Friday, February 29

A week's overview

I've been quite busy at work and have perhaps disappointed faithfull returning readers (a poll showed i had some at least), next week is going to be a bit better but might still miss a daily post now and then..
But i wanted to give you a quick look on my week to compensate for the missing posts, almost like i've shared things with you on a daily basis anyway.

As planned i only played during the day, i grinded the last bit of honor for my Hunter's pvp-trinket (needed for Archi).. did an Heroic run on my Enhancement Shamen (went very smooth) and grinded the mats for a Shadow resistance cloak.
After dinner we watched the movie Gabriel which was one of the better movies i've seen lately, altho that might proof i need to download some better ones for a change. Still pretty good film considering a budget of $150.000 aussie dollars.

I got my expensive trinket, payed by with hours of sweat and frustration (ow and horde blood). Did another Heroic run on Shaman, grinded some plants for pots on my Warrior, some leather on my Hunter to make me drums of restoration so i was ready for these weeks raids. After waiting an hour or so in Shattrah for something to happen (while watching the cartoons of Sons of Butcher, they should be on aswell) i went to bed.

Black Temple was on the menu, Teron Gorefiend to be more precise... a boss on which many guilds spend weeks or even longer. We had done just 2 attempts a night before so you can imagen how thrilled we were we killed him on our 4th attempt this night, think the flash game explaining his tactics helped us alot.'
We did two quick attempts on the next boss after that, a typical fight where 1 person not paying attention can make things go baaaaad fast.. sometimes i long back to the days where you could easily carry some noobs through an instance. (not that we have many luckily ;) )

One of our two non-raiding weekdays (monday being the other), often we do a Kara or ZA run on this day. Today we got a Karazhan group together with 7 alts (including some less geared). I still need 100 badges on my hunter for the xbow in 2.4 but i didn't expect to get a full run so i decided to focus on fun (and lower repairs) and take the shaman... to my surprise this unbalanced group went all up to Prince ánd managed to kill him while we even had 4 melee dps. We also had just 1 priest and no other form of CC (besides a lock for an occasional banish) but our dps made up for that, i was especially worried on Moroes but we nuked down 3 adds as fast as we could and had no problem at all.
Quite funny to be creative with tactics like this by the way. Curator went down just seconds after the first evocation (just over 2min) which i didn't expect with this many alts.
Even got myself a nice new necklace from the chess event, had hit to spare anyway so the gained crit and stamina is nice. Also nice about necklaces, belts, rings and trinkets: no new expensive enchants required.

Mount Hyjal was planned, i myself was a bit on the late side and was 2minutes to late to hop on the plane. While waiting for a spot to open i grinded 8 Primal Shadow's for the Shadow resistance cloak i got the day before. After that i moved to Tanaris where i got to replace someone else. They had some bad luck streaks which resulted in a couple of wipes so they only managed to kill "just" 2 bosses, we killed the 3rd boss (/flex) and moved on to the next... sadly enough time ran out and we wiped on him leaving no time for another try.
Sometimes you have one of those days where the easiest things just don't seem to happen.

Well that's today but when i look into my magic orb i can tell i'm going to attend tonights raid. We are gonna clear MH and then kill the first 3 to 4 bosses in BT... a new Hunterweapon might even drop, depending on if a certain other Hunter (with more dkp) is in the raid i might be one lucky guy.. but foretelling the future aint always accurate so let's just await what is going to happen

After awaking from my coma because i made it way too late on Friday once again i'll visit a friends birthday party. After dinner the rest of the evening is mine again so depending on the activity in the guild i'll do an instance or something... or i'll go spend some time behind a different less interactive screen for a change, up for playing couch potato after such a busy week.

Some Wow-time available in the morning and in the beginning of the afternoon. I'm guessing i'll be doing the daily Heroic on either the Shaman or the Hunter and do some grinding. Perhaps a few of those boooring dailies to make some money, bah. A friend is coming over later that day for dinner and perhaps a movie or something so that concludes my Azerothian adventures for this weekend.
I do hope something unexpected fun is going to happen this weekend in the limited time i have, don't want to feel i totaly waisted my time on a stupid game ofcourse.

Wednesday, February 27

Getting yourself a new Guild

Now i don't plan to switch guilds but i often encounter people who do when they try to get in ours.
I thought it might be helpfull for some people to know what would get you a spot in a guild such as ours, perhaps this will even somewhat reduce the number of applies which have no chance to get in anyway.

Set a realistic Goal
If you are in season 1 pvp epics don't expect to get a Black Temple raiding guild, with lacking experience you might be lucky to get a spot in a SSC raidgroup. If you do have experience on another toon make sure you mention that, but still make sure your gear is up to the task aswell.
Don't apply to a guild if you don't have an idea what they raid and what they expect of you.

Get in shape
The first thing i do when someone whispers me is checking out Armory. People who lack enchants, use cheap gems (or none at all) or have a crooked talent spec are dismissed quickly. Try to make sure you've logged out earlier in the correct gear so you don't get caught in dps gear when you are a prot tank, or in your pvp gear while you want to join a raid guild.
Having the correct attunements helps alot aswell, or at least make sure you done all the prequests for it.

First impression
Just as in reallife this counts; be polite (no need to grovel ofc), avoid using too much 13375p34|< and try to use proper english
Make sure you actually have time for an apply and don't whisper an officer when you are about to join an Arena or kill a boss, that person is spending time on you and many others... don't stretch his time and keep communicating.
Humor is a bonus aswell but don't force it.
Remember to leave a good last impression aswell when you don't get a trial offered at that point. ("Whatever, didn't want to be in your guild anyway!", true story)

Don't lie
There is no use to lie about your experience, age or skill.. about all raidingguilds have a trialperiod so the truth will come out sooner or later anyway and they have no problem dropping you.
So don't waste your own and others time. Sure like a real job interview you can make things look a bit prettier then they really are but don't create expectations you can't live up to.

