So overpowered…

Back in Burning Crusade, when warlocks were something to be feared, a guildie rolled a warlock alt and called it “Imop”.

“Imop?” I said.

“No, no,” he replied, “that’s I’m OP.”

I laughed.

On Sunday night, I seriously considered renaming my shaman alt “Imop”. Because she really, really is. How so?

I nearly soloed Overlord a couple of weeks ago. That was my first big hint.

The Jump-a-Tron quest in Nagrand? Well, I shocked myself by landing on the nest on the first attempt. And then hauled out the ol’ spirit wolves after the momma bird came looking for me.

12 seconds later, the ol’ momma bird was dead.

That was my second big hint.

What convinced me, though, was going out there at level 65 and soloing Banthar, a level 67 elite. 25 thousand health? So not a problem. Not with spirit wolves, Maelstrom… I didn’t even have to blow Shamanistic Rage.

I suspect that I’ll be able to get Bach’lor and the windroc elite (whose name escapes me at the moment) about as easily, and I now have an Earth Elemental Totem so I’m thinking Tusker will be pretty easy, too.

If all else fails, I have FROSTSHOCK and can kite her over to Telaar. ;)

I’m sure that shaman aren’t quite this OP in raid situations and stuff, but while levelling, putting out this kind of damage, while surviving? The only thing I’ve seen as OP as an enhancement shammy thus far is a ret paladin. (Soloing 3-man group quests in Dragonblight as a ret paladin in holy gear is hilarious.)

Good times!

Strange Sundays.

It used to be that, back in my old guild, I’d have Sundays basically dedicated to guild stuff. From 3-4:30 (and later, 4-5:30), I’d have office hours, where people could chat with me, one-on-one about their concerns about the guild. I was also always available through private messages on our forum, but my office hours meant instant dialogue between me and the person or people in question. And through in-game chat or on Vent.

From 6-7:30 or so was our officer meeting. These meetings MOSTLY petered out after about an hour, but we’d chat a bit after that about lineups and swapping people in and out and stuff like that. By 7:30, most of that was done, people had been promoted or demoted, ginvited or whatever… and it would be time for invites for our raid at 7:45.

The raid would take place from 7:45-11:30, sometimes pushing on towards midnight. After the raid, I’d upload the combat log to WWS to parse, then haul ass to the corner store for a few minutes while it parsed, before it closed at midnight, then would sit for an hour or so going over the parse, either by myself or with other officers.

So basically, from 4pm until about 12:30 or 1am on Sundays, I was all guild, all the time, with a half-hour allocated for dinner between office hours and the officer meeting, which I usually didn’t even make use of for food.

Today, I woke up, worked from 2pm-4pm, sent my supervisor an email, played some WoW, talked on the phone, had dinner, watched TV and played a bit more WoW.

I’m not used to all this time to myself on Sundays. At one point, I was on the phone and went to myself “oh CRAP, I missed the officer– wait. There’s no more officer meetings for me. Huh.”

For the last 3 weeks or so, Sundays have been my own again. The last time Sundays were wholly mine, without the spectre of officer meetings and raids to come was probably in May of 2007.

I have a feeling it’ll take more than three weeks to break myself of the feeling that Sundays aren’t supposed to be mine.

And so it ends.

On June 1st, 2007, several former guildies and in-game friends of mine on the Eldre’Thalas server, including myself, created a new guild called Apotheosis. It was so named because Palantir had just had his wisdom teeth removed and he was on a significant amount of painkillers during the officer meeting to decide on a name for our new guild. He flipped through the dictionary and said, in a slightly stoned voice, “Apotheosis.”

A guild was born.

Continue reading “And so it ends.”

Alts in the old world.

It’s been a very long time since I first fell over the edge of the cliff that denotes the zone change between Tanaris and Un’Goro. Yes, I fell over the cliff. I figured there had to be a better way to get there somehow, but I didn’t particularly care. It was sometime back in early 2006 that I stumbled through Un’Goro for the first time and skinned the crap out of dinosaurs there, got chased down by elite dinosaurs I couldn’t feign through because of the fear and did that stupid escort quest, getting that goblin back to Marshall’s Refuge.

I even remember a time when there wasn’t a flight point at the Refuge.

I’ve been through Un’Goro on basically every toon I’ve levelled. That’s my hunter, my pally, my mage, my priest and now I’m going through there on my shaman, who is probably the highest level toon of them all who has ever spent time here. She’s currently 54.

It’s at this point that I really can realize and appreciate just how much solo content there was in the old world. My shammy has done exactly two instances — a quick ZF run-through and a much more painful Sunken Temple pug. I haven’t touched any of EPL, Felwood, Winterspring or Silithus. I haven’t been to Azshara or Burning Steppes. I’ve just quested through STV and Searing Gorge and Tanaris and now I’m in the Crater.

