Weekend Update

(without Kevin Nealon, Norm MacDonald, Tina Fey, Jimmy Fallon, Amy Poehler or Seth Meyers or anyone else who ever hosted SNL’S Weekend Update)

The update is this: I have done nothing on my paladin this weekend. I have been being a GM over on Eldre’Thalas. Trying to organize the ranks all pretty-like, trying to make sure all the toons are at appropriate ranks… It doesn’t help that apparently each character’s authenticator timer only starts when they log in for the first time since 4.0.1, since I wanted to get my guild bank officer (my brother — since I can track him down and beat him if he screws us over) to the proper rank, but his bank toon hadn’t logged in until Friday or so. So I have yet to implement the authenticator requirement for any ranks, which is annoying.

I helped a guildie get Incendius and the BRD key last night before finally doing the Moira Bronzebeard quest/Emperor run in BRD last night with Football. I did it for the achievement (hi, I killed the Emperor at level 58, thanks) and the quests and for nostalgia. I really do love Blackrock Depths. I just know it so damn well. Football and I also did a step in his Tier 0.5 questline, although it appears he’d already done that one before. I loved and hated that questline, culminating in the death of Lord Whatshisnuts (Valthalak).

Today, I did Sunken Temple and got lost. I didn’t remember I had to kill the six guys up top before killing dragons and then undeads and THEN the Shade of Eranikus. Go me. Eventually I got it done, though.

Let’s see, what else? Oh yeah. I’m pleased to announce the return of the Q&A posts, effective this coming Tuesday. You would not BELIEVE the amount of search engine hits I got after 4.0.1 launched…

And in the interest of pimping out some blogs:

Daritos’ Food for Thought – a long-time member of Apotheosis (and Fated Heroes before that!), Dar will be a first-time officer for Cataclysm and will be playing her resto shaman for us.

The Stories of O – Oestrus has been hanging out with the Apotheosis folks for a few weeks now on her holy priest. I was introduced to her blog via Codi’s and it’s been nice getting to know her, whether she decides to stick with us for Cataclysm or not. She’s also just started co-writing over at Divine Aegis again, so be sure to give that blog a peek for various healy-priest needs.

Things I still need to do:

– finish up responding to comments

– get my screenshot project finished

– finish a lawn dart video for my current guild

– write that requiem for Zul’Gurub

– clarify my feelings about hunters and hunter pets

All righty. Off to go do stuff “in real life” for the evening. :)

The End of the World as We Know It

Extended maintenance is well underway on US servers and patch 4.0.1 will be implemented on live servers by the time they come back up.

While alternately exciting and depressing, depending on with whom you’re speaking, the one thing the everyone can agree on is that the pre-Cataclysm patch can be described as game-changing.

I both love and hate expansions. I love them because of the new challenges to face and I hate them because I go from knowing basically everything pertinent about my classes to knowing zip. Nada. Zilch. Niente. Rien. Nothin’.

Or, at least, very little. I feel fairly prepared with regards to my paladin, although I’m still feeling “not ready” to let go of my big Holy Lights or my 100% beacons or my 25% mana/1m Divine Plea… But I’m unprepared for all my other classes.

That, however, is a whole other post.

Expansions also mean changes in terms of guilds. Changing toons, specs, even changing guilds. Rosters go through insane amounts of changes between expansions.

Last night, I may have had my last raid with the guild I’ve been in since June. We’ve had a hell of a few months, let me tell you. I joined when they were 7/12 HM in ICC25 and now we’re 11/12 ICC25 HM.

This last reset, Thursday, we finally got heroic Sindragosa. It was the messiest kill ever that involved a bubble taunt by the sole remaining tank and only four people were alive at the end. She had enraged. And yet, she died. Finally. That got most of the raiders their heroic Frostwing Halls achievement, towards their Glory of the Icecrown Raider (25) achievement, which is excellent. That’s been their goal for several months and so most of them are one step closer to that drake. Most were just missing Been Waiting a Long Time for This, All You Can Eat and Neck Deep in Vile.

The guild may or may not continue raiding into 4.0.1. I’m personally of the mind that we will not be able to do half the stuff we do now if all healers are as screwed changed as I think we are. Combine that with parry’s nerf (50% mitigation instead of 100% avoidance), (apparently, I still don’t know how to keep up to date on that “tanking thing”…) changes to block (30% mitigation)… I don’t think that getting rid of Chill of the Throne is really going to do enough to compensate. Anyways, it’s possible that I’m wrong and things are not completely borked and we’ll be able to continue raiding. So things are kind of uncertain.

Man, I hate uncertainty…

Anyways, I walked in to the raid last night knowing we had Putricide, LK and Halion up. I walked in there knowing that this could be my last raid with this guild. I have had a LOT of fun with these people. And before 4.0.1 hits, we got to 11/12 ICC 25 HM. It’s not my first time doing these things, but let me tell you something — when we killed Putricide on heroic 25-man for the second time for this guild, it felt fantastic. It was a beautiful kill. 24 people alive (the 25th had the plague and sacrificed himself for us) and some flawless transitions.

