Tag Archives: humans

I Don’t Know If I Can Do It

Also known as, “More Muttering About Models.”

The nice thing about playing mostly goblins is that my “mains” had no surprises in store for me.  I’ve been sitting on the fence about some other characters, however.  (I’ve also been browsing any and all “OMFG I HATE THE NEW MODELS” threads with avidity.  Look, somebody had problems worse than mine!)

Ailabeth
I loved Ailabeth’s old harlequin face.  To me, it was a smile fixed in place by rigor mortis, a mask resembling her old self that barely covered the motivations of her present unlife.

Ailabeth's New Model Hair apparently does grow in the grave, as does general annoyingness.

Ailabeth’s New Model
Hair apparently does grow in the grave, as does general annoyingness.

With the new model, the brows have been raised and the mouth has been made much narrower*, which gives the harlequin mask a rather pinched smirk.  It makes me want to punch the wearer every time I see it.

On the upside, her hair is fab.  I am ultimately unsure what to do with Ailabeth, but may leave her as Forsaken, since she doesn’t see a large amount of playtime these days.  For now, I’ve changed her face to something that makes me a little less irritated.

*Not that the mouth being made much wider helps, necessarily.  Exhibit A:

Forsaken Eek! Originally posted by Gentlebreeze on the forums.

Forsaken Derp Transformation!
Posted by Gentlebreeze on the forums.

Daschela and Yynsia
I just can’t with the eyes.  Why do they seem so big, when they didn’t before?  Why are they so goddamn turquoise, when they weren’t before?  Why are they so freakishly bright?

Dasch's New Model Nicely defined horns.  Freakishly flat eyes.

Dasch’s New Model
Nicely defined horns. Freakishly flat eyes.

Yynsia's New Model The new bright eyes seem even BRIGHTER on dark skins.

Yynsia’s New Model
The new bright eyes seem even BRIGHTER on dark skins.

Have you seen how the new face looks on the Armory for female draenei hunters?  I THINK YOU SHOULD.

>: | WAT IS WITH THIS FACE

>: |
WAT IS WITH THIS PINCHED EXPRESSION

I’d like to keep them Alliance, so that I am able to switch factions as desired to play with friends.  I’m leaning towards racechanging Daschela, the hunter, to a night elf, since the name originally applied to a night elf druid that later became Betheki the troll.  As far as Yynsia the shaman goes, I’ve been tossing around the idea of changing her either to a dwarf or panda.  On the one hand, I really like the panda casting animation.  On the other, pandas all have sameface syndrome, and I already have one panda.

Niremere
Alas, the changes to the human female hit me like a ton of bricks.  What bugs me the most about the human female faces is how it feels like Blizzard took the same approach they did with pandas: change the colors on the same face and call the resulting variations “different!”  Every face has the same eye shape, just in different colors.  (Speaking of eyes, they gave gnomes a face with mussed up eyeliner. What happened to the smudged eyeliner on my human?)  Every face has pencil-thin brows arched halfway to the moon.  Because of the shading on the upper lip, they almost all appear to be doing the duckface expression if you look at them straight on.

This image is a good example of how the human female faces could, you know, actually resemble the originals in more than eyecolor:

Original, live, and edited versions Originally posted to the forums by Vro of Evenfall server

Original, live, and edited versions
Posted to the forums by Vro

I think I could get used to the human female faces if I made a new character, but the problem with Niremere is that she has a history of sorts, a story in which her old appearance made sense but her new one makes no sense at all.  Niremere’s personality was even-keeled, stern and straightforward, and she was a competent badass who took no sheeyit.  Since the new face only superficially resembles the old one (is it just me, or does it look down), this is not the vibe I get from it.

Nir's New Model She grew a couple inches and several helm sizes.

Nir’s New Model
She grew a couple inches and several helm sizes.

