Monday, December 15, 2008

Obsidian Sanctum

Welcome to a wonderfully compact and highly rewarding instance!
The amazing thing about this instance is that the harder you work, the greater the reward!

The Obsidian Sanctum, also called the Chamber of Aspects, is located beneath Wyrmrest Temple in Dragonblight. It contains a large raid dragon "Sartharion the Onyx Guardian" and his three lieutenant drakes... plus some small groups of trash mobs.

Each mini-drake boss has specific debuffs and added mechanics such as continually spawning adds etc. The details are well documented in multiple locations like: Wrath's Obsidian Sanctum... and all of your favorite WOW informative webpages.

My guild has easily blown through the individual drake fights dragging along all of our raiders to familiarize them all with the different drake fights and to gear up with some minor loot. We then decided to tackle the "Sartharion plus TWO drakes fight". (Our raid leader has ultimate confidence in our abilities, and so we skipped the more simple Sarth plus One drake fight). Sure enough, we got it down in just 3-4 attempts.. Our raid day was cut short that week. The Following week, of course, we started some intense work on the final and most difficult encounter that the Obsidian Sanctum offers.. Sartharion plus ALL THREE drake lieutenants. (I'm sure we could pull the whole instance to make it even more difficult, but that would just be an instant wipe and insanity if we didn't clear out all of the roaming trash in the chamber).

After much difficult work, and practice dodging waves of fire-lava, and keeping agro on all of the spawning whelps and lava elementals, we learned that our most difficult challenge would be a crunch time where our Death Knight main tank would take extremely large hits that could potentially one shot him... After numerous hours of attempts and several repair bills later for all 25 members... we got over that hump, and it was mostly downhill from there... though I died while tanking Sartharion as the second round tank... I was then raised... I thought I was ressurected normally, but noticed I couldn't move and only had access to that crazy Zombie pet bar.... so I Exploded offering my small bit of dps on Sartharion and was then ressurected normally.. Unfortunately, I got disoriented from the rez, and ran the far way when a fire wave came and died again... :P BUT I got off my all important and life saving Innervate on one of our top priest healers, and the raid pulled off the final kill...

Yeah yeah.. I'm sure you've read a dozen "We did it!" stories on wow blogs... but this particular kill was important for us because it was a server first kill, and the 25 of us were the only ones who could sport our brand new titles.... till Limbo feels like killing it in the near future.

Until this time, Limbo has been always just a small step ahead of us getting all of the server first kills. Their dedication is commendable and has been a small nudge for our raiders to always do their best. Perhaps because our guild has always been riding on their furry little tail, they have been more dedicated and motivated than they might have been if we didn't exist on the server.. Either way, Limbo is an excellent companion guild to have, and we have worked with them on multiple occasions regarding swaping useful classes or gear or crafting items... and the friendly competition just adds some excitement...

If your guild is working on multiple drake + Sartharion pulls, Keep working at it! It's really an exciting accomplishment! Eventhough I wasn't thrilled about my personal job of swiping every single add and trying to keep agro on them all with all of the horrible lag and fps that my sadly out-of-date computer compromises me with.. I kept my focus to do my best as all good raiders do, and trusted my excellent raid leader to guide us through as he always does.. We all love and admire Sirloin!! I'm sure he ranks well up in the top 10 best raid leaders in all of the World!..of warcraft. *smile*

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Reflections on WOTLK Raiding

After immersing myself into the new content, I now have a fairly encompassing perception of how the raiding and heroics seem from the view of a feral druid tank.

First, as a tank, (especially a druid), it is extremely easy to find groups for tanking heroics. Feral druids seem to be very reliable tanks. Thinktank has mentioned in detail the mechanics of druid tanking have now been "built in" and are not very gear dependant anymore, and with the advent of swipe affecting all targets, it's much easier to pick up groups of mobs. So it's always nice to hop online and get asked to tank multiple heroics or hard hitting mobs.

Second, regarding raiding, on a scale of one to ten, the ease of the top dungeon seems to be really nerfed to me. My guild was able to work its way through all of the sunwell content before the huge changes were put into place making everything easier. So if Sunwell pre-nerf was a 10 on the scale, I would only give the Naxx 25 man instance a 5. It is a lot like Karazhan was before getting all geared out. Each week we do Naxx, it just gets easier. We only took 1-3 tries on each boss when we were learning the whole thing, and most of our actual wipes were due to server issues. We have had to challenge the lag monster almost every night in surprise locations of our raid dungeons.
The worse lag monster tends to rear his ugly head when we attempt the 25 man Malygos.
The lag was SO Bad when we were jumping from protective purple dome to purple dome that our time limit before Malygos enrages was shortened to near failure each time. If we lost more than 2-3 people in the final drake challenge, it would end up being a wasted attempt.
Regarding our strategy for Malygos.. Originally we had people stacking either north or south of the dragon, and simply move "away" from the sparks that would appear.
This seemed a very chaotic approach and I suggested that we have some organized method of moving away from sparks so that healing drakes and dps drakes would never split up. We ended up with a huge single stack to the south with all of us together... always getting healed, and able to keep continue to keep our dot stacks on Malygos. If a spark appeared, the whole group would then move counter-clock-wise around Malygos and remain in a single large cluster.

After learning each of the interesting new raid bosses and fights, it seems I am at the point of... "Is that it?"... we have completed every challenge so far except for doing the Obsidion Sanctum with the central dragon PLUS 3 drakes up for an epic fight. We were able to do the Dragon plus two drakes up fairly easily... and likely this final challenge won't take us long to complete either. I rather miss the times when we would be stuck on Kalecgos for 3 weeks each week filled with uncountable attempts tweaking individual rolls and accountability to perfect a method that works for our guild..

Final perspective:
The story content...
Regarding levelling to 80, I felt pressured to reach 80 as rapidly as possible in order to be able to begin raiding and hopefully get some server first achievements. I was about the 28th level 80 player, and it took me about 10 days. I was delayed because my daughter was levelling a deathknight on my account at the same time, and my son also plays his hunter on my account.
Overall though, I have been very impressed with the extremely long chain quests that the new content sports. You see how the stories evolve and become an integral part of them. I especially enjoy the Heroic Culling of Stratholme. I have a small group that runs that each day accumulating the bronze drake mounts. Once we have gotten everyone in the group a drake, hopefully we can sell the drake mounts in a similar fashion to the Armani bear mounts from ZA.

Affects on friends and guild relations:
I feel I actually have a lot more time on my hands to be able to do small instances or quest lines with my friends in this new world, or just work on questing solo and exploring. The raids take little time to prepare for since the "floor ham" appeared in our first full raid. (I was sitting in horde kitty form next to a floor ham in a raid, and a few players tried to click on me to eat me thinking I was the Feast!!). All we need to acquire are some flasks, and it seems even the flasks are becoming less necessary for a tank, as our healers spell power and mana efficiency keeps going up and overall survivability isn't even an issue. My guild has done lots of recruiting and there are many new faces in the guild with fresh excitement for our extremely fast raiding progression that we try to maintain. Occasional old guild members who have left over little things have migrated back, and players whose Real-life situations took away their time to play have come back to enjoy the new perks of the exciting new content...

