Monthly Archives: May 2013

I Love the 90s

This Could Be A Sign A sign of an alt problem.

This Could Be A Sign
A sign of an alt problem.

Does this mean I have a problem yet?

While I’m trying to get some alts more acceptably/powerfully geared, I am trying to avoid the same kind of single-minded, dailies-based effort I devoted to Thermalix.  I do have Commendations for most Pandaland reps, so if I DO decide to grind one on an alt, that’ll be a bit easier than before.

Logic, We Haz It Because RNG has burned it into our souls.

Logic, We Haz It
Because RNG has burned it into our souls.

#1, Thermalix
Current Gear Score: 497
Current Spec: Beast Mastery

Thoughts: Loot specialization for a class that is all DPS all the time makes me laugh.  JUST GIVE ME A BOW FOR GAWD’S SAKE I DON’T CARE ABOUT SPECIALIZATION UNLESS I CAN SPECIALIZE “WEAPON” OVER “ARMOR.”  If you need me, I’ll be in my corner crying.

Therm’s the one who gets asked to do stuff, solely by virtue of her gearscore.  It doesn’t mean she really helps in any way, though.  One thing that IS nice about having a gearscore near 500 is that her armor is pretty stable – I’m not replacing pieces all the time, so enchanting/gemming/reforging costs are lower.  One bad thing is that I often forget to do it.

#2, Niremere
Current Gear Score: 468 equipped
Current Spec: Protection

Thoughts: I’m most interested in improving Nir’s gear right now.  I simply don’t spend as much time Alliance-side, so I’m not as connected with her guild members as I would be otherwise.  Unfortunately, social bonds are what makes old school raid runs happen – you can’t just log on one day and announce “HEY GUYS, LET’S GO TO THE SUNWELL,” because nobody will move an inch.  So if I want transmog gear from this place or that, I’m really on my own – and I want Nir to be as independent as possible.

I also want to suck less as a tank.

Niremere is able to run the first part of Mogu’shan Vaults, but I haven’t done so for a number of reasons (including LFR stage fright).  She’s mostly enchanted/gemmed, but I refuse to spend 3k on a weapon enchant for a heroic sword that I’m going to drop at the first possible chance.  Wait, given how long Therm’s had her heroic bow, that may be dumb.  On third thought, I actually don’t have anywhere near 3k gold on Nir, so … NEVER MIND.

It feels like she’s in a hugely awkward phase gear-wise right now.  I have to reforge pretty much EVERYTHING to Hit and Expertise.  Before I did that, her hit was around 2%.  TWO.  PERCENT.  Sometimes I lose stats that I don’t care about, but a lot of the time I’m giving up tanky-type things like Parry and whatnot just so I can HIT THE DAMN MOBS and hopefully keep a bit more aggro.

Healing me seems to be way difficult.  Subpar healers can’t keep me up.  If the healer is good, I still manage to suck their mana dry unless they’re geared in crap from Throne of Thunder.  Part of it is relearning the heroics from a tank perspective instead of ranged (FOR GOD’S SAKE MOVE, YOU’RE GOING TO GET STUNNED), but I worry that some of it is my bad gear and the insane reforging for hit/expertise.  But if I don’t hit crap, then I have an even WORSE aggro problem.

Starting somewhere around late Cata and continuing into Pandaland, I’ve been having a lot more trouble holding aggro – I no longer have the huge aggro margins I used to easily sustain.  On bosses, I’m thrilled if I can keep it around above 100%, but I often can’t.  I have to yank aggro back from the top DPS frequently.  I’ve even been putting Hand of Salvation on whoever gets aggro from me, but it doesn’t help much.  It’s time not spent on using skills that build more aggro, so he or she just pulls it right on back.  Sometimes it’s trash, sometimes it’s bosses, but quite often the mob is yoyo-ing back and forth.  It’s REALLY bad when I have DPS in Throne of Thunder raid gear, bad enough that I sometimes give up on trying to get the aggro back.  They outDPS me by twenty miles.  I’m using all the skills I got and I just can’t keep up.

This is probably the biggest reason I haven’t taken Nir into LFR.  I KNOW what the response will be if I can’t keep the boss’ attention, I just don’t know how they’ll phrase it – and I don’t want to find out.

#3, Alexalis
Current Gear Score: 463
Current Spec: Windwalker

Thoughts: Not much for some reason.  Probably because I’m more obsessed with Not Being a Failtank on Nir.  Has most of the farm unlocked, though, if only she’d use it.

#4, Mechalis
Current Gear Score: 468
Current Spec: Unholy

Thoughts: Look at this picture.

