Monthly Archives: August 2013

“Echo of the Elements: Water” Set

"Echo of the Elements: Water" Set

“Echo of the Elements: Water” Set

Class: Shaman (with mace/shield combo), Hunter

H: Helm of the Nether Scion | S: Nixod’s Chain-Threshed Spaulders | Cl: Not shown
Ch: Demonsbane Chestguard | Wa: Lifecycle Waistguard | L: Infection Resistant Legguards
G:
Grips of Chronological Events | Wr: Not shown | B: Silvered Bronze Boots

1h Mace: Carapace Breaker
Shield: Bulwark of the Noble Protector

If using Staff: Devotion (Not shown)

Status: Finished

Thoughts: And here we have Electrika’s latest set, intended for use specifically with her resto spec.  I’ve found that if I’m going to carry two sets of armor for different specs, they have to be mogged VERY differently – otherwise I never remember to switch my dang gear.  Elemental and resto can kiiiiiiiiinda get away with that, of course, but when you REALLY want to throw some lava around, a set of gear with less spirit and more haste is better.

It was difficult to get a run for Bastion of Twilight normal, so when I logged on one evening to discover that my guild was inexplicably doing a Bastion of Twilight heroic run, I got super excited.  Uuuunfortunately, I totally compete with the very nice hunter in the guild for mail transmog gear.  So when the helm dropped, I had … well, I had a moment.  I was remembering how long I’ve wanted the blue treestump hat, remembering how hard it was to get in the joint with a group in the first place, remembering all those times when I’ve gone farming for gear only to not have it drop for months, etc. etc.   So  my inner goblin totally took over and I threatened to murder his poor sporebat if he won the roll.  I won, much to the sporebat’s relief.

The blue pokey shoulders also dropped, and I won that roll with an amazing 100, which I will never ever roll on anything ever again.  But by then, that conscience thing was kicking in.  I felt bad, being so vehement about a treestump hat.  Poor sporebat, it’s not its fault that it’s a sporebat and it only comes in three colors!  And I felt bad that I had needed on both and won.  So I traded the shoulders to the hunter.  The greedy goblin part of me was kicking myself, but the human part of me was like, “There.  Now I’ve balanced the scales, and I’ve also made up (I hope) for being mean to the sporebat.”

… in hindsight, though, I’m not sure my karma will ever recover from threatening to take down a sporebat over a hat.

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Some Things Never Get Old

Some folks have been bugging me to spend more time Alliance-side.  At the same time, the dedicated Horde players that I know have either been threatening to assassinate my poor lowbie spacegoat or stalk my paladerp if I do.  Ah, faction conflict!  Shows up even at the Friends List level.

As far as I’m concerned, playing Alliance-side more frequently has several issues (not including any charges of favoritism on the part of the game designers):

  1. No goblins.  Goblins would have made the best cross-faction race, not pandas, since we’re loyal to the wallet first and foremost, and our competing cartels would work right into the faction divide.  But it’s a bit late to go back and change that design call, I suppose.
  2. Gnomes are not goblins.  Let me repeat that: GNOMES ARE NOT GOBLINS.
  3. After so long being short and green or arthritic and rotting, it feels downright unnatural to play a character that has a pulse and is considered sexually attractive.
  4. They don’t label the damn docks down at Stormwind Harbor or tell you what boat goes where, so I’m always wondering if I’m getting on the right boat, or waiting at a dock that’s just there for show.
  5. The game designers flipped the sides the bank and portals are on in the Alliance’s Vale shrine.  I’m ALWAYS going to the wrong side.  ALWAYS.

There are some advantages, though.

So Tall, So Weird I fear no puddle.  Which is good, because I don't have Rocket Jump.

So Tall, So Weird
I fear no puddle. Which is good, because I don’t have Rocket Jump.