It's well into the holiday season now, and many of my other gaming RL friends have been dipping into other new games that have come out, but I still enjoy my WOW virtual life and guild relations and gear/achievement endeavors... I'm not the "shoot-em-up" type, and I'm not a loot hog requiring new things constantly. The only other game I have been toying with is Spore. (My name is Swiftpaws) It is not a multi-user interface. It is single play only but you can incorporate other people's content and creations into your own game. I have an artistic nature and creating fuzzy animals and beautiful architectured building and vehicles appeals to me... but nothing is quite like my real virtual home in wow...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Raiding Progression

My guild Hat has just achieved one of our huge goals. We killed M'uru! Entropius died on Monday, September 15th at 11:10 pm. It was our last attempt of the night... It was indeed a surprise to all of us. We had been practicing the fight for numerous weeks in a row. We are able to take down all of the bosses up to M'uru within one night giving us multiple days to work on the fight. My particular side (near side) had gotten into a pleasant quiet and efficient routine taking down all of the shadowsword mobs with time to spare to DPS M'uru himself... It seemed like most of our best attempts were rather quiet. Each player would just go into some kind of trance hitting the sequence of buttons they require to do their job perfectly. This fight indeed requires perfection.. maintained for numerous rounds. Oddly enough, after performing our jobs perfectly for about 5 minutes, at the 6 minute mark when we begin to time the transition, too many times people would freak out, panic, and get themselves killed.
I guess it is this phenomena that seems to be causing lots of near kill wipes when working on a new boss. I guess this is why .. after we have gotten a boss down once or twice, it's not as much of a big deal, and suddenly we can down the boss in one shot, and consistantly do repeat performances each following week.
It makes me wonder what we can do to keep raiders from panicking.. I am certain when Sirloin says, "6 minute mark, just keep doing your job..." It helps keep people focused and not freak as much. A signal goes through the brain saying *note - we are doing well, don't mess it up* ... but how do you respond? Smile and keep focused? Or ... clap your hands like a child on christmas eve and freak out?
I believe we are able to keep the panic to a minimum. It's rather amazing when I myself can keep my focus while in the background of my home, a kid is asking me what the word "Trait" means, and my daughter has "Drake and Josh" blasting on the TV. My cat always is hopping onto my husband's chair the second he steps away to do something.. The only thing that really throws me off is when I get a migraine headache with the lightening doughnut aura.. I can't see half of my visual field, and I feel drained. I hate those. I would like to blame all of the cellular phone towers for them, but I live out in the boonies. :P
So productivity can be hindered.. We are only human right? Aren't we all just trying to have fun? Should we respond like humans or robots? I guess robots are more efficient...
So now.. On to Kil'Jaeden! He sure looks cool coming up out of the pink cheery floor kinda like how Ragnaros does.. Rather interesting. Hmm where was he anyways? Under the floor? Sleeping in some basement? Some magical void that just happens to be located there? Okay I guess I'm going to sound like a complete noob if I keep going on. I need Grob to explain all of the story line to me. Or winge with his magical voids and mysterious boggling explainations of the technicalities of the wow universe...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Spiralling Down

"An obsession, compulsion, or excessive physical dependence"

Day number 724 - 7pm tonight - Raid - intention = M'uru attempts, possibly ninja an Archimonde from a "mid-Hyjal-Completion-raiding Guild".

Tropical Storm Fay is quietly tapping at the door of our region. Flash floods are to be expected over the next several days. This is an extreme contrast to the severe drought that we endured around the same time last summer. The ground was so dry, dust started to infiltrate the air blocking out the sunlight in a murky haze. All green things had long ago gone into emergency standby waiting for any form of moisture to wet it's thirsty roots and rhizomes. The land had long since turned a dry golden brown and straw color... When the clouds finally had teased us enough with their taunting presence and released some life-giving waters... I let the rain wash down on me and watched everything around me drink it up and regain some of it's living colors.

Now we are going to watch the green thick grasses and fields beaten down with waters rinsing and washing away anything that isn't securely attached.

---> Being an adult, I treated myself to some M&Ms... because no one will tell me not to... Doesn't chocolate help keep us girls happy? Rumors of euphoria... I wish I could feel this.. "euphoria" a little more, but then it would probably dull the sensation with increased stimuli.
Let's not dull our senses... Sometimes I close my eyes while walking down a long empty hallway and skim my finger tips along the smooth wall to help my find my way.. just so I can 'feel' something slightly different.. sense things that have slowly been blocked out of our daily experience of life. My sense of smell has lessened so I eat things that have more flavor now.. is this normal for aging? I look at myself and I'm still a lovely female to behold.. it surprises me.. didn't I want to grow up so badly when I was a kid?

---> (Random thought eleventy-que-jillian) So how much longer before our innocence is but an irretrievable memory?

....The storms have begun already... Rain is pouring down.. the skies are darkened.. the wind has already started it's whipping of delicate green limbs and reaching fronds.

I must depart.. routine continues.. it always wins in the end.. pulling you in the flow of things..

I'm scheduled for more M'uru! How can I delay?... Oh and some delicious spaghetti? Ponder...
I'm so spontaneous.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bear obsession

Yes, I have an obsession with bears...
I am most often seen as a bear... I am most often tanking things... My favorite past time is to scan the trade chat for a few minutes for the most appealing "LF 1M Tank" request, and just volunteer myself... The most surprising ones that I respond to, are things like LF Main Tank Gruul's Lair, or Magtheridon... ZOMG these PUG groups are almost always extremely chaotic and contain random numbers of Loot ninjas, or malicious individuals who intentionally try to wipe our attempts.
Usually I come into the raid thinking I'll just kinda lay low and enjoy myself.. maybe see if my other friends who are as spontaneous as me want to tag along.. and often several of them do..
The hopes of laying low never lasts though. I usually volunteer myself to Main tank, and they readily agree when they notice I have full Tier 6 gear. Then we start on some trash.. people don't really listen or stack or heal and a random DPS will die.. usually it's my best friend Auraka who can't help but put his insane dots on the mobs, and is also fully decked out in T6 top notch gear.
Then we get to the actual Boss fight and realize that whoever threw this thing together... has NO earthly idea how to assign healers or explain the fight.. That's when I can't help by try to put some order into things. I'll organize the healers hoping that they will do their jobs.. and assign the tanks and Misdirects hoping that will work out... and amazingly.. we usually end up doing it in one or two tries.. ...except the night I agreed to tank Mag... for my friend Brahuato. He pulled me in because he said Sirloin was going.. and of course I tend to readily agree to help Sirloin because he's just such an amazing person. That particular Mag run was being led by a very derogatory leader. He took every opportunity to cut on people and tell them to not be a noob, and even had some guild recruits that he warned a few times to watch out because the way they handled themselves now would reflect on their chances of getting into the guild. Some of the PUGs they had in the group decided to respond to this leader's negative comments by intentionally not clicking on their cube when we got Mag down to under 20 percent.. and the whole raid would wipe. The leader also was unable to figure out who to boot from the raid, so we did this 3 times before they were finally replaced, and me and Sirloin managed to finish up the "easy boss" with more than half the raid dead. Windflurry also was with us and he too was stunned at how horribly the raid was handled. There was so much swearing that I wasn't even in vent for more than the first initial gathering and few pulls. My little innocent ears don't enjoy the rough vulgarity of typical low life guildling chitter chatter. I'm extremely greatful for the professional manner that my own guild is always conducted. There is respectful language and only the most important transactions going on in ventrilo which is very conducive to the concentration state of each of our raid members.

