I’m ready for my expansion, Mr DeMille

10 November 2010 § Leave a comment

I think I finally hit the end-of-expansion slump. I still have technically a lot of stuff to do, but I can hardly manage to find the motivation to do it.

The 10-man raid is still working towards our Heroic Lich King kill. We’re getting the LK down in the 30-20% range regularly, but have a lot of trouble dealing with our exit from the second Frostmourne: for that phase, Vile Spirits have already started to descend, and as we spread out for Defile, our OT needs to collect them all, and somehow, we either spread too much and thus the tank cannot grab them, or Defile nabs us. One of our rogues is now on a 2-week trip, so we got a hunter to replace him: though we did lose some dps, we’re not doing too badly on that front, but the fight is really a struggle, and the fact we’ve been on this for the past 6 months is not exactly helping.

Tsark still has a lot of achievements to work for, but they are just too grindy for me to bother. I probably will start working on a few of them, the ones that I think I have a shot at getting, but I have surprisingly little incentive. Still, there’s a couple from Heroics I still need, and a few scattered ones that I never bothered with and I probably could get. There’s no way I will ever do the fishing ones, though – way too much RNG involved in those. I don’t mind farming too much, but I cannot stand RNG.

Speaking of farming, I cannot farm the ZG mounts on my own, and all the other mounts will still be there when I get to 85 and have an easier time farming them. I did make a list of the pets and mounts I have (yay for sites that help you track these things J), and found out (with some surprise) I did miss a few easy-to-get ones, so I’m now farming ToC dailies to get a Darkspear Raptor (not sure how I missed that one…) and farming Gundrak Raptors to get a Hatchling. Thankfully, the ToC dailies are much more generours in terms of Champion’s Seals (17 per day, so not too bad), and I am farming the Gundrak Raptors with a skinner, so I am getting a lot of leather that I need to buy my last few recipes. I have no clue what’s going to happen with some of the vanilla pets come Cataclysm, though. Case in point: is the Tiny Crimson Whelpling still going to drop from any mobs in Cata? I think I’m going to go farm that one after…

Dawn Vigil is starting to prepare for Cataclysm – in a much better way than we ever did prepare for Wrath. We are likely to be running two 10-man raids and one 25-man, though of course we are still finalising things. We are still looking for a few good raiders, though, so feel free to drop me a line if you are interested in Feathermoon Horde raiding!

My Argent Dawn squad of alts is progressing. Tessarquia, my shaman, is now fairly decently geared (mostly T10, with the exception of trinkets and little else). Osric, the mage, is in 2T10 – I should farm some more Heroics with him, but I just cannot find the motivation. My priest, Theophora, is just starting out Outlands now. The hunter, Lykon, is lvl 43, while my druid, Selvania, is lvl 30-something – these two will probably wait until Cataclysm to get some proper time. It’s kinda fun to level the squad as a unit, though, switching from one to the other depending on who has the most rested xp available. Tessa has also completed the Storm Peaks quests, which just leaves me with Grizzly Hills to explore from the Alliance point of view to have a complete picture. Again, I’m quite happy I’ve managed to see the stories from the other side of the faction divide.

On the negative side, though, the Single Abstract Noun experiment has… not given the results I had hoped for. The guild hardly ever has more than 3-4 people online at any time, and more often than not I am alone in there. This may well be because of my strange play times, but I know of at least two people who left precisely because the guild is not active enough. I think the problem is that most SAN members have mains elsewhere, and with those mains they have friends and raid obligations and what not – and a guild of alts is never going to be very active, which means you’re going to get into a negative spiral of inactivity.

All in all, I think I am getting ready for Cataclysm, especially since the dungeon scene looks a bit more interesting than the Wrath one was. So Deathwing – bring it on!

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Where were we?

18 May 2010 § 1 Comment

Wow, has it really been that long since I updated this? Usual excuses, busy game, busy life, busy everything… A lot has happened in the two weeks or so without updates, so today I’ll just do a quick bullet points update, hopefully getting back into rhythm for the next post.

