Monthly Archives: April 2013

Guilds guilds guilds guilds

I started writing this entry back at the beginning of March.  Even though WordPress kindly tells me when I made revisions to it (49 days ago!), I could probably tell when even without the assistance, mostly because of stuff like this:

It hasn’t been long since I made the little guild for myself, my alts and the alts of friends, and it’s nice seeing a guild “progress” in non-raid ways.  Since I’ve always been in almost max-leveled or completely maxed out guilds before, it’s almost like participating in some formerly forgotten tradition that’s been recently revived.  I like seeing the little guild experience bar actually going somewhere.  So far, we’ve made it almost to level 3, and I managed to create a tabard that nobody really hates for “Everybody Needs a Logo.”  This was harder than it sounds – a lot of logos don’t look so good on characters who have bewbs (or exposed spines, for that matter).

Now, a month later, little Termina is level 11, thanks to friends dumping leveling alts in it.  Mass Resurrection may still be a distant hope, but dude, we have mobile banking!  Hotness!  In addition, I’ve successfully resisted the temptation to change the tabard to hot pink with a funny symbol, and we’ve gotten up to five bank tabs, which are of course not enough space given the amount of crap we collect.  (I mean, come on!  What if we NEED all three of those Ebonhold belts for a guild RP uniform or something?  THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE, JEEZE.)  I also haven’t been able to give in to my renaming itch, mostly because I want to call it “Wrath of the Burning Pandaclysm,” which is too long.  WoBP just doesn’t have the same feeling.

While most members of Termina have invite capabilities, I’m usually the only person doing the inviting.  I only invite good friends who have been around me for awhile (we’re comfortable in each other’s company and there’s no drama), who are generally all around awesomeness and don’t mind donating low level alts to feed the guild experience monster.  It really is a purely social guild comprised solely of people I know and appreciate.

Unfortunately, given real life and other assorted WoW obligations, it can be quite quiet at times.  I like having a close circle of friends, but I also like having an “intermediate” or larger circle with a shared cause but who aren’t as close – and that ring seemed absent.

I also wanted to be able to pull off transmog runs in the old-school-but-can-still-kill-you raids that Termina just doesn’t – and probably won’t – have the bodies for.  There’s no doubt that when it comes to transmog runs, we can become very focused and can take on a lot of sheeyit by ourselves.  Buuuuut sometimes, you just need an off tank.  Unfortunately, the other one you know is totally raiding right now!  Or you need more DPS, but s/he’s doing LFR with the other guild, or may simply be offline.  Or you need a healer who doesn’t run around spazzing because OMFG WHERE DID ALL THESE ADDS COME FROM WE’RE DYING OGOD and/or JEEBUS TAP DANCING CRIPES THAT DEBUFF OH YOU’RE DEAD THAT’S BAD HELP MEEEEEE OH WAIT YOU’RE DEAD.  I’d tell myself, “That’s why you heal all the things faster,” but we wiped so now it’s kinda pointless.  Can you two man Patchwerk on Naxx 25?  Not if I’m healing!

With all that said, I sent Thermalix to a new guild at the beginning of the week.  I figured she’d be the easiest to move, as she’s 90 and sorta geared by today’s standards at 490.  (It would also give me a reason to play Therm more.)  I did make a point of choosing a larger guild in the hopes that it would be more active and have more souls interested in getting roasted alive in Firelands.  I did, however, REALLY want to put in an app for this one even though it only had six members:

Because science is awesome.

Because science is awesome.

I’m positive whoever runs For Science on WRA doesn’t read this blog, but whoever you are, you are awesome.  I love you.  I hereby declare my next Disengage off a high place to be FOR SCIENCE!  Speaking of science …

We Cured Ebola! Check one pandemic off the list!

We Cured Ebola!
Check one off the list!

Therm happened to join her new guild on a day when they were doing transmog runs.  Good sign, yes/yes?

