Raiding and End of Expansion Malaise

It always happens. As the end of an expansion draws near, people’s interests change radically. They might suddenly realize that the loot they’ve been working so hard for will be worthless at the new level cap. They might realize that all the aggravation of raiding isn’t worth it because the new content is on its way.

Your most dedicated and hardcore raiders might finally just burn out and say screw it and move along to a more casual activity, like random battlegrounds. Or they may choose to be more dedicated to something like competitive arenas rather than raiding.

People get sloppy, focus is easily lost in raids and there’s a lot of finger-pointing going around as people feel the pressure to get things done before the new expansion launches.

Raiding is a team activity. It takes some luck and a lot of work by the guild leaders to help keep that focus going.

I’ve suffered through the end of pre-BC and BC WoW. Both times, my guilds were, shall we say, screwed.

It was due to End of Expansion Malaise that my first real guild didn’t get Onyxia down and never even attempted Majordomo. Everyone was playing similar amounts to what they’d been playing previously, but they were spending it in the battlegrounds, grinding honor to get those epics, perhaps not realizing how quickly they would be replaced in Outlands.

Apotheosis just barely weathered the End of Expansion Malaise at the end of Burning Crusade. We were 4/5 in Mount Hyjal and 5/9 in Black Temple when 3.0 dropped and the nerf bat hit the remaining bosses. If this hadn’t happened, we wouldn’t have cleared both instances. We had lost some valuable raiders who were frustrated with our progression and that we even managed to get Bloodboil and Gorefiend on farm before the nerf is kind of a miracle in and of itself.

We suffered through some cancelled raids and some short-handed raids and some really bad raid comps, but, by golly, we killed Archimonde (and probably would have done so even without the nerf!) and we killed Reliquary, Mother, Council and Illidan.

We had all of three attempts on Kalecgos though, because halfway through trash to him, one of our warrior tanks just gave up. He was asked to tank something and, well, he wasn’t. So our paladin tank (who was also an officer) taunts the thing and is now tanking two things and then the warrior tank wakes up and taunts it back, even when there’s something else that’s not being tanked.

After asking on vent and in the tank channel and raid chat, the pally tank loses it.

“[tank name] PLZ STOP NOT TANKING SHIT” goes out over the raid warning.

Personally, I laughed my ass off.

The warrior went offline.

Five minutes later, he comes back… on his shadow priest. And declares that he is done with people riding his coattails.

Alone, that’s just laughable. He was arguably our weakest tank.

But what pissed me off about it is that he just quit in the middle of a raid. Four days until the expansion launched, while we were tooling around in Sunwell Plateau, he just quits.

I have no respect for people who quit.

If someone signs up for a guild that I’m running, they are signing up for the rest of the expansion, as far as I’m concerned. If you have legitimate RL issues, okay, that’s understandable. But the fact remains that if you quit, you let the team down.

Why am I talking about this now?

I find myself experiencing End of Expansion Malaise. Not on my raiding character — I’m still looking forward to raids with my “new” guild (eight or so weeks in, are they still my “new” guild?). But I’ve neglected the hell out of Kurn and my other alts. Part of it is the Beta — it’s like I can just fast-forward ahead three months or however long it’s going to be and just experience the new game content, glitchy though it may be. I’m getting to see what my hunter is capable of right now — and, currently geared, I have yet to replace anything at almost level 82. (Although I would definitely replace a trinket with a trinket out of Blackrock Caverns.) What this means to me is that I’ve gotten to the point in current content where I will be able to power through early expansion quests without trouble, at least on the hunter, which is really the only character I really care about, apart from the paladin.

I honestly don’t care about daily heroics and Emblems of Frost. I don’t care about Primordial Saronites and crafted gear, clearing content, getting achievements… All of that interest and desire is pretty much gone.

I do, however, want to make a crapton of gold before Cataclysm hits. I’d like to have around 50-60k gold on my hunter’s server (which has all my other toons on it save the pally) and 20k gold on my pally’s server, so that I can transfer everyone over with the max amount of gold (or close to it) and be able to start over again on Eldre’Thalas with a healthy amount of gold.

