It’s certainly been a long time since I’ve had the time to sit down and write here, for which I apologize. It’s not that I don’t have things to say, mind you, it’s that I lack the time.
Work is a bit overwhelming, as I adjust to this “daytime” schedule. I feel as though I have no time for anything that I really want to do. Or, if I really want to do it, I have to abandon other things that I want to do. In fact, I recently had to step down from writing about guild leadership at Sentry Totem, which really, really makes me sad. I just didn’t have the time to contribute regularly.
I haven’t played much WoW, either.
I have mostly maintained my podcast, which is great, but it’s been at the cost of doing other stuff. And this month is National Novel Writing Month and that is something I always endeavour to do, but, perhaps understandably, my ability to hit 50,000 words of a novel in the 30 days of November never goes well when I’m actively playing WoW. ;) This year, as last year and the year before, I’m dedicating a lot of my spare time (and I have so much less of it now!) to NaNoWriMo.
Speaking of writing, I haven’t finished my Raid Leader’s Guide. If we’re lucky, I’m hoping to have something for you in the early weeks of 2015. It’s just so difficult to find the time (and motivation!) to write about it. Even though I think it’s super-important for WoW folks, even though I want to share everything I know about it with you, it’s a tough slog. I’d rather you wait for something good than something terrible and pretty much unfinished.
Tonight, the night between Wednesday, November 12th and Thursday, November 13th, marks a pretty big change in my life, strangely.
You see, Warlords of Draenor launches at 3am.
And I… am going to be asleep. Because I have work in the morning.
Not only that, but I’m probably not going to play much, if at all, on Thursday when I get home from work, because there’s this whole “writing” thing. Friday, I’ve got the first of two high school reunion dinners this weekend. I think that, realistically, the first opportunity I’ll really have to be able to play Warlords is Friday night, after dinner — if I’m still conscious.
While I did miss out on the Mists of Pandaria launch, I was on a flight to Rome. Kind of couldn’t be helped.
This time, it’s all my choice. It’s my choice not to be sleep-deprived at work tomorrow. It’s my choice to be rested for Friday. It’s my choice to not play.
And it just seems as though my choices, of late, have been just that — not to play.
And it makes me sad.
I’m not blaming anything or anyone for these choices, although I freely admit that if I didn’t have a full-time job, I would probably be resting now in preparation for a 3am launch… My priorities are changing, shifting, and they’re not even done changing, yet. They will likely never be what they once were. I will likely never again know as much about WoW as I have previously. I will likely never be quite as engaged in the game as I was before. And the thing is, none of this is because of the game. It’s all because of me and my circumstances in life.
I remember when Burning Crusade launched and I was SO ANGRY that there were no midnight parties in Montreal, which meant that I had to wait until 7am the next day. Still, I was on TeamSpeak (!!!) with Majik as he stepped through the Dark Portal… and got flattened by the Fel Reaver while gazing at the sky.
I waited in line for Wrath of the Lich King and played through the night.
I bought the digital version of Cataclysm and played through the night then, too.
Of course, there was the delayed playing of Mists of Pandaria due to Italy.
But tonight… I won’t be up late. I won’t go out and explore Shadowmoon Valley within minutes. I won’t skin dead animals or tame new ones. I won’t log in and out on all my characters to make sure they get rested experience going.
I’m going to bed shortly and the entire World of Warcraft will change while I dream of things that don’t involve healing or hunting or deck fire on Heroic Blackhorn.
I’m a little sad and feeling a little introspective tonight.
But to those of you who still wholly embrace this wacky game, to those of you who will be up at 3am, to those of you who will race through the new content in the next couple of days… enjoy it. Take care of yourselves. Take it easy on the soft drinks. Get some rest, eventually. But above all, enjoy the launch. You never know when it’ll be your last.
Go forth and decimate the Iron Horde for me. I’ll catch up with you soon.
I finally finished my quest for the legendary cloak. Unsurprisingly, I have some thoughts on the matter. ;) I’m going to break down the different chapters of the quest and comment on them separately before discussing my overall impressions at the end. Go get a beverage. Trust me.
Chapter 1: Sigils Can Suck It
Being that I’m not a rogue who got Fangs of the Father, I had to grind rep for Wrathion.
First, let me be clear: I’m not opposed to a good, old-fashioned rep grind. Really, I’m not. That said, just killing mobs to do so is (and always has been) annoying. I’ve done it several times in the past (Hydraxian Waterlords rep to Honored, for instance) but there’s no other real way to gain rep with Wrathion. Just lots and lots… and lots… of killing.
Part of me enjoyed the mindless killing of the Mogu in the Vale (which was where I decided to rep grind), but it wasn’t fun by any stretch of the imagination.
That said, it was ten times more fun than collecting 10 Sigils of Power and 10 Sigils of Wisdom.
Perhaps if I had been a regular raider this expansion, instead of not playing for 17 months, I wouldn’t have been frustrated at the low drop rates. Maybe I would have taken it in stride that sigils only dropped occasionally from the bosses of Tier 14. (Yes, I know that they continued to drop through Throne of Thunder and the first half of Siege, but the hypothetical is if I’d been playing and raiding consistently, so that’s a few months of just Tier 14.)
On the one hand, loot is random. It always has been and it always will be. It’s part of what keeps people going back. How many times did I kill General Drakkisath for my Beaststalker Tunic? 60. Six-zero. SIXTY. Over the course of a couple of years. I killed Gandling in Scholo for my Beaststalker’s Cap 4 times before I even SAW that helm, but killed him an additional 24 times before I won it. I’m fine with random loot in general. It’s like it’s the natural order of things.
That said, 20 random-drop, required “legendary” pieces is a lot of killing bosses. Like I said, maybe if I’d been a regular raider, I wouldn’t have minded, but as someone who was catching up through LFR and not raiding regularly with any group… this was less fun. LFR in general is not terribly fun, so to do LFR run after LFR run and not get the requisite number of sigils is disappointing.
Kurn, why didn’t you raid regularly?
Okay, so that’s a fair question and I may as well answer it now. After over a year of not needing to make time to raid, not having to set aside 3-4 hours three times a week, I really didn’t want to start doing that again. I play at weird times and it’s not really consistent. You can find me online at 7am or 7pm, 2am or 2pm and it changes frequently. I didn’t want to be tied to my computer for raids. As much as I enjoyed raiding in the past, I didn’t particularly feel like raiding regularly again. Certainly, to do so when I came back (March) would have meant doing so with another guild, because my own guild of Apotheosis was knee-deep in heroic Siege of Orgrimmar at that point. Doing so with another guild would have meant character transfers and, honestly, I didn’t feel like giving Blizz any more of my money (I’d just pre-ordered WoD and resubbed for a month), so I decided against it. Also, I typically raid on my holy paladin, but I wanted the cloak on my hunter, with whom I had not seriously raided since Vanilla — and I was seriously behind on gear compared to organized raiders.