It also ensured five more people in the raid got their heroic Plagueworks achievement, including our primary raid leader, who has always been kind and has always listened to my suggestions, even if my suggestions weren’t always implemented. I was so psyched to get this for her that I even did a silly little fist pump when Putricide died tonight and those five people spammed us with their achievements. Even though that was… probably my 7th heroic Putricide kill, it was definitely in my personal top 3 kills. The top was my own first kill, the second was this guild’s first kill and tonight’s kill is just behind those two.

So faced with an ICC instance where we had killed Saurfang, BQL, Putricide and Sindragosa, all on heroic… we had to look at heroic Lich King.

When one of the officers started detailing the strat for P1 and dealing with Shadow Traps, I paused for a moment.

“The person marked will run out and drop it outside of the raid.”

I blinked.

I have spent, oh, about 30ish attempts on heroic Lich King. That’s not a lot of time or energy. It also happened back in May.

But that still didn’t sound right to me. And then I remembered how my last guild did it, how we split up into one melee group and two ranged. Like this (click for a larger version):

So I let the RL and the GM know that I was pretty sure the strat we were about to try wasn’t going to work and why, but told them I wasn’t 100% sure.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, Shadow Trap gets cast and most of the raid goes flying. Hilarious! I wish I’d frapsed it! We lasted 43 seconds. That is less time than the opening speech portion takes. I laughed.

We tried one more attempt on heroic, just for fun, which went a little bit better, before switching it to regular and trying Been Waiting a Long Time For This.

I warned the healers that it was mana-intensive. I even called for an Innervate, which I nearly didn’t get because our bear druid was busy tea-bagging someone who had died. :P (The same thing actually happened to me in my last guild.)

Also a messy kill, but a kill and achievement nonetheless.

On to Ruby Sanctum!

We cleared through fairly easily. And no. The boots did not drop. Which means that Walks and I are stuck with our 245 or 258 Boots of the Courageous or stuck crafting the plate 264 healing boots. Ah, well. Would have been nice to have an upgrade instead of downgrading or staying at the same item level. Killed that dragon 11ish times and still, no 271 plate boots.

Overall, though, a productive night. Got lots of people at least one achievement, got a few people two. Played with heroic Lich King. Cleared Ruby Sanctum.

And through it all, I knew it was a good chance this was the last time I’d ever raid with these people. I knew that soon, it’ll be time for me to lead, to raid with the newly-reformed Apotheosis of Eldre’Thalas.

I’m not going to lie — I’ve enjoyed being a member. No leadership responsibilities, no healing assignments. (Okay, so I took over organizing judgements, but when no one’s judging light and you have five pallies in the raid, someone has to!) (Okay, I also organize who beacons who and who shields who with Walks, but that’s just common courtesy so we don’t always overwrite each other, although Walks consistently does overwrite my damn shield on Sindragosa. ;D)

But I’ve also had to rein in my leadership skills a few times and my poor raid leaders and GM have probably heard enough from me to last them forever! ;) It’s a difficult thing to do, keeping your mouth shut and giving another strategy a chance when you’ve seen another one work flawlessly.

Like I said, though, I’m awfully glad that I got to finish out Wrath with such a great group of people. I’m moving my paladin back to Eldre’Thalas as soon as the guild’s leadership calls it an expansion, basically. That could be as soon as this week or next week or the week before Cataclysm launches.

I may have raided for the last time with these people and honestly, while I won’t miss a couple of them, I’ve had a great time. I feel like I accomplished something by helping them get to 11/12 and a stone’s throw from their drakes. So if this is where we part ways and this is where Madrana goes home… I’m satisfied. Last night was a great way to end raiding, if that is, indeed, the end. Some hilarity on LK, some success with HPP and Been Waiting and a Halion one-shot.

And now, it’s the end of the world as we know it and, though I’ll roll with the punches, I don’t quite feel altogether fine.

Strange mix of new and old

Apologies for not being around much this weekend. Apart from anything else, it’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, so there’s been that to deal with.

I took some Apotheosis guildies to ICC10 on Friday to work on the Lich King. We had fun, but we had some issues with various mechanics, including Valks and Defiles, the few times we dealt with them.

Stupidly, I scheduled a continuation for Sunday night, unaware, at the time, that my parents were inviting guests (ie: people who weren’t family members) to Thanksgiving dinner, which extended dinner from an average 2.5 hour affair to one that lasted 4.5 hours. So my brother and I were very, very, very late for our raid. We scrounged some people up, we waited around for a bit, but, in the end, we got 8 attempts in on him and got him to 59%.

True, we didn’t actually kill a Val’kyr, but we came close! And we did learn to dodge defiles and the tanks SEEMED to be doing well with taunting for Soul Reaper. We even went into transition without a Shambling a few times and had this one BEAUTIFUL attempt where we had nothing but one Raging Spirit half-dead when we ran back in for P2. Gorgeous!

What I learned about organizing and leading this fight:

– Drudge Ghouls help out immensely with the Necrotic Plague bounces and stacks and can help get that high enough to 2-shot a Shambling Horror.

– You can lose a Raging Spirit if you leave them on the collapsing part of the ledge, which can make your life a TON easier. ;)

– Warlocks can actually be out of range of their teleporters. Or, you know, their teleporters can be covered by Defile. I guess the solution here is to stand at range, on top of your teleporter and then you won’t be OOR?