Gawd is in the Irony Starshatter is a really nice looking sword, you gotta admit.

Gawd is in the Irony
Starshatter is a really nice looking sword though, you gotta admit.

Mech has run Vaults three times.  That’s right.  Three, and lo, there was A WEAPON.  WTF RNG?  WTF!

Anyway, fights are much harder for me as melee because … well, because I’m not ranged.  Crap keeps moving out of range, or I have to move out of something that I’d normally never be anywhere near.  I’m used to moving some, like for Flanking Orders, but melee has to move ALL THE TIME.  Move into this one attack.  Move outta that one attack.  Tank drags the boss over there for some unclear reason?  Gotta move over there.  Add?  Gotta run all the way over there, then gotta run all the way back to the boss.

Alexalis has the running easier, what with the way monks roll.  For some reason, though, I prefer the DK’s self healing (it feels more effective).  I like self healing A LOT.  This is because when you’re not one of the top DPSers, healers don’t really give a crap about you.  You gotta keep your own self up when the going gets tough and the mana gets low.

Her heroic tanking set is almost complete.  I wonder if I’ll have the same kind of aggro problems …

#5, Ailabeth
Current Gear Score: 441
Current Spec: Shadow

Thoughts: EL OH EL JUST GOT HERE GUYS HAVEN’T REALLY RUN ANY HEROICS YET LOLZ.

All A Matter of Perspective Cal's got my type down pretty well.

All A Matter of Perspective
Cal’s got my type down pretty well.

Barrination

So, let’s talk about the Barrens.

My few weeks back in Vanilla left me with two rather uncomfortable memories: being dumb enough to roll on a PvP realm and also being dumb enough to read Barrens chat, which was the Trade of its day.  Fortunately, I’ve since gotten smarter and am on an RP realm in addition to turning off all the channels ever!  So all I really see there nowadays is the yelling of countless Kor’kron commanders and the problems endless Kor’kron caravans are having with that whole staying upright in the face of gravity thing.

There are many ways you can acquire the supplies (wood, oil, meat and stone) you need for the weekly quest/awesome stuff, but there’s pretty much only one way that’s efficient – killing commanders.  Killing regular mobs gets you too few items to be worth the effort considering the damage they do, even if you ignore the fact that you need 150 of each to turn in the quest!  While overturned caravans provide easy looting of said supplies, the map doesn’t update nearly fast enough to make them useful to you whatsoever.  You might accidentally be near one when the map decides to show you where it is, but if you’re not?  Blah!  It’s pointless to go look through the entire zone.  You have a better chance of getting to a commander and trying to help kill it than you do at locating an overturned caravan and looting something from it before Everybody Else does.

Far Away is Safer And a hell of a lot easier.  Or maybe that's the item level talking.

Far Away is Safer
And a hell of a lot easier. Or maybe that’s the item level talking.

You can escort caravans for your faction as well, but there’s one problem – they spawn randomly and in areas that are not always indicated on the map by text or icon, so have fun finding them.  Actually, there are two problems, now that I think about it – the opposite faction can destroy your caravan.  NO THANKS, I NEED LESS FUTILITY IN MY LIFE.

So far, I’ve managed to get Thermalix, Alexalis, Mechalis and Niremere through the requirements for the event title, which includes one run of the weekly quest.  I’ve definitely had the most trouble with Alexalis and Niremere.

Alexa’s problems were almost entirely gear-related – being melee is dangerous since the commanders throw out a lot of damage in their immediate vicinity (especially if everybody misses the interrupts), and the poor girl just kept getting smashed to bits.  Nir, however, had to deal with both low gear AND the threat of getting smashed to bits by the far more numerous Horde.  Blah.

It's the Principle of the Thing There are a lot more Horde here than commanders.

It’s the Principle of the Thing
There are a lot more Horde here than commanders.

My main issue with the “killing commanders” method of gathering is just how easy it is to get flagged by accident, even though WRA is an RP realm.  I’m normally quite careful never to flag myself, as I’m pretty convinced “stranger danger” is totally real when it comes to getting shanked in the back by the opposing faction.  Unfortunately, if some Horde/Alliance happens to be flagged and uses an AoE that I just HAPPEN to get hit by, that’s it, I’m flagged.  If I use an AoE that hits a flagged member of the opposing faction, welp, that’s that.

On most of my characters, I’m pretty competent with single-target attacks and so I’m able to at least avoid flagging myself THAT way.  But poor Nir, poor Nir.  Since she’s a Protection Paladin, my normal mode of operation is GO AND SMASH ALL THE THINGS AND GET ALL THE AGGRO AOE AVENGER’S SHIELD AOE CONSECRATION SMASH HAMMER OF THE RIGHTEOUS SMASH SMASH RAAAR.  This is bad in the Barrens.  Unfortunately, if I change her spec to Retribution (where I am slightly better at attacking with single-target skills but where I am far less capable of good DPS overall), I leave her extremely vulnerable when she does get flagged.  I know, I do better DPS as Protection, WTF.