We’ll see if that happens, though. With my increased apathy towards current game content on my hunter, I don’t know if I’ll find the energy to actually make gold over the next couple of months, particularly since my brother and Majik enjoy bankrupting me on a near-weekly basis. ;)

However, I am dedicated to finishing this expansion with my current guild on my paladin. I will be there for the raids. I will stick it out through thick and thin. It’s what I expect of everyone else and I hold myself to the same standards.

I’m still not convinced that Blizzard has mastered the transition from old-to-new expansion yet. But I know that even if they’re unable to keep people interested in playing, that I will continue to play out of duty and obligation, if not out of fun. Because I’m part of a team. And I understand how important it is to not let the rest of the team down.

(But I’m still having fun, too.)

Kurn's Cataclysmic Adventures 2

I spent a lot less time in beta today than I did on Friday night into the wee (and then large) hours of Saturday.

After dealing with that pesky “real-life” thing, I came back to beta and decided to try out that whole “guild” thing. ;)

Apotheosis was born on Lost Isles (US/PVE) this afternoon, with much thanks to four (no longer nine) random people who were kind enough to sign my charter.

I’m not actively recruiting random people, but I did tweet about it. Before I knew it, the awesomesauce Kody from WorldOfRaids (aka, the super awesome person from Curse who extended me a beta invite) was whispering me.

Thus, Kody and I embarked upon a journey, the likes of which have probably never quite been seen before and may never be seen again. At least, I kind of hope this journey won’t be seen again.

Guilds are totally broken in beta. Which is okay. It’s beta. It’s supposed to be broken. I get it.

But, among the issues:

– Guild masters have no permissions, thus their ability to do things (officer chat, invite, etc) is severely limited.

– Promotions (and probably demotions) aren’t saved.

– New ranks don’t work properly.

I’ve got a low-level Worgen as GM of Apotheosis at the moment and this is the result of a bug that meant Kurn couldn’t speak or read guild chat.

The only way to promote Kurn and Madrana was to make each of them GM in turn and then hand it back, since this action, by default, places a GM who gives GM to someone else in the spot right below the GM in the guild ranks.

Kody was extremely patient with me as I hopped over around all three toons and gave him GM and asked him to ginvite me and give me GM back and such.

On the plus side, Apotheosis has Fast Track! I’m not randomly inviting the world at large, but if you read this little old blog and have an Alliance toon on Lost Isles, let me know, either in-game at Kurnmogh or Madrana (or Kurnbank) or via twitter, and I’d be happy to extend you an invite.

Okay, so that was the guild excitement. On to instances…

Continue reading “Kurn's Cataclysmic Adventures 2”

Wrath of the Lich King Blues

It’s no real secret to those that know me that I don’t particularly want to be a guild master again. Don’t get me wrong; I will move heaven and earth in order to play with my beloved Apotheosis folks again. I will be a GM again, a raid leader again, a healing lead again, whatever is required of me. I’ll heal or I’ll DPS and yes, I’m even considering tanking if I have to. I am dedicated to the idea of many of my long-term in-game friends playing together again in Cataclysm.

It doesn’t mean that I like the extra work or that I like being the one everyone comes crying to when they don’t get a raid spot, when they get outbid on loot, when we don’t kill a boss, when we do kill a boss but it’s not the one that’ll drop loot for someone. It’s a crappy job and, unfortunately, someone’s got to do it. Somehow, that ends up being me within Apotheosis because I’m the only one stupid enough to volunteer. ;)

What particularly drives me nuts is trying to recruit.

I am not as dedicated at recruiting as my current GM is. She’s a champ.

Recruiting sucks. It’s the single biggest timesink related to running a guild. Not only do you have to figure out what your needs are, which is bad enough, but you then have to go hunt down people who might fill those needs.

Even if you do find someone who can make your raid times, is the appropriate role or class, is the appropriate level, is wearing the “right” gear, is willing to transfer to your server and faction, what if they’re a complete jackass?

Then you go back out there and try to find a person who fits all of the above-mentioned criteria and pray they’re not only not a jackass but that they can actually play.

There is not an unlimited pool of talent out there all begging to be part of your guild.