Get smart
The more progress a guild has made, the higher expectations a guild has a of a potential recruit. You will often get to talk to the Classleader and get questions about your class which you should be able to answer. (required hitrating, spell/shot/threatrotations, threatlevel, stuff like that)
Reading up on your class is required (some links here) if you didn't already.

The higher your own ambitions, the more serious you will have to take the above points ofcourse.
Also it depends on what server you are i suppose, if you have many high level raidguilds there might be a shortage of good raiders which makes guilds less picky. Anyway, if you plan to find yourself a new raiding guild the above tips migth help. Goodluck!

Paper aint dead!

For who doesn't know, i have most of my toons on the European Aszune server.
Last week an Azunite started something new: A serverwide Magazine!
While it contains not just server related newsitems a large portion of it is devoted to that, interviews with their guilds.. recruitment status, raidprogression, arena ladders.. stuff like that.

Anyway, it's a weekly magazine and some of my posts will be used in the paper, probably not every week as i don't intend to write especially for it but now and then an article of mine should appear in it. Not totaly unselfish ofcourse as i hope for some new readers ofc. ;)
The first edition (pdf) can be found here while the second one containing my article can be found here.
It's a weekly magazine and the links are added each week on the unofficial Aszune forums in this post.
Enjoy the read.

Monday, February 25

An Instance (dis)like

Some instance make you curl your toes... you ask in guild chat "What's today's Heroic?" and get as response "Auchenai Crypts" Ah... never mind then.
This can have various reasons, perhaps you wiped endlessly in that instance in the past (and it might be an unprofound fear now), you still can't fully handle the instance or it's just something in the scenery that makes you hate it.

When i look back Molten Core was one of the most uninspiring instance i've ever done... no pretty scenery, just stone and red lava all throughout the instance. Also the trash was mostly the same (flame imp, corehound, fire elemental, stone elemental... think that's it). But did i hate it? For some reason i didn't, perhaps as it was my first raid instance. Blackwing Lair was allot better and i liked this instance allot as well.
But the Temple of Ahn'Quiraj, that was simply horrible. Not sure what i hated about it, it was more creative then MC but there was something about i simply couldn't stand, perhaps because it was filled with bugs.

In the Burning Crusade Karazhan was the first raid instance and i had a feel for it quite fast. I still love to do it on one of my alts and even on my main if i'm in need of badges. An other guildy hated it soo much though that he totally quite the raiding game for a while, it was only later that he picked it up again and forced himself into this instance to get some gear.
I myself didn't get orgasmic with the Serpent shrine Caverns, what a boring place. Sure it's cool you are high above the water but it felt like a reskinned MC to me mostly, maybe it was this "old skool" feeling they tried to reproduce here. Most boss fights were worth the trouble though as most were pretty much fun to do.
Once i stepped into Tempest Keep: The Eye i appreciated SSC allot more, this was even worse! Big rooms with narrow paths in between with hardly any decoration or details.. and more pink then even an average Paladin could stand. The whole high tech look didn't give me the Epic feel either

Recently it got allot better for me luckily, we've set in Mount Hyjal... a big outdoor instance which brings back that Azeroth feeling mixed up with a good dose of Scourge. Doing endless waves of trash gets boring after a while as well but at least it keeps up the pace. Still one of our guildies has a big dislike of this instance again, i can't imagine why but his dislike combined with his stubborn attitude makes this quite a problem for us officers. We have to force him to run this instance with us, mainly because he's an essential class. Being a raider you can't simply skip the instance yóu don't like, you'll have to be there for your guild so they will be there for the instance you dó like.

The Black Temple is an even greater instance thus far, i liked it since the first time i stepped foot in it while most instances need to grow on me.
I guess it calls back mostly BWL memories for me, the dark ambience works pretty good for me.. it's how a dungeon should/could be.
We don't enter by ringing the doorbell and a "Honey, i'm home!" but we sneak in through the sewers (not as bad as the Shattered Halls sewers) and slowly make our way up. The trash seems amazingly easy thus far but maybe it's because we're so hyped and everyone (as far as i know) i totally enjoying this instance and is fully focused.

So raiding wise i'm good, i get to spend time in the instances i like. Zul'Aman which i dislike is an optional raid which i can avoid if i want (although i did clear it this weekend as i needed a break from pvp, but it's still stupid), strange though as i liked Zul'Gurub pre-TBC.
Which instances do i hate then? I'd say Gnomeregan but the last time i did it it wasn't nearly as bad as i remembered, perhaps as i know the best route to do all quests in the fastest way by head nowadays. Sunken Temple is a bit dumb but still not toe curling, perhaps the Wailing Caverns (in the Barrens) is the most annoying of the low level instances.. i get lost constantly and the map in Atlas makes little sense due to the crossovers.
From the TBC instance i still dread Shattered Halls, perhaps because i wiped there so often in the past as the groups in the beginning require such a high amount of CC or a very skilled tank + healer. Steamvaults is frustrating at times as well because of the first boss which can easily wipe a good group due to some bad luck.

I'm pretty curious about the new 5-man instance in the next patch (2.4) perhaps there will be a new instance to (dis)like, time will tell.

Friday, February 22

Thursday, February 21

I R Imba!

