Tag Archives: mogushan vaults

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!

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.

Oh Jeebus Tapdancing Cripes

I read about a study once.  I forget whether it was rats or chickens (or maybe both), but basically the researchers had three groups: one got treats regularly for doing something, one was given treats irregularly for doing the same thing, and one just didn’t get any darn thing no matter what the hell they did.  The ones who got the goodness were happy while the ones who didn’t get any became depressed and sad.  Most importantly for my point here, the ones who received treats irregularly just turned warped and neurotic, continually doing Whatever It Was just because maybe, JUST MAYBE, they’ll get a treat this time!  This accurately describes my relationship to LFR.

Persistence in the Face of Adversity Or perhaps just flailing in the face of futility.

Persistence in the Face of Adversity
Or perhaps just flailing in the face of futility.

Last night, I decided I was going to run ALL THE LFR EVER, except for maybe Lei Shen, who still scares the hell out of me.  I had a lot of optimism for no apparent reason.  But I actually had to wait a day to write this up because I was overwhelmed by a sort of violent befuddlement, the kind you get when your brain just Can.  Not.  Process.  Any.  More.  Of this sheeyit.  You know, it’s like when your computer freezes, but you don’t want to wait for it and you don’t try to shut it down normally – you just say eff it and pull the plug.

1st Queue: Vault of Mysteries

Two out of three bosses were already down when the queue popped for me, but I was fine with that.  Elegon lags the everliving bejeebus outta me, and Will of the Emperor is the only boss there that drops what I want anyway.  The fight was nondescript, really.  We won, everybody who got something insisted on linking it in raid chat because yay for me, life went on.

Result: Gold
Roll result: More gold
Sense of Optimism: Not defeated yet

2nd Queue: Terrace of Endless WTF

Raiding relies on a delicate cooperation between allies (where everyone is generally as close to the top of their game as possible), a good dose of what we’ll call “luck” and a lack of lag.  LFR, being LFR, relies on a slightly different balance where everybody must accomplish the bare minimum in order to enable the group to coast through safely.  This dance of doing as little as possible can be pushed to the benefit or detriment of all.  All heals don’t have to be top notch, for example, if you’ve got one guy who’s way above the average and can cover for the others.  DPS can coast more if a couple of their number are overgeared out the wazoo.  More skill in some players equals greater ease for others.

When the tank faces Tsulong into the party and blasts everybody with Shadow Breath, though, you should be concerned that this give-and-take relationship has gone awry in a way that is not so good for anybody.  This is especially bad if the healers as a whole can’t keep up with the increased damage that DPS are taking because said tank doesn’t have Righteous Fury on and can’t keep aggro.  (Reason?  “idgaf,” since he changed specs and “forgot.”  What, are tanks trolling LFR now?)  A negative void caused by a rampant lack of smarts skill actual caring can suck everyone into a horrible spiral of bad, and you’re well on the way.

You know, I actually like Tsulong.  His ninety million adds manage to show that your DPS classes are actually important.  Yes, I’m talking about those of us who are a dime a dozen, who obviously have the worst damage EVER and YOU could play [insert class here] better than that, and who can’t do diddly squat without a tank or healer. As it turns out, when a majority of your DPS is down and out for the count (“What’s a battle res,” you ask?), those adds become an event horizon.  They are a point of no return.  They are going to kick your collective ass.

I’ve summarized the pattern of our subsequent conversation for you here.  It’s essentially the same thing you hear all the time when nobody wants to blame his or her own actions for contributing to the fail.  Insults are optional but add to your overall sense of self superiority.

Did you just wipe?  If no, proceed to the next pack of trash.

If yes, are you a tank?  Blame the DPS for failing miserably hard and the heals for being totally unable to keep up with your magnificence.

If yes, are you a healer?  Blame the DPS, since if those mother truckers would kill the adds, we wouldn’t be in this position.  Don’t blame the tanks even when they suck horribly, though, because they’re more useful to you than the DPS and they’re way harder to come by.

If yes, are you the DPS?  Blame the tank for gawdawful positioning and being unable to keep aggro while simultaneously blaming the healers for being unable to cover for the tank.

IT TRULY IS AN ENDLESS CIRCLE OF LIFE BLAME.

Result: Nothing
Roll result: N/A, dropped that party so fast it broke
Sense of Optimism: Busted up but not defeated

Third Queue: Last Stand of the Zandalari Hopeful

So the queue popped and everyone gathered for the pre-fighting ritual of Pandaren feasts and warlock cookies.  But then, unexpectedly, the main tank asked why he was the tank.

Great.

A quick inspection revealed the guy had no tanking armor and was dual wielding, but folks decided to charge ahead anyway, because tanks are hard to come by and they’d been in the queue long enough.  On the first pull, Faketank died, which just goes to show you that sometimes, “platewearer” means absolutely nothing.  On subsequent pulls, Daintytank often died, but at least Daintytank consciously made the decision to queue as a tank.