Yes, I could have used services like OpenRaid and all that in order to have smoother runs, but I’m notoriously private about my BattleTag and have turned off RealID and until these systems receive the basic in privacy-related tools, I will do my best to not use them. It’s a Thing for me. And while I recognize that I’m one of very few people who feels this strongly about privacy in the game, that’s my choice.
So did I make things harder on myself than I absolutely needed to? Sure, I’ll admit that. But that doesn’t change the fact that chasing down 20 sigils was unpleasant for me. I would wager it was unpleasant for everyone.
Okay, back to Chapter 1…
The reward for this, the Crystallized Dread? I didn’t even get to use this! It’s still sitting in my bags. Why? Because I’d picked up a bow from Tortos in the Throne of Thunder. So my actual reward for finishing Chapter 1 was to be able to move on to Chapter 2.
Chapter 2: Vexing Valor & Problematic PVP
Chapter 2 brings us to Krasarang Wilds. Despite the fact I dislike PVP-like things (oh boy, more on THAT later), I kind of enjoyed the short period of time I spent in Krasarang, killing Horde mobs to get to Revered. (Yes, I could have gone to Isle of Thunder for all of this rep grinding, but I wanted to experience all of the content Blizz had put in.)
I think this was the one portion of the questline where I was genuinely bummed that no one else was out there doing dailies. It felt very lonely and empty, sort of like how Azeroth felt when they introduced Outlands in Burning Crusade.
The Valor Point section wasn’t too bad, but I fully admit that I had it easy, only needing 3000 Valor Points versus 6000. So I’m not going to complain. I’ll say this, though: six weeks of Valor Point capping is tough and it feels like an artificial barrier for a month and a half to prevent one from advancing “too quickly” on the quest line.
It also wasn’t clear to me (or many others!) that you didn’t need to save your VP, that you could spend them. Perhaps that’s because the VP needed when I did the quest was the same as the VP cap. Plus, the tracking was odd (although I’ve read theories that could explain why — preventing the dropping of the quest/loss of progress, faction transfer issues, etc), but in the end, I got my 3000 VP pretty easily.
Next up was killing Warlord Bloodhilt in Krasarang. Hunters are OP because I soloed him as Survival with my turtle pet and a couple of different talents than I usually take. It wasn’t really hard, but it wasn’t a cakewalk. I liked this. :)
The Lion Roars includes some of the worst experiences I’ve ever had playing WoW and I probably would have stopped there if it hadn’t been for my brother, who had temporarily resubbed. It took me close to a week of trying for about an hour every single day to get both wins.
Why in the fuck does a PVE-related questline, which just required you to raid, which just required you to earn Valor Points, require you to participate in BATTLEGROUNDS?
I used to PVP a lot on my hunter. I got to Knight-Captain (and just missed Knight-Champion a few times!) in Vanilla. I got so tired of the zerg rushes, of the constant death, of everything to do with PVP, that I just stopped doing it, for the most part.
Over the years, I’ve played around in arenas now and again. I got to Rival in Arena Season 2. I kind of like arenas. In 144 2v2 games with me (as a holy paladin) and my brother (arms warrior), I won 73 and lost 71. It’s occasionally fun and I got a bunch of this season’s gear, but ultimately, PVP doesn’t really interest me. As soon as my brother stopped playing again, I stopped caring about arenas.
So to be forced to do PVP stuff in order to advance what is clearly a PVE questline makes no sense to me whatsoever and was probably one of the more miserable experiences I’ve had in the game. Don’t get me wrong — I’ve done School of Hard Knocks. I’ve done With a Little Helper from My Friends. It’s not that I’m just completely terrible! But winning these two BGs was exhausting.
Eff that. I especially hated that it was the new ones. I know how to play Warsong Gulch, Arathi Basin and Alterac Valley. Why not give me the choice of winning two BGs? Just any two. Why THOSE two? Maybe they wanted to push people into trying the new ones? Guess what? I am NEVER going back to Temple of Kotmogu or Silvershard Mines EVER AGAIN. I have developed such an intense loathing for them. It goes beyond my hatred of most BGs. It’s frightening, to be honest. And the sad thing is that when I heard about them before the expansion came out, they sounded fun. The Temple of Kotmogu especially — I loved thinking about the various tactics for scoring when they announced it. I had even thought that maybe I would play around a bit in it with my brother, like, willingly. Silvershard Mines was interesting to me because I play some Team Fortress 2 and it sounded just like a Payload map.
And yet, terrible experiences. They might be the best BGs to ever hit WoW, but I have the worst associations with them now. I’m never, ever touching them again.
You also have to feel sorry for the poor PVPers who had to suffer through countless PVE scrubs. At least I brought with me my brother, who was a decently geared and skilled arms warrior…
Okay. Enough. I could rant about this for another 1000 words, but I’ll leave it at this: Keep your goddamn PVP nonsense out of my goddamn PVE experiences.
Full disclosure, I did half of my rep and secrets before any of Blizzard’s temporary buffs and the remaining half during the time in which the temporary buffs were active.
The first half wasn’t so bad. I got to about 11k through Revered with Wrathion by screwing around on the Isle of Thunder and doing some concentrated mob killing. This is another point where I lamented not doing things with everyone because the Isle of Thunder was just so empty and sad. I didn’t experience probably 75% of what Isle of Thunder had to offer and I’m kind of sad about that.
I also got 11/20 Secrets of the Empire before I tired of LFR and took a lengthy break. I returned to LFR during the two weeks of the Gaze of the Black Prince. So when I walked into the appropriate LFRs to pick up my 9 remaining secrets, it was perhaps a bad thing that I got all nine and still had bosses left to kill. I had presumed (perhaps foolishly) that I could easily knock out both my remaining secrets and all 12 Titan Runestones and finish the quest during the last week of the Gaze buff.
It had taken me literally 20 minutes (with the guild perk Mr. Popularity, plus my Battle Standard of Coordination) to finish off my rep and hit Exalted with Wrathion, so I was ready to move on to the next stage. I turned in my 20 Secrets of the Empire (and my 40 Trillium bars) and was anxious to go kill the remaining bosses who would start me off with my Titan Runestones.
After four bosses, I had 3 Titan Runestones. You’d think someone with a sociology and statistical background wouldn’t take that as FACT, but apparently I internalized the 75% drop rate.
Boy, was I unhappy to only get 7 Runestones out of the 14 possible bosses. It was so discouraging. Here I thought I could knock it all out during the last week of the Gaze buff and finally get my stupid cloak and be done!
I was apparently mistaken.
Anyhow, the other parts of the chapter included a pretty uneventful time over at The Thunder Forge. Maybe it’s that my gear was around 537 in average ilvl, but this was easy and boring as crap. Kind of neat to see an Algalon-like dude, though. That’s a nifty model.
The Nalak bit was pretty hilarious. Again, because NO ONE is EVER on the Isle of Thunder (and because I am stubborn as hell and want to do things by myself whenever possible), I did this by myself thanks in particular to this comment at Wowhead.
I ended up getting my last two Runestones this week, plus the Heart of the Thunder King. And so, we move on to…
Chapter 4: Is that a CHALLENGE?