A nice little website i found at BRK called Be Imba! gave me some fun while checking out my toons this morning.
This tool (the first online character auditor as they call themselves), while it's far from complete or perfect, grabs your toons information from the Wow armory and determines your characters "worth".
Depending on the score it tells you if that toon is more perfect to run Karazhan with or that you are up for the Black temple.
It also informs you on stats on items which are lacking like you may have the wrong gems or enchants... or even "forgot" them.

I linked it on my guilds forums and straight away people started comparing their gear which resulted in conclusions on how to improve their or others gear.
Sure it's not perfect, your hitrating is very likely to be adressed as insufficient as it calculates how far you are off the cap for example while the "sweetspot" is often lower. (beyond that point the dpsgain is minimal compared to the ammount of hitrating needed)

My own toons where quickly put to the test.

    My main (Hunter) was missing 24 hitrating, i was aware i was a bit low so nothing new there.
    It seems my gear is good enough to be raiding Hyjal and Black Temple, well thats convenient.

    This Protection Warrior alt had a few remarks actually: My hit was too low (as expected) and so was my expertise (expected again but no items with expertise apart from what i have is in reach of this alt). It seems that i have 3 defense too much, not too shocking.
    My weapon was enchanted with Potency which resulted in a "misenchanted item", altho i would have enchanted it with something more expensive if this would have been my main i still don't agree with this.
    The suggested instances are ZA, TK and SSC.. again makes sense as i already knew as an alt there wasn't any place where i could get better gear at this time (without mainswitching and being able to raid beyond Kara).

    My Enhancement Shaman also had a few remarks, again a misenchanted item.. i had a cheap +8sta enchant on my blue legs which i hoped to replace soon. My Main fistweapon is missing an enchant but with just 3k honor away from a better one i didn't want to spend cash on this.
    4 items are appointed as "low level" as they are blue ones, most mid-end 70's. (eventho most upgrades from Kara will be mostly sidegrades)
    I also lack hitrating it claims but that is because it seems to require your OH to have a miss chance of zero aswell, not very realistic.
    The suggestion for this toon is to do ZA, Magtheridon and Gruul... again not very likely i will be able to do those with this alt.
All and all fun to play a bit with and compare yourself to classmates, if you register (free) you can even compare people in your (or any) guild which can give you an overview of all your tanks on one page for example. You can scale down the required hit rating when using this tool aswell for a more realistic view.

Wednesday, February 20

Da Big Boys

Yesterday it was finally that time: we did our first official Black Temple raid!
We stepped into the very last raidinstance available (and without the wussy "no attunement needed" crap) and we were ready to step into the footsteps of great raiding guilds. We were quite hyped as you can imagen... sure it was cool when we first set foot in Hyjal but this was the cream cheese!

The first thing we noticed was how easy the trash was, we'd expected more trouble... even The Eye trash gives us more trouble then that, or maybe it was a side effect of being hyped where in TK we were often forcing ourselves forward through those dull hallways.
I didn't take long before we killed the first boss which is pretty easy, he's supposed to be a challenge for the healers and while they did notice they had to pick up the pace they got things covered pretty good.
The next pack of trash (poisoned water elementals) was probably the hardest trashgroup we encountered thus far, but maybe that was there was a ninja pull and we hadn't marked a thing at all... had quite some deaths but the remaining people cleared it up nicely.
After that we entered a huge area (outdoor) before the second boss and this trash was just insanely easy, i even tanked the flying mobs there as a hunter.. not something you would expect in the biggest, baddest instance currently available.
We cleared the whole room eventho we're not sure that is even required.. might be a nice way to save some time next run. It didn't take long before the second boss was down aswell. Again no Hunter loot sadly enough but at least nothing needed to be disenchanted for a change.
There was still a bit time left so we took a quick peek at the third boss before calling it a night, next raid we'll surely spend less time on trash and just enjoying the scenery. (even the sewers look better then Kael's little throne room)

We've made amazing progress lately since we killed Kael (which didn't take that long either, was within 2-3 weeks i think), clearing out Hyjal with just Archimonde standing and now the first two in BT aswell. We actually killed 4 new bosses this week (first 2 in Hyjal we did the previous week already).
I don't want to hex our winning streak but i'm pretty impressed with our performance, i've always been proud to be part of this guild of great players but more and more we have a matching progress report to back it up. :)
Hell... we're even ranked 7th on Alliance side, just 1 easy boss away from the current nr. 6. (altho they have been on the next bosses quite a while now, expect them to down them soon) Not bad for a group of people who never got to learn the tricks in other raidingguilds... and all that with people who are together not just because they play their class well but who also can have fun together.

One thing i can tell those guilds who didn't manage to get themselves attuned to MH and BT yet: Once patch 2.4 hits us (and an attunement is no longer needed) you can easily farm the first couple of bosses of both instances. The loot aint much worse then Kael or Vashj with which some guilds have a lot of problems but the effort is alot less. Seems an easy way to gear your guild a bit more so earlier bosses become a bit easier.

Tuesday, February 19

I'm Back Baby!

Recently i've wrote this post in which i played the part of a whiney little bitch... telling you that alting is bad for you and that i just can't stop playing these alts as i just want to raid on my main, nothing else.
I've been rambling on mainswitching aswell with being the main reason getting tired of playing the Hunter all the time... to avoid to get 100% sick of playing him i a had a no-hunter-outside-raids policy.
Ofcourse he would still get some playtime if i needed to grind some stuff.

But something changed my view on things all of the sudden: Patch 2.4 did! Soon we'll be able to play the new content in this patch and tons of info is streaming in from the testservers already.
Now there is a shitload of stuff that get me hot but for some reason this little baby does most: Crossbow of Relentless Strikes. I've been hoping for a weapon upgrade for quite some time now but as i couldn't be fussed with doing Arena's there weren't many options. Lady Vashj has a nice one but being nr. 3 on the DKPlist (from the Hunters) there was little chance i would get it... not seen it drop once, let alone three times. But in the next patch that nice xbow is gonna be available on a new Heroic Badge loot vendor... the catch is that we'll need to unlock him first by doing a shitload of dailies, part of the Sunwell Offensive, but thats gonna be done in a week or two i expect.