For the majority of this expansion, it has been a seller’s market; that’s to say that people who want to join a guild have all the power. Guilds have very little to offer their members these days. Titles, mounts, achievements, many of these in-game incentives are being offered by and acquired through pugs. The guild, in Wrath of the Lich King, has become superfluous. My hunter is in a RL-friends guild. There are four people active in it besides myself. I have 3/5 T10, a 264 helm, Leggings of Northern Lights, Zod’s and I’m about 30 Emblems of Frost away from getting myself 4pc T10. I’m also Revered with the Ashen Verdict.

I have done this without a guild, per se, and without going further than 4/12 in ICC 25. Pugs and GDKP runs and daily random dungeons have allowed my hunter to get pretty decked out even though I barely get to play my hunter.

I also fear that Wrath of the Lich King has brought with it some horrible changes in the player population of WoW. This is going to make me sound elitist and all I can say to defend myself from such accusations is that I just want people to know and understand the basics of their class and role.

When you are level 80 and you select “tank” as a role for a heroic dungeon, the expectation is two-fold:

1) You can hold aggro against similarly-geared players.

2) You won’t get smashed in the face by a mob or a boss that will lead to your instant, or near-instant, death.

When you are level 80 and you select “healer” as a role for a heroic dungeon, the expectation is also two-fold:

1) You will be able to heal an appropriately-geared tank through the instance.

2) You will be able to keep the majority of the group alive even in somewhat trying circumstances, within reason, given a tank that will keep things off of you. (Unexpected patrol, someone pulled another group, etc.)

When you are level 80 and you select “damage” as your role for a heroic dungeon, there are also two expectations:

1) Do your fair share of the damage. This means doing more damage than an adequately-geared tank.

2) Don’t make your healer’s job harder than it already is. This means not standing in void zones or not pulling additional mobs.

That’s all I really expect from people. That means that tanks wear tanking gear and are not able to be crit by heroic mobs and bosses. That means that the healers have the foggiest clue as to what their healing spells do. That means that DPS should know how to string their abilities together to greater effect (like putting up Serpent Sting and THEN using Chimera Shot, for example).

I don’t think this is too much to ask. I don’t think that it’s too hard to learn some of the basics after playing this game for 80 levels. There are just too many resources out there.

I honestly don’t care if my tank has 25k health in a random, as long as they’re not crittable. I can lower my DPS to match the threat output, or I can feign or go invisible on my mage.

I honestly don’t care if my healer has to drink after every pull or two, so long as they keep us up over the course of the instance.

I don’t care if the DPS is low, as long as we have people doing their best to get the mobs down.

Why am I talking about people I run into in random groups if I’m talking about guild stuff?

My fear is that Wrath of the Lich King has dumbed down the entire player population significantly.

I’m terrified to start recruiting for Cataclysm, when I eventually start doing so, and discover that hey, everyone applying to Apotheosis is terrible. I don’t really care about achievements and I definitely don’t care about gear score; I care about how you play and why you make the choices you make.

There was someone who applied to my current guild the other day. Nice guy, disc priest. I asked him, out of curiosity, why he didn’t snag Desperate Prayer with his 14 talents allocated to his holy tree.

He said he’d try it out.

And promptly removed all his points from Inspiration to fill out Spell Warding and Desperate Prayer.

It’s like… why? Why would you do that?

He also rescinded his application, deeming us to be a little too hardcore for him, before anyone even mentioned the respec.

We’re not that hardcore.

Everyone’s got a right to play the game in the way that suits them best, but if this guy, who is probably the best disc priest app I’ve seen in a while, can make the choice to drop out of Inspiration and think that’s okay, then we have a problem with the playerbase.

The players, by and large, are not educated.

The players, due to the fact that it’s a seller’s market, don’t want to learn.

The players, due to the ease with which you can gear yourself, figure they can get into a decent raiding guild based on gear alone and then get more shinies and achievements and titles.

This is the playerbase from which I will be recruiting?

I am praying that Cataclysm dungeons and content will be difficult. I want crowd-control abilities to come back. I don’t want my hunter to get swapped out for a mage, mind you, but I want crowd-control to be required for most dungeons.

I want epics to feel epic again.

I want raid content to be designed to be cleared by guilds, not pugs.

I don’t want content to be facerollingly easy.

I want people to learn how to play again.

If this doesn’t happen, I’m genuinely afraid for the quality of applicants to any given guild, including my own.

