Friday, December 30, 2011

End of the Year Musings

As the new year rapidly approaches, I look back and see that both WoW and I have made significant changes over the year; some good, some bad. On the not so good side, I went from being a regular raider to a rarely raider as my guild drifted from a casual raiding guild to a less casual progression guild. Now that some of the most hard core raiders have moved on or aren't online as much now that the last boss of the expansion has been downed, we'll see how things go raiding-wise in the new year. I also had to put two thirds of my alt army on temporary hiatus when I cancelled my subscription on my other two accounts for fiscal reasons. The last "bad" thing was the constant changes to classes to balance them. I've had to constantly change specs to meet peak performance, usually taking a longer adjustment period than I would prefer. It's not too bad when you only play one class, but I play all ten and trying to keep up with the nerfs and buffs is a nightmare. Combined with the difficulty of the heroics when they were new, it made asshattery in pugs a lot more common. It got to the point where I stopped doing heroics unless it was a guild group.

The good, though, does outweigh the bad by a fairly large margin. Although I am no longer a regular raider with my guild, I can and do raid two nights a week. With the LFR feature, I can raid on my own schedule and I have been able to see and complete the final raid of the expansion. With this new tool, I'll also be able to raid on my alts - which is something I wasn't able to do at all during this expansion and just barely did in the last. I missed out on Firelands, but look forward to the new raids.

With my alt army sidelined, I've had to focus on my current ten. One of my sidelined toons was my main blacksmith/jewelcrafter and another was my scribe so I added those professions to my current characters. Even though I had most of the needed materials banked, it still took a lot of gold to get past some profession bottlenecks. I had the foresight to craft the big three red gems before my account was put on hold, and I made a tidy profit from all the raiders that didn't get epic gems for their new gear. I was also able to move some glyphs, although my main purpose for having a scribe is so I can create my own glyphs for my characters.

I'm still trying to manage all the changes to the various classes and specs. While I'm doing quite well on my hunter, I still struggle with some of the others. I've gone from Beast Mastery to Survival, Survival to Marksman, and now back to Beast Mastery. This spec is still viable even though Survival is now back in the "top" spot. I finally have a stable full of spirit beasts, and I like having them around. I'm still first or second in heroics, and usually in the top five in the raids so I'm not changing anything spec-wise.

I think I spend more time in online resources than I do in game! There are some great bloggers out there, and only a fraction of them are on my blog roll. Some of the greats have retired, but many more have stepped up and the 'verse is still thriving. Wowhead, EJ, Zeherah, Ask Mr. Robot, and other online tools have also been a boon to players everywhere. I would be clueless and frustrated with my alts if these resources weren't around.

Last, but not least: this entire expansion. While there have been some that disliked Cataclysm, I have enjoyed it immensely. From the new 1-60 changes thru the new zones, I've had a blast. I've finished every new zone except Twilight Highlands on my main, and I enjoyed them all. From the lore to the pop culture shout outs, this has been a fun expansion. There were constant improvements throughout, from small quality of life things like putting quest givers in all the instances to the looking for raid tool. With everything available in the game, I have a hard time not finding something to do when I log on.

10x85

No progress this week, I've been having too much fun with LFR and between gearing up some of my alts and doing the Winter Veil daily (got the shiny dagger! RNG likes me again!) I haven't even played my lowbies.

Hunter 85
Deathknight 85
Rogue 85
Priest 85
Mage 85
Druid 85
Warlock 85
Warrior 72
Paladin 70
Shaman 45

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays

With the holiday crunch at work and home, what better way to spend my little free time than the holiday crunch in WoW. Running eight characters through the Greench daily takes up a considerable amount of time. Most of the downtime during the flight to Chillwind Camp is used for taking care of real life things, so at least I get something accomplished while waiting for my usual reward of a racer or paper zeppelin.

I now have difinitive proof that the RNG hates me - I have gotten two of the pets from the daily, and both were on the same character (not my main). The wonderful peeps at Blizzard have decided to make these BOP instead of BOE like the other holiday pets, so I will still have to grind out the daily. I am hoping that fortune will smile upon me and land me one of those nifty new daggers for my rogue!

I did manage to somehow trick the RNG in my second LFR run, and was able to get rid of my last blue piece when I won the roll on the tier shoulder icon. My main is now fully epic! I did run into my first official asshat in the raid. I can understand checking recount and calling out those who are doing nothing at all, but to troll about DPS on the spine fight (which is NOT a DPS race) is a bit low. After several wipes on the last fight, he dropped group. We got another healer and finished Deathwing on the next attempt. I guess the weak link was finally removed...

I did play some of my 10x85 toons - I managed to get my paladin to 70 and suited up in my new crafted gear. I tanked a group through Utgarde and then healed a few runs on my shaman. Hopefully I will get some more free time over the holiday to play more. Or get a copy of SWTOR for xmas!

10x85:
Hunter 85
Deathknight 85
Rogue 85
Priest 85
Mage 85
Druid 85
Warlock 85
Warrior 72
Paladin 70
Shaman 45

Friday, December 16, 2011

Raid Finder FTW

I hit the new 5-mans, and got a ton of upgrades. I managed to replace almost everything, except these damn blue shoulders which seem to want to hang around until the next expansion. I logged in last night with an item level of 371 - just one point shy of being able to do the LFR queue. I queued up for another dungeon, and when I zoned in I noticed that I didn't complete the quest in the Hour of Twilight dungeon. A quick conversation with Thrall netted me a new belt and a 272 item level! After breezing through the dungeon, I socketed and gemmed my new belt, picked up some buff food and a few flasks, and queued for the new raid.

After a whole eight minute wait, I was at the start of the new raid with no bosses killed. I've read up a little on the fights, but this was my first time seeing them. Things went pretty smooth - there was a lot of people coming and going throughout the raid, but bosses were dropping. I managed to snag a tier helm, along with finishing every boss in the first half of the raid! Even though I didn't really know the fights and had the bare minimum gear level, I managed to stay off the bottom of the damage meter.

I picked up my new helm, gemmed it, and picked up the arcanum for it. I queued for the second half of the raid. Another fairly fast queue (compared to a LFD queue, anyway) and I was in the second half of the raid - again with no bosses killed! This raid did not go as smoothly as the first one, however. We had several wipes on the first boss, due to the tanks not performing the mechanics right. They left (or were kicked) and two new tanks joined up, along with what seems to be the common ebb and flow of raiders in this new pug raid. We downed the boss without a wipe and moved on to this raid's "lootship". We one-shot that as well, and jumped down to Deathwing's back.

We had another wipe, mainly due to people not knowing or not caring about the mechanics of the fight. The fight was explained in raid chat, and we tried again. After another wipe, kicks were initiated against those that did not follow the directions. After a slight pause to fill the raid back up, we succeeded in grounding Deathwing. We had a few more wipes while people were getting used to the strategy, but in the end - Deathwing was destroyed. I managed to stay in the top 10 DPS throughout the raid, finishing at number 4!

I really enjoyed the new LFR, and I can't wait to do it again next week after the reset. I'll do one more heroic pug on my main tonight just to cap my valor points, and then work on my last three lowbies over the weekend. Speaking of which, I hit 68 on my Tauren and shuffled off to Northrend. I did some of the starter quests and dinged again. I have all the new armor for when I hit 70, and then back to tanking I go! My warrior is currently wearing my DPS heirlooms, so I queued as DPS while leveling my skinning on the rhinos in Northrend's tundra. I just respecced my second talent build to fury from arms, so it took a bit of getting used to. When they changed the dungeon quests in Outland and Northrend to the "inside the dungeon" model, they must have changed the quest ID as well. I was able to accept and "redo" the UK quests, and picked up some DPS pieces instead of the tanking ones I got last time. And I dinged 72 on the last quest turn-in as well!

10x85:
Hunter 85
Deathknight 85
Rogue 85
Priest 85
Mage 85
Druid 85
Warlock 85
Warrior 72
Paladin 69
Shaman 43

Friday, December 9, 2011

Lions, Tigers, and Dragons...

I spent most of the week running my army of alts through the new Darkmoon Faire. Blizzard did a nice job on it, and my main is much closer now to exalted status with the DMF. I also tried out one of the new 5-mans. All three were through the random dungeon finder, and all three were the first dungeon. On my first one, I managed to die fairly early on the Sylvanas encounter when I did not get out of the bad fast enough. The rest of the group managed to down her though, and I got a shiny new bow! I also got new gloves and a ring from the quest rewards. Overall, a very good pug. 

The next run was a mostly guild run, and surprisingly it had the most wipes. The healer was the only one not in our guild, but I don't think his performance was the deciding factor in most of the wipes - there was a lot of avoidable damage that wasn't avoided, and that caused the majority of the wipes. I lost the roll on the trinket from Murozond on that run. Had this been a full pug run, I'm sure there would have been rage quits due to all the wipes.

The last run I did was with another all pug group. We basically stomped the place in record time, and I got a new pair of boots. After gemming and enchanting them tonight, I should be back on top of the DPS meter. The blue bracers I replaced with a JP purchase should help as well. Hopefully I can get to the next dungeon and pick up some new items to push me into the ilevel needed for the pug raid. Actually, just getting through all three new dungeons gives me a chance to finally get rid of these blue shoulders and weapon. I'd be happy just for that.