All of our members have the highest respect and admiration for our raid leader Sirloin who has been running sucessful raids for years. I try to do my part by maintaining the professional environment as well. I'm not afraid of what people think of me if I politely nudge them if they start to say mean or vulgar things, or if they talk down or act rude. Afterall, I'm a mother, and they probably expect me to be like that.

And back to the bears... Beyond volunteering my bearlike qualities to others, I also have been organizing as many ZA Bear runs as I possibly can fit in. (See advertisement below). It has been a very successful venture and there is never a lack of volunteers to get in on the runs. I have been selecting party members based on expressed interest as well as selecting key classes that will ensure a successful Bear run. I appologize to any members who may feel left out. Perhaps I should post a sign up sheet on the guild webpage to make sure I'm aware of everyone who is interested in coming.

So far, we have sold 2 bears, and on our second run, we actually made record time with 10 minutes left to spare. It's been a lot of fun!

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Regular Zul'Aman runs available to NON hat guild members for a price:
(requires 9 hat members to pull you through it)

Each Hat member will get an equal portion of the gold.

Full BEAR run price = 5000 gold.

You get the bear, plus any loot that hat members don’t need. You must pay the full cost by the time the Bear mount is to be looted via Masterloot.

Usually we do our Bear runs after our raid on Sunday, and after the raid on Tuesday or Wednesday. Assembling time for the ZA run is around 11pm, and run lasts till about 12-12:30am. Bear ONLY run lasts just under and hour (no Hex lord or Zul’Jin).

If you only want Hex lord or Zul’Jin, cost is 900 gold per boss.

****Any items you need from a boss need to be agreed upon before the run. ****
****Half of the total sum of gold is expected up front. ****

Contact Tallyswift of the Gorfiend server online if interested!!

Hat Guild Webpage:

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Druid Dilemma

Other classes may be jealous, but...
What does a druid most fret over? Which kind of gear to put on...
Aye, I could ponder and gaze at my gear for hours every evening looking at the different combinations the way other people look at an icecream sundae pondering all of the different combinations of toppings they can put on it.
I have numerous different types of sets of gear... for different situations... Each set stacks different stats and is composed of different items...
PVP gear: the highest resilience items I have.
Pure Healing gear: Of course, stacked healing
10k Hit Point healing gear: Healing with stamina for those bosses the require us healers to save our own butts (like on Archimond) when dying is more detrimental than making top marks on the healing meters...
Tanking Gear: I try to have over 30k Armor, 142 to Hit, and of course maintain critical strike immunity... AND get my dodge up as much as I can.. (For Brutallus, and basically any generic boss).
Tanking with extra dodge: Crit immune and stack dodge
Tanking with Hit and damage: Crit immune with full Hit, and as much attack power as possible for Gurtogg Bloodboil (so the little bear can compete with the leet warrior tanks in agro).
DPS gear!: Of course for kitty form.. stacked agility and as much attack power as possible... (sometimes I tank trash in this gear with my evasion trinkets.. shhh don't tell anyone... the healers don't care, it gives them something to do.. ).
Fire resist gear: at exactly 295 FR with as much Hit and dodge as I can muster.. I even enchanted all of my pieces for just a little more health and agility etc.
..and of course I play around with stacking different stats now and then, and pulling out specific pieces to still keep my T6 x4 bonus, and recently, I have acquired the ability to have the T6 x4 bonus PLUS the T4 x 2 bonus! It hasn't yet paid off yet though probably because most of my T6 pieces have lots of stamina, hit, dodge and defence type gems and enchants on them. If I can replace some of them with pure agility or some strength, I could get my attack power up to much higher levels... My aspiration is to actually try to get a second T6 helmet (which is unlikely unless all of my competing classes already have at least one). I could then put pure DPS gems and enchants on it.. :D

Anyways, I am luckily an enchanter and an alchemist. I do not have any extra profession bags, and I don't have a soul shard bag, so I can keep all of my gear sets with me and be even more flexible and the drop of a hat.

I guess this is all just miscellaneous babble about druid gear.. lots and lots and lots of druid gear if you play a druid as your main character.. The only question I have is about stacking agility for kitty form. It seems strength would be more valuable if you already have a high crit value..

Usually the way I ponder my equipment is to set it up a specific way and just try it out.. but that can be expensive if it means changing my gems and enchants.. The programs for calculating out equipment stats doesn't seem to work very well for me. Rawr is giving me fatal errors, and I don't have a spreadsheet.. /sigh I guess I'll have to acquire one.

Oh, I got a new add on... it shows my missing buffs whenever the raid leader does a ready check. It's kinda cute because it has an ansi bunny also if you are missing 3 buffs or more :D

Saturday, May 17, 2008

My Exact Symptoms of Parvo B19 virus (Fifth's Disease)

  • First Day of actual Symptoms: Tuesday, May 13th - I went to work as usual. Appetite was decreased, felt more tired than usual. As the day went on, I felt progressively more cold and achey with a fever that developed by evening and the usual fever delerium. I also felt nauseated and ate nothing that evening. I went to sleep an hour early wrapped in a warm blanket to bake out whatever virus I had.
  • Day two: I woke up still achey but my fever seemed to have disappeared. (I didn't bother to take any tylenol but I did take 2 Airborne tablets the previous day and continued to take over 2000 mg of vitamin C every day for the rest of the week.) My appetite seemed normal, but my back and shoulders seemed a little achey still.
  • Day three: Thursday - My achiness was not as bad but my eyes felt like if I rolled my eyeballs back in my head, they hurt a little. I might have had a headache but was otherwise basically okay.
  • Day Four: Friday - I woke up and took a hot shower. When I got out I realized I was covered with a rash. My arms looked like they were sunburned with white splotches and very tiny hive bumps. My legs also were red down to the tops of my feet but not as much. Mostly the red spots were where my hair follicles were like I had a shaving rash but my thighs were all red and splotched and my torso front and back with the classic "lace-like" rash as described in wikipedia. This is when I identified my virus as Parvo B19 virus. As the day wore on, my rash began to fade, but started to itch a little, particularly my feet that were encased in socks and shoes. It wasn't too hard to avoid scratching. My feet felt like they were swelling badly and my eyes felt very dry. By evening, my appetite had fully returned.
  • Day Five: Saturday - I woke with my joints hurting so I tried to sleep as much as I could to try to finally be rid of this virus. When I finally got up, I found that my hands and feet were swollen like balloons and my toes and soles really itched. I took a shower and rubbed between my toes with the damp towel and noticed my rash was completely gone. If I stretched my fingers on my hands, my skin felt so taunt that the middle knuckles turned white like the image in wikipedia.
  • Day Six: Sunday - Swelling is mostly gone, only some slight itchiness remains on hands and feet. By Monday, I felt back to myself.