  • The 10-man raid is kicking ass. Last week we got both Putricide hard AND Sindragosa hard. I always knew that we were close on both fights, and the main reason we stopped doing Sindragosa was the frustration factor of her voice plus the fight mechanics that give us 5 mins of boring fight (but still with killer mechanics) and then 30 secs of total and utter chaos as you switch to P2. So we went to work with Putricide, and put a fair bit of work there too, and had the fight done except for stupid mistakes and some dumb behaviour on my part (I will detail this in a post about Putricide, probably) – which of course meant we got it in 3 tries the following time. The biggest surprise was moving back to Sindragosa after about 3 weeks of not even seeing her, and realising that we were not rusty at all. So yay us, we’re 11/12 Heroic now. This week we will work on the remaining achievements to get our Frostwyrms, then it’s on to LK Heroic.
  • … which is just an UNREAL fight. Because we had an extra raiding day and no bosses up in ICC, we went and pulled him a few times. To say we got roflstomped is putting it mildly. We pulled him four times: the first fight we lasted about 6 secs, as the first infest totally wiped us (yes, Infest – it hurts now). A rapid reassignment of healers (Disc priest on raid to shield everyone and make sure Infest doesn’t even START ticking, druid on tanks to help keeping them up), and we then started getting acquainted with the Shadow Traps of WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! I swear, I spent all 4 pulls of the LK giggling like a school kid because of the traps punting us across the whole platform – and a couple of extra zones for good measure… We had one pull where we ALMOST got to the first transition, with one person dead, but then things went south very rapidly. Oh did I mention all this is with a 15% Hellscream buff? I think this will be a long hard slog of a learning process – but that’s ok, we have about a month before Ruby Sanctum goes live, at least (and another 5% Hellscream goodness), so we’ll see.
  • Our raiding roster is changing once again: Ghych, our Shadow priest extraordinaire, needs to leave us because of schedule changes. We will miss his amazing Holy offspecs (whenever we needed him to heal, there was this scary moment as I inspected him to find out what his spec looked like that day: we had “no Guardian Spirit” while working on Algalon, “the Renew spec” in ToC…), and his contributions to the Heroic Blood Princes (MORE WANDING OF THE BOMBS, please!)
  • In a similar vein, Ezma, our tank, may leave us as well starting from next week. We are even sadder about this, not just because we’re losing an excellent tank and a great friend, but also because the circumstances leading to her departure are a lot less happy. Let’s just say, I’m wishing Ez the absolute best, and there’s always going to be a place for her in any raid I belong to, once her RL calms down a bit. And remember Ez – use your cooldowns!
  • Back on Argent Dawn, my elemental shaman has got to Northrend. I’m blown away at how much more interesting Valgarde is compared to Vengeance Landing… it’s kinda nice to finally see the other half of the stories in Wrath – because let’s admit it, Blizz put a lot more efforts in stories through quests in this expansion than in the last two…
  • Also, I started a priest on Argent Dawn, because I wanted to check out the quests in the southern part of Eastern Kingdoms. All I have to say is – either levelling in Westfall is VERY POORLY DONE, or levelling as a priest sucks, or I do. I don’t remember having to wand things down on Tsark, nor having to drink every pull that I don’t do that. I hope things are going to improve in Cataclysm, because this is by far the worst levelling experience I’ve had (and I’m happy I got through it with Tsark before I realised how needlessly hard it was, because I really enjoying playing a priest now).

That’s all for today – hopefully will be back with our regular programming from now on. See you in Azeroth!

Updates in a rush

23 March 2010 § 1 Comment

I have a couple of long posts in the making, but I spent a lot of time today already posting over on our new guild forums (which are awesome, and all thank to Irons), so I really don’t have the time or the patience to work on the long posts here. So, you get treated to some quick updates on what I’ve been doing (I know, you all can’t wait, right?).

The raid is hitting a bit of a brick wall. A combination of attendance issues, with some low morale, has caused pretty poor perfomance, which has started a bad vicious circle, so we stalled this past couple of weeks (as I partly posted last Wednesday). However, I’m pretty confident we will solve all this soon, mostly because for the first time in ages I really don’t think we have a “problem raider” in the group, neither in terms of skills nor in terms of personality (and yes, we’ve had both – several times).

Gearwise, Torjin, my mage, got his T10 gloves from vault, the 264 version. I managed to get enough badges to get the T10 robes from the vendor (the 251 version of course), so now he has 2T9 and 2T10 – the fourth of my characters to do so. He also completed Loremaster, which took a bit of search for the right quests, but hey, it’s done. Tsark is finally getting his 4T10 this week – too bad I’m unlikely to use it unless I get into a 25man raid, given that the set bonus really is geared towards shield spamming (and the 2T9 set bonus for mending is too good to give up). The gearing up on my other alts has slowed down, mostly because I’ve been focusing on levelling my Alliance space-goat lightning-shooter.

Wait, what?

Yep, as I breifly mentioned before, I rolled a draenei elemental shaman on Argent Dawn, as part of the Single Abstract Noun social experiment. The shaman is now level 29, on the verge of getting Reincarnation – and enjoying the quests in Ashenvale and the PUGs through Gnomeragan. It’s been actually nice to be able to level with a good community around myself, and the fact I got to lvl 30 so quickly bodes well. The biggest perk has been having a very active guild chat window (I had to change the size of it, to be able to follow it without having to scroll up constantly), and discovering a lot of interesting small blogs out there, which are small and quirky and a bit off the trodden path, but quite interesting. It’s like being used to the Hollywood blockbusters of the blogs, and being treated to the French Nouvelle Vague movies: sometimes you don’t understand what these blogs say, sometimes you think they are full of crap, but most often they just wow you, and you’re not sure why. I will have to change my links soon to reflect that – and it’s getting to the point where I will also have to reorganise them, because there’s just too many.

The guild itself has grown exponentially, beyond all expectations of its founders. I think the US chapter has more than 800 members now, with lots of being lowbie. It’s kinda nice to explore Alliance that way, and it’s funny to see people taking long afks to go read each other’s blogs (they are in the guild notes). My readership has shot up this last week, and I’m sure this has something to do with it. On the flip side, I think I died at least twice because I started following links and forgot to move my character to a safe spot…

SAN has had its share of drama, both real and fake. The real drama is, I think, an exercise in miscommunication and misunderstanding. Lots of the players in SAN are new to the whole concept of RP, and Argent Dawn is an RP server. Most people ask in guilds about the RP expectations in such a server. Others just stumbled into Goldshire and were… surprised. So they just gawked and pointed and laughed at the “fail RP”. The veteran RPers then pointed out that doing this is dangerous and counterproductive – and tempers flared.  Anyway, the incident seems closed, but I think it will have some big consequences. For one, Crazyhealer has closed her blog as a result of this, which is a shame – not because I was such a huge fan of hers (I had discovered her literally the day before), but simply because “any man’s death diminishes me”, to quote John Dunne. But also, this incident, coming so early in the history of the guild, may tarnish its image in the eye of the bloggers and readers who were thinking about trying it out – and thus make SAN lose out on potential people, discussions and links, which is really the main wealth of this guild.

As for the fake drama? Medicina is a bossy meany – just try to ask her about the guild bank, and you’ll see what she answers.

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