Not much work on the 10x85 this week with the DMF in town.

 10x85:
Hunter 85
Deathknight 85
Rogue 85
Priest 85
Mage 85
Druid 85
Warlock 85
Warrior 71
Paladin 67
Shaman 43

Friday, December 2, 2011

Hacked!

My account was hacked! Fortunately it wasn't my WoW account, just my Staples Rewards account. This is the second time that this has happened, and both times it entailed having a new account created. Their security is quite laughable, perhaps they need to switch to an authenticator or something.

I haven't done any of the new 4.3 content yet, but I'll jump into that this weekend. I also didn't do anything with the rest of my alts except logon to get my new mount from the annual pass deal. I did check out the archaeology changes, and it seems pretty good. I was getting between 5 to 10 pieces per dig, with the majority being 6 or 7. I need to max out on this alt for a chance at the dragon, as my main does not have alchemy as a profession.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cooking up a Storm

Due to the holidays and some out of game events, my play time was limited over the past weeks so little progress was made on my 10x85 project. I did, however, manage to level my cooking on all my characters using the holiday event. I am also going to be temporarily suspending two of my accounts until after the holidays, so I had some professions to switch around. I needed a blacksmith on my main account and I had enough mats to powerlevel my warrior up to 295 before running out of thorium. A quick flight around Un'Goro netted the last 150 that I needed. I remember what a pain it was to try and mine that up pre-WOtLK.

I did have a few dungeon runs of note. While running Underbog on my paladin, there was an asshat deathknight. We weren't at the first boss before the healer asked him to stop pulling. I eventually initiated a kick after the second boss when he kept pulling wasps even though the healer was out of mana. A nice DPS plate helm dropped on the next boss - sucks for him. I have very little tolerance for people that have a class that can tank, queue as DPS, and pull like they are the tank. If you want to tank, get a tank spec and tank. The queue is instant instead of 30-45 minutes, and you'll get kicked a lot less. I don't understand what kind of jackass mentality these people have.

I had an interesting run on my shaman. This is my first shaman I've ever really played, and I've been leveling it as a healer. I just got chain heal, which brings my healing toolkit up to three healing spells plus earthshield. As we are making our way through Scholomance, we end up with most of the first room down the staris being pulled at once. Somehow I manage to keep everyone up. In the next room, we start the fight against Kirtonos with the hunter locked out of the room. Around halfway through the fight, the tank gets launched off the balcony and out of the instance. We have a plate DPS (I don't remember if it was a pally or a warrior) that I'm able to keep up, and eventually Kirtonos dies before I'm completely out of mana. We finished the run on a fairly brisk pace, and I managed to get two levels out of the single run. I may have to swap out the healing totem for the mana totem until I get a few more healing spells.

10x85:
Hunter 85
Deathknight 85
Rogue 85
Priest 85
Mage 85
Druid 85
Warlock 85
Warrior 71
Paladin 67
Shaman 43  

Monday, November 14, 2011

Getting Closer

I managed to make it to 85 on my pink pigtailed warlock, which leaves me with the last three classes (two if you can't the paladin on my other account). I finished the weekend with my Worgen warrior at level 70, resting in Stormwind in his new cobalt armor and ready to take on the dungeons of Northrend. My Tauren paladin is four levels from leaving Outland behind, and my Goblin shaman is moving right along through the Scarlet Monastery. Having two tanks and a healer makes queuing up a lot less painful than it was with my warlock and mage. The groups have been mostly good, with a few being quite good indeed.

So no asshats to report this week. I'm not going to complain. Not. One. Bit.

10x85:
Hunter 85
Deathknight 85
Rogue 85
Priest 85
Mage 85
Druid 85
Warlock 85
Warrior 70
Paladin 64
Shaman 37  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Two More

On Sunday night I was too tired to do any serious playing, so I decided to finish leveling my second profession on my druid. I managed to get to Professional Grand Master picking herbs before Walking Dead was over. Two more hours on Monday night capped my profession and put me over the top to 85. The next night I picked up a blue helm at the JP vendor to replace my heirloom one, equipped my rings from the Headless Horseman and my Brewfest trinket, and did the Thrall quests for a new cape and the intro Firelands Dailies. I will most likely try to keep up with the firelands dailies on the druid and keep healing 5-mans.

My mage was a bit further away from 85, and required a few dungeon runs. The first was in Stonecore after a 30 minute queue. One of the DPS remarked how much he hated this dungeon and dropped group. Enjoy your queue time, I guess. It was one of the smoothest runs in that dungeon I've ever had. We didn't even have any issues with the hallway before Ozruk. Managing about two runs a night, with the dungeon being either Stonecore or Vortex Pinnacle, I hit 85 on my mage. Only one run had a jackass, and he was quickly kicked for pulling additional groups from behind us several times and doing craptacular DPS.

My little gnome warlock will be 85 soon, and I can turn my attention to the last three: my prot warrior, prot pally, and my restro shammy.

10x85:
Hunter 85
Deathknight 85
Rogue 85
Priest 85
Mage 85
Druid 85
Warlock 84
Warrior 65
Paladin 61
Shaman 33

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tricks and Treats

The past two weeks have mainly been spent getting all my level 85 and 84 characters through the daily holiday run to pick up some new gear from the Headless Horseman. I managed to get the sword for those that could use it and the helm for my deathknight. I didn't get the mount, but I had it from last year on the characters that I wanted it on. I was hoping for a helm drop for my paladin, but he never saw it. Continuing the RNG's mocking me, it did drop for my mage. All of my other characters got the rings that mattered to them, and I was able to get the last few holiday achievements on my main. The LFD holiday boss runs were easy enough (not like Ahune), and only one moron was trying to tank in a DPS spec (a deathknight without a tank spec and in frost presence) which merely resulted in him loosing aggro throughout the fight.

The only non-holiday specific gaming I did was a retro raid into Ulduar on my main. It was an achievement run, and I racked up a bunch that night. I never ran Ulduar when it was current, excepting the first few bosses when the weekly raid quest was active.
10x85:

Hunter 85
Deathknight 85
Rogue 85
Priest 85
Warlock 84
Mage 84
Druid 84
Warrior 64
Paladin 61
Shaman 33

Monday, October 17, 2011

We have Spirit!

After almost two expansions, I have finally managed to fill the spirit beast void in my stable. I was making my usual rounds of Storm Peaks Friday morning, and my NPC Scan lit up. There Skoll sat, just waiting to be tamed. I finally had a spirit beast! I flew south over Zul'Drek, stopping to kill Terror Spinner. Continuing south, I swung by Grizzly Hills. Arcturis was up! Two in one day! Sweet!

This turned out to be the weekend of spirit beasts for me. I managed to also nab Ban'thalos, Ghostcrawler, Magria, Gondria, and Loque'nahak. I also managed to make some progress on Frostbitten by killing Syreian and Dirkee. I even got a nifty hat from Burgy Blackheart.

I normally don't play in the mornings, so I think this change in schedule worked in my favor. I was away most of the weekend (I won two three-day passes for NY Comic Con from a local radio station), and I was surprised by what I was able to accomplish such a limited time. I picked up a healing spec on my little shaman and banged out a few dungeons as well.

10x85:

Hunter 85
Deathknight 85
Rogue 85
Priest 85
Warlock 84
Mage 84
Druid 84
Warrior 63
Paladin 61
Shaman 33

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Found Them!

It has been a while since I ran into any asshats on my higher level toons. It seems that they all swapped factions and rolled alts. I was pugging on my goblin shaman and found them. I zoned into a Wailing Caverns already in progress, in the middle of an actual fight. The run was already half over, which was fortunate because I don't know if I could have stayed for a full run. The healer would not stop commenting on how bored he was and he may go low on mana because he "needed" to DPS. It was distracting and got real annoying real fast. If you are bored healing and want to DPS, queue as DPS. Or turn off the computer and do something else. Like play in traffic. I DPS sometimes when I'm healing too, but healing is my priority and I don't let myself or someone else die because I'm too busy doing DPS to toss out a heal.

I was able to pick up the dungeon quests when we had to go back to the entrance to start the escort for the final boss, but I wasn't able to complete them on that run. I was hoping to get them done on my next run, but it was another "in progress" dungeon. This one did not have any issues. I managed to get some done, but I still needed the first two bosses. My next run ended up being Shadowfang Keep. I managed to get the quests done and we cleared the run nicely. I was wondering why there wasn't a level 20 quest at the shaman trainer, and requeued.

I hit the asshat trifecta. Clueless tank in DPS spec with a two-hand weapon - check. Healer in DPS spec - check. DPS pulling - check. I got a Shadowfang run in progress that was just a train wreck. I had to heal myself on the first boss, and even when I let the tank get solid aggro I had to throttle myself to keep from pulling off of him. The pulls went something like this: the "tank" pulls one mob, the warlock another. The tank, healer, and myself kill that mob while the druid DPS goes bear and he and the lock burn down the other one. It was a total clusterfuck in the dining hall before the second boss.