Okay, so this was both neat and ridiculous.
I talked to all of the Celestials and ended at the Temple of the White Tiger in Kun-Lai because, well, I’m a DPS who isn’t a caster. I had a Celestial Offering to help me out, too, and at the Temple of the White Tiger, it gives 10% extra Strength and Agility.
So I click on the gong and get told it’s the melee DPS challenge.
My actual reaction: “what in the fuck, do I have to go do the CASTER challenge?!”
So off I went to the Temple of the Jade Serpent. Hey, look! 10% increased Intellect thanks to my offering. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense for a hunter. (I still miss my mana bar.)
Anyhow, Wrathion pwned me twice and then I was like “okaaaaay, time to regroup.”
I swapped a couple of glyphs and a couple of talents and even FORGET to glyph Black Ice. I learned it (I hadn’t known it), but forgot to actually select it as a glyph to use. Whoops. I ended up not needing it, though. Swapping to Binding Shot was really helpful and the third try was successful, although just barely.
Given that hunters pick the Tigerfang Wrap, I think it’s especially odd that the challenge took place at the Jade Temple.
That said, I really enjoyed the actual fight. It wasn’t all that hard, though. Kiting Artorius through Winterspring for my Rhok’delar was more difficult and took me far longer than the ~30 minutes I spent in total from the first pull to finishing this challenge. Which is a shame, really. I would like more stuff like THIS. THIS was fun.
Chapter 5: Challenging the Celestials
Get 5000 coins on Timeless Isle? No problem.
Defeat all four Celestials: actually, so much easier than I would have thought.
The “other raids” button is carefully hidden away, but was awesome in finding a group for all of the Celestials. 30 minutes later, they were all defeated.
And done. Got my cloak.
Then, for fun, I killed Garrosh and saw Wrathion get pissed off at Varian. Look, I’m no fan of Varian’s, but Wrathion, you suck. I long for the day when I can skin you. That said, I laughed out loud when he said he should have taken control himself, just like “Auntie Onyxia”. Props to Blizzard for that, and the bit with Anduin remembering her as Lady Katrana Prestor.
So I have a legendary. But it sure as hell doesn’t feel like a legendary, despite all the hoops I jumped through for it. Let’s see, 20 Sigils, 20 Secrets, 12 Runestones, 2 BG wins, one-on-one combat, killing all the Celestials, OH, and grinding to Exalted with that little bastard… Yeah, legendary hoops, but the cloak feels ridiculous. This cloak feels like the Kingslayer title did after three months. The first month, it’s all shiny and new and YOU KILLED THE LICH KING YEAH!!!! The second month, you start to be bored by the invites to join someone’s run. The third month, everyone and their brother has the title.
That’s the same thing with the cloak. I cannot imagine how actual, organized raiders feel about their hard work when people like me (ahahaha, I’m a “dirty casual”!) can get the exact same cloak with nowhere near the same time invested. I queued up for LFR. They did actual raids. Their boss kills were more difficult than mine (probably, anyway). Isn’t it a sad thing that I have the same cloak as Tikari, who is currently 13/14 heroics in Siege of Orgrimmar?
I think it’s sad. Also, ridiculous.
A legendary is legendary not because the item’s colour is orange or because it has better-than-average stats and a neat proc. A legendary is legendary because it’s rare. Or it’s supposed to be.
Tell me, what’s the barrier in getting a legendary cloak today? There’s one tricky part, which is the one-on-one combat with Wrathion, and that’s it. Everything else is pretty easy and just takes a lot of time. But it’s not even a lot of time all at once! It’s time spent at your leisure! You can do an hour of LFR here, two hours there and 30 minutes some other time.
So with just a tiny bit of skill and time spent at your own leisure, you too can get a legendary cloak.
And that’s a problem. Legendary cloaks are now basically required for any raiding guild.
While this is fair for those raiding guilds (the cloaks ARE really good), it’s less good for people who just want to break into raiding. Having the cloaks existing at all is an artificial barrier to entry to organized raiding. Don’t get me wrong, I LIKE barriers to entry for raiding — a lot — but the time commitment to getting a cloak is a lot longer than an attunement quest (or six).
It’s also bad for guilds who want to have that kind of standard because it reduces the pool of available talent substantially. But it’s a difficult decision to make: do you take the undergeared person of that class or do you hold out and pray you get another good disc priest or elemental shaman or whatever it is you’re searching?
I don’t envy guild leaders or raid leaders today. They have difficult choices in terms of recruitment and, frankly, I’m relieved that I’m not involved in their decisions.
As to the legendaries… I don’t think there’s a good way to do them. Giving them to everyone is awful. Giving them to one individual feels bad, too.
If everyone has a legendary, it’s the same result as if no one has one. So I vote to get rid of them.
What do you think?
(PS: Catch more of my writing over at SentryTotem.com, Tuesdays and Fridays!)
With the news that Patch 5.4.8 would bring with it the ability to add two more upgrades (4 ilvls each) to 5.4 gear, I laughed to myself. Why? Well, because there are several instances of Blizzard saying they won’t nerf Siege of Orgrimmar (at least not in the blanket-nerf sense of the word). The most recent one was just a month ago, back in April.
@Nathasil_WoW Correct, there’s no zonewide aura planned. We’re keeping an eye on overall progression rates in case targeted nerfs are needed
And yet, they’re adding up to 8 more ilvls to every piece of SoO gear, every piece of Timeless Isle gear, every piece of SoO crafted gear… Granted, as Watcher states, it’s “nothing” compared to a zone-wide 30% aura:
@Consecra It’s about an 8% “nerf” that will take effect gradually over weeks. It’s nothing compared to 30% ICC/DS.
But Valor upgrades are still a nerf. I went through that in this old post of mine from last September (wow, was I ever off on the timing of the expansion…) and I still maintain my opinion that it’s a nerf. That said, I am also still a fan of the fact that the onus is on the player to make their raids easier.
Anyhow, I laughed to myself at all of this and was, once again, pleased that I’m not raiding in any serious capacity at all.
That said, I had the intention to cap Valor so I could walk into 5.4.8 with 1000 or 2000 VP and upgrade the crap out of what I’m wearing. I figured we still had a week or two.
Wanna know how much Valor I had earned in the last, oh, two weeks?
That’s right. Five Valor. I did one quest for 5 Valor or something. That’s it.
So, forgetting for a while that I am no longer a progression raider, I got online and did my 200 VP Epoch Stone quest on Timeless Isle. In so doing, I also earned 50 VP from killing 20 elites on Timeless Isle.
Total VP: 255.
This was substantially less than 1000.
So I did the unthinkable. I queued up for the first couple of wings of Siege of Orgrimmar LFR. Late on a Monday night.
Wing 2 popped for me.
By some miracle, we didn’t wipe on Galakras, despite there being ZERO tower group organization.
Both tanks left shortly after that mess. And then we got some extremely talented players who were, and let’s be fair to them, total douchecanoes. One of them was the tank, the other was a DPS warrior. Both were very well-geared and knew their stuff, but oh my God. The language. The foul, foul, FOUL language, full of slurs and pejoratives!