Musings and Ramblings

I just spent about an hour working on my guide to getting the Key to the City, but I just couldn’t get the narration right. Most of the time, I just have a basic idea of what I want to say and say it, but I kept screwing up my narration. Perhaps 3am is not the best time to try to record myself describing a key run.

It’s now four in the morning and I find myself thinking about the nature of guilds. This is likely unsurprising, given my recent transition to my new server and guild, but it’s not just stemming from that.

Rohan, over at Blessing of Kings, always has neat stuff to say, but the other day, he posted about Group Content and Group Creation. Go read his post, then come back. I’ll wait.

Rohan talks about how there are two types of group content: transient and extended.

As I was reading the post, it dawned on me; I pretty much loathe tranient group content. I participate in it just about daily and sometimes more than once and I think the Random Dungeon Finder is amazing for a lot of reasons. But I hate the non-permanence of it.

It used to be that, back in the day, you would search high and low for a group to run a dungeon with you. Or, you’d get together with guildies and find another person or two and go tackle a dungeon together.

These people were always on your server; there was no cross-realm queue. These people were people you could add to your friends list and ask them if they wanted to tank/heal/DPS for you some other time. These people were potential recruits for your guild, too.

I remember doing a Molten Core attunement run once, back in the day. I was level 60 on my hunter and I was taking a tank and two DPS with me through to the part of BRD where you get the quest item. I’d done the run half a dozen times before and knew my way through BRD. All we needed was a healer.

After spamming Trade and LFG for a few minutes, a druid whispered me, saying he’d go.

The run was a success. We had one ugly moment with Ambassador Flamelash, but the druid healer gave us all some fire resist potions he had (!) and the second time was the charm. So impressed was this druid with the overall efficiency (and yes, leadership) of the run that he asked me if we were recruiting druids.

He was already guilded so I insisted he take his time to determine if he wanted to app to us, since I didn’t want to ninja him from another guild. A couple of days later, he applied and was accepted.

That he turned out to be someone who would chase greener pastures, leaving our guild not once, but TWICE, is more or less irrelevent. He was some pug who we picked up and was a valuable addition to the guild when he was with us.

That kind of experience is all but dead and gone now, with the Random Dungeon Finder. And I hate it. I hate that I don’t recognize people in my pugs on any server. I hate that I’m doing my daily content (for frost badges) with people I don’t know and may never see again (which isn’t a horrible thing in many cases, but still!). I don’t like that I’m doing weekly raid content (VOA/weeklies) without my guild. Of course, I COULD just do it with my guild, at least on my pally, but my hunter doesn’t have a real guild. Neither does my shaman, my druid, my mage or my priest. For those toons, it’s great to be able to pug the content.

I remember the days where you used to have to get someone to vouch for you before you’d be invited to any raid pugs. I couldn’t stand the warrior officer back in our old, old, pre-BC guild, but he knew damn near every serious raider on the server and forged those relationships so that he could get into pugs — and he’d sometimes have spots for others, which everyone jumped at.

This whole expansion has really been the rise of the pug raid group. Everyone can pug anything. This bothers me. Maybe I’m being a snob, maybe I’m being unreasonable and stubborn, but I really feel like raiding, the high-end raids, should be the domain of, you know, raiding guilds. I think that there was something special about belonging to a guild in the original game. I remember when we, as a guild, first set foot in Molten Core, four years ago. We basically just went in and farmed trash a bit. We got Arcanist Bindings, our first piece of T1 gear ever, which went to our resident Arcane mage, Jaymie.

It was this epic experience, though. Getting the Molten Giants down, the Lava Surgers, Firelords, Lava Annihilators, the Ancient Core Hounds (LOOT YOUR HOUNDS!!!)… There was a very real, noticeable progression with our group. We went from 20-some people farming trash to a group of about 30-35 people killing bosses. Lucifron’s first death was freaking amazing. Magmadar relied on us hunters to use Tranq shot and not miss. And, by golly, I MADE SURE my hunters didn’t miss! Downing him was a freaking miracle made possible by me and my trusty sidekick, Toga.

We were eventually able to kill through Golemagg. Killing him spawned Majordomo and we succeeded in spawning Domo a couple of times, even if we never did attempt him.