  1. I’m tall!
  2. I don’t have to swim to clear puddles or shallow bodies of water.

Despite the cons clearly outweighing the pros, I have been spending time on Niremere and Daschela anyway.  What’re friends for, right, if not confusing you with their unpredictable stature and getting you killed on a regular basis?  Daschela’s still leveling, of course:

Feign Death at Skill Levels 1, 2 and 3 1: Elevis, my pet, has failed to Feign.  (Why can't pets Feign?) 2: Daschela Feigns fine. 3. Soc "Feigns" by hiding all his HP.

Feign Death at Skill Levels 1, 2 and 3
1: Elevis, my pet, has failed to Feign. (Why can’t pets Feign?)
2: Daschela Feigns fine.
3. Soc “Feigns” by hiding all his HP.

Things frequently go wrong in the classroom at Scholomance, so I’m ready at a moment’s notice to drop to the floor and wait for sheeyit to clear.  (And why can’t pets Feign along with their owners yet?  I mean seriously.)

On the 90’s side, Nir’s running been some LFR for gear:

Not My Fault Niremere.  Party leader, tank killer, raid wiper.

Not My Fault
Niremere. Party leader, tank killer, raid wiper.

When she’s not causing her beartank to plummet into the void, Nir has been having some semi-brilliant and mostly obvious ideas.  For example: using Vuhdo’s Buff Watch to tell when Inquisition is off!  Theoretically, she’ll hit a bit more like a dry noodle and less like a wet one now!

Part Three: The Real Lei Sheeyit

When it comes to fighting the Twins, I have a mental image of the guild hunter as some sort of well-armored ballerina, dancing out patterns that, if you look real close and squint hard, might actually resemble the Celestials.  He is dancing with precision and grace, but if you didn’t know what shape he was making, you’d be at a loss.

But enough of interpretive dance.  Let’s speak of Lei Shen, the guy who has no shirt and no shoes but expects service from the Zandalari anyway.  We intrepid adventurers went in to free the Zandalari of his oppressive regime for blood, guts and glory.  And gold.  And gear.

Right In The Middle With You From this platform, Lei Shen makes it rain in the Isle of Thunder.  Good job, Lei Shen.

Right In The Middle With You
From this platform, Lei Shen makes it rain in the Isle of Thunder. Good job, Lei Shen.

You know what freaks me out the most about Lei Shen, regardless of mode?  It’s how the freaking teleporter pad thing puts you RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of his platform.  Of course, the middle is better than the edge, since that’s where HE is … but it just feels so exposed, like he might just turn around, go “WELL HELLO THERE,” and shock the sheeyit out of us all.  Fortunately he, like every mob ever, suffers from extreme near-sightedness.  (Next big market for goblins: mob optometry.)

In LFR, the Lei Shen sequence feels something like this, with arrows indicating a period of movement:

↑ THERE WENT A HEALER → BATTLERES ON THE TANK PLEASE ↓ CAN WE GET A BATTLERES ON THE TANK PLEASE ← JEEBUS HOW MANY WARLOCKS AND DRUIDS DO WE HAVE WHO AREN’T PAYING ATTENTION ↑ GO TO YOUR MARKER → STACK ↓ etc.

You basically pray that the tanks know what the hell they’re doing with this whole conduit business, and follow them around the square until the intermission/one section of the platform blows/etc.  It’s a certain kind of chaotic, but it has a predictable pattern.

In normal, the Lei Shen sequence (for me, at least) seems something like this:

→ ← ↑ ↓ → ↓ ↔ ↑ ↓ OW → ← ↑ ↓ → ↓ ↔ OH GOD THAT HURT ↑ ↓ ↔ WTF → ← ↑ ↓ → ↓ ↔ ADDS → ← ↑ ↓ → ↓ ↔ CRAP UM WELL REINCARNATION’S STILL GOT AN 11 MINUTE COOLDOWN

A Rare Shot Trust me, they're hard to come by.  If there's something I can stand in, I'm already dead there.

A Rare Shot
Trust me, they’re hard to come by. If there’s something I can stand in, I’m already dead there.