“Main” Is a Foreign Concept

I was thinking out loud the other day when I mentioned that Vi is, at long last, about halfway to being able to afford the fastest flight skill.  Cal made a point that if I hadn’t abandoned a “certain Shadow Priest” awhile back and could pick ONE darn main, I wouldn’t have this problem with being broke!  Background here:  Ailabeth was the first character I made upon restarting WoW in 2011, and the one I chose to level to 80 when I came back to the game in 2012 after an extended absence, buuuuuut I then deleted her in a fit of “I DON’T WANT TO LEARN HOW TO HEAL AGAIN!” This was stupid, since I just recreated, releveled and reproffed (yes, that is now a word) her from scratch – twice.

I will sometimes play a particular character for large chunks of time (particularly if I have a transmog goal that requires leveling), but no one class has ever really been THE CLASS for me.  Yeah, there are some I enjoy more than others, but I never completely sync with any specific rotation (there are too many other buttons to press!), general style or even armor type.

Most DPS classes appeal to my independence and are useful for those hours I play when no one happens to be online, but I never feel particularly effective as a DPS when in groups.  This is problematic because I always want to be helpful, especially when I’m playing with friends and/or we’re stuck on a boss in a raid, because people are always thinking the problem is me.  But I often suspect that improving my DPS further is a somewhat hopeless cause as I also like try the other roles out, and thus can’t pick a button order to memorize main to save my freaking life.

You also can’t forget the eternity a DPS will most surely spend in the LFD/LFR queue (it’d be edifying if you could not only see your played time, but also see how much of that was spent in a queue).  Speaking of pugs, the fact that pretty much no one cares what you do as long as you don’t get everybody killed is sad, though it IS nice to be able to coast when you want.  Also, I really don’t care for the DPS numbers game.  STOP QUOTING RECOUNT AND JUST KILL ALL THE THINGS, GAWD.

Tanking appeals to my “take charge and charge the hell ahead” nature, as well as that sort of fatalistic sense I’ve got that the only way to get things done right is to just do it yourself and get it over with.  I find plate hard to mog and goblin ears usually look moronic with helmets.

Though I haven’t tried tanking on a DK yet, Mechalis is putting together a tanking set that is approaching the LFR gearscore barrier, and heroics are certainly within the realm of possibility.  Still, putting myself in front of such a large (and snarky) group is about as appealing as stuffing cheese in my ears. There are also those times when you just want to log on and mindlessly follow the leader, but that’s a little hard to do when you ARE the leader.

Healing appeals to my moral side, since I do enjoy “accidentally” letting karma take effect if I feel somebody Seriously Need a Lesson, but healing seriously effs with my inner performance perfectionist when people die and I didn’t want them to.  Otherwise, if something doesn’t chow down on me, thereby aggravating my Sense of Futility, it’ll be awhile before I can kill it in revenge, which aggravates my Sense of Impatience.

About the only thing I have a clear and definite preference for is the goblin race.

So how DO you pick a main?  If I pick one, I then lean towards another.  If I spend a lot of time burning up all the things as a warlock, then I will inevitably see another hunter with an awesome pet and decide that I must tame it, or that I could tank better than THAT, for Gawd’s sake.  If I tank a lot, I go through phases and eventually dissolve into an ooey gooey puddle of person that is only capable of button-mash style DPSing for a period of time.  If I go by gearscore, I end up confronted with the fact that EL OH EL YOU HAVE NO LUCK AND WILL NEVER HAVE A SHINY WEAPON and DAILIES FOREVER, which is depressing.  Maybe I CAN’T play just one.

Just so this isn’t a totally media-less post, when I think of mains, I think of this video:

“Death Knight Remix” Set

"Death Knight Remix" Set

“Death Knight Remix” Set

Class: Death Knight

H: Not shown | S: Furious Gladiator’s Dreadplate Shoulders | Cl: Not shown
Ch: Acherus Knight’s Tunic | Wa: Deathforge Girdle | L: Doomplate Legguards
G: Coldbite Gauntlets | Wr: Not shown | B: Greaves of the Slaughter

2h axe: Stormedge

Status: Finished

Thoughts: Ok, I confess (again) – like just about everybody else ever, I like the starter DK getup.  I am, however, afflicted with creative pretensions, so I can’t just wear the whole set as is.