But knowing that we COULD attempt him was an AMAZING feeling! After attunement, scheduling issues, recruitment problems, balance issues, it was just SO EPIC, such an amazing feeling, to step into Molten Core and know we could down eight of the bosses. We were the little guild that could!

Where’s that epic feeling? It’s gone. Or at least, it hasn’t happened for me in this expansion. It happened in BC — seeing my guild progress from Kara through to killing Vashj and Illidan, now THAT was amazing.

Tier 7 content, barring Sarth and drakes or something like 6m Maly, was too easy to elicit any kind of pride. The proof is that my little raid group went in and cleared the Spider Wing and Plague Wing and got Razuvious down on our first night. Never mind that we never did kill Thaddius and such before the guild broke up; that’s wasn’t because Thaddius was hard. That was because we had no DPS showing up anymore, which is something else entirely.

The end of Apotheosis is where my extended content group and I parted ways. I’ve been looking for a new home, a new extended content group, since then, so that these downings actually mean something to me. I can count on one hand the encounters that really meant something to me since the end of Apotheosis:

1) Sartharion + 3 drakes: This was my big chance with my Bronzebeard guild to really show that I knew my stuff and wasn’t a noob. They’d already done Sarth3D a few times, but it was definitely not on farm. The first time I downed Sarth3D was pretty amazing.

2) Yogg-Saron: In the raid with me was my buddy Euphie and in a chat channel with us was Osephala. Two of my Apotheosis folks were with me, and Euphie and I were healing together for Yogg. Plus I did the healing assignments for Yogg and even made the useless priest be useful by getting him to take the portals. So there! Having Kal and Fad and Saku around was also basically awesome. I seem to surround myself with amazing healers. <3

3) Algalon: Killed this guy with my last guild, with my RL friend the resto druid. The “Astral Walker” title is the only title she and I share that we have earned together at the same time, so it is totally precious to me.

4) The Lich King: My healing strat based on my RL friend’s initial strat. It was super important for me to get him down because I wanted my RL friend to know the guild wasn’t stunted without her, that we could totally use having her back, but that she could feel free to focus on her RL stuff and not worry about the guild.

Plus, you know, being resurrected by Terenas Menethil is AWESOME.

I spent six months on Bronzebeard. Ten months with my last guild. And neither of them felt like extended content groups. Not the way my old Fated Heroes did. Not the way Apotheosis did.

I’ve been searching for a new home for over a year and I’m on to what is technically my fourth guild in this expansion.

Will this be the guild that becomes my new extended content group? Or will this just be another stepping stone for me before we try to bring back Apotheosis? Will this guild be the one that actually prevents me from becoming a GM again with Apotheosis 2.0? Or will this be just another bunch of scattered memories?

I’m not sure, yet. But I do know that there’s one more boss kill that needs to be added to the above list.

5) Valithria Dreamwalker’s rescue — my second “first time”: I’d been in the guild not even 36 hours and we rescued heroic Dreamwalker for the first time for them. THAT meant something to me. It meant more to me than doing it the first time I’d done it. It meant more to me than any other heroic boss downing. (Sindragosa and Putricide come close, admittedly.)

So maybe I’ve found a new extended content group that will last me at least until Cataclysm comes out, and perhaps beyond, depending on what my Apotheosis people want to do.

But I do know that it’s taken me way too long to find a group like these people, a group that even gives me a glimmer of hope of being something beyond a transient-feeling extended group. It’s not to say that I haven’t found some amazing people along the way (basically, all my healers from Bronzebeard save, uh, the other paladins, one of the shammies and one of the priests) but it’s been way too long since I’ve been a part of a group that I actually felt meant something. I’m trying to keep from getting my hopes up too much; SOMETHING has to be wrong with this group, right? Oh, wait, I know! What’s “wrong” with them is that they actually read this thing. ;)

But seriously, the idea that I haven’t felt like I’ve been in an extended group is an interesting one. Is this why I’ve not liked this expansion? Too much transient content and not enough extended? It’s all been transient since the end of Apotheosis, it feels like, even when I was guilded.

I think it’s this transience that makes me long for the days of BC raids. I hated the dungeons, thought BC was pretty lame on the whole, but my God, did I love our raids.

Okay, two hours after starting this post, I think I’m done rambling and pondering for the night, or perhaps more accurately, the morning.