This thread is of interest to me (despite how fast it got derailed by the “I don’t see what’s wrong just suck it up” camp) because the OP used the same face I did and has the same problem with the new model results.  One reply in the thread struck a chord for me as well:

“The human the OP posted, she looked pretty fierce. But with the raised eyebrows, tilted eyeballs, and lack of makeup, she looks pretty derp. And very different.

Still pretty, yeah. But she’s not the same character that was originally created.”

And that’s pretty much the crux of it.

I can’t see race-changing her, to be honest.  “Niremere” is human.  But I can’t see myself playing her much, either.  I’ll probably just leave her sitting as is for a good long while, until my idea of “Niremere” fades and I can pick a different face to go with a different character.


Other thoughts of note:

  • Interestingly, all the “old faces” have been mostly smoothed and dewrinkled
  • Re: gnomes.  People were complaining about female gnomes being too damn cutesy, so it looks an awful lot like Blizzard overcompensated by making them pissed off instead.
  • New Model Thread Catalogue – contains info on how to contact the lead character artist.  Debating actually doing it, because (as shown above) the human females can be made far more faithful to the original models.

 

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Heal Me! Quickly!

By now, I have become dependent on the Vuhdo healing addon to a degree where I am almost paralyzed without it.  This has posed a challenge on a couple of occasions when LFR let me zone in while the group was in combat, because Vuhdo won’t load if you’re in combat.  It also won’t update the groups display properly if people leave or join during fighting.  It’ll wait, nice and polite, until you’re done with all that.  BUT PEOPLE ARE STANDING IN BAD, VUHDO!  I NEED YOU NOW!

Now With Extra Derp Sometimes, perceptions differ from reality.

Now With Extra Derp
Sometimes, perceptions differ from reality.

I still haven’t purchased a new mouse with Moar Buttonz.  I might, or I might not.  I generally try to pick out the eight or so most important spells and bind those to clicks, which keeps life simple and so far has worked out more or less OK.  I may not have finesse, but I generally get crap done.  Then again, who am I kidding here?  I’m not buying a new mouse when the old one clicks just fine.

This is my take on the different healing classes, based on the classes I remember healing on.  This is basically anything that’s not a Holy Priest or a Mistweaver monk.  While I technically ran Cata dungeons as Mistweaver, it was mostly to make the queue quicker and I can’t remember diddly squat about it now (other than camera angle problems).

Sometimes, You Just Die Cannonballs and people who want to live do not share the same goals.

Sometimes, You Just Die
Cannonballs and people who want to live do not share the same goals.

Bombelina Says:
As a Resto shaman, you get to wear mail, which means absolutely nothing because mobs will still mess you up.  You do have a chance to survive if you outheal the damage, of course, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on praying for the tank to pull it off you!  Oh, the tank is dead?  Never mind then.  Actually, you should just stop healing now.  Gawd, wipe it up already!

Shamans have lots of advantages, especially if you’re passive aggressive.  Our water-themed spells make it easy to pretend that you’re throwing buckets of water on idiots, or making a sad cloud rain on their heads.  If it’s Earth Shield, you can say you’re throwing dirt on ’em for good luck!  Oh, you wanted like, actual advantages?  Well, goblin totems are seriously the coolest thing since I invented the mechanized sandwich maker on wheels – what, you wanted non-goblin, general type of advantages?  You gotta be SPECIFIC about these things.

Okay, fine.  The BEST thing is being able to Reincarnate after you stand in something, and Mana Tide totem gives you precious, precious mana.  You can summon these elementals to help you out, which is neat.  And you can turn into … a man-thing?  What is that thing, anyway?  Well, you can turn into a Ghost Wolf too, and run fast indoors.  That’s some hot stuff right there.  And you can’t forget Bloodlust, or “Hero,” as the Alliance call it.  You can always tell what faction somebody plays on a regular basis by which one they ask for.

The disadvantage would be the fact that people keep on thinking you got a battle res for some reason, which is cracked.

Legalese Before we zone into the raid, please sign on the dotted line.