I went with these shoulders because they referenced the blue-eyed skull on the tunic, as well as the wrappings on the arms, which you can’t really see in these shots.  My hope is that the gloves help tie in the boots, which are (of course) from the other DK starter set.  They may have a bit too much obvious blue to them …

I debated going for Armageddon (also known as ERMAGERDDON), since you’d be hard pressed to find a larger weapon in the game, and DKs are obviously all about using ridiculously large two handers, right?  But then I thought the whole point of this set was to do something simple and easy for a piece I liked and already had, so why the hell would I actually put forth EFFORT?  Stormedge happened to be in my bank (is it bad I don’t remember when I got it?) and it kinda sorta matched, so there it is.

As a side note, I LOVE the little skull in Mech’s hair.  Goblins have the best hairdos, seriously.

Running in Circles

So I just moved over the last week, and in the process I apparently lost my transmog notebook.  I wrote out ALL my ideas in it – all the pieces for each set, where to get them and what they cost, whether it be Justice, or Honor, or blood, or tears, or souls, etc.  I wrote a concise list of dungeons and/or raids that each character needed to run so that I could check it at a glance.  Aaaaaand it seems to be MIA.

All That Work All that work for intangible nothings has become nothing, which seems a little extreme.

All That Work
All that work for intangible nothings has become nothing, which seems a little extreme.

I am bothered by this.  Is it a sign of a transmog addiction?

Tonight will be cloudy with a slight chance of a short queue

When I think of Pinnacle of Storms, the first thing I want to know is if Blizzard REALLY thought that name through.  On the one hand, P.O.S. is perfect because you will die and your gold will disappear and so will your faith in humanity.  On the other, that sort of acronym showing up at the last, supposedly most awesomesauce place is kind of awkward.

Let’s start with Iron Qon, the guy who reminds me of mount collectors.  He has TOO MANY mounts and he can’t choose just one of the bunch, so he shows up with three in his hotkeys.  (He hasn’t learned those fancy macros where you can bind more than one mount to a button.)  Anyhoo, the LFR group helps Qon make a decision by killing the crap out of each one of the elemental Quilen he has.  Eventually, when you run through his entire stable, he’s forced to fight you on foot.  I’m sure he cursed every second of it, like how I do when I really want to fly to avoid aggro because I need to get someplace, but I can’t, because Blizzard wants me to see the world.

Actually As it turns out, you DO need two tanks!  Go figure!

Actually
As it turns out, you DO need two tanks! Go figure!

Here’s the thing, though.  Right before the fight, one of our two tanks dropped.  We queued again to bring in another tank because duh, but one did not appear.  People became impatient and charged Qon JUST BECAUSE.  Unfortunately, the LFR queue thinger stops completely while you are in combat, which meant that finding another tank took even longer, which in turn meant people became even more impatient, even after we wiped.  If you get enough stacks of Determination, it doesn’t matter whether you have two tanks or not LOLRITE?  It was like a circular reference in Excel, just with higher repair costs.

While I’m speaking of going in circles, OH MY GAWD WHY ARE THERE MORE TORNADOS HAAALLPPP!  Oh wait, these just stun you?  I guess that’s fine, then.

Is there a button for this? I'm stuck in a tornado and I can't get out!

Is there a button for this?
I’m stuck in a tornado and I can’t get out!

Mercifully, there was a healer who actually had a decent tank off spec.  He (she?) saved the day by willingly tanking the fight for the first time right then and there, which prevented us from running at Qon endlessly because we were bored.  (Hey guys, has anyone heard of teleporting out and doing other things that allow you to LIVE while we wait?  No?)

Qon drops a ranged weapon.  Of course, it didn’t drop for Therm.  I swear to Gawd I’m going to find a spear or something and be a melee huntard.  See, I even practiced my huntanking:

Sometimes Nothing Makes It Any Better Life just hurts.