How do you feel about your guild? This expansion? What is your most epic feeling from this game, and did it come from an experience you had with your guild?

Beta Beta Bo-Beta…

As I wait in the interminable Bloodlust (Alliance) queue for a dungeon, waiting for someone to need a level 68 healer, I thought I’d drop in my two cents about the upcoming Cataclysm Beta.

I got into the Wrath beta, thanks to my RL friend the resto druid. She had a spare beta key that she gave me and I spent much of my time screenshotting things, getting my hunter to 73, laughing my ass off when Unholy Blight would crash world servers and generally exploring things. I remember when Infusion of Light would cause an instant HOLY LIGHT, not just a Flash of Light. I remember when there was only a 25% penalty to healing when using Divine Plea, not a 50% one.

I really enjoyed my time in Beta. I got to see half-finished mobs in Dragonblight, I got to experience quests before others. You know the quest for Nexus called Quickening? You kill the big ol’ tree things in the zone and get Arcane Splinters. In Beta? They weren’t group loot. There were like, 10 of them available total or something. I wrote feedback, recommending group loot or 25 total so that all five people could get their quest items if all five people were on the quest. Guess what? That’s what happens on live. :D

I also really enjoy just learning the new mechanics before things go live. One thing I hate about expansions is that it’s a near-total knowledge reset. By the end of Burning Crusade, I could have tanked on a warrior at 70, even though my own warrior is only level 16. I had done my research. I could have played just about any spec of any class adequately throughout any encounter from Kara to BT. I might not have topped damage meters or healing meters or been able to hold aggro from our resident fury warrior while I was tanking, but I knew enough about what abilities were available to everyone and when they should use them that I could have done an okay job.

Come Wrath, most of that knowledge was gone.

“Vigilance?” I remember asking, “What the hell is that?”

It typically takes me at least a full year to be relatively acclimated to the game changes an expansion brings. Beta knocks off a bit of that time and lets me learn about my own classes right off the bat so that I have the knowledge that’s most important to me already subsumed by the time live hits. When live hits, it’s about learning about other classes, newer quests and instances I never tried on beta and such.

I’m hoping I get into Cataclysm’s beta early on so that I can learn about some of the big changes — guilds, mastery, archeology and the like — as well as my own classes so that when Cataclysm comes out, I am ready to hit the ground running.

I really do want to restart my dear old Apotheosis (most of the time, anyways!) and the best way for me to do that is to go into 4.0 filled to the brim with knowledge about how things work in Cataclysm.

The thought of going forth into the beta and the next expansion really reminds me, too, that a lot of the content I post here, the informative stuff, is technically time-sensitive. My Holy How-Tos are going to be all but useless come the expansion. Definitely something to bear in mind, going forward. Every patch, every expansion, things will probably change, which is something I haven’t had to deal with since I only REALLY started blogging in earnest after 3.3 hit, despite the fact I started this blog up around 2.4!

Anyways, should I get into the beta, I WILL be posting stuff here. I’ll put it all behind the cut, though, and my blog subjects will be not-too-spoilery. :) This is your notice!

The queue still hasn’t popped. In other news, I got Portal Jockey and I’m on a Boat last night!

… yeah, that’s about it for now, I guess. This queue is awful. I think I’ll try my hand at some AV.


So, uh… didn’t see this coming.

25-man Lich King down. And though I use the pieces in different sets, that’s me in 5/5 Sanctified Lightsworn Garb.

Yeah, I have NO idea how we pulled that one off…

(Edited after just being in shock for 20 minutes.)

It’s kind of terrifying how many bosses I’ve personally downed at the appropriate level. Talk of this and such below.

Continue reading “Uh…”


So my good ol’ buddy from Eldre’Thalas, Majikmarine (who was my mage officer, the original founding member of Apotheosis, who has always been my partner in raid-leading crime), reactivated his WoW account and transferred his level 73 death knight over to Proudmoore so that he could level up with my brother’s hunter (72) and my druid (75).

He specced some form of tank (haha, I know so little about DKs, I’d have to armory him to look it up) and so we queued up with him as a tank, me as a tree and my brother as leet DPS.

We OWN Ahn’Kahet. It is our itty bitty little bitch.

I showed Maj the pulls for the most efficient clear the first time and when we queued up and got it again, we tore through it.