After the second boss dies, the healer drops group. Druid DPS starts asking if he can tank, over and over. We finally requeue. The "tank" selects Tank, DPS, and Heals. The druid selects Tank and DPS. The former tank is now the healer as a retribution pally, the druid is now the tank, and the trigger happy warlock drops out of the group. We requeue again, and we get another DPS. We sit around and do nothing. I finally get fed up with the paladin's asshattery and initiate a vote kick. It passes and we get a real healer.

We make our way to the last boss with no problems, and then things go south. The druid gets killed and we wipe. He drops. We get a new tank, and proceed to wipe three more times. We did manage to get the boss to 124 health on the last one. If the healer had popped one damage spell we would have made it. The tank, the healer, and one of the DPS drops group. I've had enough and drop group. I ride up the hill to repair my gear and notice the other shaman trainer. This one has the class quest I was looking for earlier. I guess it would be too much to ask to have the class quest available at all the class trainers.

The next day the pugs went a lot smoother. I managed to get through Stockades and Blackfathom Deeps with the same group. All smooth runs. I did forget to loot a quest item. This left me with unfinished quests in Wailing Caverns, Shadowfang Keep, and Blackfathom Deeps. Instead of tempting fate with asshat pugs, I decided to let my last pugs remain a good pug and logged onto my level 61 Orc deathknight. I boosted my shaman through the dungeons to finish the quests.

I'm dreading the upcoming Gnomer pugs.
I did a little bit of questing on my warrior and paladin to replace my outdated gear before I start tanking on them again.

10x85:

Hunter 85
Deathknight 85
Rogue 85
Priest 85
Warlock 84
Mage 84
Druid 84
Warrior 62
Paladin 61
Shaman 24

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Post Brewfest

I managed to get the relevant trinkets for each of my toons, along with:

7 Tankards
3 daggers, all on my warlock :(
2 Kodos, neither on my main :(
3 Rams, one on my main :)
3 Remotes

I also got the Brew of the Month on the toons that didn't have it. I don't bother with getting the holiday titles on my alts; it was fun to do once.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Around To It

I finally rolled a shaman. I had previously purchased the helm and back when my main's guild hit 25, and I picked up the chest and shoulders at the JP vendor. It took a while to clear out the placeholder's bags (it was my auction mule), but once I was finished with that I got to work on the new character. I picked a goblin that wasn't too ugly and mailed my care package of heirlooms, bags, and gold.

I'd previously played the goblin starting area, but I never completely finished it. It was a lot of fun, and after a few Brewfest quests my level 14 elemental shaman was sitting in Orgrimmar. I did a few quests outside the back gate to hit level 15. I hit the dungeon finder and got Deadmines. Turning in the quests after the run rewarded my second ding.

10x85:

Hunter 85
Deathknight 85
Rogue 85
Priest 85
Warlock 84
Mage 84
Druid 84
Warrior 61
Paladin 58
Shaman 17

Friday, September 30, 2011

Nine Times the Fun

I managed to get my druid to 84, giving me nine shots at Direbrew. I did heal the first two or three dungeon runs, but I switched over to boomkin for questing. I queued up as DPS while zipping through Hyjal and Deepholm, and managed to hit 84 about halfway through the latter. The last bad pug I had on this toon was one of my last Wrath runs in Hall of Lightning.

After clearing the first boss and the last platform before going through the furnace area, the tank and one of the DPS ran up the ramp to the other side of the room and pulled the rest of the trash. They both dropped group. The tank had seemed a little squishy, but he wasn't very hard to heal because I had started collecting Cataclysm greens for my druid earlier. Between those greens and the heirlooms, I was overpowered for almost anything. Fortunately the remaining two DPS took the same route, and we easily survived the attempted wipe.

While we were waiting for replacements, I looked up the asshats on the armory and wasn't the least bit shocked at what I saw. Three quarters of the gear the tank was wearing was either PvP gear or INT gear. The DPS was mostly PvP. Go figure. We got a real tank and DPS in short order, and quickly finished the run. I dinged 80 and left Northrend on another toon.



10x85:

Hunter 85
Deathknight 85
Rogue 85
Priest 85
Warlock 84
Mage 84
Druid 84
Warrior 60
Paladin 58
Shaman 0

Monday, September 26, 2011

Brewfest

I took a few years, but I finally got a Brewfest mount on my main! I managed to level my warlock and mage to 84 so they could take part in the Direbrew loot piƱata. With a total of 8 characters doing daily runs (I have an 85 paladin and druid on another account), I've also gotten 4 of the new Tankard o'Terror and a dagger on a character that can't use it.

I healed a few Cataclysm dungeon runs on my druid for the first time, and they were mostly good experiences. When I entered the first one, the group was on the second boss. The level 85 warrior was tanking as fury, but I didn't have too much trouble keeping him up and things were dying pretty quick. He was, however, one of those tanks that goes so far ahead of the group that it's almost impossible to loot. I hate that.

My second run was with a "normal" group, and it went better even though we had a wipe. On the last pair of Faceless Watchers I got caught in both of their pummels and died in about three seconds, followed shortly by everyone else. The rest of the run went smoothly, but I managed to die at the end somehow. With my dungeon upgrades and new gear from my leatherworking rogue, I changed over to my boomkin spec and did some questing in Hyjal. I queued as DPS while I was questing, and got into another Blackrock Caverns.

The first boss was already dead, again. We had a wipe on Corla, and what seemed to be a sure wipe on Karsh. The tank made a bad pull and the boss came with the first conflag. We tried running up the ramp to reset him after the tank died, but after a few minutes of trying we decied to just kill him. I b-rezzed the tank and helped heal. We got him down and the rest of the run was uneventful.


10x85:

Hunter 85
Deathknight 85
Rogue 85
Priest 85
Warlock 84
Mage 84
Druid 81
Warrior 57
Paladin 58
Shaman 0

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Weekend Is Over Already?

I spent Friday night using up the last bit of rested bonus on my mage and getting replacements for the heirloom gear after hitting 80. Between the quest rewards and tailoring items, the only thing I'm lacking would be trinkets. It seems like they sped up the leveling in the Cataclysm zones as well; I hit 81 in Hyjal just after the first flamegate. My warlock hit 82 just before starting the quests where you are disguised as a Twilight Cultist. For some reason I seem to remember it taking longer the first time I did it. The two now have a high enough item level to get into pug runs, so when I return to them I'll be able to do that.

The few hours of free time I had this weekend revolved around those two with nothing terribly exciting happening. My druid is getting close to Cataclysm content, and my two tanks are either at or almost at BC level. I'm going to boost my warrior or PvP him up to 58 and start tanking pugs again.

10x85:

Hunter 85
Deathknight 85
Rogue 85
Priest 85
Warlock 82
Mage 81
Druid 78
Warrior 57
Paladin 58
Shaman 0 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Really?!?

Most of the PuGs this week have gone quite well. There have been occasional hiccups where I’ve zoned into dungeons already in progress and expected a bad run, only to have everything move along without any problems. The vast majority of runs have been populated by people being nice and having fun. It has been great from a gameplay perspective, but it doesn’t leave me with anything to rant about here.

I did spend a good fifteen minutes in the DPS queue on my mage, only to zone into The Oculus where I had to wait another ten minutes to get a full party. When I got there, the first boss was dead and the rest of the party was at the drake cages. By the time I had gotten to them, the healer had dropped. Then the tank dropped group. After a minute another DPS dropped. I mounted my bronze drake and waited with the other DPS.

After the long wait we were rewarded with a healer that mounted another bronze drake. We suggested that he would be better served on a green one and he swapped it out. Our new tank had done this one several times in a row, and the last DPS had never run this particular dungeon. What could have been a horrible experience was instead fun and a helpful learning experience for the DPS that hadn’t been here before. We stayed grouped together for another random run after we easily downed Eregos. We breezed through Gundrak before I had to call it a night.

On my druid, I hit the jackpot. In my party was the stereotypical WoW jackass. It was a deathknight named Blood (with special characters in place of the o’s). He was not the tank. He pulled the first group of mobs before we even got the preliminary buffs out. During pulls, he would either death grip more adds or death grip one of the pack the tank was trying to round up. I don’t know why the tank didn’t say anything, but I stopped healing his stupid. He managed to stay alive, and when he let the tank initiate the pulls I started healing him again. I figured that he learned his lesson.

I was wrong.

When we got to the Maiden of Grief, he rushed in a got aggro on the boss. The tank managed to pull the boss off him before he died, and he must have used death strikes to get his health back up because I wasn’t about to heal him. When the bad stuff hit the floor, I popped hots on the entire melee – including the jackass. The tank pulled the boss out of the bad and to my surprise the jackass didn’t continue to stand in the bad. He did, however, back up and death grip the boss.