Seems similar, but while you don’t have to worry about the tanks knowing their sheeyit, following them around the square is a completely different ballgame.  You must stack, but you GOTTA spread out.  STACK!  Move away!  You can’t be so close because adds pain bad ow help death. STACK NO BAD STACK MORE GO AWAY STACK SPREAD STACK it’s like some sort of … weird interpretive dance, actually, with potentially fatal consequences if you fail to perform the attraction/repulsion routine just right.  I think we had to take seven or eight shots at it in all before we managed to ground the guy permanently (for the week).

Dear Lei Shen This is why having friends is good.  They can kick ass for you when you are dead.

Dear Lei Shen
This is why having friends is good. They can kick ass for you when you are dead.

Since this was my first time defeating being part of a group that defeated the “real” raid version Lei Shen, I achieved:

Does This Feat Make Me Look Legit?

Does This Feat Make Me Look Legit?

Does this make me legit?

I credit the others for 97% of it.  The last 3% would be my own efforts that, while useful, were comparatively miniscule.  I don’t FEEL like a “real raider,” at least not yet.  (Maybe repeat exposure helps?)  Having the feat seems somehow surreal, as though I were some sort of dream-observer, watching from a different plane.  This could be due to all the time I spent dead.

Part Two: The Forgotten Derps (and more!)

Sounds Lovely I'll bring some chips.

Sounds Lovely
I’ll bring some chips.

Megaera apparently has a reputation for being a pain in the whozawhatzits for healers.  Still, I wasn’t too worried.  There’s only so much freaking out you can do before you simply canNOT freak out anymore because there’s just no more freaking out to be had.  I had expended all my available freaking out-type feelings on everything that had come earlier, so when it came to time to contemplate Meggies, I practically shrugged.  Eh!  Multiheaded hydrasnake thinger?  No biggie.

Bucket  List See, a total absence of caps or jibberish.  Means I'm perfectly calm.

Bucket List
See, a total absence of caps or jibberish. Means I’m perfectly calm.

Other than emotional burnout, I had one other, semi-logical reason for not being too worried.  You KNOW when Megaera’s going to Rampage.  Because it’s so regular and therefore predictable (unlike, say, a DPS getting a crit to the head while trying to kick a turtle during the Tortos fight), it’s easy to plan for.  Healer A does something this time, Healer B does something this time, Healer C does something this time, etc. etc. etc.  If we’ve run out of things to do or mana to do it with, then obviously we 1.) have a problem, 2.) are taking too long, or 3.) guys, just stop healing already so we can wipe it.*

The biggest “tough thing” was the distance factor.  You gotta run more and farther away from the party in normal than in LFR, but that in turn means you just maaaaaaaaaay be going out of my range.  This COULD (and did) turn into an issue, because if I’ve gotta dash to get in range, I face the second tough thing of normal version of the fight: I can’t always see the bad ice stuff on the ground.  I don’t know if it’s too light, too puffy or too transparent, but usually that means GTFO sounds the klaxons of imminent doom and I perish.

Murdersnail Why send the Alliance in after Garrosh?  We should just get some snails.

Murdersnail
Why send the Alliance in after Garrosh? We should just get some snails.

The snails are still vicious, by the way.  I remain (and will forever be) disappointed that a snail was not any of the bosses and/or the end boss for the final raid of Mists.  I bet if you introduced a murdersnail to a Sha, real bad sheeyit would happen.  REAL BAD.  It wouldn’t just be the Vale.  IT’D BE THE WORLD.  I can hold out hope that crazy killer mutant sha-snails is the threat Wrathion is worried about.  Let me have my dreams, okay?

Anyway, I got assigned to nest team for Ji-kun.  It was deemed safer to keep the big-number, well-geared healers on the main platform, due to the mass amount of damage expected.  (And I’m totally behind that decision, man.  If it means more survival for all with less weighty responsibility for me, wonderful!)

I admit that I began to feel a teeeeeensy bit of terror here, though.  Even though I instinctively attempt to avoid stuff on the ground by jumping over it (which never seems to work), I have a tendency to get disoriented when I suddenly have to move in vertical space in addition to the usual horizontal.  I solved this by requesting they put a raid marker on the hunter I was to follow, and also by never, ever deselecting him, ever.  (That way, if I lost sight of him, I could always see my target on my minimap, to give me an idea of where to go.)  More DPS would’ve been good, of course … but I was too scared of falling to my doom.