– That bloody enrage on the Shamblings sucks, but I don’t think we lost my brother to a single one. He was stunning them whenever he could, so that was pretty sweet.

– Why the Valks ALWAYS seemed to choose our freaking disc priest to carry away, I do not know. Hilarious, though.

– It feels good to say “Let’s get Football back up, please” again. Battle-rezzing our resident fury warrior was kind of a staple of our BC raids, while we would leave the resident enhancement shaman dead on the floor. ;D

– I’m still super rusty at this thing called “raid leading”. Totally forgot to actually assign healing until after the first wipe, I think it was. I’m looking forward to Cata raiding where I’ll do healing and a brief (stop laughing, it’s possible!) overview and other role leads will deal with other crap!

– Leading a raid that is comprised primarily of friends can still be considered “work”, but it’s fun work.

– Going through the logs of a raid that is comprised primarily of friends, most of whom you know for a fact are great players, can still result in /facepalms. ;)

I need to do a variety of things, including respond to comments here, making sure I have the glyphs I want for tomorrow, given the great chance that 4.0.1 drops, and then maybe I can actually play the game a bit today.

Weekend Update

(Sadly, I am not as cool as Tina Fey.)

– I’m one Manalicious quest away from Chef.

– On Saturday, I actually HAD the Blacktip Shark IN MY BAGS and used Aspect of the Cheetah to run to the NPC and while clicking on him, heard the sound when he got the Master Angler of Azeroth achievement precisely two seconds before I would have. SAD PANDA.

– ICC10 on Friday went okay, cleared Lower Spire, did Blood Wing (one-shotted Council with me on orbs, if you can imagine!) and went through some hiccups on BQL, but got her down. Tried Dreamwalker, but it didn’t go very well because we were 9 manning it and I was on my shammy for that part.

– I had an absolutely lovely Vent conversation with a blogger I’ve only known about for a couple of months, Oestrus, from The Stories of O. Previously a RL friend of Codi’s, they reconnected with each other in the WoW blogosphere. How awesome is that? It’s pretty awesome. Even more awesome? Oestrus has stuck her priest in Apotheosis to get a feel for us to see if we’re where she wants to be for Cataclysm. She came to ICC10 Part 2 on Sunday night, too.

– Seriously, I HAD THE BLACKTIP SHARK. <flails>

– Beta guilds were wiped, so if you were in my beta version of Apotheosis on Lost Isles, you may want to hit me up on Twitter at some point to get a re-invite.

– ICC10 Part 2. Went better than expected. O joined us on her priest and we promptly wiped on Plague trash. /facepalm. Nice first impression. ;) I think we made up for it, though, when we one-shot Rot, Fester and the good Professor. Dreamwalker was cake and, for the first time ever, I did that fight without healing in the portals. I kited zombies! It was kind of awesome, although I have never wanted to be able to cleanse my own magical debuffs more than right then. Stupid frostbolt volleys. Anyways, then it was on to Sindragosa. Despite some lapses in attention and despite some miscommunication, the Apotheosis INFAMOUS LAST ATTEMPT rule kicked in and we got her down for the first time. (Well, first time on these toons for many of us, anyways.)

– O will fit in beautifully if she decides to stick with us. She’s already on the “I tease Kurn, therefore I am” bandwagon. Things like “Eh on Hands” instead of “Lay on Hands” and “Hey, I need my I’m on a Boot achievement!”… Naturally, the guildies cracked up. :P

– After the raid, Football and X and I went to MC. Football’s after Sulfuron Ingots and the Eye of Sulfuras for Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros. I was hoping I’d get my Eye of Divinity for my priest off Domo, and X was along on his warlock until we got to Domo, at which point he got his 72 hunter, in case the Ancient Petrified Leaf dropped. The Eye of Divinity dropped and, after a couple of embarassing wipes on Ragnaros, off I went to the Eastern Plaguelands!

– And finally, as you were perhaps able to tell from the video above, I’ve managed to find a decent video setting for videos! This has some huge implications, particularly when I get a decent rig either later this month or in November.

ICC 25 heroic Putricide and Sindragosa tonight. Fingers crossed for the swift deaths of these two pains in my ass, if only for the hopes of my current guild’s Glory of the Icecrown Raider (25) drakes.

Live Realms Updates

Just a few thoughts flitting about my brain.

1) I got the ZG achievement today with my brother. The funny thing is that we’d both cleared ZG, many moons ago, back probably during the summer of 2006. I’d even cleared it on my hunter, the toon I’d gone with today. Hell, back in the day, I was one of the kiters of the windserpents you kill to poison you, which poisons Hakkar, blah, blah, etc.

Today, my brother and I went in and killed all the aspects plus Gahz’ranka and Mandokir (no Jin’do, though), then did Hakkar. Remarkably easy, sad to say.

I got the Heart of Hakkar and turned it in — had I done this pre-BC, when I was actively running ZG with Fated Heroes, I would have had the achievement on Kurn already. Anyways, it was nice to go in and kill Hakkar again. I can’t remember the last time I did it.