Summary: Day 1 - Flu-like symptoms - nausea, fatigue, delirium, fever. Day 2-4 - Achiness, tiredness, joint pain, decreased appetite. Day 4 - "Lace-like" red rash all over the whole body except for palms and soles. Children = pronounced "slapped cheek rash". Day 5 - swollen hands and feet, slight achiness and join pain when waking. Symptoms will likely be more pronounced with a compromised immune system. To boost the immunity take lots of vitamin C and some Airborne, and get lots of sleep.

***These are the symptoms as experienced by myself. I have not yet confirmed that this is the Parvo B19 virus yet, but my test results will come back in a few days to confirm it. The parvovirus has been spreading through my community for the past several weeks. We have had numerous pregnant women coming in to be tested for it claiming that their children or their neighbor's children were infected with the virus. I blame one of the kids that came in with their mother... I remember at least one or two having the "Slapped cheek" look. So far none of the pregnant mothers have tested positive for the disease, but about half of them have tested positive for the immunity.

*****Monday May 19th: I got my results back today from my blood test. I tested positive for IgM antibodies to Parvo. That means that the blood test confirmed that I had the disease when tested on Friday. I was negative for my IgG antibodies, but I should start making those this week and then be immune to this disease for as long as my IgG antibodies last. IgG = GOOD (immunity). IgM = BAD (disease).

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New HAT material: SUNWELL

When the patch first came out, my anxious guild eagerly set foot inside of Sunwell. We were greeted with a familiar looking massive robot. Warning flags immediately should go up when you see one of these nearly indestructible constructs. If you recall Heroic Botanica, what is the most devastating point? The hallway with the two constructs that spam their purple blasts of energy all over and can often wipe the group even multiple times if not all of the players are on their toes for these metal heartless mobs. Again, in Heroic Mechanar, which mobs are the most challenging? The large constructs that slam their fists and immediately enrage afterward and beat massively on the tank. Anyways, once again, Blizzard places their beloved destructive robots into their new quaint beautiful instance. My guild devised a strategy for these robots.

Sunwell Robots: Divide the raid up into stacked groups that are spread out. This minimizes the damage from the electric charges. DPS him down.

Sunwell Robot + Scout + multiple class mob of 7-8: This is handled by first waiting for the scout to be at a good spot near the raid, easy for all range to hit. The scout is then mind soothed and distracted to stop him, a timer counts down, and all range dps blast him apart before he can agro the giant robot. The mob automatically agros the moment the scout gets hit, so the 3-4 mages in the group each sheep a target, the pretty winged beast gets slept, and the tanks pick up the vindicators, and the hunter too if there aren't enough sheep to sheep him. The hunter needs to be faced away from the raid to keep him from multishotting over the whole raid. Also, one of the mobs will fear (Dawn or Dusk, I think it's the Dusk) so pull everything back away from any non agro'd robots.

Okay after playing around with trash and mastering it finally... HAT moves onto Kalecgos. We spent SOO much time on him the first few weeks.. 9 days total, four hours each day, more than 32 attempts each day... until we finally downed him. Several times we ALMOST downed him, but the last portal didn't open, or a portal gets skipped messing up the rotation, or some other strange thing happens.. someone disconnects etc... anyways... We finally got him down and now we are working on our Brutallus strategies. Yesterday Sunwell reset and we were expecting another full day at least working to get Kalecgos down for the second time.. and what do you know? We go in filled with energy and kill him in ONE shot! :D The raid leaders were rather stunned, as was most of the raid. It was a pleasant turn of events after wiping on him SOO many time over the past few weeks... So.. Yesterday we went on to wipe the rest of the evening on Brutallus.

Regarding tanking in Sunwell... I have examined my gear and worked and reworked it many times trying to get the perfect combination of items. For Brutallus I had to have Full HIT cap of 141, remain Crit immune, AND I wanted to get over 30k armor. After playing around with some gems and combinations of trinkets and gloves, belt, chest pieces etc.. I finally achieved all three goals. My hitpoints suffered just a little, but once I upgraded all of my gems to epic AND I got the bracer that dropped off of Brutallus, I got my hit points to over 22k fully buffed.

My gear is listed in the armory. I currently have 5 pieces of T6. I keep passing on the chest because my Vindicator PVP chest seems better because of the resilience that can be used to help build up to the crit immunity. I have been pondering throwing on 2 T4 pieces for dps, but the T4 chest is just so inferior to the 2 main chests I have... Out of curiosity, I checked all of my gear for upgrades on WOW armory. I had nearly the best items in the game. My helmet is inferior to the engineering helmet, but I'm not an engineer. I still can upgrade my belt and boots to T6.. I'm not in any rush though. :D

The only question I have left to ponder... Should I replace my idol that gives me the agility bonus to dodge with the one that gives my party an increase to crit? Brutallus is essentially a DPS race... If my healers can keep me up without the agility proc'ing, then the crit bonus would be more beneficial...

Also, my Kalecgos gear is now my full tank gear with the neck traded out for the BT shadow resist neck, and my moroes lucky pocket watch traded out for the Arcane resist trinket from Karazhan. It helps enough with the shadow bolts and arcane blasts to help the healers keep me up.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The end of April....

I guess I made it....
I crawled through the green goo in the depths of the dungeons...
Well, not really, I actually just went through the implementation of the NEW millenium Laboratory computer program. It was a grueling first 2 weeks... Not because of the program itself being extremely filled with glitches and problems and duplicate, triple and quadruplicate reports printing wasting reames of canary yellow paper, but because it stressed out my co-worker like crazy and she became an extreme bear to work with!!
Hence, the reason for my long delay between posting...
Since the last post, I have acquired most of the goals that I had listed for myself. I decided that I probably enjoy fishing much more than most people who play wow.. simply because it is a really nice relaxing break.. It's kinda of like sitting on a screened in porch during a rain storm.. Just sit there and relax while you watch the rain fall, and listen to it pitter pattering all over the world...
Okay so I mean to say that fishing is mindless.. But the rewards are not meager. I usually get a pretty decent stack of food buff supplies. I get the +30 stamina crawdad food, and I get the agility mudfish steaks, and in the process I also pick up some nice clam bars for the + healing to give to Agnarian who in return gives me more agility foods. It's really a nice trade off... So not only do I get lots of yummy foods to eat, I ALSO get some really great scrolls! I'm always pleasantly surpised when the scroll case gets fished out of the water. It actually happens more than expected. I have on my right now about 9 scrolls of protection V, and about 6 agility V scrolls. So I'm all set to do my leet tanking part for Kalecgos in Sunwell. He has been a very elusive boss.. stubborn to tame.. The healing is very intense, and the curses are just killer insane after a while.. but I think all of our hard work and practice will pay off VERY soon.
Sometimes I'm amazed at how much I can just ramble on and on about some things.. Unfortunately I have also gotten to be very very playful.. I say the exact opposite of what I mean more often than not just for fun knowing that the people who know me best will know exactly what I mean and giggle about it with me.. It still throws off the very straight forward ones who don't quite know me so well yet lol... I guess it's good that I still play the game to have fun and hang out with the great friends I have made over the past 2 years!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Useful Information

Based on the new patch coming out, I sorted through and made somewhat of a priority list of things to work on now that we have access to the new content of the patch 2.4. Most of this I learned about in the druid forum summary post on the elitistjerks forums.

