A question.

Which is cooler?

ToonName, Hand of A’dal

or

Twilight Vanquisher ToonName

I think that, given the fact that Hand of A’dal was removed when 3.0 came out and that Twilight Vanquisher is now for the previous tier of content versus the previous expansion… Hand of A’dal is cooler.

I’m both, on my pally. But I earned Hand of A’dal by leading the raids that led to that title. I did it with friends of mine. Twilight Vanquisher was the most challenging fight I’d ever done as a healer, though, and I felt like I earned it, and it was snazzy, but it didn’t mean the same as Hand of A’dal.

So I’m still reppin’ Apotheosis with the Hand of A’dal title.

BTW, our Illidan kill is up at warcraftmovies:

http://www.warcraftmovies.com/movieview.php?id=115477

Think I’m gonna try to level the shammy a bit. I can’t believe I moved her back to Eldre’Thalas for like, 3 hours of playtime with my brother. Sigh.

Gutted.

I am absolutely gutted by some of the paladin changes coming up for 3.2. Like, just ruined.

  • Divine Intellect: This talent now gives 2/4/6/8/10% increased intellect instead of 3/6/9/12/15%.
  • Illumination: This talent now returns 30% of the mana cost of the spell instead of 60%.

30%?! THIRTY PERCENT?! Are you KIDDING me?! I was playing a paladin when Illumination was at 100%. I was there when they nerfed it to 50% and then reconsidered and buffed it back to 60%. I am STILL bitter about THAT nerf and that was two years ago! And now they’re halving THAT number?!

YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME.

Honestly, I know a lot of people complain about stuff like this, but this is proof that no one at Blizzard plays a holy paladin in Ulduar. If they did, this wouldn’t happen.

I feel like we, the players, are being punished because Blizzard itemized us TOO WELL in tier 7, which is why we’re looking at T8 and going “hah, as IF,” and all kinds of plate Mp5 gear is getting DEed. The answer, Blizzard, is NOT to nerf the living shit out of the class. The answer is to ITEMIZE BETTER for T9. Give up T8 as not remotely worth our time and have Tier 9 be *awesome* for us so we WILL give up Tier 7.

5% less intellect, half the mana regen I normally get… do you REALLY think that’s the way to get me to let go of my T7 4-piece bonus? NO. 5% off the cost of Holy Light? I’m going to cling to that even MORE tightly now.

Oh my God, the sheer rage and disappointment is just… wow.

… in good news, Yogg to 5% last night.

But OH MY GOD, Illumination to 30%?!?!?!

Must breathe and later compose a forum post to post on the cesspool that is any official Blizzard forum, in the hopes that this madness can be stopped.

Bet you $10 that they revert it to 45% or so and everyone takes it as a victory, too. Everyone except me, that is. Fuckers.

Another new build…

Given that Yogg-Saron is still up, I have retooled my second holy spec.

http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#sxA0gM0sVuctgdxMZVcb

I decided to keep Sacred Cleansing because it procced something like 138 times out of the 507 times I cleansed something or someone, which is about 27% of the time. That’s not bad at all. It’s not GREAT, but it’s not terrible. That’s 27% more resistance to various debuffs.

And I kept Guardian’s Favor, too, so that I could easily BOP (I’m sorry, I KNOW it’s Hand of Protection, but I can’t bring myself to say HOP!) someone in a constrictor if I need to.

Well, that’s the plan. Raid invites in 30 and it’s pouring rain here, with some thunder and threat of hail and stuff. GOOD TIMES.

One messed up spec…

So I’m currently, are you ready for this…

54/12/5

So disturbing.

http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#sxA0gM0sVuctgdxMuoZV

I’m trying it out with regards to Yogg for the Sacred Cleansing, Divine Sacrifice and Guardian’s Favor. Not sure if there’s a difference yet due to the Cleansing, but I’ve used BOP, er, hand of protection, a lot more than previously. Haven’t used Divine Sacrifice yet, though.

Currently at the 2h6m mark of our “mega-raid”.

Still not out of Phase 2 on Yogg and Razorscale is down, but it was oogly.

And so it begins.

Prior to leaving my dear Apotheosis, I wondered if I could do the cog-in-the-machine/minion thing. After being GM for over a year and being one of the primary raid leaders for the entire time Apotheosis was a guild (and then before that, in Fated Heroes), I had to reasonably ask myself the following question.

Can I really be just another pawn in a raid leader’s arsenal?

I thought the answer was yes. I know for a fact that I do not want to lead raids. I know for a fact that, given raid leaders who know what they’re doing and raiders who do what they’re told, I would be quite happy.

The problems arise in two situations.

1) Raiders don’t do as they’re told. I’ve mentioned this before, but our interrupters are terrible. Horrible! I don’t even understand how someone can fail so much, so often, much less a WHOLE GROUP OF THEM. So when people are obviously failing, I get cranky and I try to figure out where the issue is. I’m okay with this. I write detailed explanations of our areas of weakness and point them out to the officers and, honestly, I like it. It makes me feel like I’m doing something to help the guild.

2) The raid leader isn’t succeeding in his or her role. This is what I have a problem with. If I’m being led “properly”, that’s cool. I’m more than happy to sit back, relax and chill out, doing what I’m told to do. If I’m not being led “properly” or efficiently or whatever, that’s when MY inner raid leader starts twitching.

I’m willing to give anyone who’s leading me a fair amount of free reign. If someone is in the position of raid leader, I usually assume they’re there for a reason. I assume that they know their shit, that they have control over the raid group and that the raid group has at least a modicum of respect for the leader.