I let him die. I had given him a battle rez earlier in the run before I comprehended the totality of his jackassiness. The tank didn’t taunt the boss back. I guess he had finally had enough as well. After we drop the boss, I rez the jackass and we move on. He manages to pull agro on the last few mobs before the final boss, but is able to stay alive without my healing him. The intellect plate pants drop off the final boss and everyone rolls greed (no disenchanters on this run). One of the other DPS wins the roll. In chat the jackass says “give them to me”. The DPS that won just \lol’s at him and drops group. I resist the urge to verbally abuse him, and just silently thank him for making it easy to add him to my ignore list.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ding! x2

I finally got around to hitting 85 on my priest and rogue this weekend. The priest was pretty easy, all it took was the daily fishing and cooking quests to put her over the top. The rogue to a bit more, as I still had about 65% left to go. With SotA as the weekend battleground, I managed to get some easy victories. It seems that if the horde doesn't get to the relic, they just give up. One time I managed to make it all the way to the relic chamber and click on the relic without getting attacked by a single opposing player!

I actually don't mind playing my rogue in PvP mode, mainly because I have some control in when I'm going to be in combat. I must admit to much guilty pleasure in killing off Horde rogues while they have their attention on attacking another player! I compared the XP and honor/valor gained by doing PvP versus PvE random runs, and I gain more doing random dungeons than battlegrounds after the first battleground win. I out of the six dungeon runs, I only saw Stonecore and Vortex Pinnacle.

One Vortex run, the tank was completely new to tanking, allegedly, and made for an interesting run. No one got mad or rage quit, and we slowly made our way through. I was able to vanish on most of the wipes and save myself a little repair bill. We had 3 CCer's, but he didn't seem to notice. Several times he attacked either my sapped target or the mage's sheeped one. The hunter didn't even bother after his first frozen target was hit by the tank. The healer was nearly OOM after every big pull, and an inspection of the tank showed little to no tank gear - it was almost all DPS gear.

We discussed his gearing choices and resources he could get info via friendly chat, and it wasn't a show stopper unlike my first run of Vortex. After the first few pulls, the tank said that it wouldn't work with this healer and to kick him (the tank). This was followed immediately by recriminations by the healer, after which they both dropped group. Whe the other DPS and I were waiting for a new tank and healer, I checked the armory on the healer. Now I know what the tank saw. I don't play a holy paladin, but I don't think you can do very well as a healer with a combination of PvP DPS gear and PvE tank gear. It might work in pre-Cata runs, but not past level 80. I think he had one piece of INT gear and less mana than the paladin tank.

My last run of the night turned into a non-run. I zoned into the Stonecore. While still waiting on the other DPS to zone in, I noticed that the tank was the same "new" tank from one of my Vortex runs earlier in the day. I say allegedly "new" to tanking, because there was just something "off" about this guy. I don't know if he was honestly just learning, real young, or just trolling. Earlier I could only inspect about half of his gear in the UI. I also noticed that I couldn't seem to use Tricks of the Trade on him during my previous run. I had no issues with any other tanks, only him. I still could only inspect about half his stuff before the UI stopped popping up info, and again only on him. I don't know if there's an add-on that can block your stats from other players, but it just seemed weird to me. We were still sitting at the entrance five minutes later waiting for the last DPS to zone in, and the tank wanted the group to kick him, which they couldn't do because to the timer.

I finally got fed up with the antics and dropped group. I spent the deserter debuff doing archaeology, and filled the last two XP bars that way. The "noob" tank joined the PvP healer on my ignore list, and I logged out of my latest level 85 character.

10x85:
Hunter 85
Deathknight 85
Rogue 85
Priest 85
Warlock 80
Mage 79
Druid 76
Warrior 55
Paladin 58
Shaman 0

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Summer's End

The last wekend of the summer was spent mostly traveling for a cookout with my family and a birthday/going away party with my wife's family. I took off Tuesday for a longer holiday weekend, but I didn't spend very much time playing. The weekend call to arms was Warsong, and I pretty much hate that battleground. I only did one, and even though we won I didn't enjoy it. I did a random on Tuesday, and after a lopsided loss in EotS and a confusing loss in Alterac I managed to get a win in a pretty quick Alterac match.

I don't think I can do more PvP than trying for a win on a daily random as I don't really enjoy it at all. I went back to healing PuGs and did six of the seven for the week. All that XP, plus a new set of bracers to boot! I did the Stormwind daily fishing and cooking quests, which pushed me up to level 75. The previous night I powerleveled jewelcrafting using supplies from my army of alts. I was going to finish and max it out, but mother nature had other plans.

We were just finishing dinner, when we heard a loud bang and the lights went out. I looked outside and saw something odd in the middle of the road. Closer inspection revealed it to be an insulator used to keep the power lines separate and supported on the main steel cable between the poles. There was another one on the ground, and a trail of them up and down the street. Further down the street, I could see a tree had fallen taking out the power lines and a parked car. Fortunately there were no injuries.

We had a supply of flashlights and candles and such from the hurricane prep last month, but there would be no WoW that night. After being serenaded to sleep by the dulcet tones of the neighbors generators and the power company's chainsaws, the lights came back on around 4 AM. Say what you will about the power company, they've been doing one heck of a job lately. After the hurricane, more than a million people were without power, and they manged to get it resolved rather quickly. They manged to get power restored to my street in little over eight hours, in the dark during a storm. Epic win in my opinion.

10x85:
Hunter 85
Deathknight 85
Rogue 84
Priest 84
Warlock 78
Mage 75
Druid 75
Warrior 55
Paladin 54
Shaman 0

Monday, August 29, 2011

After the Storm

We managed to make it through the hurricane without any issues, although there are several places in my town and the surrounding area where the wind took down trees and the runnoff flooded and washed out several roads.

10x85 Standings:

Hunter 85

Deathknight 85

Rogue 84

Priest 84

Warlock 78

Mage 75

Druid 73

Warrior 55

Paladin 54

Shaman 0

The PVP leveling is nice to break things up a bit, but it gets tedious quickly for me. I may just do a random battleground daily for the bonus and then go back to PUGs, questing, or boosting during the week. I did like the gains I made during the Call to Arms weekend, but I don't really enjoy PVP all that much.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Week in Rearview

I didn't get as much time to play this week as I would have liked, but I did get some quality time in the battlegrounds for my mage and druid. Even my lock got a little PvP done.  I managed to finish leveling my deathknight by leveling my archaeology. I'm still running Northrend dailies to pick up the last few peices of heirloom gear, along with the Firelands dalies on my main during the week.


10x85 status:

Night Elf Hunter (main) 85

Human Death Knight 85
Night Elf Rogue 84

Night Elf Priest 84

Gnome Warlock 77

Human Mage 75

Worgen Druid 72

Tauren Paladin 50

Worgen Warrior 49

Undecided Shaman 0 (currently throwaway bank mule)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Rainy Days and Mondays...

I've run a bunch of LFD pugs on my Paladin, with most of the groups being pretty decent. The occasional DPS that pulls is the exception instead of the rule. As I approached level 50, I decided to try a little PvP to shake things up. I'm not a PvPer, but I might change that up a bit. I'm not going to do more battlegrounds because it's something I really enjoy, but because it breaks things up from running the same dungeon over and over. It also seems to be the best way to acquire gear for level 85 unless Blizz stops being stingy with the Justice Points for WoTLK content. Why do Utgarde Keep seven times for 84 JP when one battleground will give the equivalent in honor on the weekend?

I will more than likely use the battlegrounds a lot more on my DPS toons because of the shorter queue. The LFG queues are just so damn long on them. I even ran a bunch of battlegrounds on my druid healer to test the waters. It was a lot more fun than several of the LFD runs, which had tanks who felt the need to speed pull through leveling dungeons. Maybe I'm just cranky and the only one who wants to loot or meet a quest objective. It's not fun for me as heals or DPS to have the tank out of line of sight and pulling the next group when I pause for a second to loot. The last few have been so bad that I can't find a pause to ask them to slow down. I guess I need to make a macro or just let them die once or twice. I don't feel like making a macro, so I guess it'll be the latter. At least as DPS in those situations, I have the luxury of not needing to be right back in action. Meh.

Looking at my roster, I did make some progress over the past two weeks on my 10x85 project:

Night Elf Hunter (main) 85

Human Death Knight 84

Night Elf Rogue 84

Night Elf Priest 84

Gnome Warlock 77

Human Mage 72

Worgen Druid 68

Tauren Paladin 50

Worgen Warrior 49

Undecided Shaman 0 (currently throwaway bank mule)

I will most likely do the 7 weekly LFD pugs on my tanks and healers just to keep in practice and for the bonus XP and gear, but I'll be doing a lot more battlegrounds on weekends to cap my honor and JPs. I'm still trying to decide what race to roll as my shammy, leaning towards a Goblin though because I don't have one on this server on any of my three accounts.




Monday, August 1, 2011

Holy Cow

I spent the past week mainly leveling a new Tauren paladin. I decided to try and have one of each class on my main account, which meant deleting my level 23 Troll druid. The only other Horde character I had on the server was another lowbie on one of my other accounts. I ended up deleting my 73 Ally deathknight and rerolled as an Orc. The deathknights' purpose is two-fold: acting as an AH mule and boosting through some content to finish quests and gear drops from dungeons.

I'm leveling this paladin as protection-spec, trying to use the LFD. I sent my DPS plate heirlooms to my new deathknight (you can use the mailbox in village in the phased starting area) and quickly got through the initial area, arriving in Orgrimmar just shy of level 60. I few down to the neutral AH and transferred some gold to my new mule.

