Tuesday, October 12, 2010

On the Verge post

Its been... awhile. I find myself posting today primarily because I was fiddling around on my old computer (the computer I blogged on) because my new computer flatlined last week due to the power supply kicking the bucket. So here I am waiting for the new supply to come in which should be today (in fact the UPS truck just pulled up), and I figured I'd throw down a blog post for old times sake. A lot has happened since my last post from clearing ICC on 25 and working on heroics, to switching my main raiding toon to my hunter. Getting the server first kill of Halion the day after the patch (since our realm was down) and lots of guild drama ebbing and flowing.

I lost my job in July and am planning on moving out to California at the end of this month where the job market in my field is much more friendly. (if anyone needs an Electronic Engineer tech, or RF Tech in the northern LA region let me know!)

Its been almost a week since I played wow due to my computer dying and this one just being painful to play on after you get used to a 24 inch monitor at full resolution and graphics. But now I'm on the verge of getting my computer back, while on the verge of the new patch, while on the verge of moving, and the verge of getting ready for a new expansion! I'm a vergin... er wait that doesn't sound right.

One of the things I've discovered with wrath raiding is that I never really enjoyed doing 25 man's. My current guild is a 25 man raiding guild and I raid because currently that is what is challenging and the most rewarding. In cataclysm 25's won't feel necessary... and neither will putting up with the drama of being an officer and raid leader in a 25 man guild.

So a few months ago I told my Guild Leader and long time friend that I'll be leaving Serendipity come Cataclysm... or a least SD won't be my main focus when it comes to raiding. Instead I'll be joining a small 10 man focused guild consisting of RL friends and people who I have played wow with since BC. I'm tired of dealing with loot drama, explaining every fight, dealing with poor performance and an inflexible raid schedule. This is my chance to play with friends and do the challenging content, so I'm getting my cake and eating it too.

To me Serendipity gave up too much of what it was in order to do 25 man raiding in a still casual setting. You end up with your ranks over flowing with people you don't know and can't depend on while ultimately some of the better players leave for top tier guilds. Don't get me wrong, we are 9th or 10th on the server which is impressive for the kind of guild Serendipity is... but it was mostly on the backs of the officers and raid core. We'll talk in officer chat about how many people we are carrying this week... and its mostly in jest... but there is a lot of truth behind it. What could we do if everyone actually pulled their own weight?

Anyway B2 is primarily the person putting together the new guild. Kobeck, Blanda, and a few others I may have mentioned on this blog will be there and I'm really excited to see what happens in a guild where everyone is equally talented and motivated.

The new patch today brings with it all the talent changes for cataclysm... and so with it I have to relearn all 10 of my 80's which is actually really exciting to me. Of course... I still have no idea what I'm going to level. With so many choices and now so many changes its hard to narrow it down to what I will enjoy most in Cata. PvD once asked me which toon I would level again in cata... and the truth is with all of the changes... I would want to level them all again. I've thought/am thinking about transferring an 80 to another server with a bunch of heirlooms and gold so that I can level some horde toons with support. Who knows... by the time the next expansion roles around I may be sitting on 20 85's one of each class on each faction.

As it stands now... I'm between my Hunter, Druid, DK, Warrior, or Paladin... on who to level first. I've got some time to figure it out but for now I'm going to go install my new power supply and get working on dl the new patch.

Maybe I'll talk to you all again... maybe not. I never really intended to quit blogging in the first place it just sort of happened. I'm also not about to proclaim that this is a me coming back to blogging... but you never know.

Friday, May 7, 2010


I'm the warrior sitting down btw...

I'll get a real post up at another time... right now I'm off to work on building my new computer! New computer! Skyru the Kingslayer! Life is good.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Stress and Relaxation?

I’ve been finding it hard to blog lately. I’ve also been finding it hard to do a lot of things I’m used to. Guild leadership has really started taking its toll lately. When I became an officer, 2 others were promoted with me. Since that time 3 officers have retired one of which left the server. We lost one recruitment officer… and 2 raid leaders.