It wasn’t long before Faketank got kicked.  Daintytank was definitely squishy though and had to be resurrected often, so people breathed a sigh of relief when RealRaidertank arrived in the instance.  Unfortunately, RealRaidertank wanted to be all hardcore and sheeyit when it came to the windy bridges in the instance.

If you are not familiar with the LFR way of running these bridges, the DPS stay on the stairs while the tank and maybe a healer or two run ahead and pull the adds back to the stairs.  Given the number of people involved whose competence is suspect, this method is much preferred over having everybody try to avoid the weird floaty spirit trolls while getting to a spot where they won’t get blown off into the abyss.

But RealRaidertank didn’t want to do that.  No, he wanted to do it the Real Way, so he placed a red marker about a quarter to halfway down the bridge, in a very tiny nonwindy spot.  RealRaidertank went running off down the bridge without saying a word, apparently expecting everybody to understand this Obvious message.

The rest of the group experienced a brief, yet TRULY INSPIRING moment of unity and did not move one freaking inch off the stairs.  I’ve never seen LFR act as such a cohesive unit before, and I probably never will again.  As you probably guessed, RealRaidertank kicked the bucket before making it back to the stairs, because no one went with him – not even a healer.  He died FOREVER ALONE.

He then proceeded to insult everyone, because putting others down is a tried and true method of motivating the masses, and also of saving one’s own ego.  The group told him something to the effect of “LOL, this is LFR, adjust your stupid expectations,” but he must have missed all that while calling us scrubs.  Otherwise, he would have learned his lesson and he would not have repeated the entire thing all over again on the second windy bridge.  It was, dare I say, one of the most beautiful spectacles I’ve ever witnessed in LFR.

There was some exchange of words here, in which I participated though knowing better, because I Had Enough of the stupid.  RealRaidertank dropped.  We hadn’t even gotten to the first boss!

They say that bad things happen in threes, and indeed the third tank showed up and said he wanted to heal.  Otherwise, please tell him how to tank.  (p.s., he can one tank Horridon until after the third door “if you want.”)

Oh Loooooooooooord Did he really just ask how to tank?

Oh Loooooooooooord
Did he really just ask how to tank?

This was the moment when my brain finally broke completely.  I remember only three things:

  1. He kept on asking how is heals were
  2. Our margin of victory on Jin’Rokh was amazingly, terrifyingly small (only a handful of DPS were still up)
  3. Gold

Result: Gold
Roll result: N/A, out of charms
Sense of Optimism: Scarred for freaking life and done for now kthx

As a final note, the waaaaaambulances are needed in great numbers on the forums because Lei Shen got nerfed.  LFR needs a challenge, they say.  THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES ARE THE CHALLENGE, I say.

Gara’jal the Spirit Binder

Don't Worry, GuysPuntable Marmot's Got This

Don’t Worry, Guys
Puntable Marmot’s Got This

I’d like to show you a nice shot of Garajal’s dead body as a testament to the fact that we killed him, but … this is the best I got.

He's dead, Jim.

He’s dead, Jim.

A guildmate got a little excited during the fight, see, and went overboard.  Just a little.

Well, if we weren't sure that he was dead before, we're 100% sure he's dead now.

Well, if we weren’t sure that he was dead before, we’re 100% sure he’s dead now.

First Attempt at LFR

Might I Suggest a Name Change

Might I Suggest a Name Change
Looking for Raid is not accurate.

In my first attempt at LFR, I got a troll.  No, not that troll you see in the screenshot as the last man standing, but one of those “Wow, I’ve read about them, but I didn’t really think anybody could be that much of an asshole” type trolls.  Ironically, the guy was a healer.

I don’t get it.  Trolling LFR isn’t like taking candy from a baby.  This is because trollolololers have a fouler vocabulary than candy thieves do, and at least you get some real damn candy when you take it from a baby.  When there’s a troll in your LFR group, it’s more like Goldshire, but with less sexytimes and at higher levels.

Give Us This Day Our Daily VP

The Ignored Benefit of Dailies is the Constant QA

The Ignored Benefit of Dailies is the Constant QA
Hey guys, got a typo here.

Some say dailies are optional, some say they’re not – but I think we can all agree that they are part of the end game experience.  I think it’s also safe to say that there are quite a few of them, and by quite a few, I mean a crapton.  It’s worse if you’re like me and you never actually finished that whole Firelands business … /cough  One of these days, right?

I could handle gaining rep by wearing tabards while grinding dungeons in addition to doing quests.  That’s generally how I level, anyway – switching back and forth when one option or the other gets on my nerves.  When I get in the dungeon mood, I can do round after round after round without breaking a sweat. (This is why I really hate locks on heroics/raids and on the number of times you can run low level instances. If I wanna spend the time and the effort to run one dungeon endlessly for one damn pair of boots, then what’s the issue!?  All the cool gear is soulbound anyway!)  What I can’t handle is spending maybe fifteen minutes to a half hour on each faction’s quests, because I only have a couple of hours in the evening to, you know, HAVE FUN.