I was going to leave, but I didn’t. I’d already put in 30 minutes of waiting for the queue, plus 20 minutes on Galakras, plus another 10 of waiting for two new tanks to show up.
Someone ninja-pulled on Iron Juggernaut and we wiped. Then we actually had a good pull and killed that. Killed Dark Shaman. Then wiped on Nazgrim because people still apparently don’t know how to kill adds… Finally got Nazgrim down, adding 90 VP to my pathetic collection, bringing me to 345 total. (Also, no Secrets through those bosses.)
My other queue popped for the first wing and I was going to take it, except I was still annoyed and I was tired and…
… and I’m not a raider.
It’s as though a lightbulb went off. Who the eff cares if I don’t max out my VP? I certainly didn’t care until faced with the fact that I could do more stuff with my VP today. Guess what? I haven’t even fully upgraded most of the gear that I’m wearing. (Part of this is because I want to get better gear before upgrading.) So, really, what the heck is the point in trying desperately to cap to get to 1000 VP before servers go down? There’s no one relying on me to “do my part”, there’s nothing driving me to do it, except my own expectations.
I declined the queue and thought about this.
Even though I haven’t raided seriously (as in, not LFR) since the end of Dragon Soul, I am still wired to try to maximize my potential. It took a lot of effort in the first place to stop VP capping even when I didn’t want to any longer. For so long, it’s just been part of my WoW life to do unpleasant tasks “because I have to!”
But I don’t “have to” any longer. (And true, strictly speaking, I never “had to”, but I felt I had a responsibility to my raid teams to do whatever I could.)
It’s going to take some time to adjust to this whole “I can do whatever I want” thing. Breaking such a long-standing old habit is definitely not as easy as one might think. Even now, I’m filled with residual “dammit, why didn’t I cap VP for three weeks prior to today?!” thoughts and I even have a bit of guilt resulting from it.
You’d think that not having played for ~17 months would have cured that right quick, but no. It’s as though my “decompression” from being a raider was just on pause until I got back into the game and NOW I’m dealing with what it’s like to not be a raider.
I have a new favourite thing to do in World of Warcraft and that thing, my friends, is soloing Zandalari Warbringers.
It all began because my level 90 priest, who is my enchanter, was severely lacking in various reputations to get the “good” enchants, the ones that need revered with the August Celestials and Shado-Pan. My priest had basically been neutral with both of these factions and I was in absolutely no mood to do countless dailies and such to raise her rep to honored, much less revered. Some searching online revealed that one can get a ridiculous amount of rep with these Bind-to-Account things called “Stolen Insignias”, which drop from Zandalari Warscouts and Zandalari Warbringers.
I’d killed a few Warscouts and I knew of the Warbringers (they had previously kicked my ass) but still felt stuck because I didn’t really know if I could solo them.
At the relatively low equipped ilvl of 525, I’m proud to say that my hunter can, in fact, solo the Warbringers. It is awesome.
Why is it awesome?
Well, not only is my priest the proud owner of all the bracer and weapon MoP-level enchants, but I am getting these awesome things called Big Bag of Zandalari Supplies and Small Bag of Zandalari Supplies. The big bags are themed, so to speak, and are duplicates of the variousbags the rares in Townlong Steppes have a chance of dropping. So you could open a bag and get 20 Golden Lotus, along with something like 100 herbs. Or you could open one and get a Sha Crystal, some Mysterious Essences and a crapton of Spirit Dust. Or you could open one up and get a ton of ore and a few gems. The small bags contain gold, plus a stack of a couple of different materials. (I am now drowning in Kyparite, by the way.) These bags and insignias also have a chance to drop from the (much easier) Zandalari Warscouts. (There’s about a 29% chance to get big bags from the Warbringers and a 15% chance from Warscouts, so the Warbringers are definitely better odds, although I quite enjoy killing the Warscouts, too!)
If you don’t need rep and if you don’t need various MoP materials like herbs, enchanting stuff, ore or leather, then there’s still one reason for you to go out and try to kill Warbringers: the mounts.
So that’s the Slate one that I got the other day. The others are Jade and Amber and you can apparently tell which colour mount is a drop possibility by virtue of what colour mount the Warbringers are on. (or their chairs? I am unclear on this.) At any rate, the mounts are a nice little bonus.
I’ve been killing these guys all weekend long. They have an approximate respawn timer of an hour and they only spawn in five places in the world: Near Chi-Ji’s Cradle in Krasarang Wilds, near the Briny Muck in Dread Wastes, near Sik’vess in Townlong Steppes, near the Yaungol Advance at the eastern edge of Kun-Lai Summit and near Sri-La Village in The Jade Forest.
As a hunter, the hardest part of this is controlling threat. I was very confused as to why my pet’s aggro was, well, terrible. Apparently, they’re immune to taunts, much like the Death Adders on the Timeless Isle. As such, to get it done easily, I personally have to chain misdirect my pet and feign quite a bit. Terrible, but the rewards are good enough and it’s challenging enough for me to keep doing it, despite the immunity to taunts.
If you’re not too concerned with threat, the next major issue is keeping your pet alive. The Glyph of Mend Pet is helpful in removing the potential fear being cast on the primary target of the Warbringer, but the Glyph of Mending is essentially mandatory for this.
The other thing to be worried about, in terms of pet health, is the stupid Vengeful Spirit. You need to turn off all your AOE stuff and keep your pet on passive so it doesn’t change its target, or else you may get the attention of the Vengeful Spirit who can two or three-shot you (or your pet). Keeping Mend Pet up at all times will help to draw her to you, where you can easily run away from her. If you need to feign while she’s up, do so, but then re-cast Mend Pet to ensure she turns around and comes right back to you instead of your pet.
In terms of pets used, I use a turtle for the Last Stand ability as well as the Shell Shield ability. Both can come in fairly handy!
Overall, it’s a fun, profitable thing to do and it’s something that lesser-geared hunters can do fairly easily, with some practice. Here’s a video guide to soloing a Zandalari Warbringer that I put together this weekend. :)
So a little while ago, as in just about two weeks ago, someone named Tickle on Twitter was saying stuff about needing writers and class experts for a new WoW site she was starting up. Naturally, I wanted details. So I asked her a few questions, she sent me a few answers and, well, the next thing you know, I had applied to be the guild leadership columnist over at SentryTotem.com. (Twitter: @TheSentryTotem) Oh, yeah, and I was accepted, too. ;) More details will be forthcoming in the next few days, I suspect, but keep an eye on the site as content should be popping up Soon(tm) and definitely follow the site’s Twitter account!
In the meantime, I’m still screwing around in WoW. After farming almost all of the ore I needed for Blacksmithing and Engineering for my newly-boosted 90 warlock, I decided to take a break for a bit… and I found myself levelling my paladin. Levelling was hilarious in that I found myself either healing instances (so. many. instances.) or exploring and doing some quests — in 4pc T13 heroic gear… with a heroic Gurthalak, Voice of the Deeps. (I suppose I should thank Serrath, who was the loot master of Apotheosis at the end of Cata, for giving me unwanted retribution gear without my permission. Thanks, Serrath!)