All that rep plus 18 Zandalar Honor Tokens (from bijou and coin turn-ins) and I am 2130 rep from exalted with the Zandalar tribe. I’ve been running ZG for a couple of weeks, farming the Tome of Polymorph Turtle and for mounts and such, but mostly because Kurn deserves to be exalted. Zul’Gurub was my first raid instance (outside of raid groups for dungeons, back in the day) and it was such an amazing sense of accomplishment to have seen my guild progress from taking 3 hours to kill Venoxis to 20-minute Venoxis runs, from wiping on Jek’lik to clearing the instance, including Jin’do.

I’m going to have a proper post about this, soon, but Zul’Gurub deserves better treatment. Zul’Gurub is the reason I started playing this game (that’s a long story, but I’ll explain it in my other post) and it’s being removed for Cataclysm.

ZG is my favourite raid instance, bar none, and is filled with memories of each and every pull and each and every boss. I can take you there and show you where this one warlock always seemed to fall off the bridge on his way to Venoxis. I can take you there and show you how half the raid always seemed to hug the bat riders. I can show you the first bugged fish we ever saw, who actually followed people up on to land and evade bugged while killing us.

So Kurn’s going to finish repping up with those Zandalarian trolls. And I’m glad I finally got the official achievement for an instance I’ve spent so much time in.

2) Somehow, I keep getting roped into doing ICC10 with my brother on the weekends. This whole “DPS” thing is so very strange. I find myself clicking raid frames to try to cleanse people. Actually having to pay attention to what’s happening on the game field, you know, like adds and stuff? Boss health? hahaha, so very, very foreign.

I’ve gotten darn good at dropping snake traps on Putricide, though, and using Disengage in a variety of situations. Juggling disco balls on BPC, well, I’m getting there. ;)

3) New raid lockout system. I like it. I hate 10s and the only reason I’m doing 10s with my brother is because hey, it’s my brother. So I won’t be bitching and moaning about it. We are stuck with the new system in old content for like, a maximum of two months. I understand it means some 10s or 25s are adversely affected and that’s too bad. But I love the new system’s idea. I wouldn’t have implemented it now, were I in charge, but I think it’s fine. <shrug>

4) In terms of live raiding, we nearly 24-manned heroic Putricide until, at 17%, our third tank got DCed. The wheels kind of fell off the bus after that, even after he reconnected a few minutes later. I know I spent most of the rest of the raid laughing my ass off, which is entirely the fault of my GM and my RL. Hope to get heroic Putricide down on Monday and then work on Sindragosa, really. That would be sweet.

Speaking of my current guild, my GM and RL want me to go to the guild meetup in Vegas next year, which would mean my saying to Apotheosis: “Sorry guys, can’t raid for the next few days, I’m going to VEGAS with my OTHER guild!” This still amuses me greatly, but it’s not why they were cracking me up. Seriously, I’m going to miss casting Hammer of Justice on my GM while one of us is MCed on Lady Deathwhisper. I’m going to miss my RL calling the triangle “panties”. I’m going to miss the vast majority of the raiders in this guild, particularly this one gnome mage, who is definitely my second-favourite active mage and in my top five of all-time mages. (Majik, Tandrace, Dar, then probably this mage and then Kylon, I think.)

5) Apotheosis will be opening recruitment soooooon. We’ve already snagged a few people with whom I was at least vaguely acquainted, but keep your eyes peeled for an announcement at our website:


Okay, time to grab a drink and go lead ICC10.

The Weekend of the Slacker

I spent my weekend not doing much in terms of Beta and doing very little in terms of reforming my guild.

I think I logged on to Beta twice. The first time, I got into a Stonecore (regular) run wherein the first boss absolutely ruined us. Well, no, the trash ruined us and THEN the first boss ruined us. Five deaths and I was done. Either I was doing something horribly wrong or the group’s DPS wasn’t capable of downing the boss. Even using Mr. Grumpy Man (my guardian), Holy Radiance, Light of Dawn, keeping beacon up, keeping Judgements of the Pure up, none of it did anything. Yes, I used Lay on Hands, I made great use of WoG and Holy Shock and even sp0t-healed with Flash of Light and made use of Divine Light. And we all still died. I don’t get it. Every time I lose a person, I feel like that was my bad, although it probably wasn’t. I’ve done the Stonecore before. That boss was more annoying, not HARD. Now I’d have to say that, with the group I was with (82-84, then me at 85), that boss was hard. The group broke up. And I didn’t get a chance to heal the other time I was on beta, so… that was beta for you. (Yes, I have 13066 post coming.)

In terms of guild stuff, I was more productive. I snagged us a healing priest who’s relatively new to the game, but is very experienced in Wrath and seems like just the kind of player we’re looking for. The transfer will, I’m sure, be closer to Cataclysm, but it’s nice to know I have a commitment from at least one person to be a healing priest. That gives us, uh, one priest! ;)

On Friday, my brother pestered me to go to ICC10. And basically to lead it. Because he doesn’t know the instance well enough.

So I did. On my hunter.

We started out with 10 guildies, then lost one who wasn’t feeling well after Marrowgar, replacing her with a holy paladin. (Oh God, oh God, so much fail!) We also lost a guildie after Marrowgar due to GF aggro and pulled in someone who was in LFR who actually turned out to be the GM of another guild, a guild some of my old peeps had spent time in during Wrath. Hah. I really need to research the politics of Eldre’Thalas before I do that again.