Sometimes Nothing Makes It Any Better
Life just hurts.

Next up were the Twin Consorts, who somehow manage to have long, lucious wavy locks despite the fact that they’re made of freaking stone.  I already had lots of issues with these bosses, but I was doing pretty good at keeping all my raging feminist thoughts to myself.  Buuut then we had some  jokes …

No Just no.  No.  Stahp.  Shut up.  Fin.  End.  Over.  STOP.

No
Just no. No. Stahp. Shut up. Fin. End. Over. STOP.

Fortunately for all concerned, a tank pulled at the exact moment a friend called, and DPSing with one hand while holding the phone in the other left very few fingers available for typing in all caps.  Fortunately for ME (since I don’t particularly feel like arguing with almost all of a LFR group), all the capslock I committed was to my party itself, not the instance chat.

It was the easiest fight in the whole joint, which OF COURSE was an opening for this:

For Future Reference Learning from your mistakes is smart.

For Future Reference
Learning from your mistakes is smart.

Har har har.  C’mon, people, I know it’s LFR, but you can do better than that.

Seriously? Flounder is unimpressed.

Seriously?
Flounder is unimpressed.

I was feeling generally irritated by this point, and in addition had been informed by multiple screaming people that Lei Shen or Mr. Thunduar or whatever his name is actually requires coordination and sheeyit that is all but impossible with the random nature of a LFR group.  Has Durumu taught us nothing?  THERE’S NO WAY, THERE’S JUST NO WAY.  So I left.  I’m gonna wait for him to get nerfed, and I’m clearly not the only one with that plan.

Speaking of, I somehow feel as though Pandaland’s point itself got nerfed with this dude and the Zandalari.  Yes, it’s a nice, neat little turn of story for a people who got effed over by the Cataclysm to fight the hell back against the world by resurrecting a dead guy.  It’s just that I read so much crap about how the plot and the bosses of Pandaria were different, because they weren’t some Obvious Other.  No, they were the Sha, and the Sha are actually ourselves, our own negativity and our own overpowering strength.  Face yourself!  And now you get a burly half naked dude with control over thunder?  Bah.

Four Alarm Fire

When it comes to Isle of Thunder dailies, my mental conversation is usually something like this:

Positive Thinker: The server progression’s now past Point Whatever!
Stick-in-the-mud Cynic: … okay, but it still sounds about as fun as eating rocks.
Positive Thinker: Hey, you could get a dino mount!  You’re SO close to that one achieve!
Stick-in-the-mud Cynic: Rocks, I don’t want to chew them.
Positive Thinker: Howzabout another rep for Therm’s slowly growing collection?  There’s an achieve in it for you!
Stick-in-the-mud Cynic: Om nom nom rocks.  No.

Vincent VanNO Stop while you're ahead.  Grumpy Cat demands it.

Vincent VanNO
Stop while you’re ahead. Grumpy Cat demands it.

Now, there’s nothing like avoiding a problem you can’t solve!  I’ve been working on Ignitine, my wee little Warlock inscriptionist.  She just hit level 60 the other day, but has only ever used one spec the entire time (Destruction, of course).  I’ve noticed that I have a major usability problem with destro, and it’s my burning ember usage … you know, the whole point/method of the spec.

If I have …

One burning ember: I accidentally use it for Chaos Bolt before remembering I need that same ember for Shadowburn when the mob’s about dead

Two burning embers:  FIRE AND BRIMSTONE BABY!  Immolate!  MOAR FIRE AND BRIMSTONE!  Incinerate!  FIRE AND OH CRAP, I used up all the embers … [Editor’s note: Fire and Brimstone requires one burning ember to use.]

Three burning embers: See “Two burning embers,” above, with additional repetition

Four burning embers: “Don’t you wish you were hot like me?  OH YES I WENT THERE.”   /runs around in circles for the hell of it while hoarding all the precious, precious embers because I’m on FIRE [Editor’s note: Max burning embers means maximum fiyah.]