So it's back to the Hunter.. grinding Heroic badges as i need 150 (!) for the bow alone! I am aiming for a few more as there is gonna be even more nice new Hunter loot available (T6 quality as Blizzard claims). Besides that i might need to buy me a few Primal Nethers (but i might spend some gold on that as they are no longer BoP) to craft myself new LW gear (once i've grinded the patterns).
The first successtory was yesterday where we did a (near) full pull in Karazhan, netting us 20badges. We started at about 20h00 and at 23h we had killed everything in there except for Netherspite and the Animal boss.
I'm at 38 badges now and got a looong road ahead of me, but i got time and since first in a long time i'm actually looking forward to getting my Hunter some action to get him geared.

For those who want to start their own little grind, mmo-champion has a nice overview on items and prices here. I must warn you.. you might feel the need to shift your attention to a different toon all of the sudden, i know i did.

Monday, February 18

PvP to do PvE?

Last week i had to grab the Hunter and force him into a Battleground. Now i've done some PvP with my Warrior and my Shaman and even a bit with my Hunter back in the days but for some reason PvP on my Hunter doesn't appeal much to me. Maybe it's because my keys are set in a more PvE kind of way and i need to change that first to be a better PvP player or that my BM spec aint the best for it.
Don't get me wrong, i can kite... i got a good chance in most one on one situations (or maybe my opponents just sucked) and i shine when people go for the squishies first and forget that pewpew hunter at the back. (as my gear is focused on dps and not on survival as regular pvp hunters)
Still, i don't like to pvp on my Hunter. Maybe it's because i want to play him as little as possible outside of raids aswell.

So when i heared we needed a pvp item to have a better chance on a pve boss i felt frustrated. It appeared for the first boss in MH it was highly recommended to get the Insignia of the Alliance which removes movement impairing effects. Thats 2805 honor! Thats at least a whole evening íf i'm lucky, won't be allowed to lose too many fights.. which will happen ofcourse.
With great dislike my Hunter visited some BG's and often after an hour or so i had to stop and do something else as i just got too frustrated with it. The typical thing was i often switched to my Shaman and would do a BG with her aswell, just not as frustrating to me for some reason.
After 3 days i had saved up enough luckily and was able to bring along the trinket to Hyjal, ofcourse i didn't have to even use it... figures.

Ow the horror when i found out that the last boss in Hyjal, Archimonde, we actually need a Medallion of the Alliance which costs 17.000 honor. Many days i would have to spend to get this cursed little trinket, just for one boss which aint even a requirement to kill to get further in the Black Temple. So more then ever i suddenly have a feeling i am paying Blizzard to be able to grind.. at least at work they pay mé for the grind. And what do i get in return? A trinket to kill a boss which will get banked after that. I've grinded less for items i've used for months.
Which idot at Blizzard thought up a PvE event which requires a PvP item to complete, i'd like to have a serious talk with that guy!
Fellow officers talked to various other guilds on the server and each and everyone of them told us the 2min trinket was defo a requirement... bah!
If i wasn't an officer there would be a good chance that i just would say Archie to screw himself and just completely skip the whole boss as this will be a huge strain on my playfun next weeks, hope i'm the only one who thinks this tho.

Sunday, February 17

War is no picnic

Like i said.. war is no picnic.
But when i joined this Eye of the Storm Battleground my fellow war mates thought otherwise. If it was because they had zero towers or that they had zero because of the picknick, i'll never know.
After facing death alone a couple of times i decided tot stay up there aswell, awaiting my one badge.

Friday, February 15

Part of the Club

Being part of a guild is alot like being part of a Club.. i've been a member of Scouting (yarly.. mock or praise me but i had fun most of the time) for over 10 years and it had all the elements i see in my guild again.
Activities, drama, frustration, work, stress, fun, friendship... stuff like that.
The largest part of this i've been a scoutmaster in which time i've done some crazy things and acted out some weird characters, thinking back of it still makes me smile. At the end it started to feel more like work tho and it seemed to suck the energy out of me instead of returning it so i called it.
As i had a new hobby and the extra freed up time could be spend on behind the screen activities in my guild, aswell as the new house that i would get a few months later i wasn't too scared to get bored.

But in this Club you had the same things as in an average guild. Luckily we don't have drama in our guild as often as our Scoutinggroup had, about every week someone would have an unreasonable fit... and while the people i surrounded me with could laugh about it, it did have it's effect on us nowadays.
Behind our backs we heared bad stuff about us, "we were too powerfull in the group", "we had it easy as we had such good and skilled people", "we were getting all the good attention".. what kind of rant is that? I suppose other people envy our Guild aswell so that's sort of the same, sure there are Guilds on our server who have progressed further into MH/BT but it's not about the endgoal, it's about the journey.

Most of the time Scouting was fun ofcourse, just as the interaction in our guild is. With a warm heart i think back to those nights around the campfire where we would share our most twisted stories, eventho it was often freakin' cold out there. Or guildchat has this aswell at times... twisted + stories mostly, but without the charcoal scent and the frozen back.
The one thing i'm missing is the physical activity, i'm becoming one with my chair and i realy have to do some sports soon.