Thanks to the PvP changes that have taken place (THANK GAWD, I DON’T JUST FALL OVER DEAD and THIS IS AMAZING), getting flagged isn’t ALWAYS an immediate disaster.  Since I’m not terribad at hunter, Therm can actually defend herself now, which is AMAZING.  (Did I mention how it’s AMAZING?  Because it is.)  Mech is fine if she gets flagged.  She’ll Asphyxiate you, get you all good and infected and then Death Strike to survive until somebody else comes along to help.  Alexa never had flagging issues because she was just dead already nine times out of ten.  But Nir?  I just can’t do Ret to save my life.  Last time she got hit by some Tauren DK’s AoE and got flagged, I gave up, stood there and waited to die (which didn’t take long, thanks to bad gear and lots of Horde).  I didn’t even bother to bubble/hearth.  It was like, “GET IT OVER WITH, GAWD, SO I CAN RUN BACK AND LOOT THIS THING.”

Anyhoo, Thermalix managed to loot the Latent Kor’kron Helm and Boots, while Cal donated two shoulder tokens to her.  I was about to squee for IMPROVEMENTS YAY, until I learned that they turn into 489 gear.  Therm’s shoulders, bought after I devoted far too much blood, sweat and tears to the sadistic pandas known as the Golden Lotus, are already 489.  Her helm is 502.  Her boots are 502 (twice over now, thanks to Tortos).

She did waste one shoulder token because she wanted to know what it looked like, but she sent the rest to Mech and Alexa.

CAN I LOOT THIS YET GEEZE Sorry, the loot you are trying to reach is currently unavailable.  Please try again or give up el oh el.

CAN I LOOT THIS YET GEEZE
Sorry, the loot you are trying to reach is currently unavailable. Please try again or give up el oh el.

There is ONE THING that I really want to happen in the Barrens RIGHT NOW.  MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR MULTIPLE PEOPLE TO LOOT THE COMMANDERS AT ONCE.  GAWD!

“Derp vs Derp,” or, “In Which Prinnie Finds Hope”

Fel Reaver Ruins, Eye of the Storm.

Her fellow Hordies left Therm and her pet alone, just like always.

She should’ve been used to it by now, but Therm was still far less composed than Roffles the  Zen Master Goat.  Thermalix just couldn’t feel comfortable being alone, because “alone” meant she was the ONLY target in the area.  She couldn’t enjoy the silence, because silence sometimes hid a rogue, and rogues always caused sheeyit to go bad real fast for her.  Therm didn’t LIKE sheeyit going bad real fast!  She ran back and forth, tossing flares and traps to keep herself occupied while nervously awaiting the inevitable stun from the back.

Empty Is Good It means the people that might kill me are somewhere else.

Empty Is Good
It means the people that might kill me are somewhere else.

She could see the others fighting over the flag far below, in roads like always. For a moment, she debated yelling something like, “get out of the freaking roads and get another freaking base, Gawd” for amusement’s sake, but instead she decided to avoid drawing attention to herself.  Therm checked the nearby bridge.  It was empty, which was comforting.  Unfortunately for her sense of safety, however, she realized there was a guy on a horse standing right behind her.

Oh.  MY.  GAWD!  A HORSE.  A horse meant Alliance, of course!

The small portion of her brain devoted to logic registered “Death Knight” and “Night Elf,” but could contribute little more.  Therm wheeled around, leaped backwards with Disengage and started shooting.  Muscle memory alone chose Serpent Sting and Concussive Shot.  It had to do this without help because the rest of her mind was busy steeling itself for instant, Gawdawful, agonizing death.  It was coming.  It was going to be swift, merciless and 100% unpleasant.

It took her a moment to realize that the Death Knight wasn’t already gleefully jumping on her poor corpse, brutally smashing her skull into the dirt.  Actually, she still had some health.  Wait, WTF?  She was ALIVE?

As the more of her brain function shifted from “OH GOD GOING TO DIE HELP HELP HELP” to “I HAVE A CHANCE TO SURVIVE THIS,” she began to realize that the Death Knight might actually LOSE.  He definitely wasn’t a regular and/or good PvPer, given the way he sometimes tried to take Roffles out in order to get to her.   She clearly had the DPS advantage if she could keep him at range.  If he used Asphyxiate, she could use Bestial Wrath.  If he Death Gripped her, she could just Disengage.   Concussive Shot and Ice Trap would slow him from getting to her, just like the way she soloed mobs back in the day.  Potions and healthstones had a cooldown of eternity, so if she could keep him from Death Striking pretty much ever … why, she could … she could kill him.