Legalese
Before we zone into the raid, please sign on the dotted line.

Prinnie Says: BEST.  CAN BE GOBLIN.  A+.  Shamans are nice in general because Elemental is a DPS spec I don’t suck 100% at.  More importantly, resto shaman doesn’t have like, sixty million healing spells with extremely similar names that I must both distinguish between and use every last one of in order to be effective, which is a HUGE PLUS.  Sadly, I often feel like Riptide is kinda laughable and mostly pointless as a HoT, and unlike a disco priest, attempting to do a wee bit of DPS while resto takes forever and is not happening.  ALAS.  I guess you can’t have it all.

Old Ladies Raiding Guild Don't be fooled by the name, gentlemen, we're open to all!

Old Ladies Raiding Guild
Don’t be fooled by the name, gentlemen, we’re open to all!

Niremere Says:
Should you choose to follow the way of the Light, you will be practically invincible – or so they say.  Do keep in mind that Fate likes to mess with you too, just as much as anybody else.

As we gain Holy Power in our work, so too do our special healing abilities increase in strength.  You must know when to save these holy energies, and yet, you must also be aware that to keep them to yourself accomplishes nothing.  Sadly, mana is a finite resource … but fortunately, we are able to plead with the Divine Light to restore our weary souls.

Done correctly, the Holy Paladin is a healer to be reckoned with.  Done incorrectly, you will regret the plate repair bills.

Prinnie Says: This one is good for shiny buttons.  Even better, you make this big light healy-thing that’s kinda hard to ignore AND you don’t have to get people to stand still in it, which is nice.  This is true even though I’m total crap at screenshotting it, which is why there’s a nice group shot instead!  The biggest problem I got is remembering to use Bacon Beacon of Light, which resets every freaking time you/somebody zones/dies/coughs/whatever.  And the other problem I have is that Horde paladerps can only be blood elves (annoying) or Tauren (have like, three hairdos max).

Let's Be Honest Here Tell me, how do you REALLY feel about your healer?

Let’s Be Honest Here
Tell me, how do you REALLY feel about your healer?

Betheki Says:
Yeah mon!  Follow tha way of the wild, be a Resto druid!  So dere’s dis mushroom ya glyph, and it is da best ting evah, which means it’s gonna get nerfed soon.  So enjoy da magic while it lasts!  Othah than that, mon, just cast Rejuvenate and then sit back.  Relax, ‘cept if there’s trouble.  In dat case, ya gotta make your mushroom bloom!  Don’t ask me if fungus should be bloomin’, mon.  I don’t be knowin’ dat.

When ya be a druid, ya know the skin you in is just one of many.  Fly free, mon, don’t be needin’ those fancy mounts to see tha sky.  Be wise, like a tree of long life, knowin’ dat dese roots, dey grow deep.  Stand strong in da storm!  And when ya be a druid, ya be in tune with tha natural way.  Ya get a fancy battle res.  Sadly, mon, dis one battle res ain’t never enough.  Just like in nature, where da need for tings is greater than tha supply, ya will find people keep on dyin’ all ovah da place, and they be beggin’ you for that res – but ya used it up already!

Prinnie Says:  Are you KIDDING me??  Placing a mushroom has no mana cost!?  BUT THAT’S LIKE … THAT’S … THAT’S LIKE ACTUAL FREE HEALS!!1!  Also related: multiple treants thanks to Force of Nature means I can make lots of pretty Venn diagrams.  (p.s., typing in troll is hard.)

The Harsh Truth Ain't gonna sugarcoat it.

The Harsh Truth
Ain’t gonna sugarcoat it.

Ailabeth Says:
Don’t look at me, breather.  I haven’t seriously healed as a Disc priest in well over a year.

Prinnie Says: I’m not surprised.  I’ll ask Splattini.

Prone to GREATNESS Splattini doesn't have a lot of flattering screenshots.  She doesn't let that stop her.

Prone to GREATNESS
Splattini doesn’t have a lot of flattering screenshots. She doesn’t let that stop her.