We did 7 bosses (clearing Plague) without issue. All were one-shots. Everyone got at least one upgrade, which was sweet. The failadin even got Lockjaw. At least they were smart enough to know Lockjaw is good!

It was pretty awesome to one-shot Putricide. I actually got disconnected at the start of P3, but it worked out okay anyways and we got him down. Once again, the key is to have a clean transition to P3 with no adds up. My calls to stop DPS, burn the add and then burn the boss were basically right-on (I probably could have stopped DPS on the boss a little bit later, but anyways) and we trigged the tear gas just before the Gas Cloud would have dropped. Beauty.

We couldn’t do Blood Prince Council, though. Why is this?

The first two attempts were due to my brother dying to Empowered Shadow Lance (he was the Keleseth tank and had been last week, too). It just looks like the Dark Nuclei kept falling off him.

The third attempt, the bear who was tanking Valanar and Taldaram just up and died. Why? Well, it appears that the failadin wasn’t listening to my instructions.

There is one thing that pisses me off beyond all measure when I’m leading a raid or when I’m healing lead. That is people not listening to my instructions. If I tell you to beacon the paladin tank and heal the druid, that is what I expect you to do. I do not want you to beacon the druid and heal the paladin. I do not want you to beacon yourself and heal the raid. I want you to beacon the flippin’ paladin and heal the druid.

The failadin in question beaconed the druid and healed the paladin tank (and themselves). They let beacon fall off. They barely touched the druid for the remainder of the fight, it appears. Their most-used spell was Flash of Light. They did not judge a single time. This is also the paladin who didn’t have pally power AND DID NOT BUFF. I mean, we had to plead with them to buff kings. PLEAD. I basically just said “fuck it” and hit my drums now and again. It’s a team activity. Be an active member of the team or GTFO of my raid.

So we called it after 4 wipes on Blood Prince Council. We tried having the warlock (hi, X!) be the Keleseth tank on the last try, and Empowered Shadow Lance got him since 3 of his 5 Nuclei had fallen off or died.

… okay, I just looked more in-depth at the logs.

The holy paladin pug did not judge even ONCE. NOT ONCE in all my log data. That’s Deathwhisper, Saurfang, Festergut, Rotface, Putricide and 4 attempts at Council.

They used Sacred Shield… twice.

THIS is what is wrong with the players of today. I don’t care if there’s a 30% buff. I don’t care if it’s 10-man normal. If you’re not doing the very basics your class allows you to do (proper buffs, from kings on people in your raid to keeping JotP up and Sacred Shield)… then you have no business being in a raid instance. None whatsoever.


I also did Blackwing Lair a couple of times this weekend. Our very own Football is going for Thunderfury. He has both bindings and we’re now farming him up Elementium Ore, which his pally, my shaman and my brother’s hunter can now all smelt. We cleared the room with the technicians twice and the second time we went all through the instance. Can I just say three things about Blackwing Lair?

1) No way, no how, no chance in hell could Fated Heroes have done Razorgore. Ever. Even if we could have, there is absolutely no way we could have gotten Vael. EVER EVER EVER.

2) The Suppression Room sucks beyond anything else I could have possibly imagined in this game and I cannot express how happy I am that I never had to herd 40 people through that craptastic place.

3) Nefarian is quite large. And I forgot to bring a second bow. Melee huntard ftw!

Having done that, I did manage to turn in my Broodlord’s head quest to the Cenarian Circle over in Silithus. Once Football was like “I need to do BWL” I was like “THERE IS A BWL QUEST. I MUST GRAB IT!” So I did. And I turned it in. And now I can rep grind with the Brood of Nozdormu.

Percent chance of me actually repping up with the Brood: 0.17%.

Honestly, I really do miss the epic quests and epic feel of classic World of Warcraft and getting the Agent of Nozdormu is a part of those huge quest chains. Did you know that in order to get the gates of Ahn’Qiraj open, you had to do a STUPIDLY long quest chain? I knew it was a really long chain, but had no idea how involved it was until a couple of years ago, well after BC had launched. The chain included grinding to exalted with the Brood of Nozdormu — without AQ actually being open. The next time you see your friendly, neighbourhood Scarab Lord, congratulate them on the grind. I still can’t even fathom how long that quest chain was, and I’ve helped a friend of mine on parts of it.

Percent chance of me seriously considering trying to do the Scepter quest chain: 43.2%.

Percent chance of me actually trying to do the Scepter quest chain: 0.17%. (see: grinding rep with Brood)

Percent chance of me considering farming some Silithid Carapace Fragments for money: 62.8%.

Percent chance of me actually farming some Silithid Carapace Fragments for money: 7.3333%.

Anyways. That’s just me being silly. I have too much stuff to do in-game ALREADY. There’s still a retrospective screenshot project I want to do, some old dungeon runs I want to record and narrate, not to mention a requiem for Zul’Gurub. Plus I should probably do another Holy How-To at some point, and then there’s beta stuff.

And on that note, I have a lot to do today, so I leave you all with an admittedly random, yet handy-dandy, “Which Edge of Madness Boss Is It?” calendar:


So much to post, so little time.

I have a lot to do in WoW in the next couple of days and I have a huge amount of stuff to write. No joke, I have five drafts to finish up, spanning subjects like Zul’Gurub and its removal from the game to Sindragosa and how I hate that fight and I hate how much I know about it to beta stuff.