%@#$ YES.

So she Disengaged off the hill to the road below and shot him dead from there.

She kept Fel Reaver Ruins.  She – Thermalix, floortanker extraordinaire – kept it!  She LIVED.  This result apparently didn’t sit so well with her erstwhile opponent, who thought a tower with one defender really OUGHT to fall, especially if that defender was a goblin with a goat for a pet.  He came back – and this time he remembered to bring his undead minion with him.

So Therm shot him some more because what else are you going to do in a situation like that?  Fortunately, Goa and Cal were able to make a visit to Fel Reaver Ruins, and with their PvP weaponry and skills, they greatly assisted her in speeding up the Death Knight’s second demise.

By now the entirety of her brain had come to realize that she was still alive.  The information overloaded her mental capacity to the point where she was capable of saying either “THIS DK HATES MEEEEE” or “as;lfjas;lfja;slfjaslfja;lsfkja;lsf,” but not much else.  She stopped running in circles, mostly because it was really hard to run in circles while simultaneously freaking out about the ENORMOUS RESPONSIBILITIES AND RISKS OF LIVING.  What do you DO if you’re ALIVE!?  What do you DO with yourself if you’re not waiting to resurrect?

It figured that the Death Knight chose this moment to show up again, this time with friends.

Fortunately for Therm, the movement of four or so bodies away from the roads and up to Fel Reaver Ruins (combined with her panicked squeals of “INC FR!! SERIOUSLY!!”) drew attention, and the invaders were followed by three or four members of the Horde who were more experienced in the fine arts of PvP.  Thanks to them, the Alliance players were dead – and Therm was still alive – by the time Cal and Goa were able to come back to save her again.

For one moment, there was understanding.

PvP didn’t flat out suck.  Suddenly, PvP was no longer an insane exercise in futility that could only be mastered by engaging in more of the same.  For once, PvP did not feel like the game was taking a hammer to my fragile glass soul, beating the shards into a fine dust and then forcing me to chew on my soul’s grainy remains.

I actually stood a snowball’s chance in hell.  I could do something.  Maybe not much, and maybe nothing real significant, but something nonetheless.

Good job, Blizzard.  Seriously.

As someone who has never had a PvP gear advantage and as a result someone who gets more or less utterly obliterated over, over and over again, I love the changes with this patch.  I survived one on one against someone of similar (low) skill level.  Mr. DK wasn’t able to rofflestomp me in the face while laughing his ass off.  Now, Mr. DK AND his friends could have and would have rofflestomped me had they not been met with equal force.  A superior PvPer could rofflestomp me still, no problem.  Anybody with an actual PvP weapon could easily kick my ass, patch changes or no.

Healers are totally OP now, they say.  Well, I was never able to put a dent in ’em in the first place, what with that four second fear, shields and so on, so I don’t really see how “now” is worse than “before.”  People with LFR/Raid gear are more OP than they deserve to be, they say.  Like I haven’t effing worked to get this gear, I say.  Go ahead and complain about people showing up in PvE gear – but you won’t hear me whining about the people who run heroics, LFR, actual raids and scenarios in their PvP sets because it’s all they got.  You show up wearing something that’s reasonable for your spec, and it’s good enough.

I, Prinnie, shot a DK and got the killing blow on him twice.  I got those killing blows without fancy PvP gear on, but that didn’t make my two killing blows any less deadly for the DK.  I’m not crowing about my amazing victories here, and these two kills do not make me think I know what I’m doing or am suddenly an actual honest to Gawd PvPer.  They’re hugely important for me, however, and killing blows like these could possibly be important for other PvE folks who would like to try the “other half” of the game.

I could not enjoy PvP before.  About the best I could do was not outright hate it to the point of cussing up a storm while feeling horribly stuck and/or dead in the Eye of the Storm.  Gearing up by getting myself ripped to pieces over and over again just seemed like a really @#$%ing bad unfun waste of time.  How the eff do you learn to PvP if all you do is run in, get stunned, get killed, and spend the next fifteen seconds waiting to res – repeatedly?  It isn’t fun, the experience isn’t useful, and it overall sucked.

I can’t say I enjoy PvP yet – my feelings of bitter angry frustration due to past endless rofflestomping run pretty deep.  Also, my Dinoland battleground will never happen.  But simply “having a chance” of surviving long enough to defeat someone else makes a huge difference in my perspective.  I’m willing to keep trying bit by bit until I suck a little less, because it no longer feels like somebody’s trying to shove a fork in my eye for fun.