That leaves me as the sole raid leader. That means I have to organize and set up groups for 2-3 ICC 10 groups during the week and organize/lead the ICC 25 raids on the weekends. Four nights of progression raiding. Four nights of logging on to find: people not showing up, people signing up at the last second, having to tell extra people they aren’t needed, and having to balance out multiple raid, raid ID’s that run over multiple nights.

On top of that I’m expected to lead Tuesday night raid(s) as well for ToC, VoA, and the weekly raid. Tuesday night I’ve been able to get out of a lot lately due to the fact that my mother in-law is currently staying at my house (cuz that doesn’t add stress) and I told my wife and mother in-law that I was committing to wed/thurs, sat/sun for raid progression.

** Quick time out from the bitching… I really want to thank my wife for being understanding of my play time and hobby when it comes to raiding. We’ve come a long way from her nearly leaving me over my raiding habbits… to her tolerating me being a raid leader in the same guild I nearly lost her over. I love you so much!**

Dealing with people you just don’t like…

In addition to the stress of raiding is the stress of dealing people that I frankly, just can’t stand. There are 2 people in the guild currently that I honestly don’t think anyone likes. People that half the guild has on ignore and some who are flat out refusing to raid with these people. The thing is… they aren’t exactly breaking any rules. They are just annoying! They rub people the wrong way and their play style/attitude is non-conducive to bringing people together.

Every officer is at the point where we are vying for the job of G-kicking the person… but how can we? How do we kick someone who isn’t directly violating any of our rules just because we don’t like them? How does that portray our guild to outside players? Would that hurt the view of new recruits coming in? On the other hand it’s like a poisonous wound that is just slowly spreading through the guild. Is it better to cut off the arm if we can’t draw the poison? Rather than infect the entire guild?

There is also a growing complaint on the guild forums about raid’s getting delayed or people wanting to know days in advance if they have a spot or not… Our guild doesn’t run with constant set groups specifically because of the fact that we have a large number of unreliable people. These people are nice and fun to hang out with… and do a good job when they show up… but they don’t always show. I’m stuck setting up raid groups the day of the event due to the fact that I never know exactly who will show up till that day!

The ironic thing is a lot of the people who are demanding to know in advance… are the same people who cause us to have the problem in the first place.

Where’d my fun go?

Do to the stress of being an officer I find myself staying away from group activities in which I may have any kind of responsibility. I used to join pug raids all the time before becoming an officer… now a days I just can’t. I don’t run heroics for the same reason. That means most of my alts that still need emblems are stuck progression wise… I haven’t tanked anything on my DK for weeks. It almost seems like it is just PvE content in general I just can’t do anymore.

The only thing I find motivation and joy in is PvP. I love doing BG’s on my warrior because it is fun to steamroll stuff in the awesome gear that my warrior has… but to what end? The only progression my warrior has there is from arena. I’m only doing that once or twice a week if I’m lucky. Next to my warrior my paladin is in best shape and I absolutely love playing a holy paladin… but healing in a bg is so much fun when you do it with friends that you can support and don’t… suck. Kobeck is in much the same situation… which leaves him on his druid and me on my paladin both healing which is just weird and ineffective.

I do PvP on my hunter and rogue from time to time… but honestly that just kind of gets boring after awhile. Sometimes I’ll hop on my mage… but I’m terrible TERRIBLE as frost and just get frustrated. So I swapped my druid to balance and have been doing bg’s on him lately. My druid barely has any pve resto gear… yet alone PvP gear… so playing balance is like going into a tank fight with a rubber band as my only weapon. It is so laughably bad that it is fun. I’m getting the old feel back from BC and I’m brutally effective in the back of a demo in strand of the ancients…. But otherwise I die a lot and get to the point where I just need a break.

And so… without any other alts to really level… I take a break. We got Netflix and with the PS3 disc thingy I get to just plop down and throw on an action movie.