The relationship between a raid leader and a raid group is a very interesting one, in my not-remotely-humble opinion.

On the one hand, the raid leader has to trust that his or her group will be doing what is asked of them. So, as a raid leader, you want a group of people who will follow your instructions, even if they don’t quite understand what it’s for. But you also want people who will think a little bit independently, who will decurse without being told to, who will interrupt various casts without instructions to do so.

For a raid group, though, you want Superman to be your raid leader. No joke, no kidding. If your raid leader is a solo raid leader who doesn’t rely extensively on his or her support group of officers/role leaders, you want Superman. The best raid leader is one who SEEMS to be on top of everything on every aspect of the fight. I honestly don’t know if that’s possible.

I know that when I was a raid leader, there were certain fights where I micro-managed EVERYTHING. Every single aspect of the fight. Like Vashj. I knew everything about that encounter and assigned people to their tasks and by golly, I KNEW exactly how and where and why people would fuck up and I would retool the strategy if it was consistent. But I disgress. That kind of encounter, where ALL of it was on my shoulders, was rare.

Take Kael, for example.

I knew the fight very well. But I didn’t micro-manage it. Instead, I let my DPS officers figure out a good order for the weapons. I chimed in that the mace and staff needed to go down quickly, but it wasn’t me who decided that just the hunters would work on the bow or that the shield would be tanked over there or any of that. It wasn’t me who decided which tank was on which add or weapon. We had our fury warrior (also an officer — really, this was a great fight for him to lead) DPS-tanking the mace to get it down quicker.

Sure, I’m the one who then assigned healing, and I helped our warlock tank out in tanking Capernian — and I healed the living crap out of her, too — but the distribution of weapons wasn’t up to me.

But to the raid, it seemed like we were a well-oiled machine. If someone asked a question, the person who was in charge of organizing that would answer. If someone was unsure about healing, I jumped in. It was a really great team effort.

And because of that, that’s basically how we did things from then on. We’d actually started doing that in Hyjal, to be honest, because I was NOT good at sitting down and figuring out how to deal with each wave. Our fury warrior officer was amazing and quick on his feet, and he knew exactly how to deal with each wave as it happened. So he handled that. Our prot pally officer dealt with tank/raid positioning most of the time. I handled Archimonde positioning, but really, I was very hands-off for Hyjal, except for healing. Same thing for BT, with the exception of Naj’entus. I always organized groups so people would have a frost aura/totem and a healer in the groups and we were all spread out.

I’m rambling and nostalgic, but my point here is that I didn’t even pretend to do it all on my own for most of our raids after, you know, Magtheridon. I was usually the person who had the long-winded explanations, but honestly, it was a team effort.

All of this is being written because I’m seriously questioning my current raid leader’s wisdom in various decisions. All’s well and good when we’re progressing, but the Hyjal thing had me lose confidence in him. We have a “mega-raid” scheduled for tonight, from 6-12:30 and I’m dreading it, but I’ll show up, because I’m a dedicated member of the guild. Honestly not sure if the raid will even happen, because our healers are mostly unavailable. But I imagine we’ll give it a shot even if they’re missing.

Sigh.

General, Yogg and nostalgia…

Been raiding, but I haven’t been playing much. Other stuff is more interesting these days. I think that stems from the fact that my *friends* who play WoW are scattered around various servers.

Anyways, another reset come and gone and another reset without killing Yogg. We have some fights that keep kicking our asses — Thorim’s given us trouble, Mimiron’s pissing us off, and even General is being annoying.

My poor old guild, Apotheosis, had some failings. It did. I’ll be the first to admit it. But one thing our members could do was freaking interrupt casts. Maybe it was how we did Aran back in the day or something, but our melee was fan-fucking-tastic at interrupting things. Of course, our resident gnome DPS warrior, whom we affectionately called Football, was absolutely amazing at his role, which helped. Our enhance shammies were very good and, when we HAD a rogue in the fight, all of them could be relied upon to kick when needed.

So it stuns me when we’re standing there on General and there’s a DK tank, 1-2 DPS warriors, 1 enhance shammy, 2 rogues and a DPS DK standing there and Searing Flames gets off. I mean, really. We even have to have our mage as a backup. Where is the difficulty in watching the cast bar and not using a global immediately before the cast so you CAN interrupt it? It’s a two second cast. It’s not like it’s instant, it’s not like it’s half a second.

Yogg attempts are… interesting. We’ve only had a few ventures into Phase 2, but we’re still getting used to it, I guess. Worst thing ever is people standing in green clouds. This is the part of Ulduar where I’m mostly glad I’m not leading my old guild through it, because we would spawn a zillion extra adds and I AM NOT JOKING. Weird that I’d pay money to have my old guild with me on Vezax and yet I know that we’d spawn too many adds on Yogg to ever reliably get out of phase 1.

And speaking of Apotheosis, it was formed on June 1st, 2007, just over two years ago. Our first Vashj kill was on June 2nd, 2008. I need to finish up the retrospective (of this past year) when I have a chance. Some amazing moments in the eight months we raided/played together before things went to hell.

At the same time, I MUST not be overly nostalgic, because then I’ll start thinking about getting the old crew back together and that MUST NOT HAPPEN because I’ll just be way too stressed out again and it will not be as awesome as I thought it would be, but they’re my friends and I’ll feel obliged to suffer through not being able to kill Thaddius again. Or something.

But it’s still nice to remember the good times.

Off to go figure out where our epic failure on Mimiron was last night. 14 wipes. Eesh.