Most stuff was okay, it was just long. I had some pretty fail dungeon groups but I also had some pretty awesome ones. I definitely don’t like a lot of the “new” (I put that in quotes because they’ve been out for what, a year and a half now?) dungeons, but the worst, the worst, was doing Siege of Niuzao Temple and getting to the third boss (Pa’valak) with a group that was, and let’s be fair to them, sub-par.
How bad was this? Well, we didn’t wipe to the boss, but the moonkin and the DPS warrior both died about a minute or so into the fight because they stood next to the bombs and got blown the eff up. Of course the druid didn’t think to give me Symbiosis (I’ve had it given to me about three times AND LOVE IT EVERY TIME I GET IT, BECAUSE REBIRTH IS AMAZING.), so the pally tank and the mage and I were left to fend for ourselves.
Here’s a screenshot from Skada, after the fact.
Yeah, see the duration there? From 14:41 to 14:53? That, my friends, is a twelve-minute fight, which I haven’t done since the freaking Heroic Spine of Deathwing fight.
We probably should have wiped it, as it likely would have been faster, but you know what? WE KICKED ASS. I felt really good about keeping us alive, considering I was still wearing tons of T13 gear.
So there was that. Anyhow, I dinged 90 relatively quickly (although 89 felt like it would take decades to complete) and started opening up all the Timeless Plate stuff I’d gotten with Kurn over on the Timeless Isle. I got to ilvl 476 or something like that pretty quickly and then, because I’d just gotten Gold Damage in Proving Grounds on Kurn, I thought I’d see just how bad the healing Proving Grounds are, even though some of my gear wasn’t even 463. (I mean, I had a 410 ring, a 410 trinket, a 450 mace and shield, a terrible neck…) Got through Bronze without issue. Got through Silver pretty easily. And then Gold just DESTROYED me, ahahaha. I’m now over 463 in each slot, so I should be able to go back and get Gold without issue, but WOW, that was not easy. It’s been a long time since I got my ass handed to be that badly.
I’d mentioned to my brother that I was playing WoW again and he was like “should I resub?” and I told him not to. So what did he do? He signed up for a month, just like I did. He had a hell of a time getting the game to update and eventually had to open a ticket for a call-back(!) from Blizz, but everything got sorted and the next thing you know, he’s in the game and rolling a brand-new rogue. Why he would do this when he HAS a rogue at 85 is beyond me, but he kept claiming that he wanted to re-learn how to play and that re-rolling is the best way for him to do that. I don’t really disagree, but it’s not like the game has changed that much. Hell, if I can still play Kurn and Madrana worth a damn, he can play his rogue.
So he gave up on the rogue when he realized he didn’t have all the heirlooms and he encouraged me to level a higher-level toon with him. Choices included my warrior (80) with his druid (78), his warrior, priest or paladin (85, 85 and 86 respectively) and my priest (85) or my mage (85, on Skywall) or my druid (85, on Proudmoore). We elected to go with his warrior and my priest combo, so he could tank (if he wanted to) and I could heal (because, well, that’s what I do).
We hit 86 on Saturday night. As we started out in the Jade Forest, I noticed my brother was, well, spawning flowers all over. “Are you like, GROWING FLOWERS around you?!” I demanded. “What the hell is that?”
“Wait, is that me?” he asked.
“Well, it’s not ME!”
“Ohhhhh, hang on… I think it’s a macro. Yeah, my herbalism haste thing is macroed to my charge.”
This still cracks me up. We legitimately did not know why, for a good half an hour, why there were flowers blooming everywhere, apparently at random. We obviously still have some rust, but we’re not so rusty that our muscle memories have been forgotten. I found myself using Penance and Prayer of Mending without even thinking about it, although it took me a minute to find my defensive dispell button/clique combo. (Shift-Mouse Button 4, FYI.)
On Sunday, I slept in. In the two hours between my brother’s first text message saying “WAKE UP AND HEAL ME” and when I actually woke up and got the message, my brother had given up on me, pre-ordered Warlords of Draenor and had boosted his own priest to 90. He was in the battlegrounds when I logged in.
We’re now halfway through 87 on the warrior and priest. (Void Shift is awesome.)
The hilarious bit is that my brother had been DPSing the first couple of Temple of the Jade Serpent runs we had, but then he decided to start tanking for the faster queues. So we did maybe two Temples and maybe one run of Stormstout Brewery and my brother is complaining about aggro. Sure enough, various other members of the group had aggro, according to my Grid. We’re halfway through a Temple of the Jade Serpent run when he says to me, over Skype, “oh, shit.”
“What?” I ask.
He types to the group: “Sorry about the aggro problem, I fixed it.”
“What, what did you fix?”
He pauses. “Well, I hear Defensive Stance helps.”
I burst into laughter. My brother had tanked something like three dungeons — all in Battle Stance. And he’d done WELL as a tank, too!
About ten minutes after he swapped to Defensive Stance, he said, “Well, this is BORING now. I should just stay in Battle Stance!”
So I’ve had some fun in the last week. More stuff forthcoming, what with Sentry Totem news, more adventures as my priest (ahahaha, totally forgot about Atonement healing for a while there, plus Spirit Shell!) and the upcoming adventures on my WARLOCK. It’s definitely more fun with my brother around. I wonder if he might be into doing some challenge mode-type stuff. I also wonder if we might convince a certain Maj Maj to join us… ;)
It’s as though I have too many thoughts racing through my head to get any of them down, but, by golly, I’m going to try.
“On or Before December 20, 2014”
The thing that seems to be causing people’s heads to explode is that, on the pre-order page, it says quite clearly “Game is expected to release on or before 12/20/2014.”
First of all, they’ve already said that’s not the release date. They’ve said fall of 2014. So that’s somewhere between September 23, 2014 and, shockingly, December 21, 2014. My money is on early fall, but they’re obviously being very Blizzard about things and hedging their bets, as per usual.
Still, people are upset because that means more than a full calendar year in the Siege of Orgrimmar raid instance.
This isn’t new, though. Icecrown Citadel, the final major raid of Wrath of the Lich King (no, Ruby Sanctum doesn’t fully count), launched on December 8, 2009. Cataclysm launched one year later, on December 7, 2010. Dragon Soul, the final major raid of Cataclysm, launched on November 29, 2011. Mists of Pandaria released, surprisingly, on September 25, 2012. Siege of Orgrimmar, the final major raid of Mists of Pandaria, launched on September 10, 2013.
Given that track record, it’s hardly news that people are going to spend a year with Siege of Orgrimmar as the “current” raid content. It is, however, quite disappointing to a lot of people, I would imagine. I would further submit that this is probably the entire reason why pre-ordering now gets you the level 90 boost immediately.