  • Oh MY Squigglie symbolness!!! = The Idol of the Raven Goddess that previously gave +0.4% crit to everyone in the feral druid's party will NOW give +0.9% crit to the party! According to the calculations: "Assuming an average person in the party does 1500 DPS with a direct 1%crit->1% damage ration, it's a gain of ~6DPS per member, or 24 DPS + your own gain (more likely to be 4-5 or so)." **NOW**, AS OF 2.4, each party member gains ~13.5DPS per person for a total party DPS of 54 DPS + your own gain. This makes your presence twice as valuable in the group than previously with the Raven Goddess idol equiped. I'm going to request to be placed in the hunter party when I'm not tanking.
  • Aquire this trinket upgrade: Tsunami Talisman = the upgraded version of Hourglass of the Unraveller. I still use this passive trinket for kitty form because I believe in removing clicking dependencies wherever it's more likely that the computer will be more efficient at thinking for me. I don't get those warm fuzzies from seeing huge numbers that some other players get, so popping damage trinkets isn't a warm fuzzy thing for me...
  • Spend more time fishing for Figluster's Mudfish agility food and doing the daily fishing quest instead of farming Skettis for Warp Burgers.. I guess that just gets old after a while.
  • Work on reputation with the new faction to be able to learn the new +Defence to chest enchant! *woot* so I can put it on the new t4 chest I got last night off of the rather even more nerfed Magtheridon that we botched up badly yet still downed with only 10 players left standing for most of the fight and me back up main tanking in my Hit gear. LOL. I hope to get one more piece of t6 in Sunwell so I can then swap out one of the 4 I have now to gain the 4 t6 set bonus AND the 2 t4 set bonus. This will be excellent energy and rage generation PLUS the 15 percent increase in damage all together!
  • Run the new 5 man heroic until I get the new trinket: Commendation of Kael'thas. My two companion main tanks Teraxe and Bedwyr have already won this nice upgrade. I spent a lot of time pondering over how much of an upgrade it might be, and if it would be a problem by removing the human factor of being able to pop the trinket to initiate the extremely beneficial increase in dodge. I currently use the Moroe's Lucky Pocket Watch, plus the Badge of Tenacity combination, and when I am tanking Mother Shah'raz, I alternate them between the 2 minute cooldowns. So about every minute or so, I can dodge a little extra and give the healers a break for a few seconds. With the new trinket, I'll have about 700 more life as a buffer, plus the increase in life will cause the new trinket to activate when I still have less than 7500 hit points or so (my hit points while tanking Mother are currently about 21k fully buffed). The advantage of this trinket though, is that it can activate potentially every 31 seconds if I dip below the 35 percent life threshold. There will not be as many stressful moments when I see my life dip, and I still have over 45 seconds left on all of my trinkets because I used them both. Now I only have to watch one trinket, and maybe have my trigger finger ready on my feral combat potion+HS macro, and just admire the other trinket when it procs for me. I'll be swapping out some of my +defence gems for straight stamina to try to increase my hitpoints even more.
  • Figure out what to do with all of the honor I now have from turning in my stacks of 100 PVP tokens my daughter has been accumulating from playing my character in battlegrounds. :D

And that's enough to fret my little furry bear head over for now... There is a LOT more content to explore than I had expected, and I'm excited. Unfortunately, I am not as much of a power gamer as some of my guild companions and I'll be taking my time to thoroughly explore it in my meager yet sufficient freetime.

New Content!!

Well I have not yet discovered all of the new content, but as of this new patch, there are a lot of very refreshing changes! First of all, everyone now has access to the Hyjal and Black Temple instances that previously were basically off limits unless your guild was filled with extremely serious raiders who were relentless about getting down Vashj and Kael... Those two epic battles were large obstacles for most guilds and almost impossible for the casual laid back raiding guilds. Unfortunately, my "brilliant idea" in the following post is now simply an "obsolete idea" unless a high end guild simply charges people gold to take them through the attunement steps to gain the "Hand of Ad'al" title, but what an expensive title that would be? But the good news is.. Guilds that were beyond the attunement hump and were into the farming stages of Black Temple are now able to find new recruits. Blizzard has brought the players together... the over powered high end players and the ambitious yet stuck players can now get together and progress side by side again.. There are new challenges to face that are not restricted to only half of the lucky population of the server, but all may set foot into them and get their butts handed to them just as efficiently as anyone else.. And much handing of hindquarters occured on Tuesday night when raiding guilds peaked their eager head around the corners of the new 25-man instance Sunwell. Our guild had a night of exploring and experimenting with the efficiency of blasting scouts before they awaken the huge electified green robots that shoot chain lightening through the raid like current through a copper wire... New content luckily has a fresh and exciting feel to it... allowing you to tolerate all of the silliness wipes to a certain degree. But then you expect to see progression, and we did get in multiple decent learning attempts on the first boss after dragging torturously through the finicky trash mobs. Overall I think Sunwell will be a lot of fun. The loot is new and exciting, and getting heroic badges from Hyjal and BT as well as the ability to bring all of the alts through them is a huge bonus since the new patch.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Brilliant Idea?