Our guild has drama aswell ofcourse, the officers don't always agree but as long as we have the same goal that doesn't matter.. different opinions help actually. We have some bad apples who would rather see leave us, others who contribute to the activities but not to the conversations (which is fine aswell) or contribute too much or in a way that you wonder how much wine has been consumed on that side of the net. (didn't get drunk on Scouting but some people sure acted like it)
Sometimes i wish i would have drank tho, would have made it easier getting up on stage dressed as a Pirate in front of 150 people alot easier.. besides it might have made sure i was able to talk afterwards, shouting "Yaarr!" and rasping the throat constantly was quite a strain. (as the other dude insisted using the microphone...) Just the night before i was dressed as a rasta where my own kids didn't even recognize me, damn that was a fun weekend.
But i do still dress up, with Epics this time or when using something like Savory delight, guess it's not entirely the same but this is my story okay?

Good thing i found a new Club to hang out with otherwise i would have surely started missing my previous one.
Just a shame it's not as much fun/accepted to talk about what you experienced in a game, sometimes i feel like i didn't my own legacy the last 3 years... but then again, it's about my journey... not about the journal.

Thursday, February 14

WTB Lie detector

I shared a story with you before of me acting as the guilds noob filter.. trying to filter out the bad applies in advance. Now sometimes i aint there so i can't stop them all but the other Officers and the Classleaders have had their share of horrible applies aswell.

It's quite funny what you can dig up on people when checking out other guilds forums. Often guilds have an open recruitment forum (we don't personally)
and you check out if someone has been turned down before or that he/she is betting on more then one horse.
We had a reasonable apply this week from a healer, he wasn't English so his use of words was a bit strange as the one who took his apply told us. However he understood things well enough in the eyes of the one who took his apply.
Someone started googling and found an apply of this guy... he had to answer a dozen of questions and he clearly didn't understand half of them.
My noob sense started tingling once again!

Last week i talked to a Rogue in a whisper who wanted a spot. One of the members directed him to me, first thing i do is check out the armory for his gear. Now he had just 1 Green, 3 Blues and the rest was Epic.. mostly from PvP and some from Karazhan.
He told me that he had a full epic kit so i told him i could actually see his gear on the armory. I got some lame excuse that he did have epics but he rather was wearing the blues for the hitrating.
Now the fact that he knew the benefit of hit did give him some points... the fact that even with these blues his total hitrating was 11 lost him quite a few more. This combined with the use of Green quality gems and some missing enchants made sure this apply was a short one.

The week before i actually had a good apply. Someone in full epic kit, had raiding experience (not just Kara but full SSC and TK aswell) and had his gear properly gemmed and enchanted. His English was perfect aswell and he wasn't 16 like the average Rogue.
He passed the Noob filter and i told him a CL would be in touch with him, probably in a few days.
I made a post on the forums and had a good feeling about this.
An hour or so later he whispered me again that the Classleader hadn't contacted him yet... uhm, okay? My sense went tingling all of the sudden but as i was in a bad mood which might have affected that i gave him the benefit of the doubt. Apparently he DC'd during our talk and missed that.
Well okay then.
But during that day he whispered me about every two hours, often with the dumbest questions or informing me that the CL (which name i mentioned to him) hadn't come online yet. The next evening this happened a few times more so i revisited my own post on the forum to inform the others that we could forget this guy, pretend i never posted this one ok?
He told me he was booted from his previous raidingguild after being away for a few week due to RL issues, i'm suspecting he simply ran out of Ritalin.

The last apply we got was ended pretty fast with some simple detective work aswell. He told the CL he was 16 (which is already a bit young to our taste due to previous bad experiences) and the CL found out he had applied to another guild 6 months earlier when he was still 14.
Now i've heared of growspurts but this was obviously a lie, another apply went through the shredder.
At least applies like these keep me entertained on those slow moments during raids.

Wednesday, February 13

Working addicts do it on the Web

I've managed to miss out the last couple of raids again.. not on purpose but because i had RL commitments. Actually i think my last raid on the Hunter was a week ago. The last raid i did wasn't on my Hunter but on some other guildies Warrior, not because we were a tank short but because he needed to get the Kael'Thas quest item to get attuned to Mount Hyjal. He wasn't able to attend the kill and would miss out on MH the rest of the week so i was asked to go in his place.
I totally messed up his buttonbar as my configuration looked nothing like his and i still missed a macro here and there but i played my part.

Tomorrow i can hopefuly raid once again which will be The Eye once again, hopefully followed by some Mount Hyjal. Otherwise MH is left for Friday where i should be available once again.
But despite this i haven't been bored... there is no way you can have missed it, anyone reading my blog has surely seen other sites and blogs containing loads of info of the new patch; 2.4
The Patch where Aldor and Scryer team up and take the fight to Sunwell plateau. I myself have been reading various blogs and sites to see what new loot, quests and instances we are going to get soon.
I've been checking out Wowhead, Wow insider and Mmo-champion mostly myself and to not tell you stuff you've already read on all other blogs i will try to restrain my enthousiasm. If you haven't bothered reading up i can recommend above three links... that should easily make up for this short post.
What can i say... they've kept me busy.

Tuesday, February 12

Non CC DPS in a Heroic

If you have a good geared skilled tank and a likewise healer you can deal with a little bit less on CC (Crowd Control; sheep/trap/sap/etc). When you got these a class with no CC has a chance on getting a spot. Now most classes do have something to deal with these adds, Mages have sheep, Warlocks have Seduce ánd Fear, Rogue's have sap, Hunters have Trap, Priests can Mindcontrol and if you happen to have either a Moonkin Druid or a Feral who's not tanking he/she can sleep a beast if needed, ow and don't forget a Druid's Cyclone.
So who gets the shaft? Dps Paladins, Dps Warriors and Dps Shamans as far as i can tell. Both of these classes have no form of crowd control and while their other spec(s) will get them a spot in a party easy, the dps variety does seem to bring little extra to most.