Patch 5.3 Proves that RNG is FOREVER

In the box Therm received as an award for running the “Blood in the Snow” scenario, she got a weapon.  OMG WEAPON, right?  But no, unfortunately, it was worse (OF COURSE) than her upgraded heroic bow.  SERIOUSLY, RNG? I MEAN COME ON!  STOP RUBBING MY WEAPON PROBLEM IN MY FACE.

They say they’ve instituted bad luck protection (which I sure as hell need) and I wanted to try it out.  So although RNG is clearly alive and well in patch 5.3, I finally got some Mogu Charms of Pain Fate together and queued Therm up for Forgotten Depths.  Tortos gave me gold, so I rolled again and got g … loot?  Wait, I got loot from Tortos?

OMG?  OMG!  WHAT IS IT?  I GOT LOOT!  BOW?  BOW?  IS THAT YOU, BOW?  I’VE BEEN DREAMING OF YOU FOREVER, BOW!

Alas, it was a pair of 502 shoes, which was especially tragic as I had JUST finished the quest that gives you a pair of 502 shoes and was wearing them at that exact moment.

I just don’t even.

I can't even anymore.

I can’t even anymore.

Maybe I should level a class that can use more weapons.  Maybe I should invent a class that can use ANYTHING as a weapon!  I’m not going to disenchant or vendor those greens.  I’m going to use them as projectiles for a cannon!  Yeah!  CLEARLY this is the way to go.

“Darkmoon Architect” Set

"Darkmoon Architect" Set

“Darkmoon Architect” Set

Class: Warlock

H: Chief Architect’s Monocle | S: Slavehandler Amice | Cl: Cloak of the Darkmoon Faire
Ch: Nemesis Robes | Wa: High Councillor’s Sash | L: Not shown
G: Barbaric Cloth Gloves | Wr: Not shown | B: Conjurer’s Shoes

Dagger: Neurosurgeon’s Tool
Offhand: It would be the Spring Gadget if I had gotten unlazy and quested for it.

Thoughts: Kamalia recently posted a Darkmoon-themed set that is actually respectable and closely resembles something a sane person would wear.  This is not that outfit.

This set wasn’t entirely planned, since I had wanted the Nemesis shoulders and belt for a different idea, but wound up with the robe on Ignitine’s last BWL run instead.  Thus it’s comprised partly of stuff in the bank, like the monocle and the weapon.  Yet I think it works, because whoever works behind the scenes at Darkmoon has to be at least a little bit twisted.  Maybe not Neurosurgeon’s Tool sort of twisted, but Ignitine’s also a warlock and a wannabe brain implosion specialist, so she’s gotta represent.

She’s probably the one who made the cannon so touchy, and also probably the person who uses some sort of hidden contraption to prompt that turtle to move at the last dang second.  Ignitine seems the most likely to be responsible for making sure you lag at Whack-a-gnoll.  She’s probably rigging your tonk so that the aim’s off.

Whatever you do, don’t get frustrated and stomp off into the woods!  She’s looking for people to volunteer for her next scientific study.

Gimme a Super Soaker and I’ll Heal You

Electrika is now in the 60s, which is actually past the point where each and every shaman I have ever made has fallen face first into the delete button.  This is my first shaman ever that can actually FLY.

I’m starting to like shaman healing, mostly because I envision myself doing two things:

  1. I am throwing buckets of water at people.  Lots of buckets.
  2. I am making it rain on their heads.  SAD STORMCLOUD FOLLOWS YOU EVERYWHERE.

I like picturing my party looking like soaking wet cats by the end of the dungeon.  And if I’m sometimes secretly pretending to drown everybody in my party, does that make me a bad healer/person?

ALL THE WATER, YOU'RE IN IT

ALL THE WATER, YOU’RE IN IT

I gotta say, leveling a healer from scratch helps immensely in feeling comfortable with that role, even if you take a break for a few weeks and come back to it later.  For example, Ailabeth has leveled to 89 completely in Shadow.  Whenever I use her Disc spec to heal in transmog runs (because Holy has too much going on for me to handle), the feelings are not good.  I am pushing buttons that seem like good buttons to push, but not enjoying it because there are probably better buttons to be pushing and/or a better order to push them in, and we’re all getting a little too close to death for my tastes.  Also, I inevitably look for Dispersion when I’m low on mana.  NOT HAPPENING.

But Electrika shows that increased competence leads to slightly less panicking, which is immensely beneficial.  I had a couple of “AMAZING! IT’S LIKE I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING!” moments in Blackrock the other day, which of course I failed to screencap.