I realized how much content I hadn’t touched when I picked up the Linken questline down here in Un’Goro last night. I’ve never actually completed it on any of my characters, I don’t think, though I believe each of them started it. So I was at the raft, then back to Marshall’s Refuge, and Linken tells me to go to Donova Snowden in Winterspring. I was like, cool, no problem… and then realized, wait. I haven’t been to Felwood. I haven’t repped up with the Timbermaw to run through their tunnel. And by haven’t been to Felwood, I mean that. Completely undiscovered on this toon.

/facepalm

There’s just so much to DO, so much old school stuff that I enjoyed doing in the past or never quite got around to finishing. I honestly think I’m going to chill out in the old world well beyond level 58. Screw the Outlands, I’m going to work on Timbermaw to get to Winterspring, I’m going to quest my ass off in EPL, I’m going to finally finish Linken’s quest chain and I’m going to do all those grinding quests down in Burning Steppes. I wonder if Dragonkin Menace and ALL the subsequent quests leading to the Onyxia attunement have been removed. As much as I’ve cursed Marshall Windsor over the years, which is a lot, I think I’d be sad if they removed all those quests.

So onward I go, to do the Silithid quests in Un’Goro for the very first time. Bugs freak me out, so I’ve never really done much with that chain.

Kind of nifty that, despite playing for three and a half years, I’m still finding new content, even in the old world.

EZ-mode

I’m sad. I really, really am.

We went into Naxx25 for the first time as a guild on Tuesday and one-shotted all the bosses in the Spider and Plague wings. And Razuvious only took 3 tries. (Our priests had fun trying to learn what to do.)

Where’s the work? Where are the wipes? The heart-breaking, soul-crushing 1% wipes?

I remember spending all night working to get Venoxis down. I remember several nights of Jek’lik and Mar’li getting the better of us.

I remember the amazing feeling of getting Lucifron down for the first time.

The epic feeling of getting Golemagg down when one of the OTs had died and the other dual-tanked them.

Vashj, pre-big boss nerf, dying on attempt #80-something.

THOSE were epic.

I mean, we didn’t even take kill shots, that’s how fast we were going.

And I KNOW we’re not that leet. I know we aren’t. We’re used to each other, for the most part, of course, so there’s that helping us out, but we still had people dead on Heigan. We’re not ultra uber. So it must be that the content is just EASY.

It’s kind of sad. I hope the other encounters are at least moderately more entertaining, if not more challenging.

I have been lax!

Haven’t updated this in ages, but as I discover things about this brand-new reality we’re in, I thought I should share.

In the end, we killed Illidan three times. WOOT. Apotheosis did a great job in the end of Hyjal and BT and though the nerf really propelled us through content, we all learned Archimonde the hard way.

And now, we’re doing Naxx. Well, kind of. 25-man runs are starting up in January, because we’ve got a lot of people who enjoy levelling or whose time is limited over the holidays and we really, really didn’t want to be interrupted by the holidays and New Year’s while trying to push to progress. So we’ve gotten off to a shaky and slow start in the 10-mans, but thus far: Spider wing, Plague wing, Death Knight wing clear and we’ve gotten Patchwerk down in plague. People continue to die to the Frogger event, which is HILARIOUS the first couple times and then just annoying afterwards, and Grobbulus continues to kick our asses, although we’re definitely improving.

Heigan was what I thought was going to be a serious progression block for us. My priest, which was on Proudmoore, was running Naxx most Saturday afternoons to try to get a RL friend of mine Atiesh. Which she got. Not once did I live though the Heigan dance. Not once. So when we were trying it in Apotheosis at 80, I took a buttload of screenshots to demonstrate how to do the Heigan dance. I have entitled it dancing with a nelf. True, I’m mostly dead in there, but I’ve now successfully danced my way to LIVING through two Heigan deaths. And I pretty much have it down, now. Woot! Anyways, I decided to share my strat with you fine folks, if indeed anyone ever reads this, in the hopes of helping the confused or frustrated.

What a long road it's been.

The last few months have been trying. Since summer, we’ve had trouble filling raids more often than not, people dropping off the face of the game, constant recruitment drives, constant pushing.

Frankly, I’m exhausted.

But. It’s been worth it. 4/5 Hyjal and 5/9 BT pre-3.0.2 nerf.

And since then?

– Battle for Mount Hyjal won.

– RoS one-shotted.

– Mother Shahraz down.

– Council down.

– Illidan to 17%.

It’s been worth it.

Let’s do the math. Since June 1st, 2007, Apotheosis has downed:

KARAZHAN (11): Attumen, Moroes, Maiden, Opera (all three), Curator, Aran, Illhoof, Chess, Netherspite, Nightbane, Prince.