All the while, we were on Vent.

It was really a lot of fun and I hope to make it a regular, daily happening, for at least the month that Maj’s account is active. The queues are close to instant, the instances take no more than a half hour at the most, Maj is learning to tank on the DK, I’m getting the hang of healing a tank who isn’t quite crit-immune, but is DEFINITELY not uber squishy…  I have people with whom I can bitch about idiot ret pallies and idiot DKs!! Ecstasy! :D

More PUG failure! Hooray!

I may just take a break from using the random dungeon tool for a few days. The stupid makes my head hurt.

Today, my hunter got Drak’Tharon Keep. And the name of my warrior tank was hilarious.

Apotheosis. My old guild’s name. Awesome, right? Wrong. Our healer is a druid and had just switched to his (or her) resto spec and had no mana… and also had other gear on. What does Mr. Slandering My Guild’s Name do? He chain pulls the whole hallway and half of the first room. The ENTIRE TIME, in party chat, the druid is going “WAIT” and “NEED TO SWAP GEAR” and stuff.

That Drak’Tharon Keep run ended for me when we wiped TWICE on King Dred. Well, I only died once because FD was on cooldown, but after the second time, AND Mr. Needs A Name Change didn’t run back for his healer, I left. Screw that nonsense. And then, despite the fact it truly saddened me, I put Apotheosis on ignore.

You bastard. Using my guild’s name and being a dickweed? That is NOT the Apotheosis way. :P I left the group, requeued, and… wound up back in DTK. No problems. Got a couple people their Better off Dred achievement, too.

Madrana’s Azjol-Nerub run went fine, thankfully. I didn’t feel like tanking so I queued as just a healer. It’s nice to not have to tank.

The shammy was less fortunate than my paladin. I got Trial of the Champion. Which, you know, should be fine, right? Again, we would be wrong.

While standing in front of the Horde champions, I realize that the paladin tank has buffed us.

That’s right. Buffed us. All of us. With SANCTUARY. The group makeup is pally tank, DPS DK, mage, hunter and me on my shammy, healing.

So naturally, I ask for kings.

(The tank also had Crusader Aura up ’till I asked for a change in aura.) But basically, I was agog. The tank actually believed that Sanctuary was the same thing as kings, but you got less damage taken.

Strictly speaking, he’s wrong. But for a tank, a paladin tank at that, he’s more or less correct. You lose 10% agility as opposed to Kings when you use Sanc, but you gain an obscene amount of mana from the blocks, dodges and parries, plus you get your 10% stam for your health pool and you get 10% strength for your threat.

Does not mean that a resto shaman has any use for any of that. How many attacks will I block, dodge and parry, if I even get attacked at all?

The one who did cry was the hunter. I should have spat out “you don’t get 10% agility when you have Sanc, buddy”, but the paladin relented and gave me kings. Doesn’t mean the MAGE and the HUNTER didn’t still have Sanc, but whatever. And for that cry comment, I will admit, I let the hunter die on the Black Knight. And almost didn’t rez him before leaving the group. I also elected to use Wrath of Air totem just to spite the pally tank, even though it was just me and the mage who would benefit.

Oh, and more proof that the pally tank was fail:

STOP USING SEAL OF WISDOM, YOU MORONS. Seals of Wisdom and Light are basically for the holy paladins of the world. Seal of Command is primarily ret, occasionally prot. Seal of Vengeance is prot. STOP BEING NIMRODS and using Seal of Wisdom even when your mana bar is FULL.

Finally, I spent a mana bar’s worth of casts at the heroic target dummy in IF to determine what the hell I should use as an Arcane mage — Flamestrike or Blizzard. My Rotation was: Flamestrike 9, Flamestrike 8, Blizzard. I did this five times, emptying my mana bar almost entirely. This is, of course, an extremely small sample size, but I think that under the controlled conditions, it’s a relatively accurate comparison.

56,054 damage from Blizzard versus 48,057 damage from Flamestrike and its dot. This leads me to believe that Ignite and the various fire-related crit talents are a HUGE component of Flamestrike damage, since I have no Frost talents to improve Blizzard at all. So I do believe that the resto shammy believed me to be a FFB (Frostfire Bolt) specced mage when, neener neener, I am Arcane or Frost, depending on which of my two specs is active. So THERE.