Okay this may be perceived as ludicrous to some, but....
In almost every guild, there comes a time where the regular raiders will start to have real life interference that takes them away from their raiding posts, or the player will simply drift into other things besides raiding... This will leave a void and can sometimes be compensated for by other guild members, but the more people who drift away, the more it can cripple a guild's raiding ability. At this point in time, the guild leaders will begin to consider recruiting replacements to fill those voids. Often they would like to get specific classes and will seek out replacements who are qualified for the position. Currently my guild is actively seeking to fill the position of a resto shaman and a shadow priest, as well as other general healing classes. As a response, the current guild members have searched through their friend lists and other resources finding a few players that are accepted.. but after those resources have been exhausted, the guild members must then look for new players that may not be well known entities.. HAT guild has the upper hand in recruiting because we currently have done a complete clear of Black Temple, and have Mount Hyjal on farm. Now.. here is where my idea comes in... Our little obstacle in recruiting is the fact that the majority of available players are not yet Black Temple attuned. The individuals who /are/ attuned are most likely content with their guild and would be very hard to recruit. The only ones who would be recruitable are more likely to be guild hoppers, or may end up being a bit sketchy with raid attendance. So, my idea includes a possible two week long process that would involve attuning some new characters. First of all, we would include several key alts that our current reliable players have for example: Jingle has a priest alt who was often at many of the pre-Black Temple raids and has decent gear. Several other players have well geared druid alts, or paladin alts as well. This would give the guild more flexibility for fights such as Gurtogg Bloodboil where a mage would not be nearly as useful as a priest would, and other fights where a melee or range DPS could be swapped out for an ALT healer or hybrid. Also, the player will be able to get excited about picking up gear that might otherwise be disenchanted because most of our main raiders are fairly well geared at this point. So, our attunement group would include about 4-5 Alts, but we still need more actual dedicated players to fill up the occasional extra spot in our 25 man raids. This is where the brilliance comes in. ..... Because we have basically run out of players whom people could *without a doubt* be vouched for, it would be a risk to _first_ invite a new recruit and _then_ attune them.. What if they don't show up to the raids? What if their performance isn't up to standards and brings the quality of our raids down? Then we would have to consider confronting them about their performance, replacing them, or even removing them from the guild.. Therefore.... I suggest that HAT advertise Black Temple Attunenments! There is a price of course. Probably set at somewhere between 500 to 1000 gold each. (According to other members of the Gorfiend server, attunment is already set at about 1000 gold). For our runs, we could charge: 300-600 for the Eye including Kael, and 200-400 hundred gold for SSC including Vashj. This would allow the dedicated players who are still loyal to their own guilds to become Black Temple attuned and possibly break away from their well loved guild that might not be progressing into the end game instances that they might wish to see, or stay with them and help them progress from the experience they gained from raiding with HAT. This would also allow some players in some guilds to manage to get their second vial and maybe also progress into end game. The price would compensate the high geared players who will be taking these folks through the instances. So for example, if the raid consists of 5 alt players, and 6 possible recruit tag-alongs. That would leave about 14-15 main players to be partially compensated for their efforts. Of course it would also be FUN for most serious raiders.. They raid because they enjoy it! So if SSC takes two days, with 6 recruits paying 200-400 gold each, that would be 1200-2400 gold to compensate the other members who are not alts. Each geared member would get about 80-160 gold to do this run for the alts and the possible recruits. Hopefully no one's repair bill will be over 40 gold each day, so it would be well worth the main raiders to first of all, get guild alts attuned, and secondly, evaluate some new players and possible recruits. In the end, even if this does not produce new members for the guild, the alts will be attuned, and the raiders will have had some fun at little to no cost to their personal gold funds. Some of the profits could also be given to the alts who are getting attuned in response to guild need anyways. (If the alts are included in the compensation equation, the guild members still will be compensated with 60-120 gold each for the SSC run, and 90-180 gold for The Eye run). As a result of including non guild members... these individuals can be seen as possible recruits. The possible recruits will get a chance in return to see how our guild runs, and evaluate whether or not they would fit in and enjoy raiding with us. It will be beneficial for all individuals involved in the long run. If all goes well, HAT will become even better known, and attain the reputation of containing players willing to help others. There are some risks though. A possible recruit could in fact attempt to ninja the instance when the scheduled rais is not running it. This would set our guild back a week with our attempts to attune people. If this does actually happen, our guild would simply delay the efforts and get back to our guild only Hijal farming runs and Black Temple runs. Therefore the possible recruits would need to be screened well as being well known non-malicious people. What are the chances that this will work? Well it will come down to the actual raid make up. If the 3 main tanks are top geared, and there are at least 3 top geared healers, and 4 top geared DPS, they should be able to pull the weight of the alts who should already be known to have excellent player skills and able to maximize their alt's efficiency. Hopefully the recruits will also be serious players that can be vouched for as reliable players and good people, so that the raid should still work out. It's so crazy it just might work...
Okay, so this isn't a NEW idea, but it is simply illustrated here in detail to point out how it might be beneficial to execute such a plan of action to help gather like minded people together who enjoy raiding...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hoooray! Illidan is dead!

Okay okay, I guess all of these posts about winning and stuff were initiated due to the fact that my guild HAT finally took Illidan down on Monday March 10th. (Um yeah, 2 days ago). I didn't have time to post anything until today. I have a few afterthoughts about our epic experience that I would like to record right here for my buddies to ponder over.. ... First of all, it took us several weeks to work up to the point of even getting to Illidan. Once we were able to get to him on a weekly basis, the actual fight itself required many hours of practice ---> particularly with kiting of the Flames of Azzinoth. Two tanks get to do this fun job that has been called "The hardest tanking job in the game" by some. I was one of them. I was decked out in full fire resist gear which included: The full set of heroic badge gear (chest, gloves, leggings, and boots), I still had my Lava belt that my friend Whitefire made for me from the days of Molten Core, I also had my Onyxia neck piece, and the Blood of onyxia trinket. I had a few slots left to work with to get in as much armor, dodge, defense and burst damage as I could get to help with survivability and holding agro. I selected my T6 helm, plus the T6 Shoulders for the 2 piece bonus, and I have my new Pillar staff from Mount Hyjal for the most damage I can do. This set of gear seems to work out okay except it is still very fragile regarding Agro, and our DPSers had to be very careful about watching their own threat. I learned how to do the kiting from the very helpful informational YouTube video that you can find links to from Bosskillers or other WOW resource sites. Um yeah I guess this blah blah isn't really important unless you too are a feral druid who is either about to tank Illidan in fire resist gear, or has been kiting him and likes to compare methods with other people... But.. I just wanted to note something about the kiting pattern around the concentric circles on the ground that the raid is standing within. There are lines that basically mark the range limit for each elemental, but they are not exact. The exact markings are the small double lines that are at regular intervals on the inner ring. The north west line that marks my north limit is just outside of the limit range for my Elemental, and whenever I stretch this limit, the other elemental will immediately charge me just before or during the time that I turn it around, and it is flaming at me. there I was... just an innocent little bear... (with sharp 4 inch claws and razor sharp teeth, and a vicious bite to go with it).... Minding my own business.. just toying with the cute fuzzy little flaming elemental (who was flaming me for ticks of 3-4k fire damage of which I could resist 2.5k or so each).... Just pawing at it playfully.. luring it in my direction.. playing with it like a cat toys with it's prey before it pounces and breaks the poor mousie's neck.... and suddenly a giant blue laser beam ray shoots down from the sky where Illidan is ominously hovering over us... It sears the ground behind me in a path heading straight toward the innocent little bear... so I dodge outward.. jumping gleefully into the safe zone... and ( *ZAP* -19000 ).. my poor innocent bear tail gets seared right off.... I LIVE.. ..but my little toy elemental gazes at me with it's evil eye that says "I don't think so" .. and .. I .. die...
I am proud to report though.. that of the seven attempts that it took for us to take down Illidan that night, only on that attempt and one other attempt where I discovered the north line border, did we not make it through the Flame of Azzinoth kiting phase. So 5 out of 7 near perfect kiting phases courtesy of myself and our other brave and valiant fire-resist tank: Morphinicus. Not too shabby.. eh? So after a few tries to get through the final phase of the fight.. one of which the parasites went out of control at the last 3 percent left of Illidan's waning life bar.. on our seventh try for the night we finally saw him drop.... and then there was rejoicing.... So.. now what? I guess we do it all over again! But next time.. even better! (like I said in a previous post.. there is no end of the game truely)... It's all about taking on a challenge and through excellent teamwork and execution of a carefully devised plan... achieving our goals.

Winning the Game

Well, winning the game is truely a relative term, but if you /could/ win it, I guess most people would say it would involve killing the final boss in the game. Other people might consider it as gearing up with the top gear in every slot AND killing the final boss.. Yet other people might consider it achieving top PVP status or being ranked number one as a guild. Truely the "winning the game" idea is just a goal that you set for yourself. What do you do once you reach that goal? Well... you make another one and work toward that one! So in reality.. we never can really "Win The World of Warcraft" like we can win other games... Now as far as LOSING the game.. I don't think there is any way of actually LOSING, but if you /could/ lose, my son managed to do it. He had made a character (a Night Elf Druid actually) and was leveling him up, but whenever he died, he would use the spirit ressurection. After a while, he had completely run out of all forms of currency.. perhaps had only a few coppers to his name, and every single piece of gear he owned was at Zero durability... Not only that, but he had not been on the server long enough to make any friends, and I had no characters on the server to pass him any gold either. ... So this rendered him completely useless trying to fist fight spiders or bats. He couldn't even kill anything in order to regain his gold.. so all of those 4 hours was wasted and he had to start over.. LOL.. I believe Blizzard has created this game to make it so that there is no way of losing.. if you lose you might stop playing, and if you stop playing, you won't want to pay the monthly fee, and if you don't do that, then they won't make money off of you.. so we /certainly/ can't have that!