After clearing the Grim Guzzler of all the bargoers, we exited out the back onto the small, circular platform that rises above the anvil you use for Dark Iron.  We had an overenthusiastic enhancement shaman DPS who noticed Lord Incendius down below and decided to engage him by jumping there.  Perhaps predictably, he aggroed the mobs on the opposite half of the circular platform.  In a scene somewhat reminiscent of Gnomeregan but with way more fire, those mobs proceeded to run through the rest of Blackrock to find us, dragging along every additional monster they could find.

I saw them running for the door when I followed the tank down, so I knew sheeyit was coming.  In the chaos that followed (Dark Iron dwarves!  Golems!  Lord Incendius!  Fire elementals!  ALL THE THINGS!), the DPS shaman died.  Everything attacked him first and all at once before the tank could get aggro on some of it (and I inevitably got aggro from the rest of it by SPAMMING ALL THE HEALS).  One other DPS was a clothie, and the poor chap went down almost instantly while I was focused on keeping the tank and myself up and running so we could get control of the situation.  When all was said and done, I somehow managed to keep the last DPS standing too.  We stood proudly atop a pile of corpses!

I will probably never be so badass again.

Similarly, when we jumped into the Ring of Law, I somehow aggroed the spectators in the ring above.  I don’t recall them ever doing that before, but the moment I saw my portrait go red, the “OH CRAP” warning bells went off.  Indeed, All The Things from the nearby area charged me just as we were fighting the first boss there, but Reincarnation was off cooldown, so I popped back up and kept on going LIKE A PRO.  ONLY the DPS shaman died that time, and I have no idea how I did it – I was so low on mana!  Possibly the tank was better prepared for the sheeyitstorm?

Electrika’s now transitioned into Burning Crusade dungeons and Death Knights.  I always thought the party of “all DKs all the time” was something of a joke, but I actually had a party of all Death Knights the other day, and every last one of ’em was in Blood Presence and Death Gripping crap until I said something.  One was still in Blood Presence even after that!

The real big shift that I’ve noticed, however, is how tanks now pull a lot of crap all at once.  I swear this started pretty suddenly in Hellfire Ramparts.  The first big pull is from the door to the guy who calls the warhounds.  Then they pull everything in the middle + first boss.  There’s a bit of a breather when they drag the two guys at the foot of the stairs up to the small group upstairs, but then the open area is a huge pull of ALL THE THINGS.

Have we gotten braver?  Have we gotten dumber?  Has Blizzard placed more mobs more closely together?  I don’t know, but it’s such a huge amount of damage all at once, even with platewearers, that I have to be ON THE BALL or they die when they do that.   Now that I’ve gotten Healing Rain, I start casting that before the tank has gotten everything grouped up tightly, targeting the approximate spot where I think the tank going to end up.  Once that’s up to cover for the DPS getting aggro and to buy me a bit more time to get a massive heal off for the tank, I start churning out those big buckets of water (Healing Wave/Greater Healing Wave/Chain Heal).  If I’ve misjudged whereabouts the tank will stop running and/or the tank runs JUST out of range, tank will likely end up dead.

Dancing With Spirit Wolves I'm the one with Water Shield.  Not like you can really tell ...

Dancing With Spirit Wolves
I’m the one with Water Shield. Not like you can really tell …

People say that healing is boring, and I do see lots of healers jumping around and/or pulling crap.  I can’t say the same, since I find I have to pay much more attention to what’s going on than I do as a DPS.  Maybe it’s just because I’ve leveled so many DPS classes but so few healers?  In any case, I have pretty much zero screenshots of Electrika, because OMFG THE TANK OH GEEZE.

p.s., I’ve written before about totally colluding with the healer to get an annoying DPS killed.  I’VE NOW BEEN ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THAT REQUEST.  It was so WEIRD.

When LFR becomes a daily thing …

YOU LEAVE MY MOMMA OUTTA THIS YOUR momma, on the other hand ...

YOU LEAVE MY MOMMA OUTTA THIS
YOUR momma, on the other hand …

At first, I thought I was entering a kind of “zen zone” where LFR could no longer disturb my natural balance of awesome.  Perhaps the repeated wipes necessary to take out Lei Shen had expanded my perspective!  It was like suffering increased my capacity to … uh … suffer.  So despite being in several LFR groups with some issues, I was generally able to keep my sense of humor about the whole deal.  It was like I had given up on thinking about weapons!

For example, after a mind-boggling wipe on Jin “The Zap” Rokh, Cal and I cheerfully took on the role of lifeguards for the Isle of Thunder Community Pool:

OUT OUT OUT No kids allowed!  The adults wanna do respectable laps.