I did very little on beta this weekend, but live has had me pretty busy.

Continue reading “So much to post, so little time.”

Something A Little Different

While on beta, chatting with Matticus about paladin healing, he accused me of being depressing on my blog sometimes. ;) While this is absolutely true, since I’m usually spurred to write in my blog because of something that makes me facepalm or want to cry, I thought I’d try something a little different today.

Over the last several months, I’ve heard from a lot of people about a variety of topics (and I have more to say about the hunter stuff, including responses to people, but that’s another blog entry) but one comment that always surprises me is the one that has to do with my being a progression raider and still being “nice” enough to talk to those who aren’t big-name bloggers or raiding what I’m raiding.

On Sunday night, I had the opportunity to invite a player to Apotheosis, my Burning Crusade-era guild that I’m reforming for Cataclysm. Apple has the intention of healing as a holy paladin in the next expansion and she’d like to do it with Apotheosis. So I promoted her to the internal rank of Member. The ranks will be redone and most everyone will be demoted to Initiate to begin with, but I know that Apple will work hard to get this toon to 80 and I know she’s been reading my blog voraciously to learn what to do now and how to do it differently later on when Cataclysm is released. To me, it was a no-brainer to promote her to Member in anticipation of her working to earn her raid spot.

It was a huge deal to her.

I read the blog entry I linked above and my smile nearly broke my face.

I think a lot of people who don’t raid the highest levels of progression are really intimidated by those of us who do. There are those who are jealous, those who are intimidated, those who are bitter, those who don’t care and those who are sort of awestruck and probably more types of people as well.

But I think there are people who are intimidated by higher-end raiders and the proof is in Apple’s blog post or Will’s tweets to me telling me that I’m down-to-earth and how he’s surprised.

So I’ll tell you a secret. I’m down-to-earth about my progression (although admittedly unforgiving on basics of raiding/classes/etc) because it wasn’t long ago that I was that casual raider who didn’t know WTF she was doing.

I started playing this game in October of 2005. That’s like, five years ago.

I stumbled into a social levelling guild, courtesy of my brother.

My brother promptly LEFT the guild to go do this mysterious thing called “raiding” with another guild. He described the Rag fight to me and I discovered Ragnaros had OVER A MILLION HEALTH. And instantly, I knew that I wanted to do these encounters.

So I set out to get my guild to raid. The desire was there, but there was no organization, no one tried to do anything and so the 60s who hit 60 in the guild just up and left, looking for a guild that raided.

The guild I was in was called Fated Heroes. We eventually gathered enough in-house people and recruits to do ZG, AQ20 and set foot in Molten Core. We ran our first ZG on April 1st, 2006 and spent three hours trying to kill Venoxis, which we finally did do.

By the time we stopped raiding in November of 2006, we had cleared ZG, including Jin’do, several times. We’d gotten to 3/6 AQ20. We’d spawned Majordomo twice, although never attempted him. We’d gotten Onyxia into phase 3, but had never downed her with just us (although many of us got her down together when another guild on the server was putting together a pug).

Throughout this time, we farmed the 5-mans and Blackrock Spire. We did the 0.5 quest chains. We worked hard to get our upgrades, we worked hard to bring in recruits who would help out and we were the ones standing there, slack-jawed in Ironforge when the main tank of Eternal Force, Thack, walked around with his fancy Scarab Lord title on his Black Qiraji mount. I was all proud of having my Zandalar shoulders because it required getting to Revered with the Zandalar Tribe… and there’s Thack, the main tank of EF, in his 9/9 Tier 3, just standing there in Ironforge.

Was it intimidating? Yes. To see people walking around in Judgement Armor or sporting Thunderfury or Quel’Serrar was intimidating. It was infuriating. It seemed to us that the only way to get into a raiding guild was to have raid gear, which meant having to raid, but how do you raid if you’re not in a raiding guild?

So a few of us pulled together and basically dragged Fated Heroes through ZG, some of AQ and 8/10 Molten Core.

By golly, we wanted to raid, so we were GOING to raid.

The guild imploded for a variety of reasons, but we sort of reconvened in May of 2007 and reformed as Apotheosis on June 1, 2007 with the shared goal of clearing BC content.

This is where we learned how to play. We learned about hit rating, crit immunity, how to avoid crushing blows, when crowd control was necessary (oh God, Tempest Keep trash when you’re undergeared is terrible) and when it wasn’t (CAN DAYDEN TANK IT?!).

We learned about cleaves and how standing in front of a boss who cleaves is bad. We learned about how standing in fire can be detrimental to your health and your raid leader’s blood pressure. We learned how to execute things together as a team.

And still, we were behind in progression. Of course we were. Everyone had a huge head start on us. We only killed Maulgar on September 2nd, 2007 and Gruul on September 11th, 2007. When Burning Crusade ended, Apotheosis was the only guild that had cleared Black Temple (all of three times, thank you very much) without downing anything in Sunwell. We finished 9th on the server, 6th on Alliance.

