally was reset yesterday, they graciously gave it to me. Yay!

We went to Military quarter and tried three times to do the Instructor fight. Each attempt went better than the previous, but we still failed. After the third wipe, we decided to call it.

So...I went from feeling sorry for myself at the beginning of the weekend to being elated that I had so much time in Naxx and I had three new pieces for my mage and one for my priest.

I do feel kinda bad for the guild with the crisis. They liked me a lot (I was the top DPS) and indicated that they would like me to come back with them. But, tomorrow starts my new schedule of going with the guilds that were "competing" with my guild's regular time slot. So...I've gone from no invites to too many.

What's a girl to do? :)