The first thing I did after creating my new paladin was to mail my tanking gear, along with a one-handed and two-handed heirloom weapon. I used the two-hander for questing and the one-handed for tanking. WTB an heirloom shield - there was nothing on the Horde auction house, and the quest drop was pitiful. I managed to transfer one over via the neutral auction house without it getting snatched up. I quested up to level 15 rather quickly getting extra XP from the heirlooms, mining, and herbing. I made my way over to Orgrimmar and took up fishing and cooking for the daily quests.

I queued up and instantly got the LFD window. Ragefire went pretty smooth, and we finished with no problems. I used my booster/mule to run through a few more times to get a specific drop. I started to queue for a specific dungeon (Deadmines) to pick up a few more drops and because I knew it inside and out. The first run was interesting, as I zoned in to a dead first boss. It seems the last tank did not have a protection spec, sucked horribly, and was either booted or dropped group. We proceeded to finish the run without any problems. I re-queued again to pick up the quests, and had another run without any real issues.

I picked up my level 20 class quest, and boosted myself through Shadowfang Keep with my deathknight. I got a nice shield drop, but there was no way I could wear it with the Ally lion on it. BOA shield ASAP please!

On Friday I queued and got Wailing Caverns. Everything was going well until we dropped the first boss. I found myself sitting in the dark as the power went out. I went upstairs and watched the storm outside - lightning, thunder, massive wind, torrential rain. I later found out there was a funnel cloud spotted less than a mile from my house! the power eventually came back on, and I logged onto my main and ran a raid on Bastion of Twilight.

We did pretty well considering that the raid group was mainly ungeared alts. Between the nerfs and the experience of the raid lead, we one-shot our way through with one wipe on Captain Planet. We made several good attempts on Cho'gal, getting him to 80k on our best attempt. Considering that most of the raid had never done the fight before, and our melee heavy group it was pretty good.



The rest of the weekend was spent on the paladin. I tanked a successful run of wailing caverns, which is now much more linear than it used to be. I queued up again and got Stockades. The horde is left out in the cold as far as quests go there, like it was for my other non-Horde toons in Ragefire. I queued up again and got Blackfathom Deeps. I zoned in and we were already past the first boss, so my spider-sense was tingling.

We make our way to the second boss, and I notice the hunter pulling. I don't say anything, but I also don't help him. I figure if you're going to pull it, you can tank it. I just keep it in my sight in case it pulls off to the healer. We drop Gelihast, and start making our way up the hill. As we're moving along, I'm healing myself more than the healer is. He starts typing a "knock-knock" joke as we go, ending with "who's there", "not me" and dropping group. I added the ass to my ignore list and queued a replacement. One of the DPS had gone on ahead and gotten killed. One day he'll learn not to pull without a healer. Today was not that day.

We get a druid healer, buff up, and continue. We make it to the next Kelris, and I'm trying to control the pulls so we don't get swamped with adds. I have one AOE spell at my level, and it's on a 2 minute cool-down. I pull the boss, figuring that I can handle him and the two adds that are still up. I most likely would have had no problem, except the druid also lights one of the torches spawning a set of water elementals. We wipe.

We zone back in, and I say in chat that I have no real AOE at my level and to please let me initiate the pulls. We get back to the boss room, and I sneak around behind and grab the water elementals. I bring them back and we burn them down. We also burn down the last add that was walking around the room, and I ask the druid if he is going to heal or stay in kitty form for the rest of the fight. He shape-shifts back and says he'll heal. I pull the boss, and he lights the rest of the torches causing mass chaos and another wipe. I yell at him in chat and someone initiates a kick, which quickly passes. One of the idiot DPS also drops group. A new DPS zones in on me in the boss room (I ran back), another DPS drops. The last DPS is in another zone for almost 5 minutes. I let the new DPS now just what kind of fools he's playing with and re-queue us.

We get a mage and a priest, and the last DPS finally comes back. The mage kites some of the adds, while we focus down the rest. We continue on and drop the final boss. I still have some unfinished quests, so I grab my deathknight and run it again. Hopefully the next time I queue up, I won't get so many asshats.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer Vacation

I spent very little time in Azeroth this week as I was too busy being lobsterfied at the shore. Most of the time not at the beach was spent getting sand from said beach off of and out of various parts of myself. I did bring my laptop with me, and one night when everyone else turned in fairly early I logged on.

I ran a few pugs on my 30ish druid tank. I don't tank very often lately, and it takes me a little bit to get into the groove. I really hate it when an overzealous DPS or healer decides to pull more. I usually let them get pretty low on health before I pull them off just out of spite. I don't get what the "gogogo" attitude is about, especially with DPS. Are you in a hurry to wait another 1/2 hour to get in to another run? Even the queue for heals is running around 10 minutes. After a few runs in Razorfen and SM and adding more names to my ignore list, I logged onto a mage and hit the queue.

I got The Nexus, and things seemed to start off ok. The tank liked to get way ahead of everyone all the time, and that did eventually cost us a wipe. We had just finished Telestra. The tank ignored the two optional pulls and started in on the group on the left. Just as the patrol joined the fray, the deathknight nooblet managed to pull both optional groups with him. They peeled off him as soon as we went past the healer, turning him into a stain on the floor. The tank and the rest of us followed shortly thereafter.

We came back in and I think the healer went AFK for a few minutes at that point. We made our way to Anomalus and lost the DKto a D/C along the way. Someone eventually kicked him before we got to the boss. As we started the pull, either the healer or one of the DPS spammed "don't kill the rifts" and "let’s get the achievement" before we let them know that was for heroic runs only. After the boss dropped, I guess the tank had had enough and left the group.

We get a new tank and almost get through the run without any problems. The healer needs another AFK before the last boss, but instead of going into Keristraza's room he stays in the outside hallway. Eventually a patrolling mob makes him go splat. After we're all done laughing about that, we drop the boss and my WoW withdrawal has been satisfied for the rest of my vacation.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weekend Update

Nothing terribly exciting this weekend. I did level up a few more alts, reaching the Lifebloom milestone on one of my druids. I find druid healing through Burning Crusade content to be rather non-stressful. Before you get Lifebloom, it's just Rejuve and Nourish with the occasional Swiftmend and Wild Growth if things get pear-shaped. Once you get Lifebloom, keeping that and Rejuve on the tank is almost all that is needed. Adding free Regrowths when Omen of Clarity pops is the norm. Removing debuffs along the way when I can, it's pretty much ez-mode.

Once in a while you know you're going to be in for an exciting run. Not necessarily good exciting, but exciting none the less. As I zoned in, the tank exclaimed "finally, a good healer". At first I thought that I may have run with this particular paladin and appreciated the comment, but as he continued on with "last healer was a suck priest" and "I love druid healers" I realized I’ve never played with this tank before. This would be my first and last run with this tank.

We progress with no problems to the room with the first boss of Mana Tombs. He pulls the boss with half of the adds still alive, so they all come running. I manage to HOT up everyone before they all kill me dead, and they are able to kill everything and keep from wiping. After being rezzed by the tank, we continue on.

We come to the room with 2 mobs that fear, and the tank feels the need to pull the entire room. We get fear-bombed and eventually wipe. We run back in (by we I mean me and two of the DPS) and finish clearing the room with a more sensible pull. The tank disconnects. While we are waiting, we manage to clear most of the trash in the next room via CC, careful pulling,  and some well played DPS. I finally initiated a kick after it becomes clear that the tank isn't coming back. I also make sure to add him to my ignore list. We get a new tank and finish the run without any further issues. We even requeue and do another run.

I also did a run as a tank for a change. I recently got another piece of heirloom gear to complete the leather tank/DPS set, so I queued up on yet another druid (at least this one is a Worgen for a change). I get my most favorite dungeon, Gnomer. We get to the first ledge, jump down, and kill the first boss. After we make our way to the hallway down, between my tunnel vision from not having played a tank in a while and a WTF moment on the healer, I almost cause a wipe. I'm fighting the first pack down the hall, and I see my health steadily dropping. I finish the pull with about 1% health left.

I notice that the healer and one of the DPS are not in the immediate vicinity. It turns out that they are in the "safe zone" area using the machines to clean off the crappy drops that almost every mob drops in the run. It would have been nice to know that was where they were going, but I should have checked we were all there and ready before I pulled. We finish the run without further incident.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Northrend in the Summertime

I've managed to get a few more toons into Northrend and closer to Cataclysm content. It does sometimes get confusing as to which quests on which toons I'm on. I mainly have a set routine for starting Northrend. At level 68 I say goodbye to Outland and return to Stormwind to pick up Cold Weather Flying and any Wrath gear my profession stable can make. Between having almost all the heirlooms and all max level professions, I usually only "need" the blue quest rewards and dungeon drops to be completely uber-powered.

After I sail off from Stormwind, I'll do the quests around the keep and the ones around Riplash Strand and Farshire before heading off to Kaskala. I'll do the daily quest and take the turtle to Dragonblight, pick up the flight point, and take the other turtle to Kamagua. After getting the flight point, I'll swing by Westguard to get the flight point there as well. I'll fly over to Valgarde to pickup the breadcrumb quest "Fresh Legs" and get the Utgarde Keep quests. If I'm not 70 by then, a few quests in Valgarde usually takes care of that.