I’m trying to turn off the corner of my mind that goes “YOU HAVE ANOTHER THIRTY MINUTES – GO MAKE THE KLAXXI LIKE YOU A LITTLE MORE” and take full advantage of the theoretically “optional” part.  This means I’m only exalted with the Tillers, because OMFG YAY WORLD OF HARVEST MOONCRAFT and BATTLEGOATS.*  (It’s also the best way I’ve figured out thus far of actually having a chance in hell of acquiring the needed amounts of Trillium and Kyparite for engineering things.)

I’m doing fairly well with the Order of the Cloud Serpents, but that’s only because somebody told me that your cloud serpent will turn back into a baby if neglected.  I fear that my poor dragon hatchling will regress into a puddle of drool and scales if I leave him alone too long, and so I daily.  (p.s., why is it that every time I go to the Oona hozen area, my Flying Machine poofs and I plummet to my death?)

Golden Lotus?  Well, they keep giving me the same quests day in, day out, always in the same two areas.  I’m a bit surprised how little rep you get for completing them.  Seriously guys, what with the monotony and the repetitiveness, I’m kinda starting to feel like leaving those tormented panda souls there to suffer.  Golden Lotus is the first thing I dump when I run out of time because I feel like Exalted with them is going to take the rest of my life, but of course doing so makes getting to Exalted take forever.  I was excited a couple days ago when I finally got quests at the pond because yay I’m unlocking stuff and finding things out!  Sadly, I am not cool enough for anything else in the zone, because that was as far as the quests take me.

Why is that village empty?  I dunno.  Why are there Hozen over there?  I dunno.  What’s this big building thingie over here?  I dunno.  Why are the big stone panda statues there?  I dunno.  Why are the Mogu bothering to torture random pandas?  I dunno.  REP REP REP REP REP.  YOU NEED MOAR REP BEFORE YOU CAN COMPREHEND OUR MYSTERIES.

Also, that one panda can go get his own damn Mogu artifacts from the bottom of the pond.  Doesn’t he have ENOUGH yet!?  What does he DO with them all!?

I’m only honored with the Klaxxi because (and despite the fact that) I did all the quests I could find in Dread Wastes.  Shado-pan?  I’ve only been to Townlong Steppes ONCE, and that was to turn in the Claw from the Sha of Anger.  I don’t have time for ninja pandas.  Lorewalkers?  Yeah, that’d be interesting, but I don’t have time.  August Celestials?  What the hell do they do, anyway?  Doesn’t matter, though, don’t have the time.  The Anglers don’t exist for me, and the Black Prince is probably laughing his ass off at my predicament at this exact moment.

Well, whatever.  I’m not going to quit over it nor threaten to; I’m not pretentious enough to think that my individual actions will make one bit of difference in what Blizzard does.  (I’d just be back for more transmog anyway.)

Laughing from Hell

Laughing from Hell
Since only Dogs go to Heaven

One side effect is that our guild raiding is getting off to a very rocky start.  It’d be tough anyway because OMFG THINGS HURT/learning the fights/etc., but we want to try raiding and we don’t want to wait for everybody to finish grinding rep, because we’re human.  Like many people, we’d rather avoid LFR entirely because of the probability of encountering total asshats or people less prepared than we.  Also, LFR has a reputation for not being the real deal, whereas normal is at least an “authentic” experience.

Another side effect of the whole rep grindy business I’ve noticed is that more and more of my alts are getting outfitted in more and more heirlooms of their very own because I don’t have a place to spend my JP (obtained by endlessly running heroics, by the way, for weapons that JUST WON’T DROP**) on gear that would benefit Thermalix, who is the raiding main.  This kinda sucks, because her 463 gear level may be enough to get her into LFR, but it’s not enough for her to help her guild actually survive the normal version of Mogushan Vaults.  Because you only get 5 VP per daily and I just don’t have the time or the energy for all of the dailies in Pandaria, I don’t have enough VP to spend on anything (even if there were something I could spend it on).  So, heirlooms for everybody it is!

* I refuse to do the cooking daily where you have to go get some fatty goatsteaks, because OMFG PEOPLE STOP AOEING THE DAMN HERDS OF GOATS and then when I finally am hair-triggery enough to AoE the damn herds of goats before someone else does so I can get one damn goat down at least, I’m past the point of paying attention to where I’m standing and I get knocked off the mountain.  Yeah, sure, we don’t have spectral flying when dead because the zone was designed for ground mounts.  Then why can the goats knock me MOSTLY off the mountain to the point where it’s a pain in the ass to find my body!?

** I ran heroic after heroic after heroic after heroic, of course getting the ones I didn’t need more than the ones that I did, but I can’t queue for the ones that drop what I need because you get locked out after one try (HATE).  I eventually just gave the hell up, bought some Trillium (because in all this time and all my obsessive mining, I still didn’t have enough) and made a gun, but for 12 Trillium bars, an item level of 450 is a poor return.