Splattini Says:
“The Great” Splattini, if you please.

Prinnie Says: For the love of … you’re only level 60!  You can’t have an attitude.

Splattini Says:
Then I’m not saying a word about how to disco.

Prinnie Says: …

The Great Splattini Says:
Sparkles, check.  Wings, check.  Bubbles everywhere, check.  Out DPSing the DPS, check.  I may be level 60, but I am a level 60 badass.

She Ain't Gonna Take It Oh no, she ain't gonna take it.  /rolls up sleeves

She Ain’t Gonna Take It
Oh no, she ain’t gonna take it. /rolls up sleeves

Prinnie Says: Just wait until you hit 90, kid.  I’m sure it’ll all go to hell.  Usually does.

The Great Splattini Says:
Look, your post-leveling issues mean nothing to me.  Did I mention Mass Dispel?  ’cause I got it, and you know you want it.  Oh, p.s., with Levitate, we’re gettin’ this party started.

Prinnie Says: Okay, so I haven’t hit the late 80s/level 90 “OMFG MANA” crunch yet, and really, until you start LFRing/raiding/encountering crazies, most LFD groups couldn’t care less WHAT class you are as long as they never die.  So although I’m told that Disco is better as a tank healer (which makes the notion of trying to heal 25-man LFR kinda … ominous), Disco seems pretty awesome right now.  Holy seemed like it had too many freaking things going on.  Either way, it’s important to know that as a priest, you can do this:

Step one: Rime of the A.M.  Step two: become lizard.  Step three: use Archangel.  GLOWING PINK PIRATE LIZARD ANGEL THING.

Step one: Rime of the A.M. Step two: become lizard. Step three: use Archangel. GLOWING PINK PIRATE LIZARD ANGEL THING.

Prinnie Says: Regardless of class, some things are just beyond your capability to remedy.

Wat Is he speaking in tank code or something?

I Just Wat
On second thought, don’t wanna know.

“Wings of Heaven” Set

"Wings of Heaven" Set

“Wings of Heaven” Set

Class: Paladin (Shield as shown requires Alliance)

H: Savage Gladiator’s Ornamented Headcover | S: Chilled Shoulderplates | Cl: Not shown
Ch: Breastplate of Winged Triumph | Wa: Magroth’s Meditative Cincture | L: Not shown
G: Savage Gladiator’s Ornamented Gloves | Wr: Not shown | B: Glintrok Sollerets

Shield: Skyguardian’s Shield
1h Mace: Mace of Transformed Bone

Status: Finished

Thoughts: So Niremere’s been enjoying a renaissance of sorts since I switched from Ret to Holy; the new spec gives me A CRAPTON OF SHINY BUTTONS that sparkle and stuff when they proc and say USE ME!  Lord knows I like having shiny buttons to press regardless of whether or not the spell in question is even useful.  As her gear has improved (NO MORE HEROIC DUNGEON WEAPON THANK GAWD YAY), she’s been having fewer mana issues over all – though long, damage heavy fights like the Fallen Protectors still pose a challenge for me in terms of mana management.  (Is Divine Plea off cooldown yet?  Is it now?  How about now?  Anytime soon?  How do we not have any shamans in this LFR?  Oooh a druid, can I get an Innervate?  Hello?)  I even glyphed Lay on Hands to give 10% mana back when used … but I’ve realized that 10% isn’t actually all that much.  /sadface

But still!  Shiny buttons!  When I want to smash my way though an old school transmog run, I use Protection and am happy.  Then when I want to actually interact with people, I go Holy.

Nir’s been damn lucky with loot, and is currently the only gal I’ve got who has the tier chest from LFR.  When I turned it in, I was most pleasantly surprised to discover that unlike a lot of LFR sets (the shaman’s LFR Firebird look or the paladin’s LFR Lightning Emperor getup, for example), the paladin one is not nuclear snot green!  In fact, it was actually ATTRACTIVE.  The color scheme even made SENSE for an Alliance paladin!  My mind, it was boggled!