Also, when those baby birds are small, they’re all adorable and biting at my ankles and crap and awwwwwwww, I can’t kill them!  Fortunately, the warlock and hunter can – and did.

All Dogs Go to Heaven Ok, so I'm a Ghost Wolf.  Does that count?

All Dogs Go to Heaven
Ok, so I’m a Ghost Wolf. Does that count?

I spontaneously expired at the end of the Ji-kun fight for reasons that were not immediately apparent.  To be perfectly honest, I think it had to do with not actually plummeting face-first into a raid wipe while healing the nest team.  Because I lived, and was so shocked that I did, I could not continue upon the mortal coil.

Consistency I should work on my negative feelings.  Durumu's not a bad eyeball, he's just been in there for so lo... no, I hate him.

Consistency
I should work on my negative feelings. Durumu’s not a bad eyeball, he’s just been in there for so lo… no, I hate him.

Durumu just wasn’t going well since we had a number of nooblets (me, for example), so we decided to call it quits and come back next week.  Alas, I was not on the roster that week, so I was not able to get revenge on Durumu then.  They also killed Primordius at this point in time, so when I was back in, we started with Dark Animus.  Because our normal shaman healer was back in the game, I got to nuke things!  Or try to the best of my ability while running around like a chicken with my head cut off, anyway.

There's No Going Back Now

There’s No Going Back Now

I don’t really have a large number of screenshots for any of these fights, because print screen only takes a screenshot and doesn’t heal/throw lava (sadly).  Also, I only got two hands.  If I gotta be moving with one hand and casting a spell with the other (SPIRITWALKER’S GRACE, I LOVE YOU), that leaves very little left for getting a good screenie.  (You’ll see this even more in the next post, with Iron Qon.  Screenshot of fire phase: check.  Screenshot of tornado phase: missing.  Screenshot of icy/barrier phase:  check.)

Back to Dark Animus.  My role in this was simple.  Goal #1: Beth, get aggro on THAT add.  Goal #2: stand HERE.  Goal #3: Don’t die.  Goal #4: When we say to, drag the add to the middle (p.s., don’t stand in front of anything while there plzkthx).  Try not to die.

Goal #1?  Yep, got aggro, kept aggro.  Goal #2?  Yeah, stood there like a pro, man.  I’m real good at standing.  Goal #3?  AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  Goal #4?  I’m also real good at training sheeyit to faraway places, so dragging the add to the middle was no problem!

Stay tuned for “Part Three: The Real Lei Sheeyit!”

*Speaking of wiping it, I always have conflicting feelings about doing so.  I’ve suicided by jumping off Wyrmrest when the Ultralixion fight seemed to be going badly, and I’m certainly known for doing things like running away too soon, Feigning Death the instant I get a faint whiff of an incoming wipe, etc.  So really, I ought to have no problem with wiping it up already to save time so we can try again.

But when I’m healing, there’s a part of my head that’s like, BUT BUT, I CAN’T STOP HEALING, I’VE COME TOO FAR TO QUIT NOW!  I STILL HAVE MANA!  I’VE GOT MORE HEALS IN ME!  OKAY SO WE DON’T HAVE A TANK/DPS/HEALER/WHATEVER, BUT I’M SURE WE CAN SURVI…

… and then reality intrudes.  It’s got a knack for that.

Baby Don’t Hurt Me No More

Esplodine had been sitting at 88 for a very, very long time.  Since February, to be exact, when she was last spotted in the Valley of Four Winds making imperial silk and turning all the moths into floating baby polar bears.  (This was also prior to being renamed something more appropriate for someone who considers “running around in circles casting the circular Arcane Explosion” to be a legitimate rotation.)  Despite the fact that I make a point of getting all Pandaland level alts hearthed at the Shrine ASAP, she had never, ever moved out of the Goblin Slums in Orgrimmar.