If I'm on a DPS toon I'll queue for a random while I take the flight to Dalaran, otherwise I'll queue after I've done my level 70 class training. While waiting, I make my way back to Borean Tundra to get started on the quests for the Nexus. After a few runs in Utgarde and the Nexus, my next stop is Azjol-Nerub. I usually forget to pick up the quests for Azjol-Nerub until after I've run it once. Sometimes I get luck and someone shares it, other times I have to get over there to pick it up myself.

Over the weekend I went from Blackrock Depths to Outland on my druid healer. The BRD run was pretty good. Since I've spent a lot of time in there I was able to assist the tank with where to go, which is a good thing when you have it near the end of Vanilla levels - the random ends with the last boss and not the quick boss. We did have a leech rogue, who I noticed wasn't participating but was rolling on drops. I asked in party chat if they we're planning on joining us during the run and didn't receive an answer. I initiated a kick as soon as the timer allowed, and we picked up a hunter and finished off the run.

My next random was in Blackrock Spire, and I was following what I thought was the tank up the ramp to the quest giver. It turns out that it wasn't and they pulled a pat which made me go splat. After that grand entrance, we proceeded along nicely. We had a hiccup at one of the Troll bosses when the tank pulled the entire room. With me and several others hexed, we wiped. We managed to kill most of the adds though, so after we ran back in it was smooth sailing.

We proceeded to complete LBRS, which was extremely long and yet extremely fun. I fired up my other computer and multi-boxed/boosted my druid and another toon through UBRS to finish off the quests and push my druid to level 58 so I could move to Outland. I boosted the druid to 60 in Ramparts and picked up a few drops for her and the other toon (feral druid).

I mailed the heirlooms to another druid on another account, and did a few last Outland runs before heading off to Northrend. I did my previously mentioned route as a boomkin, and healed a few UK runs. I also leveled one of my mages from 68 to 71 the same way. My last run in UK on my mage wasn't too bad, but the tank seemed to feel the need to move at ludicrous speed, leaving us all behind on almost every pull.

FYI tanks, if I need to loot or regain mana/focus/whatever I'm going to do so. If I'm healing, I might throw a HOT on you. I know there are "gogogo" DPS out there and it gets to be quite stressful, but you control the run speed - not them. Just before heading to Northrend, I was on a CoT pug with my mage. The tank wasn't familiar with the run, and there was a rogue that decided to start pulling the second the dragon landed with the tank still in flight. If I were healing the run, he would have been dead several times. Even with all the mobs he was attacking, I still did three times the damage he did. Plus I didn't almost die every pull. Let the tank pull, and if the tank is too slow for you then feel free to get back in the DPS queue - I can assure you that your wait will be longer. When I tank, if a DPS pulls that stunt I call them on it. If they continue with the asshattery, I let them tank it and die before I taunt the mob back. If you get a group that wants to sprint through and can keep up, then by all means sprint away. If you find yourself alone with a room full of mobs, perhaps you need to slow down a bit.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Catching Up

 I'm finally back after a few weeks of really busy times at work. I was able to progress through the new dailies with my main without missing any days since the patch dropped, and I was able to get some drops from Ahune on some of my alts. I did, however, decide to take a few days off from work last week to have a five-day weekend to recharge my batteries.

I spent a lot of time on my main, doing the full 25 daily quests per day. This netted me another piece of heirloom gear from the Argent tourny vendor, a nice ring from the new Firelands faction, and exalted status with both my guild and Therazane. I also leveled up my healing druids through pugs with varying results. Same with a few of my mages.

Most of the runs were great. The tanks weren't idiots, and even if they didn't know the run (Such as the Durnhold Keep CoT one), they let the others know and we helped as best we could with explanations.

And then there were the idiots.

If you are pugging a run, there are a few ground rules you should follow. It's not cool or leet to not give your fellow puggers a chance to loot or regain mana by either chain pulling the entire run of a leveling dungeon. This isn't a max-level heroic, where the quicker you finish the quicker you can run another one for more badges. Pulling a boss when I'm low mana and giving a snarky comment after I ask for a second out of combat so I can replenish my mana is going to put you on my ignore list. There's a million other tanks out there - I don't need to waste my time with assholes like you.

Don't queue to tank after level 30 if you don't have a tank spec. There's a reason for the spec, and dual-spec training is dirt cheap. Don't be the pally trying to tank in holy spec in a mid-60 level dungeon. You will get kicked. If you don't know how to do it, do some research. Take five minutes and Google it at a minimum. Please.

Don't go AFK during scripted events (I did quite a few CoT runs). To this tank's credit, he did stay after we all asked him not to AFK just before the last waves and boss of Durnhold. If you are healing a run, don't drop in the middle of the event as well. Don't drop group in combat either. These weren't disconnects, they just dropped group. That makes you an asshole. I've had to drop out of groups in progress, but never while in combat or without letting the group know. It's just common courtesy.

During a pug run,  I don't want to hear how drunk/high you are, nor do I want to listen to any sexist/racist crap. If you do the former,  I will initiate a kick you if you are not performing and you will make my ignore list. If you do the latter not only will I initiate a kick, but I will leave if the kick fails. Either way you will make my ignore list and I will report your actions to a GM. There are too many other people to spend my time with, I don't have to waste it on assholes.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tanks for the Memories

First off, just a comment to all those who tank the leveling dungeons. Most of you do a damn fine job, and I thank you very much. Some of you have some issues. I'm not talking about stuff like not knowing exactly what to do. I had a tank in Blackrock Caverns who wasn't very familiar with the place. It may have even been his first time there. He didn't know how to tank Steelbender. He did, however, take the advice given on how the pull should be done. And the advice was given nicely, even after we wiped the first time. The rest of the run was successful.

The issues I have with some tanks are the severe attitude problems that come from being a dick. I was in Zul'Farrak with my baby druid healer. The tank was at the high end of the level range, and pulled like an idiot. There was no time to loot anything, because if you stopped for a second, he was already off the mini-map. Several of us tried to ask him to slow down, but it was ignored. He also seemed to enjoy stroking his epeen and telling us how awesome he was.

During the gauntlet after releasing the prisoners, he jumped down into the mass of mobs and pulled them all. By using everything in my meager healing abilities, I was able to keep the jackass alive. Once the gauntlet was over and the prisoners were killed, he did a "gotta go" and dropped. If he did that while we were still in combat, it would have gotten his name posted up here. He was still a dick though, and I won't be healing him ever again. The replacement tank did a fine job, and we killed and looted everything else.

In other news, there must have been some guild drama when I was away. Several long-time raiders left the guild. The raid teams were also reorganized. I don't seem to have a spot any longer, which surprised me. It may work out well because of the upcoming summer months and various family obligations I have which are not very compatible to raiding, but it still saddened me a bit. I liked the people that left, and I really liked raiding with them.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Living Up to the Name

While my pugging has been going extremely well, I did run into an asshat last night. I was in the middle of a Violet Hold run that was going nicely. We had just finished the last wave of mobs before the second boss. The boss is released, and the tank leaves the party. We wipe. The new group lead re-queues us, and one of the other DPS drops group. Then the healer drops. The other DPS comments on how much of an asshat the tank was for dropping, then drops group.

I know the healer can get a quick queue, but why on earth would a DPS drop group? The wait time was anywhere from 12 to 30 minutes? I noticed that I was still queued. Thirty seconds later I was in a new group. I had to teleport out and back in to sync with them, and it was Violet Hold again. We proceeded to make quick work of the place, and because I had already completed almost two thirds of it previously I was very close to leveling.

I know there can be any number of reasons for someone to drop, but this wasn't a disconnect. There was also plenty of time before we got into combat to say "sorry, gotta go" and allow us to get out of dodge. I suspect that this person does this regularly, based solely on the actions and the name of the character.

Here's to you, Quiton - Blade's Edge. Thanks to you I was able to do one and two thirds dungeons in the time I would have normally done one and waited for the next one. It doesn't make you any less of a dick.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Elephants on Parade

The baby elephant from the D.E.H.T.A. quest hadn't despawned on my warlock yet, and it looks like a common occurrence. Every pug I've run for over a week has had at least two others with the same bug. I'm hoping for a run where all five of us have the elephant, as that would make a hilarious screenshot. The elephant disappears after a dungeon, but it's back again after a relog. Since my main is a gnome, the elephant completely covers my toon most of the time and it looks like death and destruction is shooting from the elephant's trunk!

I sent a bunch of time on my alts this week, and they've been leveling quite nicely without any pug issues. I did have a few issues on my Worgen druid. I was healing a run through Scholomance where the hunter was a bit trigger happy and/or ran into the next room and face-pulled some mobs. I managed to keep everyone alive, but just barely. The hunter did keep apologizing for the pulls and pulling aggro, but kept doing it anyway. About half-way through the drake room, the tank suddenly drops group. The hunter dropped a few seconds later. We got replacements rather quickly and continued on.

The new tank didn't know the dungeon, but we were able to guide her where to go easily enough. the rest of the run went smoothly until just before the final boss. In the room chock full of undead, the tank managed to pull the entire room and died before I could catch up on heals. I managed to get a battle-rez up and kept myself and the others healed though the resulting chaos.