On the bright side, Blizzard typically has beta periods that last approximately 6 months. 6 months from now is, you know, September. In my opinion, this means we are very likely to see beta launching in the next month or two. So they’re going to try to keep players occupied with new toons at 90, the beta launch, plus their other properties. (D3’s expansion is coming out soon, Hearthstone is certain to be ending beta soon, Heroes of the Storm is on its way…)
I’m not surprised. I’m not even disappointed, although I know a lot of people are. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve not played much of this expansion and I’m fairly separated from what’s going on, or maybe it’s because I’m just that jaded, hah! I actually thought it wouldn’t be impossible to get things going for a June release, but apparently I was wrong. Ah, well. I do think it’ll be closer to late September than late December, but what do I know, eh? Clearly not a lot. ;)
Healing Changes in Warlords of Draenor
Honestly, over the last few days, I’ve written over 3500 words talking about these healing changes and I can’t make up my mind about them.
On the one hand, I’m in favour of absorbs being less potent (I’ve always hated absorbs and yes, I’ve played a holy paladin), I’m in favour of smart heals being less smart, I’m in favour of having time to make intelligent decisions about on whom to cast which spell.
I’m not in favour of the cast-times being added to Light of Dawn, Word of Glory/Eternal Flame, Wild Growth, Prayer of Mending (and other priest spells) and Uplift.
I’m not in favour of healers having to relearn how to do their jobs all over again. My previous drafts rambled a lot about this point, but here’s the thing: DPS basically still does today what DPS did when WoW launched. Tanks have changed a lot, I’ll grant you, especially with this whole “active mitigation” thing. But healers had to relearn how to heal for Cataclysm. I’m not saying that was a terrible thing or that healers didn’t need a serious retooling, but here we are, just 3ish years later, and they’re removing the “mid-level” heals (or whatever you want to call them). So much for the three-heal system. (Actually, I’m well-aware that the three-heal system was already out the window come the end of Cataclysm, with healers spamming AOE and smart heals, and I can’t imagine that’s gotten any BETTER throughout Mists.)
It’s not that healing doesn’t need to be reworked, because I’m certain it does. I just think it sucks that the burden of relearning falls to the healers. Again. As if relearning your specific class again doesn’t suck enough (and it can!), learning how healing works in a whole new system of healing can be painful. Blech. I read the healing changes and immediately did not want to heal, period.
Out of the many words I’ve written on the subject, perhaps the most poignant (for me) were those that made me see that perhaps I’m just too old for this stuff. I mean, not necessarily because I’m old (because I’m not, shut up!), but because I’m weary. Part of the reason I stopped playing is because rolling with Blizzard’s punches just got really exhausting after a certain point. After seven years of adapting to every change and all the retuning and retooling and redesigning, I was just tired. Heck, I still feel tired. It used to energize me to know that changes were on the horizon. I’d jump at the chance to learn anything new.
But I just… don’t, anymore. That lack of passion, lack of desire to learn, it kind of indicates to me that maybe I’ve truly outgrown the game…
But You Just Pre-Ordered! WTF?
… yeah, I did. Guilty as charged. I bought the pre-order for two main reasons:
I’m going to at least check out the new expansion. That’s never been in doubt, even if my lifelong dream of getting server-first skinning has been crushed. I also had the money to pay for it now, so why not spend it now on something I know I’m going to want to have later?
Even if I don’t play much for Warlords of Draenor, I want my stable of alts to be ready for the expansion for money-making purposes. (I’ve quite enjoyed having a stash of over 220,000 gold sitting there, ready for me if I ever wanted to come back and raid seriously again.)
I’m also seriously considering resubbing for a bit, but I wouldn’t expect that to last through to release. Maybe I’ll spend the next month or two playing around a bit and then let things lapse before coming back at the 6.0 patch, at which point I will endeavour to learn how to heal all over again, unless it really makes me want to cry. (Which is a possibility.) Still, I feel as though I owe the community at least a 6.0 holy paladin primer. We’ll see.
That said, because I pre-ordered, I have a shiny new boost to 90 I could use, if I resubbed, and I am incapable of deciding. Here’s a poll. Vote for your favourite options and I promise to take them into consideration.
As North American realms came back online today, after the application of Patch 5.4.7, a new option became available for a short while: Boost a Character to 90. The price was set at $60 USD.
As I understand it, this option was not supposed to go live, especially since it vanished quickly thereafter. Still, it certainly gives one food for thought.
1) Is $60 a reasonable price to bring a character up to level 90?
Obviously, this depends on several factors.
a) Do you have a lot of disposable income? If so, $60 is going to seem a lot more reasonable to you than someone who only just manages to pay $15/month for their subscription to the game. It also means that you’re likely to see fewer new-to-90 characters, which may (or may not) be a way for Blizzard to throttle the number of people who have no idea what on earth they’re doing at max level.
b) Is the character level 1 or level 60? Level 70? Level 80? Level 85? Obviously, if the character is brand-new, you’re getting more bang for your buck. 90 levels divided by $60 is basically 1.5 levels per dollar. But what if you, like me, stopped playing regularly after Cataclysm and your characters are mostly level 85? 5 levels divided by $60 is $12 per level! That’s the point where I’d be all “well, eff that, I’m going to go spend 12 hours or so and get to 90 on my own!” Actually, I’d probably hit that point around level 70 or so, but that’s just me.
That said, time is money, friend, the goblins tell us in-game. What’s that time worth to you? That’s what it ultimately comes down to. For myself, I would have expected something around $25-$30 USD. I know that I would have paid easily that much to ding a few characters to max level, but remember, this is only max-level for a short period of time! The boost-to-90 option will still be available once Warlords of Draenor comes out, I imagine. Will there be a boost to 100? Maybe, but maybe not. You’re not paying for a max-level character for Warlords. You’re paying for a level 90 and, in just a few short months (I’m still saying June 10th +/- 2 weeks), that’s not going to be max-level anymore. Does that devalue it for you, going forward? Should it? Perhaps.
2) Did they mean to allow the option to be available?
I don’t think it’s impossible that this is a way for Blizzard to gauge reaction on a price point. Most people’s reactions seem to be “that’s way too much, they’re crazy!” Could it be that they “accidentally” left the option in the build, gave people enough time to see it and then hotfixed it out? If so, then perhaps they’re crazy… like a FOX. All of this market research! Not to mention all of this buzz. And potential buzz if they drop the price later on when it actually goes live…
Then again, I’m not sure this is the case, because there were rumours of people getting a question about this in a Blizzard survey/email or something a while back. Still, nothing can prepare someone for the reaction of announcing something to the world, not even surveys and polls. Maybe this was their way of doing that. Maybe not.
3) But seriously, $60???
I keep coming back to that price point because I think it’s somewhat ridiculous. The way I understand it, and I could be wrong, is that people started talking about buying multiple licenses for Warlords of Draenor in order to get multiple characters to 90. If the average price of a World of Warcraft Expansion is somewhere in the realm of $40 USD or thereabouts, then why price the level 90 boost to be ~150% of that? If kept at this price, a level 90 boost would be the most expensive purchase you can make for your character, exceeding even the realm-and-faction transfer fee of a $55 USD, combined.