It just so happens that she’s also got tailoring and enchanting maxed out, and I’m getting kiiiinda tired of buying expensive enchants.  (Also, additional bag space is always highly attractive.)   Hmmmmmmmmm.  Esplodine’s hour had come.

I gotta say, she got a little overconfident.  Knowing that she’s a bit challenged when it comes to mage-ing “properly,” Esplodine didn’t bother going to Townlong or (Gawd forbid) the Dread Wastes.  Instead, she hung out in Kun-Lai, where she safely trounced all the things – with a few exceptions.  But even the exceptions made her a little cocky – sure, she had to flee from four or five hozen that one time, but she lived.  Ok, so she only had like, 200 HP left, and if a CRITTER had hit her, she would’ve been toast.  BUT NOTHING DID, SO THERE.  Sprites?  Yeah, whatever.  Her own anger?  Ok sure, no problem.

Pay No Attention to Those Tiny Numbers It's a nice shot otherwise.

Pay No Attention to Those Tiny Numbers
It’s a nice shot otherwise.

She breezed through to 90 on a combination of rested EXP, Slow, Blink and, of course, Arcane Explosion.

So upon hitting 90, she decided she was gonna help out the Darkspear at the last minute.  The scenarios went fine (thanks to Cav doing like, 100k+ damage).  Being ranged, she survived killing a few commanders in the Barrens for a few resources.  She took them back to Vol’jin, both expecting the Kor’kron attack and expecting it to be no big deal.

Unfortunately, within minutes, she realized that clothie + having taken Invocation because it’s a passive (which reduces the amount of HP it returns) + you can only Slow ONE thing + hahaha ilevel 430 hahahaha + these Darkspear guards don’t actually seem to be helping much = OH MY EFFING GOD HELP ME WHY GAWD WHYYYYYYY

She tried to be careful.  She tried to pick off the single Kor’kron here and there.  It’s just that every freaking time she tried these things, four or five freaking Kor’kron would stomp over and smash her face into the red desert dust.

Esplodine being Esplodine, however, she did not despair.  No, she spotted a shadow priest nearby, and thought, “dude, they got Power Word: Shield.  And heals.  And, frankly, I can use any help I can get.”  Random invite to perfect stranger?  NO PROBLEM.

It’s safe to say that the perfect stranger did not expect what watching Esplodine operate would be like.

BLINK SLOW FROST NOVA BLINK OGOD RUN RUN RUN Eff that dignity thing, I'm going for SURVIVAL.

BLINK SLOW FROST NOVA BLINK OGOD RUN RUN RUN
Eff that dignity thing, I’m going for SURVIVAL.

The moment four or five more Kor’kron made a beeline for her, Esplodine took off running.  Slow one, sure.  Blink, absolutely.  Buttonmash the ice shield thing until it comes back up?  Yep.  Stop running?  HELL NO, NOT UNTIL DEATH ITSELF TAKES ME.  Rocket Jump!  Frost Nova!  Nether Tempest!  Did Arcane Missiles just proc?  Too damn bad, she’d have to stop running and turn around to use it. BLINK!

Even with the assistance of a shadow priest, she still got flattened in Razor Hill.

Being 90 is hard.

What?  You want me to port all your level 1 bank alts to the Shrine? As long as you're payin', I don't see why not.

What? You want me to port all your level 1 bank alts to the Shrine?
As long as you’re payin’, I don’t see why not.

Window Shopper

As you no doubt know (since I recently reminded you), I /flirt with all the long-haired blood elf men ever to see what they will do.  Most of the time, I get ignored.  This is most likely a consequence of being short and green unconventionally attractive.  (If we’re going to be sensible here, it’s also a result of WoW being a game.)   Occasionally, the flirtees will /flirt back, or tell me /no.  Every now and then I’ll come across a real gem, like the guy who told Alexalis he was a bit out of her league because of his amaaaazing hair.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s just for sheeyits and giggles – an experiment for laughs, if you will.