So of course I had to mog something around it, amirite?

Holy Kleenex, Batman! It Was Right Under Our Nose, and We Blew It!

Niremere has long been Retribution/Protection.  Of those two, Protection was my favorite – prance in, throw shield, smash things, dance out!  For the Light yay!  I did, however, chicken out big time when it came to tanking LFR, and I went back to Retribution.  I didn’t exactly LIKE Retribution, but I didn’t really HATE it either, and maybe gear would make it better?

We're More Laid Back Here Downright relaxed, even.

We’re More Laid Back Here
Downright relaxed, even.

I decided to keep on Retting it up after the patch to see if the 5.4 changes made any positive difference for me.  Alas, patch changes or no, I still don’t get Retribution and I just can’t seem to have fun with it.  Sure, Inquisition lasts for a whole freaking minute now (OH BOY DON’T I FEEL SPECIAL), but I still don’t like having to expend Holy Power to keep it up.  Nope.  Nobody need expect the Spanish Inquisition here, because it ain’t happening.

Sure, I Can See My Hands Owait, no, because they're in front of me and my camera angle's from behind.

Sure, I Can See My Hands
Owait, no, because they’re in front of me and my camera angle’s from behind.

Inquisition doesn’t even LOOK cool.  Sure, it gives me glowy hands, but I can’t even see my freaking self in combat half the time, let alone my dainty little hands!  I hit like a tired poodle and I am not feeling the two-handed weapon love, because I still love shields and that’s not changing dammit.  I can only cast like two Flash of Lights before running out of mana (I can’t use Word of Glory for healing somebody, silly, I gotta use that Holy Power for Templar’s Verdict Inquisition I don’t even know anymore) and I can’t offtank worth crap, so there’s no running in and saving the day all dramatic-like in emergencies.*  There’s only repairs.  And being boring.  And feeling like I’m fighting in neck-deep mud.

WELP THAT WENT WELL Tank died.  Tried to pull the Celestial Protector off a healer.  Got eaten.  Celestial Protector then had a nice, priestly dessert.

WELP THAT WENT WELL
Tank died. Tried to pull the Celestial Protector off a healer. Got eaten. Celestial Protector then had a nice, priestly dessert.

Despite that, I kept dragging Niremere through Throne of Thunder LFR, and she wound up with some shiny tier tokens!  I was then regretting exchanging them for Retribution gear (even though I hadn’t actually done that yet), when this conversation more or less occurred:

Me: I know I should use them for Ret … theoretically, a set bonus would help …
Friend: Wait, use them for the spec you hate?
Me: Yesssssssssssssssssssssssss.  Because I shouuuullddddd.
Friend: That’s stupid.  I don’t even know why you play a spec you hate.

Suddenly, I didn’t know why either.  I gave the spec a chance, really!  It just never took.  Niremere has been in Ret spec for the better part of 80 out of 90 levels, aside from tanking sprees here and there.  To continue this way was like bashing my head into a brick wall in the hopes of developing some sort of brain injury that might possibly change my personality, which in turn could possibly make me like Retribution.  It clearly wasn’t working out, if only because I have a really thick skull.

So I decided to commence PROJECT “I DON’T KNOW IF I LIKE HOLY, BUT IT ISN’T RET SO THERE.”

First step was to get gear, because nobody wants to run into an instance naked.  Accordingly, I ran all the LFRs ever, then died my way around the Timeless Isle looking for chests, and finally I bought PvP crap off the AH to fill in the holes.  (I have a new protip for the loading screens: “Warning! The Timeless Isle hurts like mother trucking HELL if you are undergeared!”)

Unfortunately, I am forced to neglect the “finishing touches,” as it were.  Since Nir’s gear rocketed up so quickly (we’re talking like twenty item levels), I can’t afford to fully reforge/enchant/gem it.  She’s reforged and mostly gemmed at this point, though there is no way in hell I’m enchanting that wep from a heroic dungeon whether I can afford to or not.