But a skilled player who is lacking dps can contribute quite a bit, the mentioned classes/specs offer some versatility. A Dps warrior can Offtank a mob or even take over for a bit when the MT goes down... a Ret Paladin could do the same aswell as throw a heal where needed and a Shaman can spot/group heal and offer a variety of helpfull totems.
If your tank and healer decided to enter a Heroic in a bit more then greens you can actually afford to have more then 1 mob at a time hit your meatshield so a spot for a non CC DPS is available for those who can appreciate them.

I ran two heroics yesterday on my Shaman, Ramparts and Underbog. Depending on the situation i put down the right totems (Tremor when mobs feared, Poison cleaning on poison spitting mobs) and helped heal up either Tank or dps. When we lost our tank on a trashpull i dropped my Earth Elemental who could tank the mobs long enough for us to prevent a wipe.
I also took over healing a couple of times when a broken sheep turned our healer's screen black and white. Perhaps this depends on the player aswell, if you are able to see when things turn bad and you have turn of tunnelvision where you keep beating on that mob and see the bigger picture and help out where needed. A wildcard player can seriously turn the tide on a slip up or simply a badluck streak.

The last heroic i did yesterday was made up of alts only, sure there were some Epics on us but the majority of our gear was Blue (few Greens as well actuallty). I healed more on this run as on the first one that night and still came up first, not trying to say i'm so uber (let's not state the obvious shall we?) but i still contributed plenty to what i was supposed to do. Even if i would have came out as second or third i would still be positive that my actions helped us reaching the end and preventing some deaths or even wipes.
My point (however little it is) is that someone without CC can offer other treats to your party, that is if that person manages to be a bit flexible where needed.

Monday, February 11

The Good, the Bad and the Achiever

You work hard to achieve something, in my example an attunement for the 25man raid instance Serpent shrine Cavern... after several prequests and Heroic Dungeon runs you get your reward and are able to to actually enter that dungeon. It's a guild wide struggle as just me being attuned doesn't really help.. we plan extra Heroic runs until 90% of our people are attuned before it happens: Blizzard makes it so that you no longer need an attunement to enter SSC or TK.
Well, that kind of killed that sense of achievement! Then again our less active members are able to join us on those raids once in a while now as well, that at least is an enjoyable thing.

We fast forward to present time: 80% of the guild is attuned to Hyjall Summit (CoT:MH) and a 70% to the Black Temple as well. It won't be long before we have majority attuned but will still have some people we're leaving behind. We're not leaving them behind on purpose but some just don't show up often enough, just time their absence badly or simply haven't bothered to do any prequests and will not be able to complete the attunement to enter the 25man Caverns of Time raid dungeon.
Again this feels like a great achievement but will once again leave some of us behind.. as well as limits our choice of people who could strengthen our forces from outside of the guild. And then we get to read the 2.4 patch notes which will hit us shortly (prob in 3-4 weeks) where they will remove the required attunement for MH and BT. Once again Blizzard gives me the sense of having done everything for nothing.

Everyone loves to be a Hero, for many of us it's the reason why we play games... to feel important by saving the world or by destroying it if that's more your thing. But what if you're in a world full of Heroes?
Back before TBC gear was a sign of achievement.. walking around with massive shiny gear in Ironforge/Ogrimar would surely give you some respect.
You were also able to see how a player would have obtained it by the looks of it, whatever dungeon that person was raiding or what rank he was in PvP.
Nowadays you don't need to raid at all to get Epics, PvP offers a very easy way to get which are of equal quality of 25man raid instance drops but also Heroic badges from 5mans/Karazhan/ZA can buy you some very nice gear. 2.4 will even introduce more badge gear, of Black Temple quality even...

So if the gear wouldn't set me aside from Joe Average at least i was MH and BT attuned... i could go where no boldly man has ever gone before, or at least not the masses. But i suppose that has been taken away from me as well, i'm a Hero that stands in line to get a shot at that Dragon.
At least i achieved to fill another blogpost with this, three cheers for the Hero of Internet pollution!

Friday, February 8

Freeze MF!

We had too much dps showing for TK: The Eye yesterday and as i liked to go to bed a bit early anyway i volunteered to go on backup.
After turning down another earlier apply, a new apply and talking to a potential new one i switched to my Shaman for some pvp.
As i got bored of that quickly fast aswell i joined my GF who was playing on her level 12 Draenei Mage, who was walking 10 meters away from where i had my level 14 Draenei Mage parked.

I realised why i didn't manage to continue this mage since last time... which was quite a last time as i leveled my Shaman from 1 to 70 in meantime.
Then i spotted Frost nova on my bar which i didn't fully put to use last time, i decided to give this spell a try and see if my mage would become a bit more fun...
Amazingly enough it wasn't half bad and made things alot easier all of the sudden. Instead of logging to watch some TV i offered my services to my GF to get some of her quests done.

The first time i made a mage was surely 2 years ago, i never got that mage past level 10 as i got quite easily killed. Ofcourse i didn't have the knowledge on how things work back then so my view was slightly distorted, but thus far i didn't <3 my new much either. (altho a female draenei is alot better looking then a bold bearded male gnome... what was i thinking?)
This time i was able to cheat death alot easier at least, besides 2 mages teaming up ment 2x frostnova and double the firepower. Things should be very easy.