Over all.. I believe when you mosey off to bed and ponder over the events of the evening after playing online with your friends... you get a sense of accomplishment if you had a good team, and together you achieved some goal.. It is the feeling of teamwork, and comraderie at its peak. You have a sense of being needed and appreciated. Of course one should seek this type of usefulness and accomplishment in all aspects of their lives as well. When you go to work and work as a team to get the daily tasks done, it should also be followed by a "Good day's work done" feeling. When you do a favor for someone, you also have the satisfaction of having done something good, something right, something useful and your self value will increase in your own eyes and in the eyes of others as well. So why do we play this game? What is the meaning of life? Why does my daughter make such a mess in the kitchen when she is baking cookies?? Well we may never know, but perhaps they are all tied together.. Wow is another way for humans to interact.. and perhaps some of you hermits thought you didn't need human interaction, but in fact, we do.. Isolation is not truely a desireable thing.. Seeing yourself reflected off of others by hearing a simple "thank you" for helping others.. is a desirable thing for most humans... So don't forget to appreciate your friends... so they can wake up the next day ready to be even more "cool" and look forward to teaming up yet again.. And.. well.. Make that 15 dollars a month worth every cent... Blizzard will thank you later .. won't they?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Another Late Night

All this long raiding has gotten a little bear all tuckered out...
It has rendered me nearly speachless.... so my solution to this is...
How about I just post several interesting eventful screenshots?

When the phases of the moon and the earth's relative location along it's circumfrencial path aligns itself in a more verbally proliferative inducing manner, I will commit to writing long drawn out paragraphs about useful, or perhaps not so useful information for all computer addicts who might just avert their eyes in this general direction simply to absorb my extremely long run on sentences....

Coming to an insane Tally blog near you... Soon!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Random Tally Thoughts - cluster 2,300,221

As of the last post, we did sucessfully manage to take down the Illidary Council! The two days of practice paid off, and with the help of my faithful warrior companion and husband, we were able to keep the mischievous rogue under control. We got into a pattern of rushing Veras Darkshadow and pummelling him for all that our trusty weapons were worth, as well as taking turns stunning him with bash, backing up for intercepts and feral charges. Once he vanished we would dance around the fire and blizzards on the edge of the raid rather inbetween the raid members and where we are trying to keep the rogue spawning and tanked at. With two sets of eyes watching for him it is far easier to spot where he spawns and charge in with lightening response. The fight overall is very long and each member had their own particular job to focus on while also dancing away from the deadly fire and ice patches. We consumed large amounts of potions, elixirs, flasks, and healthstones.. it was a merry bunch of players when we finally succeded. My warrior companion was awarded the sweet DPS plate helmet that dropped to replace the very ugly one he was using that made him look a lot like a murlock! Imotheap was often heard Murbolling in perfect murlock imitation whenever Grendu appeared.
And then.... the lock barring the massive doors to the final destination within the Black temple was broken with multiple rays of colored energy... and we all trotted up stone steps to come face to face with Illidan himself..
I thought, "Wow, here we are at the final boss.. after all this time.. and well.. he seems shorter than I thought he would be.. hehe"
Isn't that what Anakin Walker says to General Grievous when they first meet also?
We did a few practice "getting the feel" attempts on Illidan and died extremely pathetically each time in the second phase of the fight.. wherein lies yet one more tanking challenge for myself and one of our top two protection tanks, Aggresser. It will be simple task of mimicking the informational U-Tube videos, and practicing until we get the patterns and attack cycles down... and watch out for the blue beam of death while dancing with our firey lime-yellow elemental friend.... I guess we shall see how it goes...

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Challenge of Disappearing Targets

A very popular "disappearing target" is Moroes from Karazhan. This elusive skeletal figure will beat on the main tank for a period of time, then suddenly vanish to award some random party member with a garotte that is not dispellable. Moroes will then re-appear and return to the tank that has been working up his agro on him from the beginning of the fight. The fact that the agro is not reset makes him rather easy to tank as long as no one surpasses the main tank in agro drawing the boss to themself instead.
Imagine what it would be like if Moroes disappears, but has a complete agro wipe before he re-appears in some random location in the raid.. That is what the mob I was assigned to tank last night did. A druid was selected to tank it because we can easily charge the mob when it re-appears and maul or mangle it rapidly to rip the agro back onto our furry armored bodies..
Sounds rather simple.. but to make things more complicated.. occasionally, the mob will have a shield making it immune to phyiscal attacks. ... So a druid can pop out of bear and Moonfire it to try to rip agro back... So here comes this mob back over to a more squishy druid who has to be quick on the reflexes and pop back into bear, then quickly mangle again to keep agro...
The Mob I speak of is the challenging Veras Darkshadow (rogue) of the Illidari Council in the Black Temple.
I was ready for the task... I had my macros all set: Macro One: /targetexact Veras Darkshadow /cast (Maul rank 8), and Macro Two: /targetexact Veras Darkshadow /cast Feral Charge. I also set the sneaky rogue to my /focus, and had a /cast [target=focus] Moonfire all set for him... I drank my agility potions, threw on my Hit and Tank gear and got ready... Our brave Paladin steps in and gets a Blessing of Protection to avoid instant death from the initial pull of the whole Illidari Council, and I move in and hit Veras with a Fairy Fire.. He heads over to me and I Maul and Mangle him and throw on some Lacerates. (I have my Lacerate and Maul on the same key because they have no cooldown). Things are going well, and my dedicated Paladin healer Hiro keeps me alive easily as I dodge most of the rogue's attacks... La la.. fun fun.. and then **Vanish*** so I wait a few seconds and start to look for the sneaky devil to pop back up.. ~~come out come out wherever you are!!!~~~ And I get impatient.. so I start to hit my Feral Charge macro... and suddenly I charge in and hit one of the other Council members! Why didn't my /targetexact work? ZOMG.. so I back away and finally the rogue pops back up... How convenient.. Right in front of me!!! So here goes.. I hit my /targetexact Veras Darkshadow /Maul button... and Um.. it's not working... ZOMG I'm totally out of Rage!!! He runs off and kills some healers and the Main tank dies, and we wipe..
Okay well.. This is the learning curve right? I will not be rageless ever again.. I discover that Boss Mods has a nice timer for us to see exactly when he will re-appear, so next time I will be ready..
Bopstar heads in for the initial pull again.. He's BOP'd and I pull again with Fairy Fire, and run toward him to Maul and Mangle and OH wait... My enrage must have agro'd everything before Bopstar could engage them! Gathios the Shatterer (paladin) smacks me for about 8k, then my lovely target, Veras, comes over and procedes to destroy me for 4 sucessive hits of 3k each. Somehow I didn't dodge a single one... Curse you Enrage button!!!
..Okay so.. Try again..
This time I throw on more Tanking gear and less HIT gear...
The pull begins.. I'm dancing on my toes all ready to pull without my enrage.. I decide to Moonfire him instead, then pop into bearform and tank him. Moonfire hits, but he runs away to the other side of the room anyways as well as a few other Council members... We wipe again.
HMMMMMM... Why does something so easy end up being so complicated??
Anyways.. That was our first time setting foot into the Illidari Council room.
I learned that my Hit gear is more important than the tank gear because one missed Maul or Mangle could lead to the rogue running off and killing someone else. I will just save my Badge of Tenacity to dodge his attacks. I also learned that I can go and beat on some other Council member during the Vanish period to keep a lot of rage for when he re-appears. And finally I learned that .. if the moonfire is needed... pop into bearform VERY fast or else it's instadeath for my little furry self when Veras turns his evil eye back on me and pokes those sharp objects into something other than my armored bear fur!