Back on my shadow priest, I was able to score some cheap Cataclysm greens off the auction house. I have a set of the new level 80 cloth gear to replace my heirlooms when I hit 80, but these were level 79 greens that were above and beyond anything that came out in Wrath and filled out a few of the non-heirloom slots quite nicely. I also finally hit level 2 on my alt guild, and my main's guild just hit 25 this week as well! I don't know if there will be any raiding this week due to the holiday, but I will most likely spend some time on my main doing the new Troll dungeons. 

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Getting Back Into the Groove

While on vacation, I had brought two laptops with me so the other members of my family could check their emails and such. My wife has also replaced her morning smoke with Pogo games while drinking her first cup of coffee in the morning, so I had to make sure to have that available for her. I did attempt to logon to WoW one night, but when I tried to logon the account was flagged and locked for suspicious behavior. They must really be stepping up the security monitoring, because I've played WoW from several different states over the years while traveling and I've never run into this. I do have an authenticator, so I feel this is a bit of overkill. Instead of going through the password change and whatever else needed for getting back online instantly, I sent them an email from the account registered to WoW and explained the situation to them - I was on vacation in FL, have an authenticator, and I don't want to change my password. By the time I got home from Universal Studios that evening, my account was unlocked with no further issues.

I was playing my warlock and restro druid this week, and the pugs went pretty smoothly. I like the change in the LFG reward system. I normally play one character though all the rested state and then let them sit until the next week. Sometimes if they are close to leveling, I play them until they reach the next level, which usually involves more questing than pugging. Instead of getting only one reward per week, I'm usually getting at least three on my DPS toons and all seven on my healer/tank toons.

With all the pugging, I still haven't run into any real drama. There was one run through Dire Maul where a huntard (my raiding main is a hunter, this was a huntard) seemed to need every drop and started the run pulling instead of the tank. The tank asked him nicely not to pull, and he stopped. Mostly.

On my alts, I don't really care about whatever gear that drops. I have them decked out in all the heirlooms save the ring. I have alts with maxed out professions that can make stuff to fill in the other slots. If I get an upgrade on a LFG pug, I consider it a happy bonus. I rarely roll need unless it's an upgrade for one of my heals or tanks. If I'm on my dps and an item drops that a healer or tank will get better use from I'll roll greed. After watching the huntard roll need on everything and how they were specced and playing, I figured they player as either really new or very young, or both. I think everybody else did as well, since nobody called him on it. It wasn't worth calling him on it as nothing of any real consequence dropped, and nobody else needed anything.

I plan on running my warrior tank tonight, and I haven't played him for almost a month. So a rusty tank going into the LFG may give me some fodder for the blog, but I really prefer not having anything to write about.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Back from Margaritaville

I got back from vacation and the only thing WoW related that I did was update my add-ons and WoW itself. The next day I pugged a bit on my shadow priest, and they went pretty smooth. I managed to hit 75, and made my way to Dalaran to pick up the Violet Hold quest. I got in on my last pug, and it started a little iffy.

The bear tank seemed to have real issues holding aggro, and the mage finally called him on it after pulling the mobs off him for the nth time. I was constantly having to fade or stop dps myself. I quick look on recount was showing the tank putting out less than 500 DPS, and as the mage and the tank started going back and forth I had doubts as to getting the quest done.

The bear bets the mage that he can't pull the next boss off him, and to his credit he managed to keep the boss on him. He also started putting out better DPS and threat, which he kept up for the rest of the run. I turned in my quest, and sent the heirlooms off to my mage.

I've been having a lot of fun on my frost mage, and this was no exception. My first run was to zone into a LBRS run already in progress. We tore through the run, and I dinged 59 at some point. I queued up again, and found myself at Hellfire Ramparts. With DPS ranging one to two levels higher than me, I figured I would be at the bottom of the damage meter.

I feel that mages are a bit OP, as I topped the chart by a considerable amount. The tank had a very good handle on keeping aggro with bigger and bigger pulls, which let me blizzard like a madman. On the few mobs that pulled off I either has built up fingers of frost/frostfire proccs or the tank taunted them back. After the run, I went to Outland and ran the quest chain to get the Ramparts quest. I queued up again, and proceeded to tear up Ramparts. This tank wasn't as capable of managing groups, so I either toned down the DPS or used a few tricks to keep the mob(s) off me when I pulled aggro. I dinged 60 on the last boss and ported back to Stormwind.

I spent some time leveling up my tailoring to get some useable items for my level, and then went back to Outland to turn in my quests. I was killing\skinning some hogs while queued and got Ramparts once more. Another quick run and I was almost at 61! I continued killing\skinning hellboars for that last little bit. If it wasn't so late I would have stayed online and gotten another level - I'm really digging this toon.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Uldaman

I queued up on my level 40 druid to heal a random after swapping my talents around after the latest patch changes. I ported into Uldaman, picked up the quests, and caught up to the rest of the party already in combat with a few troggs. The run went pretty smooth, although the tank liked to charge off out of range every now and then. I didn't let anyone die, and between quests and killing I hit 41 at the end. Again with the nice and friendly people. Normally I would be raiding on Thursday night, but I'm going on vacation this weekend and most likely won't be playing WoW for a week.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Two toons, four levels

I logged onto my 55 frost mage and queued up. I zoned into a Blackrock Depths in the middle of a battle just outside of Golem Lord Argelmach. I guess the last half of this dungeon is just too much for some people, as I seem to get this pretty often. There aren't any problems at all on the run. I'm a few bars short of 56, so I do the Children's Week quests. I ding 56 with almost a full level of rested left, so I queue up again. Same dungeon, same spot.

Everything goes well until we hit the Grim Guzzler. The tank does so much AOE that he pulls too much and overwhelms the healer. Everybody dies, except me. I think I have perfected escaping from this place when things go sideways. Al the elites have died, so the regular mobs stop chasing me before I have to run too far. Things get slowed a bit when we lose a DPS and the tank has a hard time figuring out how to use the mole machine to get past the Grim Guzzler.

The rest of the run is mostly uneventful, and we continue on. I think the folks working on recount need to do a little more bug fixing, because at one point my DPS was around 768k. Even though things were dying pretty quick, I doubt my blizzard was critting for over 200k. I did manage to screenshot my recount numbers, but I'm having trouble getting a readable picture. I'm almost 57, so I head on over to the Swamp of Sorrows to quest for a bit.

If you haven't done the quests here since Cataclysm, you should make some time for it. I was the only player in the area, and must have been for some time because I snagged two rare spawns - Fingat and Captian Wyrmak. Between the launching from cannons and the new quest line in the non-instanced portion of Sunken Temple, the zone is a lot of fun. I hit 57 and before I knew it I had quested and killed though 58 without the rested bonus.

I ported home and mailed my heirlooms off to my 70 warlock. I queued up and did some questing. After a short wait, I entered Utgarde Keep. The run went pretty smooth, and recount showed a more reasonable amount of damage. It must just be the mage. I was questing along afterwards, and I was doing the quest where you have to kill Clam Master K. At least I thought I was. I always remember to save the wine bottle quest to pair it up, but I also always forget to turn in the quest needed to get the one to kill Mr. Clammy.

I kill a shark and get to the wine, and I start looking for Clam Master K. There is another character fighting him and getting hit by two sharks. As I'm targeting one of the sharks, I get an invite from the other player. I take out the sharks while the other player kills K. I didn't get credit for the kill, and I realize I'm not on that part of the quest chain yet. We share a laugh and I thank the other player for being so thoughtful. I turn in my quests, go back and kill K again, and hit 71.

Lately I've been able to play with some pretty nice peeps, although the illusion of an asshat-free WoW is shattered the moment the trade channel comes up

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Rogue Rage

Having used up the rested bonus on my shadow priest, I moved on to my next character - the rogue. I queued for a run and watched a little TV while waiting. The first run of the night was Vortex Pinnacle. I have only ever run this one on my hunter, so the melee fighting was going to be a new experience for me. I also haven't played my rogue in quite a while either. I picked up the quests and waited for the first pull.

The tank and healer were quite good, and we didn't need any crowd control until the big packs later in the run. The warlock even summoned us some 'lock cookies at the start! We did wipe on Asaad once, when the healer died, but we downed him on the next attempt. I really need to start reading the quests a bit better, as I forgot to loot the first boss for the quest item.

My next dungeon would break my streak of non-fail pugs. You know you're in trouble when you pop in the middle of a fight. I found myself in the middle of the first trash pull in Stonecore. The tank bites the dust on the next trash pack and we wipe because the healer was feared. Everything is uneventful after that. We down the first boss, and the agility trinket drops. I roll need, and so does the warrior. Guess who wins. I may be wrong, but why would a warrior need an agility trinket?

We continue on, and we almost get killed when the tank pulls too much trash. Then our agile warrior accidently face-pulls another pat and we do wipe. He also drops group. As we (the healer and I) are running back, I see the healer veering a little too close to a trash pack near the entrance. I pop into stealth as he pulls the mobs. He eventually dies, as the tank is still dead and waiting for a rez (again - I don't think he ever ran in), the other DPS has dropped, and I don't feel like taking any more durability loss for someone else's stupidity. I make my way down to where the tank is and the healer comes back in and is almost there when the tank announces that he has to leave - "my mom needs the computer, I have to leave after you rez me". If I was the healer I would not have been kind. I added the agile warrior and the tank to my ignore list and left the group.