I’m starting to see why Nikkyo really just logs on these days to join raid and then log off. I still really like playing but most of the things I love to do have been jaded by having the responsibility of being a raid leader and officer. There really isn’t anyone else in the guild who I would trust to become an officer. I mean I trust Kobeck, Blanda and B2 with everything… but they are smarter than me and wouldn’t want the responsibility of becoming an officer. They’d rather just bitch to me… right guys? :P

Curinir who was one of the raid leaders… quit the guild and swapped servers to play with an old guild mate of ours… who plays in the alt guild of Elitest Jerks. He has been raving lately about how different things are and how great it is to be able to just log on and raid without any responsibility… and if you don’t do your job you don’t get invited back. So yeah… that isn’t demoralizing or anything. /envy

So yeah… when stress starts interrupting the relaxation of your hobby… what do you do?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Its been quite the journey

Well first off, a week and a half ago my DK hit lvl 80. Not only did I fail in posting about it… I wasn’t paying attention when I hit 80 so all I have is a crappy screenshot. This makes my 10th 80, one of every class in the game. I started this blog June of 2009 with 4 lvl 80’s. Mid June my mage hit 80 and since then I have gotten another 5 characters to 80.

I’ve healed at 80 with all 4 classes, tanked with 3 and dpsed with all of them to some extent.

Who I’ve been playing

Skyru- Obviously I’m raid leading and tanking on Skyru in ICC. We are working on Sindrigosa on 10 man (grumble 2% wipe) and all of the end wing bosses on 25 man. Progress is going slower than I would like but we are still moving forward. Last week we had an impressive one shot on fester, rotface, and blood council in addition to the first wing. BQL down to 16% before the enrage… our issue is keeping people alive during the blood whirl. There are always vampires that have to bite someone during the first whirl and it leads to people dying from too much damage or a vampire getting MC’d.

When I’m not raiding I’ve been doing a lot of pvp. I’m sitting at 1183 resilience and 35k health in my arms spec. Kobeck’s druid and my warrior stopped our games this week at 1337 because well… we are leet. My 3’s team finally got together this past weekend and we went from 1300- 1653. We peaked at around 1683 but started to get sloppy because… well it was 5 am at the time and I was half asleep. Hopefully this week we can push to 1800!

Llina- About a month ago I was digging through my bags and found that I had quite a bit of healing gear… in fact my healing gear was on average of better quality than my tanking gear. So I decided to respect holy with the intention of becoming a pvp holy paladin. Since then my paladin has become my go to character when healing is needed. I run a straight pvp spec for bg’s arena and heroics… but switch off to a pure holy (bubbledin) build when it comes to raiding. So far I’ve healed ToC 25 and the first 4 bosses in ICC 10 as well as VoA 10/25.

I’m embarrassingly still using a

blue shield out of a heroic but other than that my gear is a spattering of pvp and pve raid gear. As a result my mana regen is absolutely terrible and I’m only at around 24k mana unbuffed meaning that in a raid environment I have issues keeping up holy light spam. I’m still struggling to find that balance between overkill and not enough.

Skylu- The big news obviously is hitting 80. I leveled entirely as a tank from the second I left the starting area. Obviously I had dual spec so had a straight damage spec for questing… but I was always tanking when it came to instancing. You may remember that I decided to create this dk in the first place because as my horde dk was nearing 80… the thought of going through the gearing process completely unaided just seemed brutal. My biggest regret was leaving kobeck’s warlock.

Well that problem was solved when Kobeck transferred his warlock named kobeck and did a faction transfer… with the new name Kurses. Together we finished out our grind to 80. After hitting 80 I threw together some crafted bits of gear along with some boe drops I had been collecting from heroics on other toons and when all was said and done Skylu was sitting at right around 24k health while defense capped. It also helped that luck was on my side and

the defense trinket off of loken actually dropped when I was on a tanking toon!