I guess I just like being on fire that much.  I get all sad when we’re out of combat and the priceless burning embers start to waste away, leaving me cold.

Yay Fire Ignitine likes being on fire at all the worst possible times.  Small, flammable canoe?  GREAT.

Yay Fire
Ignitine likes being on fire at all the worst possible times. Small, flammable canoe? GREAT.

I feel fairly certain that Chaos Bolt, though it looks neat, is more or less useless.  One, it eats up my burning embers and doesn’t help me build more of them in return, and two, it takes forever to cast.  (“Forever to cast” seems like my issue with a lot of spells in general, actually.  I need everything to be an instant cast, now now now now!)

Maybe I ought to look into Demonology.  Or Affliction.  Whichever spec is the one that does NOT get those floaty pink crystals, because those look silly and would have to be matched to my mog.  Green crystals seem at least a little more transmog friendly.

When it comes to appearances, though, what I REALLY want these days is a glyph that will turn my felhound into one of those firedogs from the Firelands/Ragefire Chasm.  Ignitine is an inscriptionist in the hopes that some day, this dream will come true (and also because I didn’t have one).  I’d settle for an Incubus glyph in the meantime.

Needs More Nerf

I have heard a crapton (yes, a crapton) of bad things about Durumu, whom I deemed “the Soul Crusher” for his ability to wipe LFR groups over and over and over again.  If it wasn’t someone complaining or flat out losing their mind, it was their DBM addon telling me that they wiped for the nth time.  I was told it got nerfed.  I was told it was still fatally terrifying.  I finally decided that I really ought to try it, though not for the ranged weapon (which of course didn’t drop) – no, I was gonna do this for JOURNALISM blogging.  Anything supposedly so catastrophic was going to be GREAT in the worst possible way.

Are There Snails In Here? They gave me nightmares last time.

Are There Snails In Here?
They gave me nightmares last time.

Although friends kept trying to explain the mechanics (beams of light, maze, death) to me, I had to first make sure we weren’t going to get ambushed by any murderous gastropods.  SOMEBODY has to think of these things.

Since the Halls of Flesh-Shaping part of LFR has been out since the 2nd, I was a little startled to find that there were still other people who had no freaking clue what they were doing.  I don’t know why.  You’d think I’d know by now that I have no monopoly on ignorance.

Oh Good Note to self: if I ever tank this, keep this information to myself no matter how true it is.

Oh Good
Note to self: if I ever tank this, keep this information to myself no matter how true it is.

I guess it’s good that he was honest? As a side note, I’ve always been taught never to admit this sort of stuff – you don’t want to draw attention to yourself, especially if that attention is going to be the “OMFG YOU FAIL AND YOU KILLED US ALL” kind.

After removing all the trash, the legend himself appeared.  I rather like his little hat.   Even eyeballs with tentacles and dental problems need good hats.

Durumu Needs Caffeine Badly Twenty pots of coffee ought to do it.

Durumu Needs Caffeine Badly
Twenty pots of coffee ought to do it.

Initially, I tried to remember all the floating eye type bosses in the Legend of Zelda series who resembled Durumu.  After giving up on that exercise, I mentally prepped myself to run through some sort of maze – I was thinking walls, rats, running back and forth as I bounced off dead ends, etc.  I also wondered if, somehow, the encounter would show that Blizzard designers were taking the whole trapped-like-rats-in-a-maze thing a bit far.

Potions and flasks?  Check.  Food?  Check.  Healthstone?  Check.  I clicked “Ready.”

At first there were just some beams of light rotating around in different primary colors.  These supposedly reveal adds, but I never actually saw the adds myself, possibly because I was too busy trying to keep an eye out for the maze thing.  I DID think about making a color wheel joke right about here, but decided to pass on the opportunity.  Then came the bad.