OUT OUT OUT
No kids allowed! The adults wanna do respectable laps.

Or how about the time I asked who was on nest duty?

I got a form.  It's signed and everything.  "No Nest Duty for Thermalix."

I got a form. It’s signed and everything. “No Nest Duty for Thermalix.”

I was bringing my own brand of special to LFR, and it was great!

Alas, it seems gear still has the ability to make me go all angrypants, destroying my delusions of self-mastery.

After having gone through Vault of Mysteries with a surprisingly derpy group (trust me, if buttonmasher me is #3 in DPS, there are SEVERE PROBLEMS PRESENT), I was back in the Shrine making some ragefaces at the wall.  Will of the Emperor gave me a hat (AGAIN) that was worse than what I had on, and this was especially galling because the damn boss also drops a bow!  I then realized that I had unread mail from The Postmaster.  Hmmm.

It occurred to me that although I started the Elegon fight, I hadn’t been around to complete it.  While it was first time I’ve seen a tank go through the floor, it was not the first time I’ve seen a tank use Elegon to blast the rest of the party in a show of pent-up subconscious aggression.  As you might expect, the group wiped.  The overly enthusiastic (and possibly new?  I mean, the floor, everybody knows that it vanishes by now, right?) tank pulled again before I made it back into the room.  I got locked out, but of course Elegon was still able to damage me with his abilities while no one could heal me.  Splendid!  Running low on potions and healthstones (dear warlocks: they are a renewable resource, so stop hoarding them), I had to hearth out to avoid dying in the hallway.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to open this mail, but I did.  As I feared, inside was YET ANOTHER Bottle of Infinite Stars (which is worse than both my trinkets).  I’ve gotten a bazillion of these things, so I really do think Elegon is messing with me now, just for the lolz.  He’s like, hey, Therm, good seeing you again.  HAVE A BOTTLE OF INFINITE STARS.

At that point, SO MUCH FOR MY ZEN.  I swear to Gawd, if Elegon gives me ONE MORE Bottle of Infinite Stars before I get a weapon, I am going to seriously go back in time, rip off one of his wee little starlegs and beat him upside the head with it.  YOU HEAR ME, ELEGON?  I WILL HAVE TO RESORT TO VIOLENCE.  You know, something more violent than shooting him with lots of magical arrows.

I’m including this last image because it makes me happy, not because it’s relevant.

What We Do While Waiting We torment the small snails for all the times their larger cousins tormented us.

What We Do While Waiting
We torment the small snails for all the times their larger cousins tormented us.

Pain vs Potential

They Both Have a Plan One's more optimistic than the other.

They Both Have a Plan
One’s more optimistic than the other.

I am not a natural PvPer.  With the exception of mosquitoes who must and will die the moment they get within my reach, I generally operate somewhere between a “live and let live” type philosophy and a “leave me the hell alone” sort of lifestyle.  I don’t derive much enjoyment from the notion of beating an opponent, skilled or otherwise – I’d just rather not deal with said opponent in the first place.

My friend Goa has been attempting to get me more into PvP these days. Because I think that you should be open minded about things and I like to hang out with my buddies, I agreed to give it more of a shot.  He crafted a set of PvP armor and a good axe to get Mechalis started, but overcoming my personality and habits is still uphill work.  So far, he can get me into maybe three or four random battlegrounds, max.

Usually, one or more of the following will happen multiple times:

  1. I finally get to the site of action, only get my head smashed in by four or five different players at once before I get more than one skill off.
  2. I get rogued in the back, and have to stand there stunned while I get my head smashed in by four or five different players at once.
  3. I get rogued in the back, and the rogue proceeds to cheerily mince my kidneys before dispatching me with a solid stab to the spine.
  4. I get left alone at Blood Elf tower and I lose the joint to the Alliance.
  5. A priest will let me try to smack them down, then get bored with me and Fear me.  By the time I am un-Feared, said priest is gone, and so is my dignity.
  6. A boomchicken will laugh at me.  THEY MOONFIRE ME EVEN!
  7. I get left alone at the Farm and I lose the joint to the Alliance.
  8. I get really cheesed off by the way all my opponents insist on jumping around like monkeys on crack.  STAND STILL WHILE I WHACK AWAY AT YOU FOR GAWD’S SAKE, IT’S NOT LIKE I’M GOING TO GET ANYWHERE ANYWAY!
  9. I make the mistake of reading the bg chat.
  10. I make the mistake of responding in bg chat.
  11. I make the mistake of doing both in the same bg.
  12. I try to kill the healer, but nobody else is helping me and I’m terrible, so the healer just keeps on healing his/herself back to full.
  13. Speaking of healers: I get rogued in the back, and I survive the initial stun and ensuing damage to my vital organs, but while I am trying to murder said rogue in a blind rage, a healer comes up and heals the blasted cad back to full health.
  14. I click fruitlessly at the warlock candy or potion button, waiting for the rogue to stop rogueing me in the back already so I can at least pretend to do something here.  THEN I DIE.
ROGUED AGAIN Rogues, they're like an infestation OF DEATH.