I had enough emblems that I picked up the 245 sigil right off the bat. I’m dual wield frost and so far have gotten 2 nice slow tanking weapons, one off of the first boss in H UK and an axe off of the second boss in H Occ. The biggest shock I got was when I queued for a random heroic, with 27k health, and got Heroic Forge of Souls. I waited a minute or two for people to start complaining… but it never came. So I started pulling. We had excellent dps and even with my terrible threat output we got through the run in under 20 mins without a single wipe. I got a complement from the healer for doing an excellent job with such a low gear score. I’m more convinced than ever that the key to tanking 90% of the time is self confidence. I knew my abilities, I knew the pulls inside and out, the only thing I didn’t know is if the group was with me. Thankfully they were.

Latest Patch

I have to say I’m loving the new battleground system. I’m a very indecisive person… as are some of the people I run bg’s with. So being able to let fate decide for us makes me a very happy person. The one thing I have noticed is that wow this brings out a lot of people who you normally wouldn’t see in pvp. I’m not complaining… after all a pve geared warlock with 20k health drops very quickly when my warrior crits their face for 8k. But it does bring about issues that come about when you look at the disparity in skill and gear level. Sure going 19-0 kills in a 5 min EotS is fun… but so is having an epic battle for 10 mins fighting over a single node.

In arena the quick insta gib matches can be fun… but the fight Kobeck and my holy pally had last night vs a druid and hunter was just epic. Kobeck did 1.1 million damage throughout the match and they far out geared us (lich king 25 weapons). We won thanks to a target swap from the hunter to the druid with a hammer of justice, followed by a strangulate and both of us going all out.

Can’t say I’m upset about the warrior changes… 12k revenge crits and the 3% stam increase puts me at over 47k unbuffed. I did 3700 dps on rotface and I’m definitely having a lot less troubles keeping agro on trash pulls.

I haven’t turned in all my battleground tokens yet… 10 characters takes a long time… I know for a fact my druid has 100 AV and WSG tokens alone. So I just turned it in on the toons I am actively working on.

Oh and on a side note… the most terrifying team I’ve seen in 3’s so far… a Shadow Priest, Elemental Shaman, and Moonkin. Just… ow. We fought that team 3 times… insane burst damage, heroism, 3 different forms of CC, starfall, treants, 3 classes that can emergency heal, 2 knock backs, and a disarm from the priest? How do you beat that? I went from 100% to dead in 4 seconds flat at 1193 resilience. All while my healer was feared, hexed, or cycloned. /cry

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Till I'm killed or you find someone better

Two weeks ago Thursday Nikkyo, our GL, asked if I would be willing to step forward and become a raid leader. My response was basically that if Nik and the other officers thought I was capable and able that I would take the job... till I'm killed or they found someone better.

So that Saturday before ICC 25 started Perp, OG and I were all promoted. Perp would be helping with recruitment, OG would be our public affairs person to the guild members, and I would be leading raids. The current officers that we have were spread pretty thin between real life and general stress. Thus the three of us were promoted to help share the load.

The other official raid leaders are Curinir (who is in the military and thus overseas every few months), Vei and me. Ethren and Nikk are sort of co guild leaders and often have to lead raid themselves. Vei is the paladin tank that I usually co-tank with in raid's. So while I'm happy to help out... I'm kind of sad that I won't be raiding with Vei and Curinir as much in 10's because I will be leading raids as well.

I used to work for the local county government in the Mosquito Control department. It was an interesting job and I worked first hand with an extremely intelligent Biologist. One of the things I at first hated about him is that, if I asked him a question, he would make me go look up the answer and tell him. After awhile though, I realized that he was helping me find solutions on my own. Sure he could have told me... but me researching the answer myself meant that I could do the same the next time.

Well during the last few weekend raids I've felt like I was there again. I would ask a question in officer chat about how we wanted to do something... and he would respond with "well you tell me?" This was infuriating at first because I didn't want to step outside of my comfort zone and make a mistake. I'm very good at following directions... but giving them and coordinating the run is a different matter.