I dinged 15 shortly after (and the GF 13) and we came across the level 18 Elite that patrols the road on Bloodmyst Isle. We decided to try it on for size.
With one point in Frostbite (5% chance to freeze a target for 5sec) and 2x Frost Nova at our desposal we had a fair chance i suspected. We opened up with some fireball stuff and did the first Frost Nova to freeze him in place. We then started Arcane missiles but most of my GF's mage's spells got resisted.. included her Frost Nova. While i tried to slow him and get some distance she sheeped him to save my ass, not knowing this would heal him. The mob quickly went from 60% health to 90% before i managed to unsheep him. More kiting and near death experiences followed and as i was at 10 health i made a run for it.
For some reason i lost aggro and he turned on the GF who's Frost nova once again resisted.. she was quickly killed. With enough space in between me and the mob and my Frost Nova off CD i managed to kill it.
Now this didn't go exactly as planned but it did show me what great potential a mage has.. with some more slowing effects in the near future and other tools like blink at my disposal i would be able to easily take one mobs above my level or even multiple mobs.
I quickly went to check out Wowhead to see what cool skill were is store for me.

By the way.. i've always heard Frost was the best Talent tree for leveling.. anyone got a nice levelbuild stored somewhere?

Thursday, February 7

Another Point of View

One thing that's very helpfull from playing different toons is having another point of view on things for a change. I believe this not only let you understand other people's role in a party/raid but actuall improves interaction and thus makes an event easier.
For example: when i started tanking i realized how tricky tanking multible mobs was when people open up dps straight away. The other way around it worked aswell, i realised how to better position mobs so dps could stand behind it without pulling a next pack either... stuff like that.

Another example is being melee dps on the Prince in Karazhan, something i experienced for the first time this week on my enhancement shaman.
I've been ranged dps on him and tanked him but i never had to bother with running away each time he was going to enfeeble people (1 health!) and then do his shadownova. All of the sudden i had to keep track of an eye on threatmeters more (110% instead of 130%) aswell as keep the right totems up and watch the boss announcements. If i started running too late i wouldn't make it out savely, even with my runspeed enchant on the boots.
I actually did die once by this, at the feet of the healers as i started moving a second to late... the second time a meteor landed behind which i didn't see and finished me off pretty fast. Better positioning on my part is required next time. (at the side is just as good as behind it, if i make sure i'm not too far up front let him parry my attacks, which is a step closer to the save-spot)

But just not for raids it will help you, if you are more of a pvp person there is knowledge to gain aswell. When i encounter a hunter in combat i know what his weaknesses are and how to avoid his strengths.. or at least i can try to. Same goes for other classes i've played in the past, how to adapt depends on what class you are playing yourself ofcourse.
On my enhancement shaman i try to stay close to the hunters, if they sick their pet on me and i can't get close to the hunter at that point i try to move out of sight and kill the nasty pet first and then heal up. Most of the time this lures the Hunter around the corner aswell where i'm able to reach him more easily... when i would be on my Hunter i'd pull my pet back and keep my distance and try to not get lured too close.
Ofcourse you will be surprised alot with what tricks people can think of using their spells/skills/gear/items and some encounters will teach you more about your own class aswell.
Maybe alts aint that bad afterall...

Wednesday, February 6

Alting is bad for you!

Ow how i love my little alt projects, keeps my main raiding Hunter a bit fresh.. for someone who plays quite a bit this feel important as constantly hopping between mains would be bad for the raid. Why it is bad for the raid is that it may cause a shortage of certain classes or perhaps even an overdose.
Apart from that your guild needs to regear your toon everytime to get back to the point your previous main was, seriously slowing down progress.
Obviously this aint an option in our guild and mainswitching will automaticly cost you your raidspot. If you're lucky, skilled and well geared you might get that spot back. The luck factor depends on how many new classmates you will get and how often they show.

So you understand why my alts stay alts... eventho i often enjoy playing my alts more then my main, i guess after playing him so long (since the start) the shine starts comming off. Then again, what if i mainswitch and i find out that constantly raiding on that new main gets boring fast aswell? Going back might no longer be an option.
There are defo times that i would rather raid a bit less (if your life often gets directed by the raidleader you kind of feel it's less fun) but if i wouldn't be able to raid at all i would surely get bored pretty soon. Getting bored would result in me quiting the game and i'm not sure i want that yet as i do enjoy the company of the people in the guild.

But that aint what i wanted to say anyway with this posts title... i got 3 level 70 toons now; my Warrior (tank) is fully decked in epic stuff with a reasonable ammount of offspec epics and blues aswell. My shaman is coming along nicely aswell, she's wearing 7 epics just within 2 weeks after hitting 70.
What if i spend all this time on my main? I would have had all the Heroic gear i'm still craving for on the Hunter, full rep with all factions and a shitload of cash!
I've always been able to keep up with the rest of the raid, often being at the top... eventho i missed 2 months and was quite undergeared compared to the other players ánd Hunters. My playstyle however seemed to make up for this but since i've shared my macro's with my fellow hunters and people came more aware of the use of hitrating i see myself slowly falling on the meters. This is ofcourse a good thing, showing that people are getting the most out of their gear while before they obviously didn't.