4) The conversation has changed.
Hilariously, the conversation regarding 90 boosts, say, two months ago, was the fear that people who didn’t know what they were doing would infiltrate a highly-skilled playerbase. Ignoring the fact, of course, that much of the playerbase isn’t all that skilled to begin with, the conversation on whether or not people should be able to boost their characters to 90 has now been replaced by why does it cost so much? which neatly removes a lot of controversy amongst people who were concerned that the overall level of player ability would drop. (I’m still concerned about that, because I like thinking about how things affect the overall community.) The controversy now is “if I want to buy a level boost, it should be affordable, it shouldn’t be the equivalent of FOUR MONTHS’ worth of WoW!”
Lots of food for thought. We have a lot to look forward to on this subject, as well as the pre-order and, of course, beta testing for Warlords of Draenor. It’s going to be an exciting next few months, that’s for sure.
Speaking of excitement… My newest guide, Kurn’s Guide to Being a Kick-Ass Raider is launching next Tuesday, February 25th! And don’t forget to join in the Twitter Q&A on Sunday, February 23rd at 3pm ET (noon Pacific) with the #AskKurn hashtag. :)
I’ve been wanting to post this for a few days, now, but felt I really should post now after having read Anafielle’s excellent post, Mists of Farm-daria.
Let’s be super-clear about this: I am no longer a raider. As such, I have a lot of latitude in being able to do what I want to do. But I’m in a raiding guild and I read blogs by raiders and follow many raiders on Twitter. The biggest concern I keep seeing, over and over again, is how much time people are spending doing all the non-raid stuff they feel they “should” do as a responsible raider.
At Level 90, I gather that there are a few dailies a raider “needs” to do for rep with various factions. Here’s what those factions give you:
– Golden Lotus: Tailors and LWs particularly due to the patterns available at honored, plus VP rings at honored. At Revered, Shoulders and Chests become available with VP.
– Klaxxi: Blacksmiths get their plans here at honored. There are also VP necks here at honored. VP legs and belts are available at Revered. Exalted has some blue-quality (ilvl 463) weapons available.
– Shado-Pan: VP cloaks at honored, VP trinkets and helms at Revered.
– August Celestials: Enchanting patterns at Revered, as well as VP boots, gloves and bracers.
Of course, “needing” to do the dailies is a very subjective term. From my perspective, a raider should probably maximize his or her gear in order to perform better in raids. As such, since VP gear is available from ALL of those factions (and I’m not even talking about how you had to earn rep with factions for JUSTICE point gear until recently!), raiders should likely rep up to at least revered with most of these factions.
I feel that a raider should maximize his or her gear within reason. (And bear in mind that my thoughts no longer necessarily reflect the mindset of Apotheosis!) That means I feel that you shouldn’t need to drop 200k on a heroic drop at the Black Market Auction House. It means you shouldn’t need to craft something worth 60k (possible exception for the Darkmoon Faire trinkets).
At the same time, it means that I feel one needs to do LFR weekly for upgrades, rep up for upgrades, cap VP for upgrades.
Not everyone will agree with me. Raiders who fall on the more casual side of things than Apotheosis will think I’m insane. Raiders who fall on the more hardcore side of things than Apotheosis will be more likely to say “of course, duh, PLUS you need to get those BMAH items AND craft all the things”.
The fact remains that in order to improve your performance in a raid, your gear needs to be upgraded. How you do it and how dedicated you are to doing it is all that’s in question.
That brings us to cooking.
In brief, fuck cooking.
I say that as someone who has ALWAYS had at least one max-level cook. In Cataclysm, I had 3 max-level cooks. I own three Chef’s Hats. In short, I enjoy cooking.
Whoever decided to fuck with cooking in this expansion needs a smack upside the head.
Don’t get me wrong, the farm thing is cute. I like being able to grow things. My problems with cooking are not problems with farming, although they are tangentially related. No, my problems with cooking consist primarily of the fact that it takes an incredible amount of materials to max yourself in one single Way of cooking and that unless you max all the Ways, you can’t drop a 275 stat food feast. Plus, 275 stat food feasts aren’t even as good as the 300 stat foods that are single-use! What the eff happened here?
If we look at my personal feelings about gear, doesn’t that mean I think everyone should use personal 300 stat foods? Sure. Until you look at what’s REQUIRED for 300 stat food. Say I want to make the 300 Agility food for Kurn. That’s Sea Mist Rice Noodles.
Ingredients for 5:
– 1 Rice Flour (Ironpaw Token)
– 25 Scallions (farm or 1 Ironpaw Token for 25)
– 5 Tiger Gourami (fishing or 1 Ironpaw Token for 5)
– 5 Raw Turtle Meat (farming mobs or 1 Ironpaw Token for 5)
At minimum, for a stack (20) of 300 stat food, you’re looking at 4 Ironpaw Tokens, 4 days of farming on a farm that is at least 5 plots, finding 4-5 Tiger Gourami schools and fishing them, possibly two, then killing some turtles for the meat. Or spending 16 Ironpaw Tokens for all the mats. Or mixing and matching and supplementing with the Auction House.
Imagine a typical progression raid guild can wipe 30 times in a single night. You now want at least 30 foods. Add another 2 tokens, minimum, up to another 8. For a single night of raiding.
I’m pretty sure many people will agree with me when I say “fuck THAT right in the ear”.
There are different swaps to be made, of course, something about Bundles of Groceries and trades with Spirits of Harmony and the like, but that’s still pretty rough, particularly the farming of mobs and the fishing up of fish.
Now, I happen to enjoy fishing. Prior to Mists’ launch, I had ALL the fishing achievements. I like it. But a lot of people don’t. And a lot of people may feel pressed into fishing to get that “best food”. Plus, the fact that there are SO MANY ingredients means that the AH is not a great source. There may be hundreds of carrots up, but not hundreds of Tiger Gouramis. Which leads back to tokens or farming/fishing yourself.
Now multiply that by 10 or 25, depending on your raid size. Gah.
So in terms of effort vs. gain, having the guild bank handle banquets is probably your best bet. After all, it’s “only” 25 stats. But, and I don’t know about you, it would drive me crazy not to have the 300 stat food on me. (Have I mentioned I’m glad I’m not raiding? No? I AM VERY GLAD TO NOT BE RAIDING.)
Say you want the 300 stat food and want to rep up with, oh, everything. That is a stupid amount of time investment. Plus, you still may run dungeons and LFR in addition to raiding…
I’ll be honest with you. I’ve been doing Golden Lotus dailies, Tiller dailies and Anglers dailies on Kurn. I’m a hunter. Pure DPS. It still takes me ~90 minutes to do all my dailies and tend to my farm. And I’m not even doing Klaxxi dailies because, well, ew, gross. Add in another 20-30 minutes for Klaxxi, then another 20-30 minutes for other factions as they become available and you are looking at 90 minutes to 2 hours for a not-particularly-geared DPS to earn rep EVERY DAY in order to get better gear. God forbid you’re a healer.