We were still looking up at other raiders, like those in Epic Again and Tempest, two guilds that had continued into BC from Vanilla. We were lucky to have even one, MAYBE two pieces of our Tier 6 sets and looked at those who had all four pieces from Sunwell for the set bonuses and the other non-set pieces that blew the Hyjal/BT pieces out of the water. We’d made a lot of progress, but the truth of the matter is, some of us felt like we were still those Fated Heroes; sitting in our Zandalar set while looking at Thack in 9/9 T3.

We made some costly mistakes at the start of Wrath and so on March 1, 2009, we stopped 25-man raiding. I’ve been bouncing around other servers since. I’ve gotten a couple of server firsts since I last raided with Apotheosis. I’ve gotten my Icebound Frostbrood Vanquisher for Glory of the Icecrown Raider (25). I’ve been killed by the Lich King on heroic. I’ve been the last healer standing on heroic Putricide and seen him die.

I’ve been around the block this expansion — I’ve done a lot, seen a lot, written a crapton about my experiences.

When I went 11/12 in ICC 25 hard modes, I looked over at Eldre’Thalas’ progression. There was Epic Again… at 9/12. And it dawned on me that even if there’s no one left in Epic Again who was there in pre-BC, that guild is still one of the guilds we all looked up to and envied. They had gotten into Naxx, pre-BC, and done well! They’d cleared all but Kil’jaeden in BC. But there they were, two progression bosses behind me.

Do you know how that felt?

Wrong. It felt wrong.

It felt wrong that I, a Fated Hero at heart, was ahead of Epic Again in progression.

It felt wrong that I, a Fated Hero at heart, was ahead of Epic Again in progression on another server with another group of people.

In that moment, I wanted to be on Eldre’Thalas, surrounded by my Apotheosis crew, the core of whom are Fated Heroes, too.

The Fated Heroes among us are scrappy. We’re hungry for progression. We want to see content. We want to progress along with the other big guilds on the server. It’s a feeling of inadequacy we’re trying to alleviate and we’ve had that feeling for over four years in many cases.

It was that attitude that kept us holding on through Burning Crusade, even when things looked bleak. We pushed, dammit. We wanted it. We got it. We killed Illidan! The freaking Fated Heroes killed ILLIDAN. We were Hands of A’dal. Killing the bosses 6 months or a year after others didn’t matter too much. Just doing it at all, and together, meant something to us. It’s not about epeen or reputation or status, not really. It’s knowing that we had seen what the big guilds had seen and we proved that we could hold our own against the same measuring stick. In my heart, I’m still a Fated Hero. I’m not “nice”, I’m not “down-to-earth”. This is just who I am and who I’ve always been in this game. Progression is progression, whether you’re competing for server firsts or you’re just determined to get your crew through that encounter. You do it for the challenge, not necessarily the loot or the bragging rights. You do it so you can say you did it with your friends, your companions, your brothers and sisters in arms. Despite my personal success this expansion, I’ve experienced a huge loss — I couldn’t progress with my guild, I couldn’t lead us to this point. I made mistakes that cost us. So even though I have my drake and various titles from “Twilight Vanquisher” (when it was still current content) “Astral Walker” (when it wasn’t really current), I’m still one of those people who envies the gear someone might have. I admit, that happens less often these days, but I’m still someone who wants to do this kind of progression with my old crew, on my old server.

I’ve learned an incredible amount of stuff about this game, about raiding, about people over the last five years and I think that maybe I’m ready to help lead Apotheosis to success in Cataclysm. I think that maybe this is our expansion to finish in the top five of the server. I think that I’ve learned from my mistakes and failures. I think that I’ve learned from my successes. I think that I’m ready to listen to my officers and what they’ve learned in the last year and a half since we all raided together. Three of my six 80s are back at home on Eldre’Thalas and are ready for the next step.

Whatever happens as Cataclysm launches, I know that I will face it with the same attitude I’ve had since the very first time I heard about Ragnaros; if you want it, get your stuff together and do it yourself. No one’s going to hand it to you. You have to work for it. You may succeed. You may fail. But you took your future in your own hands and did what you thought was best.

It’s what we underdogs do. And sometimes, the result can be very surprising. :)

Typical Tuesday… Truths?

(Yeah, I’m a fan of alliteration. So sue me!)

All kinds of news and updates to report today!

1) Operation: Gnomeregan is live! And so is the Horde equivalent. I’m not sure what level is required for it, but I presume it’s 80. Start off by going to see High Tinker Mekkatorque in Ironforge to get the first quest to kick them all off. Note that you can motivate all five citizens one after the other and then ride them all down to Steelgrill’s Depot at once.

I don’t like gnomes, but I have to admit that I got chills as I helped Mekkatorque move to retake Gnomeregan.

Apparently, these quests also count for Loremaster, if you’re into that.

I do not believe you get any rep for it with the gnomes, although I could be mistaken.

Go forth and help Mekkatorque take back Gnomeregan!

(As an aside, “They may take our lives, but they’ll never take… our INNOVATION!”, may be one of the best damn lines in this game.)

2) Healing in Cataclysm MAY not suck as much as we think it will. Maybe. I’ll have more details on this later, but I healed an amazingly EASY Grim Batol run on the weekend. Like, really easy. One wipe. One bugged boss (which wasn’t even the cause of the wipe). Bunch of bugged dragons, causing us to do a stupid amount of trash. But it was pretty easy.