I have 5/5 T9 (ilvl 245). I have a couple pieces of 258 gear. My paladin is basically pimped out. I’m doing okay in terms of healing, when I don’t have six people sniping my heals. I’m blowing my cooldowns when I should be. I’m in a guild that clears 25m TOC with ease and has done TOGC 25m Anub’arak attempts. I’m even healing with one of my dearest RL friends.

And yet, I miss the days when I looked forward to a raid. I miss logging on for three hours and having raids that were spending time with friends. I miss the idle Vent chatter, the crazy raid warnings, the feeling of success that came from downing a boss we’d spent FAR too much time on. Like Vashj or Kael. Or even Leotheras or Bloodboil.

I miss the days of attunements, of epic-feeling quests, of non-puggable content.

I miss knowing that some of my guildies put their minds to it and, by golly, got themselves ZA bears.

I miss helping people out with their specs or rotations or gems.

I miss sitting in a passworded channel for over an hour every night after a raid, with one of my officers, talking about the utter fail from some people in the raid and how it was amazing we’d made it as far as we had, as we went over the logs together.

I miss the sense of family, friendship and belonging from my old guild.

I miss Apotheosis.

I’m basically in my current guild (for as long as they’ll have me — I’m still a recruit) because of my RL friend and because I know this guild will kill Arthas. It won’t even be a race — which will happen first, the death of Arthas or the new expansion? And that’s what it was for Illidan for us.

But I logged so many hours with my crew, so many nights of wiping, so many nights of laughing, that I find it’s those days I’m nostalgic for. I can hack it in a tough guild. I can get gear with ease. And ultimately, that’s not what matters most to me.

It’s taken me the better part of four years to figure that one out. I’d suspected it, but I’d never known, for sure, until recently.

I wouldn’t trade our Illidan kill for a server-first Illidan kill. I wouldn’t trade our Vashj kill for amazing gear. I wouldn’t trade my Hand of A’dal title for Astral Walker. I wouldn’t even trade my Hammer of the Astral Plane, which I got from Apotheosis’ first-ever Naxx10 clear, for Val’anyr, Hammer of the Ancient Kings. I wouldn’t trade Majik or Shadow or Toga or Kam or Kut for any of the people I raid with these days. Except maybe the RL friend, but she’s a resto druid and we ALWAYS needed resto druids in Apotheosis, and the others I mentioned are a mage, warrior, hunter, warlock and rogue/warrior. ;)

Maybe for Cataclysm, eh? I guess we’ll see.

Rounding up the last little while.

First thing… I tried Algalon for the first time tonight, ever. It was 25m. It’s a seriously fun fight. We only got through one Big Bang at most, though. The guild I’m apping to hasn’t killed him on 25m yet and only killed him on 10m for the first time tonight (after the 25m attempts were done). Still, I didn’t fuck up hardcore, so I’m pleased. Still, look at this damage.

[00:00:25.621] Algalon the Observer hits Tank1 4639 (A: 7176)
[00:00:25.621] Madranah Flash of Light Tank1 +*0* (O: 6637)
[00:00:25.621] RestoDruid Lifebloom Tank1 +525
[00:00:25.854] Algalon the Observer hits Tank1 24051
[00:00:25.854] Tank1 Necrosis Algalon the Observer 74
[00:00:25.868] Tank1 Retribution Aura Algalon the Observer 209
[00:00:26.028] Tank1 Frost Fever Algalon the Observer 353 (R: 88)
[00:00:26.164] Tank1 Retribution Aura Algalon the Observer 233
[00:00:26.343] Algalon the Observer hits Tank1 7441 (A: 4659)
[00:00:26.343] HolyPally1 Flash of Light Tank1 +443
[00:00:26.714] Tank1 Plague Strike Algalon the Observer 1131
[00:00:26.726] RestoDruid Lifebloom Tank1 +1066
[00:00:26.897] Algalon the Observer hits Tank1 21430 (O: 2249)

And just like that, dead like dinner. My holy light was in the middle of casting and I just needed another half second to make sure it would land… Anyways. I didn’t make a fool of myself, which is nice.

As to the previous guild’s drama…

Continue reading “Rounding up the last little while.”