I'm glad he is taking this approach though because I'm settling into my role and becoming more open with my thoughts and idea's. That Saturday raid saw our first downing of Festergut on 25, though I can't take credit for that... but the following day we actually had enough sign ups to run our second night of ICC 25 (amazing what pushing the start time back and hour can do). We did some learning attempts on Putricide, and then I directed them to blood princes. I explained the mechanics and we did a solid learning attempt. The next attempt we killed them.

This past week we added Dreamwalker to this list putting us at 8/12 with some very promising attempts on Blood Queen. Things are definitely progressing now that we are getting 2 ICC 25 man nights in and morale on the whole is going up.

Loot Drama

Our guild has a raider rank that with it comes priority on loot. What that currently means is that raiders can damn near roll on anything and win it over padawans (our raider in training) and members. Well the last few weeks we had raiders rolling on items they already had equipped and even some that were side grades. The outcry from both raiders and members was enough that things had to change.

With new blood comes new ideas. I proposed a loot change and initially the other 2 new officers readily agreed. Slowly the rest of the officers also agreed and in 2 weeks the new system will be fully in place.

Serendipity has never used a DKP system and a majority of guildies have been against using any such system for a long time. However, with the recent unrest a lot of people were starting to think DKP was the best way to go. Well my idea was simply..

BiS Priority

As part of the raider application process in SD every raider has to create a Best in slot list. This list as of current serves absolutely no point other than the fact that someone went to elitest jerks and copied one of their sheets. I thought it was about time we started using these lists for some good.

Thus when an item drops... everybody in the raid that can equip the item for mainspec can roll. Raiders, members, padawans it doesn't matter. However, if a raider rolls and that item is on their BiS list, they get priority on that piece of loot. This ensures that raiders are rolling of gear that they know they need. If no one rolls BiS then whoever had the highest roll wins the item.

One of the big issues we were having with signups is members saying "well what is there for me?" Essentially members were being asked to sign up and fill in but with virtually no shot at getting any loot. This gives them a chance, albeit not the greatest, to walk away with a very nice piece of gear. Raiders can still get gear that may be a temporary upgrade for them without losing the chance to win a BiS piece.

The raiders have another 2 weeks to finalize their lists before it becomes set in stone. Only a well written reason why an item must be changed will be excused. The system will be subjected to peer review (some of our members will be checking up on others for sure) and the penalty for trying to cheat the system is a demotion. All of the lists are kept on our forums and so the date stamp at the bottom of the post will let us know if something has been changed recently without authorization.

Finally our guild will be implementing a Matching system for crafted gear. Essentially if they provide half of the primordial saronites, then the guild will provide the other half from the stock we get out of ICC 25 drops.

I think the matching system is a good idea... even if I already slaved away to craft both BiS tanking pieces for my warrior.

Oh and on that note... my warrior has come a long way sitting now at 33k armor and 46k health unbuffed.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Quick Rant on ICC Buff

So yeah... the ICC buff went live... and I can tell the difference. Last night we went into ICC 10 and One shot every boss from the citadel to the plagueworks and then Blood Princes. Sure we had killed them all before... even multiple times. But we had new people in this run who hadn't even seen these fights and we still one shot them.

I should be happy right?

Well I'm not. At least not entirely. How do I know it was us? How can I be sure that it was because of our improved coordination and execution. The gear we had worked hard on... or the skill of each of the players coming together in perfect harmony. Fact of the matter is I don't. We did the entire thing with a 5% buff to healing, damage, and hit points. Putricide went down in record time for us... was that because we were all dealing 5% more damage?

I scared the hell out of the healers on the initial pull on blood princes and dropped down below 5% health... would I have died without the extra stamina and healing? Or was it because I used every cd I had to stay alive and it was my skill as a tank? I'll never know.

Tonight we are working on BQL and probably VDW after... if we defeat the encounters.... did we really defeat it?