Possibly the strangest thing about this run is that I used Holy Light the most. I made a concerted effort to use it a lot. Anyways, you’ll see what I mean. I took some video and while the quality does suck, you should be able to see some of the incoming damage and the reactions I’m having.

3) MMOwned estimates November 18th as the release. I’m not going to link to the site, because it encourages exploits, hacks and bots and I’m pretty firmly against all of those. That does not, however, mean that I won’t consider the news coming from there regarding a release date.

November 18th makes sense to me, especially with the start of the pre-Cataclysm events that launched today. I fully expect 3.9 to drop in the first or second week of October, followed by a mid-November release of Cataclysm. I’m wondering if they’re going to nerf bosses at 3.9 the way they did when 3.0 dropped. After all, we weren’t tuned to be 70 with the abilities we had (pallies didn’t even get Divine Plea until 71), so it made sense that they nerfed things a bit, although the 30% nerf was really ridiculous back then. But I wonder if we won’t see something like that when 3.9 drops. If we do, maybe they’ll even remove some of the abilities off LK or Sindragosa that make them so very challenging (the way Illidan had Shear removed).

If I were designing things, I wouldn’t remove anything, exactly, but I’d make it so only 4 people got Unchained Magic on Sindragosa instead of 6 (on 25-man). I would imagine a nerf to LK’s health would be enough for most to get him down, but otherwise, I’d change it to 2 Valks instead of 3 and make the Vile Spirits or Raging Spirits a little less punishing.

For Putricide, it would be all about removing that third goo on heroic… ;)

I do strongly suspect that raid content is going to be changed in some fashion when 3.9 drops, though. With the changes and the inability to get all of our talents and skills at 80, something has to change. I mean, based on the wowhead talent calculator, we’ll have 36 points to spend at 80 after 3.9 drops. That means 31 points in our main tree, plus 5 points in other trees. For a holy paladin, that would mean Crusade and Improved Judgement, but no Eternal Glory or Rule of Law. Something like this:


Without Inquisition (81), ret pallies are screwed. Without Holy Radiance (83), holy paladins are screwed. It’d be nice to have Guardian of Ancient Kings, too, but that’s only at level 85. We are not going to be properly tuned for this content, so I fully expect a similar nerfage to Wrath mobs and bosses the way we saw with BC mobs and bosses when 3.0 dropped.

4) In a sign that perhaps the world (of warcraft) is facing a cataclysmic ending, Chase Christian at wow.com sent me a crapton of traffic, linking to me twice from his latest article which was posted Sunday. Many of you may recall my initial annoyance with regards to Mr. Christian and WoW.com. Most of that has long-since faded away and I’m glad that my blog could be a resource that he found useful for holy paladins. That’s all I ever wanted to provide to the community so I’m glad that we’re both doing what we can to inform the paladin community of the upcoming changes in Cataclysm.

5) Apotheosis v2.0 preparations are coming along. I’ve got a new forum up and running, 24 past, present and future Apotheosians signed up, I’m filling out the officer roles and basically just trying to do what needs to be done. We’re not recruiting yet, exactly, but will likely have to recruit from the start (possibly even pre-Cataclysm release) to ensure we hit the ground running.

And I have a new front page for the guild website which will make updates super easy. It’s still very much under construction, mind you.

Already, I’ve had more “paperwork” to do for Apotheosis in the last couple of weeks than I’ve had to do in the last… six or eight months? Last time I did any kind of paperwork like this was when I was reviewing the healers in my last guild.

My plans are to remain with my paladin in my current guild and continue raiding with them until they stop 25-man raiding or Cataclysm comes out, whichever comes first.

I’ll probably be leaving my druid (or my mage) on my other main server (with my RL friend the resto druid) and move all five other 80s back to Eldre’Thalas in one fell swoop. Then my brother’s going to transfer his paladin, his hunter and possibly his 40-something shaman back to ET.

WTB mass-transfer discount, PST.

Anyways, that’s what’s new with me and what’s going on around here. Off to finish going through some parses before I get to work on that post about healing. And I should probably get some time in on the beta tonight to get to 85. It’s so frustrating right now, because nothing’s itemized and you don’t get XP from dungeons right now when you’re past level 83, so levelling = ret questing in crap gear, hahaha. Good times.

I'm not slacking!

I promise I’m not slacking on getting you all the new news from beta that I possibly can. It’s just that the servers have been down for 22 hours now.

Boy, I’m glad I went to bed last night…

Some things to note:

– Level cap to 85 (oh boy, more levelling, which means more screenshots)

– All instances (not heroics or raids, presumably) are going to be open

– Uldum and Twilight Highlands will be open

– Addons should be enabled

So… I’m going to be spending a fair amount of time on the beta trying to get to max level. I’ll do what I can to get into groups to see how healing is, but as it stands, I’m a little afraid.

At least I’ll hopefully have Grid and Clique? :) Cross your fingers that these aren’t broken. :P

In the future, I will have a write up of Blackrock Caverns (I need to finish that one, first), Stonecore (would like to do it a couple more times, I’ve only succeeded in it once) and the other instances, like the Throne of the Tides one I did.

In the meantime, I’ve gotten off my ass and spent this time working on the Apotheosis guild forums. Crazy that I don’t even have an 80 on the server my former guild was on and yet I’m doing guild paperwork…