Once she had something to wear, Nir ran to the nearest Paladin trainer and gave him gold.  It was then time to HEAL ALL THE THINGS.  Kinda.

The worst thing about starting healing with a new class at level 90 is that you are stricken with a general feeling of “oh my GAWD, all the things wat the hell is going on,” which can’t be helped except through exposure to the spec and the diligent application of effort.  (True understanding comes even later.)  And aside from reading a guide to get an idea of what you should be doing, your only real option is to literally click the buttons to see for yourself what they do.

Turns out that not only is it really hard to figure crap out when you have all the things to learn all at once, it’s ESPECIALLY hard to do when they’re almost all named “Holy” Somethingorother.  I CAN’T REMEMBER WHICH HOLY DOES WHAT HEALING THING.  I actually had to write notes down.  NOTES.  TO PLAY A GAME.  (L-shift click, Light of Dawn, HP click, multi target!)

The only other classes I’ve healed extensively on in recent memory, shaman and druid, don’t really have an equivalent to Holy Power that they have to build up in order to spend. As a result, I spent a fair amount of time freaking out about dropping HP clicking on buttons furiously while wondering why nothing was happening.  I would subsequently (and usually abruptly) realize that I had no Holy Power and this particular Holy thing needed it, therefore, fail.  I actually do have the bright red status text on my screen for things like “Not enough Holy Power.”  I just never read it.

Feeling somewhat overwhelmed, I made a little dwarf paladin with the idea of “learning from the ground up.”  But somewhere around level 3, I decided that the effort required to learn crap from scratch at level 90 was probably going to be less than the effort required to level from 1 to 90, so she got left somewhere in the snowy wilds outside Ironforge.  I haven’t deleted the character, though, because people on my friends list had a fit were extremely confused when they saw me playing a female dwarf.  Maybe I’ll surprise them again later!

So I grabbed a beartank friend with good gear (he assured me that with his self heal, he could solo heroics) and off we went into LFD land.  I warned him to be prepared.  I warned him I had no clue what all the buttons did, and also that my keybinds were all freaked up, and finally that I still had to set up Vuhdo properly and whatnot, so be careful!  Did I get said beartank killed?  YEP.  YOU BETCHA.

The next morning I queued randomly by myself, which ended up being embarrassing as well.  I got caught red-handed with Righteous Fury still on from a failed-ret-tanking episode the night before (see * at end, again).  Ugh!  It’s like the hunter who leaves Aspect of the Pack on for the whole fight (which I have NEVER done, nope, believe you me, 100% truth telling here).  Fortunately the party was quite helpful and gave me a number of tips, and there was a shaman who covered for my general ineptitude (in addition to pointing out that whole Righteous Fury thing).

Now THAT'S the Skill for Me Proposed Paladin revamp makes Beacon of Light into something even BETTER.

Now THAT’S the Skill for Me
Proposed Paladin revamp makes Beacon of Light into something even BETTER.

Later that day, I felt I at least had the basics down because people weren’t dying anymore in heroics.  When looking at the Raid Finder to see if there were any LFRs I missed, I realized that Nir had the gearscore to queue for SoO … hmmm.

Crazy?  Hell yes.  Still, it seemed like a slightly less crazypants idea than learning how to paladerp heal via PvP, which was Goa’s suggestion, so I queued up for it.  It was definitely an enlightening experience.  It turns out that not only do I need to know buttons, but I also have to relearn mana management, blah.  Electrika has almost zero mana issues at present because of gear, Water Shield, Mana Tide totem and the Telluric Currents glyph (which returns a bit of mana if you use Lightning Bolt).  Betheki (the druid) is at level 80, which is too high to have the noob type of mana issues, but too low to have LFR “holy crap, please kill it before it ‘zerks” kind of mana issues.