ROGUED AGAIN
Rogues, they’re like an infestation. OF DEATH.

I get that the element of combat (and hence regular personal death) is part and parcel of PvP.  I’m fine with dying, I really am.  It’s just that I suffer from a feeling of intense hopelessness when I’m dead two seconds after waiting twenty-eight seconds to resurrect, or when I die immediately after running all the way to where the fighting is.  I end up feeling frustrated that others can smash me to pieces so easily when I can barely put a damn dent in their armor.

A lot of it’s skill, which I lack. (I’m not gonna lie about that.)  But it definitely helps to be alive (and not stunned/feared) in order to use what skill you have!  Goa assures me that PvP is much more fun if you have the gear to survive it, but there are two major problems for me in this approach.  First, I had hoped the fancy PvP set he made would make a clear difference in living when compared to wearing full PvE stuff, but it seems that the best use of the crafted PvP set is upping gearscore to get into LFR.  Second, since it pretty much is like wearing tin foil when actually PvPing, that must mean you either have to gear up in tandem with everyone at the beginning of the expansion (which is what Goa did), or have such a burning love of PvP/proving your skills/being the best/SOMETHING that you’re willing to get your ass handed to you in the same settings day in, day out, until you finally can afford the fancy gear that will actually protect said ass.

Reflecting on my weak attempts so far, I can think of TWO times I had discernible fun.

  1. Violaryn somehow managed to get the flag from the Alliance base all the way back to the Horde one without getting horribly mangled.  I am pretty sure the Alliance was sleeping at the keyboard.
  2. I got my camera angle turned around taking a picture, and in trying to straighten it up, I fell off the boat in Strand of the Ancients.  I had to spend the entire bg swimming in to shore.

The first makes PvP sound promising – if I could do that more, that’d be great.  The second makes me think that if I find swimming to shore that much more enjoyable, I may never like PvP.

But I don’t want to give up just yet.  So HOW do you make PvP fun if you’re incompetent at it and very undergeared?  Here are my ideas:

  1. Go in wearing nothing, because underwear always makes things funnier, and it’s not like your gear does a darn tootin’ thing for you anyway
  2. Attempt to screenshot the most spectacular deaths ever, like being mind controlled off a cliff while on fire while wearing one of the “Love is in the Air” holiday dresses while riding a Swift Forest Strider or something
  3. Go in wielding something stupid, like a Dark Herring, and really believe that people notice it
  4. Magically convince Blizzard to make a bg set on the Isle of Giants, where you can use Primal Direhorns to literally squish other players or Primal Devilsaurs to eat those same Primal Direhorns, because everything is better with dinosaurs
  5. Magically convince Blizzard to separate groups by gearscore as well as level
  6. Go in so drunk, you can’t see a thing

I’m thinking 1 and 6 sound the most reasonable.

Lei Sheeeeeeeeeyit

Let's Talk About This! I need a minute to think up another excuse.

Let’s Talk About This!
I need a minute to think up another excuse.

When Thermalix logged in late last week, Cal informed her that it was high time she shot Lei Shen in the face.  She was forced to admit that he had a point, since the one reason she had given for not doing so was “I CAN’T GO UNTIL HE GETS NERFED INTO REALITY,” aaand the dude got nerfed.  Unfortunately for her, she didn’t have a second argument to fall back on.  Therm couldn’t point to how she didn’t know WTF she was doing, because that’s normal and also the standard mode of operation for most non-tanks in LFR.  She couldn’t point to gear being a barrier, because she had the gearscore to get in.  She couldn’t claim that she had to wash her rocket camel, because it exploded the week before.

Here’s what Therm DID know about Lei Shen before going in:

  • Has face tentacles or cancerous growths
  • Would probably be the kid who sticks his finger in an electrical outlet for fun
  • Most LFRs run screaming before they even take on the adds in front of his room
  • He doesn’t drop a ranged weapon
Bring It On C'mon Lei Shen, let's just get it over with.

Bring It On
C’mon Lei Shen, let’s just get it over with.

It’s hard to say whether more or less knowledge would have helped.

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