I was in a Terrace LFR a week or so ago on Electrika, testing out my new wireless router.  After we beat the Sha (uh, adds?  Anyone on adds?  Seriously, anyone, please kill adds), I spotted a likely test subject and shot off a /flirt right before he dropped party.  I didn’t think a thing of it.  It’s not Serious Business to me, and since blood elf men are a dime a dozen, I’ve been ignored before.

When I dropped the group and zoned into the Shrine, however, the guy actually slapped me.  This was a new reaction!  How interesting!  Then this gal messaged me:

Flirting With Disaster Might wanna roll on a PvP realm next time?

Flirting With Disaster
Might wanna roll on a PvP realm next time?

Which brings me to this question: how should real life relationships be reflected in game and subsequently be treated by others in WoW, if at all?

I’ve only ever dated a couple of gamer guys, and both were more into console fighting games than MMORPGs (though I did drag one into a short-lived Ragnarok Online addiction).  Generally, I’m of the stance that as long as things don’t get hot and heavy (the partner in question doesn’t ERP, get emotionally involved or actually meet the person), then things are cool.  I don’t particularly care if some random player /flirts with his avatar or not, since for all I know, the person doing the flirting could be a 50 year old guy living in a different country.

Yet this chick (and her guy) obviously had a far different take on the issue.  To her, the /flirt emote always has intent to pursue behind it, and the intent itself is offensive.  She finds that it puts her and her relationship on the defensive, which is tiresome, even more so because it (apparently) happens regularly.  I suspect that she is tired of being flirted with specifically because she is female, as well.  This further contributes to her irritation when I flirt with the wrong guy.

In real life, it’s much, much easier to pick up on “we’re in a relationship” cues than it is in game.  Then there are general “rules” that are followed by most – such as, you can look, but you can’t touch.  In the digital realm, however, these cues are much harder to come by and uncertainty poses a challenge – how are people supposed to behave if they don’t know?  If we continue to distinguish between “real” and online game life, should others respecting your relationship even matter?  After all, in that case, it would have little effect upon the real world.  Should /flirt be considered an innocent transgression by the unknowing, or a romantic aggression by someone who does not care?

“Alliance Archer” Set

"Alliance Archer" Set

“Alliance Archer” Set

Class: Hunter (with crossbow), Shaman

H: Not shown | S: Pauldrons of the Promise | Cl: Not shown
Ch:
Double Link Tunic | Wa: Pillager’s Girdle | L: Agamaggan-Blessed Greaves
G:
Renegade Gauntlets | Wr: Not shown | B: Renegade Boots

Crossbow: Arugoo’s Crossbow of Destruction

Status: Finished

Thoughts: By the time Daschela hit level 20 as a derpadin, I began having doubts.  Is it weird to have two Alliance characters who are both paladins?  What will I do with my offspec, since I don’t want to be a Responsible Party Member all the time, but can’t really do Ret?  But what if I DO go Ret?  I could shout “Nobody expects the Draenish Inquisition!” and be punny!  But wait, melee.  Or I could pretend to be a shockadin …

It was thus quite easy for Ty to convince me that I really ought to level something else – say, a hunter – with him.  I also thought to myself that a huntard would have a better chance of “going somewhere,” which usually means past Outland or to 90.  After all, hunters are great for soloing (which I wind up doing a lot of when Alliance)!  There’s also that whole “preference for ranged” thing I seem to have discovered lately.

So suddenly, hunter.  Level 40.  Bang!

I put this together because I can’t stand the look of the agility mail heirlooms.  Between the big, bulky shoulder with the chunky triangle-claws and the biker shorts covered in scales, it just doesn’t do a thing for me.  Worse, all the drops you get for the other slots (hands, feet, waist) never seem to match.  So the sooner I can mog up, the better.

On the sad side, there are SO FEW attractive (let alone INTERESTING) bows at this level.  LE SIGH – it’ll be awhile before Daschela can aim for the pages of Pretty Fly for a Draenei.

On the happy side, the nice thing about being a tall drink of water is that pants with thigh details/focus (of which there are a lot) don’t look like total crap/make the character look fat/just look weird.  Hooray!