Revised Putricide Strat

I am shamelessly reposting this from a post I wrote on my Guild's Forums under the same title. The pic is me getting my groove on in the abomination... and yes that is the raid UI that I use. Messy as hell I know... deal with it!

Last week while tanking putricide I decided to change up the traditional way of tanking the boss. Normally we start on the far left side (as facing where the boss initially is), then after the green ooze is down or while in the process of downing the green ooze the tank would move putricide to the far side of the room. This process would repeat until into phase 3.

While this strat works... it has some issues namely it is very movement intensive on the healers and dps who have to constantly switch sides of the room. To combat this, instead of moving the boss to the right side of the room (north) after the green ooze, everyone would instead move to the center of the room where there is a giant circle on the ground. The ranged dps and healers form a sort of semi circle around where the gas cloud spawns. This way the ranged dps can begin burning down the gas cloud while it is targeting. Whoever the gas cloud targets will then start kiting as normal around the room but since the healers are all in the center it makes it easier to keep up the targeted player. The melee dps can continue to attack the boss and then switch after the cloud targets someone.

After the Gas cloud is down everyone heads back to the left corner and continues to dps the boss till the green ooze spawns. This repeats through phase 2 and dps just has to be mindful of the transition into phase 3.

Phase 1 is really short and depending on the dps of the group it is beneficial to not move to the center until you push the boss past 80%. You should be able to kill the first green ooze and get the boss to 80% before he has a chance to summon the gas cloud. If you do this it will skip an ooze summon giving you extra time to dps the boss and it will pick up on the gas cloud on his next summon.

During Phase 3 we were letting the stacks build to 3 on the first tank before the second tank takes over. This way it isn't so healing intensive right off the bat. The tanks should also start using cd's after the second stack to reduce the tank damage. After both tanks get 3 stacks you should trade off at each additional stack after. If you manage to get to 5 stacks... you are probably going to wipe from the raid damage so saving dps cd's for phase 3 is very important. Heroism should be used when he gets into phase 3 if available.

Now for driving the abomination you should have a psuedo priority on what you should be doing throughout the fight. Your priority should look something like this...

- Eat ooze Pools
- Slow gas clouds and green oozes
- DPS gas clouds and green oozes
- Keep the sunder armor debuff on the boss
- DPS the boss

Basically as soon as a puddle spawns you should be moving to it to drink up the pool. If the boss is positioned near the pool you can still drink and dps on the boss at the same time because the 2 abilities do not share a global cd. Starting out, you should just finish drinking the last pool, as the green ooze begins to form. At this time don't wait... but run over to the mob and start using the sunder ability on him. Watch his cast bar and just before he finishes casting use the abomination slow ability on him and then continue to melee/sunder the ooze as it moves towards its target.

DPS on the oozes as the abomination really makes burning them down a lot easier for the raid dps. Generally speaking I can get the green ooze to 80% before the first dps even gets a hit on it. That is why this is a higher priority over debuffing the boss. You can ensure that the oozes die before it reaches its target which minimizes risk to the raid. If you are able too.. by all means try and keep the debuff but eating the ooze pools and dpsing the adds should be your highest priority. Its the dps' job to kill the boss after all.

With the strategy above for positioning the boss, you won't have to leave that half of the room to drink the ooze puddles. That means you should be close to where the gas cloud spawns and once again after all your slime pools are gone begin dpsing the gas cloud. The same tactic applies, wait for the gas cloud to almost finish the cast, and then slow the target. Ranged dps should already be attacking it as soon as they are able.

Other hints
-Rogues can vanish just before the tier gas for phase 2 and 3 to avoid getting hit.
-Mages can blink while rooted by the green ooze. This doesn't break the root but can get you 20 yards in a different direction giving extra time to kill the ooze.
-The warrior sunder armor and the abomination sunder ability count as the same thing. If you apply the sunder as a warrior you won't be able to apply the abomination debuff... but it still does the damage.
- The putricide tank can DPS the green ooze and gas cloud while it travels to its target to help get it down faster.