GRUUL’S LAIR (2): Maulgar, Gruul.

MAGTHERIDON’S LAIR (1): Magtheridon.

SERPENTSHRINE CAVERN (6): Hydross, Lurker, Tidewalker, Leotheras, Karathress, Vashj.

TEMPEST KEEP (4): Al’ar, Void Reaver, Solarian, Kael’thas.

HYJAL (5): Rage, Anetheron, Kaz’rogal, Azgalor, Archimonde.

BLACK TEMPLE (8): Naj’entus, Supremus, Akama, Gorefiend, Bloodboil, Reliquary of Souls, Mother Shahraz, Illidari Council.

That is THIRTY-SEVEN boss encounters in 17 months, or an average of about 2 bosses a month. Karazhan doesn’t really count, of course, but we all had to learn and farm various bosses over the course of the last 17 months.

We got Illidan to 17% last night. Standing there, looking at him, it occurred to me that we wouldn’t be there if not for every single person who’s every had Apotheosis under their name. Where would we be today if Grim and Guido hadn’t been there with us to clear T4 and the first half of SSC? Where would we be today if Fog and Netsuge and Kaiu hadn’t been there with us, showing up to raids to do whatever they could to help while helping to hammer out policy behind the scenes?

And what about all the new people? Where would we be today without the new folks who took a chance on us, coughed up 25 bucks and transferred?

The answer to all of those questions is… we wouldn’t be looking at Illidan again tonight. We would not be on the cusp of clearing Black Temple. We would not be able to even THINK about saying we achieved our primary raiding goal that we set when we first created the guild.

It promises to be a good evening. Apart from anything else… the zombies are gone. Thank God.

GM thoughts.

More and more, as we push through T6 instances and as we rapidly approach 3.0.2 and the expansion itself, I think that the job of a guild master is to basically be on top of things. All things. But it doesn’t mean you have to do it all yourself.

For instance, in a raid, letting someone else do DKP is fine, but confirm they handed it out before you start bids on loot. Or maybe having an officer be master looter but offer to give out the Marks of the Illidari yourself or something like that.

What I’ve found myself bogged down by lately is the details of titles and attunements. With 3.0.2 hitting next Tuesday (probably), and with Hand of A’dal and Champion of the Naaru no longer being accessible, the scramble is on. We did our last Karathress kill on Sunday, followed by 7 attempts at Vashj, to no avail. Only two people need a Vashj vial, basically, so I can’t ask my guild to be like “hey. Let’s go wipe MORE on Vashj just for these two people!”, despite the fact they both were there night in and night out while learning Vashj.

And then tonight, I’m planning on Al’ar, then the first four bosses in Hyjal, to finish off five people’s BT attunements. But one of them has class and won’t be on ’till 9:30 or so and it’s like… crap. I can’t reschedule the kills because of one person’s schedule, because that would mean 2 or even 3 people wouldn’t get their BT attunement done before 3.0.2.

I’m hoping for another Kael kill on Thursday or Monday and then being done with TK as well as SSC, but if we don’t get him down, that’s another bunch of people I’ve let down.

The details weigh on me. I constantly have to reign in my own “but.. but… we have to do it for this one person!” side versus the “I must do what is best for the guild!” side. But really, isn’t what’s best for the guild what will make the guild members feel valued and appreciated? Does everyone just want progress and loot for themselves without thinking about how bad other people feel when they see guildies with Hand of A’dal over their heads, and they don’t have that title?

I mean, I’m even running a guild-pug Magtheridon on Friday to help people get their Champion of the Naaru title, for crying out loud. I haven’t even done the heroics for it and yet I feel obliged to help my guildies who want that title.

I’m even tempted to go back to SSC and Vashj on Saturday, but I don’t think I could get the people.

What surprises me the most, though, is that I feel like I’m the only person who’s keeping track of this stuff for people. All the officers are Hands of A’dal. Most of the regular raiders are. But not everyone is, and, as we approach the patch, I can’t help but think that I’m the only one that cares, that I’m the only one who feels we’re letting people down. it’s not that my officers don’t care, but I don’t think it’s a priority for them. And it doesn’t have to be, I guess, not if it’s a priority for me, eh?

Wow.

Found a new site (to me, anyways) in the last day or so, called TankingTips.com. For someone who has never played a prot warrior but has to lead said warriors through battle, it’s an AMAZING resource. And is obviously great for prot warriors, too!

Which is better, for example… The Brooch of Deftness or the Shattered Sun Pendant of Resolve? The answer to the age-old (well, since 2.4 anyways) question is here!

Chock-full of great, useful, smart information. Two thumbs up!