So yeah, who spent practically all of the Fallen Protectors fight using only Holy Shock and Light of Dawn?  That would be meeeeee. While I am more than perfectly happy to coast when it comes to DPS (heeeey we got like, six people doing 200k?  SWEET), I feel immense guilt when it comes to coasting on heals.  I almost left the group three or four times because I felt my heals were too low to justify my presence.  I wound up staying anyway because there was an amazing shaman who covered for me and at least one other healer as well.  Overgeared?  Overachiever?  Don’t know, but he was the key to Nir getting the first gear token from this tier.  (I am overjoyed that the paladin LFR color scheme does NOT involve nuclear snot green.)

* So let me tell you about the last time Nir was fighting Will of the Emperor, a.k.a. Jan-xi and Qin-xi. As you no doubt know by now if you are a regular LFRer, adds and bosses spawn on the far side of the room, opposite where the entrance is.  The idea is to drag the bosses from that end back over to the other, positioning them near the two separate staircases that the raid entered the fight area with.  One boss per set of stairs, easy!

In this particular LFR, we had a tank who wasn’t quite clear on what to do other than “get aggro.”  He grabbed his boss, yes, but then he stood with it at the back of the room, which is bad.  It exposes the DPS to unnecessary heavy damage (which in turn stresses healers), and it’s not like the DPS can go somewhere else to avoid it – adds continually spawn back there for the duration of the fight.  Everybody yelled at him but he went nowhere with the boss, so I whispered him and told him to go up front by the stairs, which he did – sorta.  He pulled it to the same staircase that the other tank/boss was at, which elicited further shouts of dismay from the LFR.  I kept on whispering him, telling him where the second staircase was, and he WAS trying to listen.  It’s just that he dragged his boss over about halfway, which is ALSO bad, because that puts the boss right on top of the healers.

So finally I put on Righteous Fury, used Reckoning twice, and ran like a bat outta hell for the right set of stairs.  Defensive bubbles?  If only I had realized just how squishy I am despite the freaking plate, I would’ve used one.  I took 1.5 hits and was DOWN.  But hey, since my corpse was apparently much easier to see than my living self, the tank finally got the boss to the right spot and we didn’t wipe.  Hooray!

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!

Double You Tee Eff (Niremere Hits 90)

ORBS ARE BADSO WAS THE TANK

ORBS ARE BAD
SO WAS THE TANK

The DPS queue for regular Pandaland dungeons is bad, man – it takes around thirty minutes on a good day, and you’re kinda effed should things not go over well (see: Exhibit A, above).  That party, for example, was a fatal mix where Nir and maybe one other DPS were attacking the orbs, the healer ran into the group of mobs by the bridge that the party had skipped, and the tank had little sense of positioning.  After we all wiped, the tank left and we requeued, only to get – you guessed it – the same damn tank, who then pulled the boss and dumped our asses.  Nir grabbed her sword and shield and tried to tank (as a retadin with no tanking gear!) while killing orbs, but … well, you see how that went.

So she spent most of her time questing.  I won’t lie, Niremere had one hell of a time in Pandaland regardless of the queue business – I don’t know if her gear sucked (probably), it was her spec (also likely, since she’s ret) or if she just had really bad luck (very possible), but sheeyit hurt bad.  Townlong Steppes and the bile-spewing, poisoning, mass-attacking mantid were very unforgiving (I have HOW MANY stacks of this bleeding debuff now!?), to the point where some of my Hordeside guildmates tried to help me out despite that whole language/faction barrier thing.

Forsaken Apparently Like the Letter G

Forsaken Apparently Like the Letter G

IMMEDIATELY after hitting 90, Niremere joined a Sha of Anger run … and somehow, she didn’t die during the whole thing.  WEIRD.

Double DynamoThank you, thank you ... I'll be in my corner crying.

Double Dynamo
Thank you, thank you … I’ll be in my corner crying.

Now to work on her mining and blacksmithing, which are still back in the Lich King skill range.  Derp.