Then there’s flasks. Gone are cauldrons entirely. And each flask requires a Golden Lotus. Do you know I haven’t ever PICKED a Golden Lotus on my herbalist? Haven’t seen any. As such, the most reliable method of getting a Golden Lotus is trading in a Spirit of Harmony for three of the herbs. Whee, that’s one night of flasks in my guild, but hey, that doesn’t even include the herbs. Thankfully, the other herbs are only 4 of a single type, in conjunction with the Golden Lotus, so it’s no longer 8 of 2 separate herbs, it’s just 4 of one herb. Feel bad for the Strength users who pay out the wazoo for Fool’s Cap, but anyhow.
This seems as though it’s overkill. In their effort to give more, diverse things for people to do, Blizzard has only succeeded in making a lot of the things “mandatory” for many of the raiders in their game. When, then, do raiders have the time to do Challenge dungeons? Scenarios? Hunt down those rares? Level alts?
Blizzard has, in my opinion, screwed up and needs to rectify certain things ASAP:
– Banquets should be 300 stat food (450 stam for tanks)
– Cauldrons should be re-integrated into the game at a similar cost as last expansion: 3 of each flask (int/str/agi/stam) (I still think we’ll outgrow Spirit flasks, so I don’t think that’s necessary to include in the Cauldrons)
– Cooking should not be quite as brutal in terms of materials required
– Dailies should NOT be taking 90 minutes every single day
And, as was pointed out on Twitter by Rades and Vosskah, why the reversion back to a DAILY heroic dungeon for VP instead of just capping at 7 heroic dungeons a week?
Blizzard has done a lot of things right this expansion (I love a LOT of little things) but these “wrong” things are things that would drive me to quit if I weren’t already planning to do so.
So, I’ve been in Italy for the last couple of weeks. I left home on Monday, September 24th, landed in Rome at about 10am local time on Tuesday, September 25th. That’s right, I was in Italy for launch. And most of the first couple of weeks. I got back home on Friday, October 5th.
Since I am not planning to raid this expansion and since I am, in fact, probably quitting WoW shortly after my current subscription expires (after the Annual Pass expires), I have not been in a rush to level. I’ve logged on to just about all my toons to get them rested, of course, but I’m just chilling. Kurn just hit 86 last night and I’m, again, in no rush to level more quickly. I’ve been raising professions — all three of my alchemists, my JC, my scribe, plus my herbalist/miner. Poor Kurn’s professions are not very high at the moment (540-550 range) but I’ll get there eventually. (Must make use of the DMF profession things for +5 to various professions.) The biggest issue I’d encountered is that I had, for some reason, never levelled my enchanter on Eldre’Thalas to 525 enchanting. Nope, she was stuck at 450(!) so I had to get her to 475 to start DEing Mists stuff. She’s sitting around 525 enchanting now, I think.
What’s absolutely astounding to me is that, for the first time since Vanilla, I am totally lost when it comes to stuff. People in guild chat are talking about locations and mobs and instances and I am completely lost. I am saving all these cooking ingredients I have because I don’t know what I need to use yet and I don’t know what isn’t needed by me.
Of course, nothing is really “needed” since I’m not raiding, but you get what I mean.
It’s so very strange to take a couple of weeks off and be THIS lost.
At the same time, it’s kind of a good thing, I think.
Anyhow, time to go enjoy myself doing whatever I want (including making a lot of gold). I’m sure I’ll chime in about things once I’ve hit 90 on some toon. In the meantime, you should look at some of the pics I took in Italy:
Months ago, I came to the conclusion I would not be raiding in Mists of Pandaria. In fact, I may not even be playing after my Annual Pass paid subscription runs out. As such, it was important to me to make sure to give my officers the heads up and ensure replacements would be found for the vacant positions. Once replacements were found for me, it also became important to have a timeline of the changeover of power.
September 18th, two weeks after our last raid, one week ahead of Mists of Pandaria, seemed like a good date to give GM to Jasyla, who was the chosen replacement for me as GM. It also seemed like a good date to demote Majik to Member from Officer.
So as of this writing, I am no longer the guild master of Apotheosis.
It’s a weird thing.
When we started Apotheosis in 2007, Majik was the GM to begin, but that was quickly given to Toga after a vote. It was in January of 2008 that Toga had to step down from raiding and so I became the GM.
In March of 2009, I gave GM to Majik. We had lost too many raiders in late BC/early Wrath to continue, so Maj held on to GM for a while and I headed to Bronzebeard on my pally and to Proudmoore on my hunter.
It wasn’t long before Majik chose to let his subscription lapse so my level five hunter, whom I was using primarily to save the name Kurnmogh on Eldre’Thalas, became GM of Apotheosis again. The guild still existed and people were still in it, but most had stopped playing or had moved on. There was very little GMing to do, really.
In September of 2010, I brought Kurn back from Proudmoore and regained GM on that character. And Apotheosis 2.0 was born.
Two years later, for the first time since Majik briefly was GM in 2009, someone else is the GM of Apotheosis.
It’s weird, in a way, how people choose to identify themselves. For 14 months, I was Kurn, GM of Apotheosis. Then, I was Kurn of Kurn’s Corner, while I was simultaneously Madrana of Bronzebeard, Proudmoore and Skywall. Then back to Kurn, GM of Apotheosis.
Being Kurn has been a huge part of my identity for over three years of my life. I have ALWAYS been an officer of the guild, since June 1, 2007.
That is a long time.
Soon, not only will I no longer be the GM, but I won’t be an officer. I won’t be raiding. I might not even be playing.
It’s a very odd thing to be saying goodbye to these identities I’ve constructed over the years. Officer. GM. Raid leader. Healing lead. Raider. Player.
It’s happening at a time in my life when I’ve finally finished university, too, so at the same time, I’m also shedding the identity of student, which is actually a lot harder than I thought it would be.
Change abounds. Adventures await. And while my adventures in the World of Warcraft have been unforgettable and awesome, occasionally annoying and disappointing, but ultimately rewarding, it’ll be good to explore the new adventures that await me without being tied to my email, the forums, the game, the raid times.
It’s a good change. The guild is in good hands.
None of that makes things any easier, though. How do you stop a seven year habit? How do you stop identifying yourself as what you’ve been for the last several years? How do you say goodbye to those who followed you on your various adventures?
For me, I guess the answer is to find something else about which I’m passionate and create a new identity, perhaps one relating to finding a full-time job or actually finding the time to have a relationship.
As to saying goodbye, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say something as final as “goodbye” to my guildies. I will always keep up to date with Apotheosis happenings, boss kills, server firsts and the like. But as time goes by, it will certainly be from the sidelines and it will definitely be from the perspective of having helped to create the guild that is now kicking ass, kind of like how I imagine a parent looks at their child as the child grows into a fine, upstanding young adult.
Once again, I am honoured and humbled to have played any kind of role in the history of Apotheosis. The guild has been my baby for the last two years and though it’s difficult to give it up, I know they will be in good hands and I know they will kick some serious ass going forward. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is really what any GM wants their guild to be able to do without them at the helm. Mission accomplished. :)