I was only half-way to 83 at this point, so I headed back to Hyjal to continue questing while queued. I pick up where I left off at the last portal (where you have to fight the big turtle) and quest until the queue pops. Blackrock Caverns loads. We wipe once on Steelbender when the tank doesn't get him completely out of the fire, but other than that it went pretty smooth. The tank died several times before we killed Beauty, mainly because he would go out of range of the healer and pull packs of trash. Here's a note to tanks - when all the dps and the healer are way over yonder, it's not time to pull unless you enjoy repair bills.

We killed everything else, and then I was back to questing. I ended up finishing Hyjal completely, and didn't ding 83 until I killed about six mobs in Deepholm. I trained, repaired, and called it quits for the night.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I need to buy lottery ticket...

I wasn't going to have too much time to play on Monday night, but I figured I could get another level on my 73 shadow priest. I queued into Ahn'Kahet, and before I could say "hiya" someone shared the dungeon quest. We blew through the instance with nary a mistake or any kind of drama.

As I'm making my way from Stormwind to Dragonblight to turn in the quest, my second queue of the night pops and I'm standing in Azjol-Nerub. We proceed smoothly enough, although we almost run into trouble on Hadronox when the tank engages him before the adds were even slightly close to dead. The healer was a trooper and we had enough DPS to burn the boss down and then the adds. It turns out that it was the first time in the dungeon for the tank. We down Anub, and everyone throws out some thanks and nice job all.

I finally make it to the quest givers outside bugland, turn in my quest for Old Kingdom, and pick up the ones for Azjol. I queue up again and make my way to Dalaran. The queue puts me back in Old Kingdom for my third and final run of the night. I notice that the tank is the same one I had back in AN. Before the first pull I remind everyone to interrupt the spell-flingers, and we proceed to make our way to the first boss.

He drops easily enough, and for some reason the tank starts pulling the mobs outside on the ledge overlook the rest of the dungeon. I'm not complaining as I'm there for all the xp I can get. We make our way to the prince, and everyone goes up the main ramp without clearing the two add ramps. A friendly "over here" with a little map pinging gets things back on track.

We drop prince and the other two bosses without any issues, and I've reached 74. Three runs in a row, on a Monday night, with no drama, rudeness, AFK, or anything wrong. I should've started this blog years ago!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Weekend Update

This weekend was filled with a lot of real-life activities, with little spare time for WoW. I did some raiding on Friday, although we had to pug a few spots due to absent team members. We took down Magmaw, Omnomnom, and Maloriak. Our pug healer was able to pick up an upgrade, gratz! We made some attempts on Chimaeron. I spent some of Saturday getting the polymorph spell from the holiday vendors on my three mage alts. I logged onto my druid and hit the queue.

I zoned into the most bizarre SM Cathedral run I've ever done. The tank starts pulling a side at a time, and the priest DPS starts bringing over more adds. I'm thinking it's going to be a wipe, but we make it. the same thing happens on the upper level. I glance over at recount and notice the priest has done even less dps than me. WTF? The tank chain pulls into the cathedral, and we take on what seems to be the entire foyer. We clear out the wings and then drop the bosses. While waiting for the loot roll, I check out the spec on the priest, and she's a disc spec. I look over recount and see that while she did little to no dps, she healed just a bit more than I did. I was so confused after the run, I forgot to turn in the dungeon quest!

I ran Dire Maul on Sunday night on the same toon, and it wasn't too bad. The tank liked to outdistance the group, but it was manageable. I was almost out of mana at one point during a rather large pull, but I leveled up at a rather fortunate time. I mailed my heirlooms to my lowbie troll druid and picked up a few levels questing, as he's too low to queue yet. After that, I sent the cloak and trinkets to my shadow priest and queued up again.

The Old Kingdom loading screen appeared, and I knew that this one could be a pain even under the best of conditions. When I appeared before the first boss,  I knew it wasn't going to be nearly the best of conditions. The tank asks me in party chat how to get rid of the bosses shield, as they have been wiping several times. I explain about killing the add that spawns and causes the boss to become immune to damage. He pulls, dies rather quickly, and we wipe.

We run in again, buff up, he pulls. Things seem to be going ok. The guardian spawns, we start burning it down, tanks dies, and we wipe.

While I'm running in the tank gets in an argument over getting a rez. The healer drops group. We get another healer. We wipe one more time.

I decide to give it one more shot. We kill the boss. We make it down to the next level without pulling the patrol, and start clearing the trash. The tank tries to go up to Taldaram without clearing the two platforms, ignoring my advise about having to clear the platforms. We finally manage to get him over to the first platform. Just before the second one, the healer goes AFK with parent aggro. The tank still pulls, and we manage to burn down the mobs before he gets killed.

Our AFK healer drops group and we re-queue. The tank is about to pull the prince without a healer, "we got this, lulz", and my finger is hovering over the leave party icon when a new healer joins us. The tank pulls the boss just as the healer zones in. We manage to drop the Prince and move on. The tank, showing his lack of experience throughout, pulls haphazardly to Jedoga. We drop her and continue on to Volazi. We drop him and it's finally over. I decided to call it quits for the night.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Work is Hell

Of course the week I start a blog my workload goes crazy, and then I end up with no drama in my pugs to write about. I logged into my warlock on Wednesday, retrieved my heirlooms from my mailbox, and took the boat to Northrend. I queued up for a random and started doing some quests. I little while later I zone into Caverns of Time: Old Hillsbrad Foothills.

The last time I ran this it was a nightmare. The worst was when the tank would drop out after Thrall was in play. This time things went pretty smooth. We did lose Thrall once when the tank forgot about the second pack of mobs just down the hill from the entrance to the keep - they hadn't spawned yet and he jumped down the hill to take on the mobs at the bridge. We restarted the event and continued on. We made it all the way to the village when we lost Thrall again when the tank decided to eradicate the wandering patrols instead if hanging by Thrall. We had to wait a bit for Thrall to respawn just outside the village, but then we quickly finished up the run. People made mistakes, corrections we made, drama was not to be found. What a pleasant change!

Between the group and the few quests I did, I was almost to level 69. I hearthed back to Stormwind, picked up the Cold Weather Flying skill I neglected to get before heading to Northrend, and did the cooking and fishing daily to get the xp to ding. I took the boat back to Northrend and played a little game I like to call "Beat the Timer". It basically involves making my way from the Borean Tundra to Howling Fjord before the RAF queue pops so I can pick up the quests for Utgarde Keep before I have to zone in. I almost made it to Moa'Ki Harbor.

I zone into Utgarde and yet another run with no drama. We kill everything, everyone says thanks at the end, and it's over. All the asshats must be trolling trade chat I guess. I continue my trek to get the quests, and logon to my 84 pally on another account. I boost my lock through the instance, and after I turn in the quests I'm again very close to the next level. I hearth back to Stormwind and pick up the holiday breadcrumb quest. Goldshire is pretty dead and I'm able to get 20 eggs fairly quickly. Ding! I park my now level 70 lock in Stormwind and mail my heirlooms to the next alt.

Last night was raid night on my main, so I didn't think I would be able to level any alts. We seem to wipe on the trash and one-shot the bosses these days. The other hunter and I couldn't wait to try out our new and improved multishot on the trash. We finally have a somewhat decent AOE attack, but I still miss volley. Our mage is officially overpowered now - he blew both of us out of the water. Halfus and the dragon twins went down quickly, but we started having issues on the Elementium Monstrosity. The fight just wasn't going normally, so we decided to switch over to BWD instead of banging our heads against the glitches. Then one of our healers gets disconnected and can't get back online. We call it a night.

I hop over to my worgen druid and queue up as heals. I have really been enjoying leveling my druid healers. I get my near insta-queue, and enter Scarlet Monastery. I don't let anyone die, not even the lock who seems to be an aggro magnet or the two melee DPS who don't like to get out of Herod's whirlwind. The fact that I managed to keep everyone alive surprised me since I hadn't healed for a while and was also pretty tired. Another pug with no drama. What is this world (of Warcraft) coming to?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cry Havoc!

Blackrock Depths of Hell was originally going to be published yesterday, but I was mentally debating the issue of publishing the names of the guilty. I decided that any calling-out will be reserved for the most egregious pug behavior - not just everyday pug annoyances. Some things can be taken out of context when you don't have all the facts. I've clicked on my UI and been dropped from a group, accidently clicked the wrong thing, and like everyone else I've been a new player.

I've also played roles that are out of my comfort zone, such as tank and healer. You can be a veteran player in one class or role, and still be a total newb outside of that experience.

I didn't play at all last night since most of my add-ons were in need of updating and I was too tired to deal with any post-patch issues. I have three WoW accounts; I occasionally multi-box and play with my kids on the other two. Now that 4.1 is live, I'll be able to send my heirloom items to my other 20 alts which will no doubt provide me with plenty of material for this blog.

Let slip the alts of war!