IT'S ALL ON FIRE IT HURTS

IT’S ALL ON FIRE
IT HURTS

GTFO told me I was standing in bad.  DBM also informed me that I needed to move.  I was already going because OMFG OW OW OW OW OW OH CRAP, but it didn’t make a damn bit of difference – there wasn’t anywhere to go to that wasn’t bad.  ANYWHERE NEAR ME WAS BAD.  The bad hurt like hell, too, so I didn’t succeed in finding a safe place.

You know what the bad reminded me of?  This one time we failed in Dragonsoul:

DON'T STAND IN FIRE MOVE U NOOB

DON’T STAND IN FIRE
MOVE U NOOB

There were a few differences, of course.  There weren’t any Aspects to complain while we were the ones being burned alive, but they were more than adequately replaced by fellow members of the LFR group who couldn’t seem to believe that people would actually DIE after having used a health stone and a potion.  The Dragonsoul fire-fire was easier to avoid while there was space to do so.  And we may have been getting torched by magical dragon breath, but it didn’t hurt quite as much as the nasty dark purple stuff in the Halls.

Wait, What? THAT was the maze?

Wait, What?
THAT was the maze?

Lastly, the fire had no pretensions of being a maze.  Let’s take a moment to discuss what a maze is.  They are puzzles!  Challenges!  Mazes have many paths to choose from that may take you to the end or take you nowhere at all.  Note that word: CHOOSE.  You can’t choose when you’re dead.

For the sake of comparison, here are some examples of mazes:

This Is A Maze On Wikipedia

This Is A Maze
On Wikipedia

And:

This Is A Maze Rather fancy actually.

This Is A Maze
Rather fancy actually.

And here’s Durumu’s “maze” …

Not A Maze But possibly some sick, twisted vision of one.

Not A Maze
But possibly some sick, twisted vision of one.

When is a maze not a maze?  When:

  • there aren’t any choices you can make
  • there is no “end” or destination to get to other than “alive”
  • it’s just an enormous puddle of bad
  • you’re dead
Lest You Think You're Safe Found the clear spot?  Good for you.  Now die.

Lest You Think You’re Safe
Found the clear spot? Good for you. Now die.

I’m TOLD that the opening starts to the left or the right of the boss, but the thing is, if you AREN’T ALREADY THERE or aren’t EXTREMELY close, you’re effed.  And sometimes if you are there – I did find the clear space once by accident – you’re effed anyway.  Let’s say you live, though.  You aren’t really in a maze so much as you’re following something you can’t see and praying to Gawd the opening it leaves doesn’t vanish on you because you got a little too far behind.  If it does, YOU DIE.

GET IN LINE Order, people, order!

GET IN LINE
Order, people, order!

Thanks to the nerfing and the fancy buff you get for failing, we only wiped two or three times.  I’d argue that we call a spade a spade though.  This is a hot mess and needs more nerf.  Either make the bad do less damage, make it the bad appear more slowly so you have time to escape it, and/or make the safe spot more obvious.  Think General Erudax in Grim Batol, where a glowy swirly shows you where it’s safe to stand.  You’ve got a handful of seconds to get there while he casts, but if you don’t QUITE make it, you still have more than a few seconds of life to try.  You aren’t effed unless you’re on the far side of the room, half dead already or just really lost and confused.

Above all, we should not call this sheeyit a maze, because it ain’t.

Primordius was fun, although he made me sad because he was in pain.  Obviously, he’s kind of S.O.L. in any number of ways, including being second in line after Durumu.  I’d say about one tenth of my brain was focused on Primordius, while eight tenths were still screaming OMGWFTNOTAMAZE and the final one tenth was wondering if I got any good screenshots of Durumu.

Dark Animus was TACTICS EL OH EL WTF GUYS UM OK.

I Have A Bad Feeling About This p.s.,  running through the raid with this red sheeyit on your tail is an easy way to irritate others, even if it is fatal.

I Have A Bad Feeling About This
p.s., running through the raid with this red sheeyit on your tail is an easy way to irritate others, even if it is fatal.

In my lame defense, I thought the red sheeyit was only going to hurt me, not everybody else.  (Therefore, if I got out of the raid’s general vicinity, it didn’t matter how I got there.)  Oops?