I'll be honest here... i'm getting quite bored with my Hunter at times but seeing myself near/on the top of the meters despite that made it easy to still come and attend raids, getting the feeling that you are needed makes up for alot.
But now that the gear difference starts to show i'm sort of regretting the time i didn't spend on my main which could have kept me at the top. Then again without those alts i might have ditched the Hunter a looong time ago... i feel like i'm caught between two fires here.
With the new expansion on the horizon (far, far away) i'm already wondering if i should mainswitch or should continue on my Hunter as new levels and new required gear will level the playfield once again, giving me another shot at being the best possible Hunter.
Ending this depressing post i will give you one advise: Alting is bad for your main! Not that is going to stop me tho. ;)

Tuesday, February 5

One bad raiding sheep

Yesterday i managed to get my Enhancement Shaman into the Karazhan raid after i did 5 instance runs on Sathurday to get the key.
I had saved up some nice gear (couple of epics even) and had taken care of gems and enchants (just missing 3 on items i was gonna replace this week), still there was a chance there wasn't a spot for a shaman or that i was required to come on my tank... which would have been fine aswell but i was curious how well my latest alt would perform in a raid.
To my surprise i didn't do bad... i was a bit undergeared compared to other dps but i didn't do halfbad imo, i even managed to beat a full epic lock (but more on that in a bit) and another alt. Most importantly i had fun seeing things from another point of view.
Also the use of totems added something extra where i adapted the choice of totem depending on the group and situation, for example as i was in the tank group i dropped a Windfury totem so the tanks would have higher threat generation eventho i lost some crit due tho not having the Grace of Air totem.
I'm looking forward to the next run where i can use my new weapon which i will be able to buy today with my saved honor.

But back to that lock, there was actually a reason why his dps was so bad.... it was booze. This guy was having a good time and showed up tipsy for the raid (yeah i wrote about this guy before). He was quite chatty on teamspeak and the further we got into Karazhan, the harder it was to understand what he was actually saying... it sounded exactly like a stereotype drunk.
At first it was actually a bit funny but when things seemed to got worse we started to worry, this guy was gonna wipe us sooner or later.
I had already put him on ignore on teamspeak as i couldn't focus on the game as it was starting to irritate me and that might have been the sign i should have done something about it.

We came to the trash just before Curator where you get to of those Sentinals which targets a random player which then starts dealing damage around him, that person has then to move away from the group to avoid killing his buddies. At this point this lock was so hammered we decided to let him stand aside away from the group... he had the hardest time understanding this order, first standing in the exact opposite corner and then wondering if he needed to tank one of the mobs. Ironicly it wasn't him who wiped us there but one of the tanks who got a disconnect.

After we recovered we moved on and started clearing some more trash, only after 4 packs we noticed that our lock was still in the position where we rezzed him... there was no reaction from him in chat or on teamspeak. What we feared became reality, he had passed out on his keyboard or something leaving us one man short. We had a replacement come over but until this lock would log-out due to timeout we wouldn't be able to get him in.
So we stood before the Curator with just 9 people, including a bunch of alts and two protection tanks.. a boss which was a damage check.
We decided to just give it a shot and we downed it amazingly easy, just seconds after the second evocation.
Still the officers who were along smacked themselves on their heads for not replacing the lock when he was still able to find his heartstone button... we were afraid it wouldn't have gone down too well with him but actually he's lucky we've taken this so well.
One this has come out of this little halfway fiasco.. we have a new (unwritten atm) rule: no drunk raiding!

Monday, February 4

No High 5 Kael'thas

This is actually a bit of old news as we killed the last boss in The Eye last Friday already but due to my non-blogging policy during Wowdays you get the news now :P
It was actually quite impressive imo, after we had to got to bed on Thursday leaving him behind on 9% we were pretty sure we would get him on Friday.
And then we one-shotted Kael'Thas... who could have suspected that?

So we passed the final roadblock and can finally set foot in Mount Hyjall (which we did straight away ofc) and soon in the Black Temple aswell.

In the weekend i also spoke to someone who's guild had killed all in SSC and TK except for Vashj and Kael.. seems they had trouble getting past them, which i can perfectly well understand. But not been able to make the slightest progress messes with morale aswell.
After doing a bunch of attempts they often would break it of and would go farm some other content. Their theory seems to be they need better gear for it, so they farm content and disenchant most drops anyway. (i've been told)
Obviously i don't agree with this... these tactics require alot of practice and great commication, gear is just a side factor in most situations.
I myself still have quite a few Karazhan epics, not even the T4 headpiece, and there are many among us who could use quite a few upgrades from SSC and TK.

Wiping aint fun but practice makes perfect.
Ow how a wise "man" would say it: "No fun wiping is, perfect by practice!"

Friday, February 1

Giv PUG plx!

I was seriously looking for a Pick Up Group earlier this week... for Shadow Labyrinth regular. But there was hardly anyone looking for a group, other instances weren't very popular either.
After a couple of days i actually managed to spot a group in the ingame LFG tool: a druid, a paladin, a rogue and a mage.
Hmmm,.. they need just 1 more. Could be that the Paladin and Druid were the tank/healer and that they just needed 1 more dps, would be nice for my enhancement shaman.
So i whispered "need dps by chance?". The reply was a bit vague, but after rechecking i found out they could use me but would go in 20mins.
Well i was fine with that so i accepted the invite and i waited a bit.

After 5mins or so someone asks: "who is gonna heal, the shaman?". I replied: no, perhaps the paladin?
I wasn't able to see the names of the partymembers just after that as i was in a Battleground and my UI doesn't show my partymembers then.
A quick check on the armory pointed out the druid was feral and the paladin protection, doh! I asked in advance for crying out loud..
So i told them i would make room for a healer as the one who invited me clearly didn't think of that himself.
Didn't manage to find a pug after that.

Is it because all people are pug'ing the Heroic instances nowadays? As Blizzard started handing out heroic keys to Honored players, opening the heroic playfield for any green geared noob.
Maybe those who are left behind without a key are the worse of the worst or, just like me, fresh alts who try to get some reputation to get to the next level.

This weekend i'm gonna continue my quest for pugging various instances so i will have likely a few stories to tell on monday, either filled with frustration and bizare events or else with tales of glory... but that last bit still seems unlikely.
If all else fails i will get myself beat up in Arathi Basin as that is todays honor weekend BG.