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.
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.
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.
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.
Current Gear Score: 468
Current Spec: Unholy
Thoughts: Look at this picture.
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 …
Current Gear Score: 441
Current Spec: Shadow
Thoughts: EL OH EL JUST GOT HERE GUYS HAVEN’T REALLY RUN ANY HEROICS YET LOLZ.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Or how about the time I asked who was on nest duty?
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.
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
It’s hard to say whether more or less knowledge would have helped.