One last thing I think helps out a lot... Veras Darkshadow is Stunable... so I call out when he is about to appear so that the paladins can be on the watch for him and Hammer of Justice him into place to buy me some time to charge in and maul and mangle him... Teamwork often is the key to making things work out... especially when your target just won't stay put!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Planning Raids and getting people to come!

How to plan events....

1) "WHEN" Communication!!! First of all, the guild should select specific days of the week as "Raid Days". This works far better than using a guild calendar and scheduling events on it for several reasons. The Calendar might not be updated early enough for everyone to see the event and plan to be at the raid. Many of the members may not have the Calendar add-on installed. They might not know they even need to get one, or they might have been told, and didn't find it to be "essential"... and still have not bothered to get it. The Calendar is not necessary if days are selected and remain static. The "Raid Day" method always seems to work better because of communication. If someone us unsure of when the raids are, almost anyone else in the guild can tell them exactly what days are the "Raid Days". If the Calendar is being used, usually only one person, or a handful of people will actually be scheduling the events and times. There may even be a miss communication problem between the people scheduling them causing confusion.. Again.. just simplify and have "Raid Days". For example, My guild will always raid on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Raiders are expected to show up for the raids, and should let raid leaders know if they can't come.

2) "WHAT" Communication.... So the first step is knowing WHEN, now what must be communicated is knowing WHAT to expect... This is best done through a simple guild message of the day explaining what the raid will be, and what any other future details.. Also, our raid leader gives a very precise summary of what we will expect to accomplish at the beginning of the raid, and at the end of the raid, his evaluation of how well we did, and what to expect to happen in the next raid day, as well as any type of consumables or equipment that will be needed.

Even with great communication expressing raid times and expectations, there still might be problems with raiders not showing up. Some raiders will quit playing or leave the guild, or their computer breaks down, or they just have a lot going on in life that pulls them away from raiding for a period of time... These things are to be expected, and it seems recruitment is an on going process.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

More Stealthing!

The air was teppid, and scented with a slightly spicy yet pungent odor... perhaps from the fine dust floating low in the air... Oh wait... That's not dust, It's Spores! Ahhhh - CHOO!
I was surrounded by a soft close feeling.. almost like being inside of A large passive creature.
The ground was almost squishy like stepping on a giant tongue.. A few more steps revealed plant-like projections sprouting from the terrain, and some signs of life.. actually, LOTS of signs of life.. Perhaps it was just the lack of daylight in this deep cavity beneath the Coilfang Reservoir, instead, it was illuminated with a soft orange glow that gives the impression of being inside of something living. A pair of Sporebats flutter past me, unaware of the silently stalking kitty. I continue to pad through some reddish mossy underbrush until I find that which I came here seeking.... a patch of Sanguine Hibiscus. Although most people will just collect them for a mid level 60 quest, I have come back seeking them now... at level 70. If I can just collect enough of them, The tiny Sporegar folks will grace me with their exalting reputation and sell me some Shrouding potions, and teach me how to transmute the very valuable Primal earth to Primal Water. Because I'm surrounded by creatures that are only level 65ish, I can stay just far enough away to pop out of kitty stealth mode and collect these precious flowers very rapidly! Yes, that's right.. more flowers for Tally... All for me... making myself a big big bouquet that will make the Sporegar folks love me.. Eek I'm starting to sound as jovial as a smurf!

Um, yeah.. I get a little lost in my Tally world.
To sum it up for you, Very easy Sporegar rep = Stealthing regular Underbog, Pick up 7-8 Sanguine Hibiscus per run, reset instance, Collect them till you are exalted. This method seemed far less time consuming that the other reputation gaining methods. Fun.. I even wore the Sporegar Tabard with the mushroom on the front of it for a long time. I guess I like cute things.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Cash Stealthing Cow

Well, the information about the Dailies is not new information, it is just probably the best option to make some quick gold that everyone can easily do. (Everyone meaning.... People who CAN'T Stealth)....

If, however, you are a druid or a rogue, there are some special bonus options available for making some quick gold----> Stealth Runs! (with an enchanter... er... DIS-enchanter I mean)...

Here are the options:

Party = 1 Druid (tank), 1 Druid (healer), 2 Rogues/Druids (dps)
Instance = Normal Sethekk Halls

With this group of four, all members can stealth to just before the first boss. There is a patrolling bird that pats into the boss room. The bird, plus the two mobs on either side of the doorway may pull if you run straight in and start the boss fight right away, so we usually clear those mobs, plus the nearby mob in the corner of that hallway leading up to the first boss room.
This first boss is relatively easy. It will spawn at least two waves of elemental adds that will need to be dps'd down, and then the third wave can often be ignored in favor of just killing off the boss. The loot is one blue that is then disenchanted into 1 Large Prismatic Shard. Next... on to the last boss! Yup.. just skip passed all of the other junk in between... just stealth right past it all... Rogues can simply distract birds if needed, or sap mobs that might be tight squeezes if one of the members doesn't have all of their talent points spent in improved stealth... The final boss is quickly destroyed with 4 good players, and drops 2 blues that become 2 Large Prismatic Shards. As a bonus, there might also be spirit shards if your faction controls the towers at the time of your run. Each stealth run results in 3 Large prismatic shards, taking about 10-15 mintues each. You can reset the instance and run it 4 times resulting in a total of 12 Large Prismatic Shards. Each person gets 3. They sell for about 20 gold each on our Auction house, so that is another 60 gold earned in less than an hour (if you don't screw up). ....and not to mention, it is rather fun! Especially compared to doing the dailies OVER and OVER and OVER again...

"What if I can't get that many stealthers?" you ask?
Well, it can actually be done with just a Feral Druid, and a Rogue!!

In this case, the first boss will be skipped. The pair will get up to the first boss, then the rogue will enter initially and agro the boss (who can see stealth). The rogue will simply walk out the exit on the other side and then vanish around the corner of the doorway while the druid will stealth through the room as the boss is kept busy. Just be sure the druid is safely through to the other side and doesn't enter combat before the rogue vanishes.... then ---> On to the final boss. It can be done with just these two! (if both are well geared and know what they are doing)... The druid will need to tank the boss while the rogue may spend most of his time sheeped. The druid can then heal with tranquility during one of his explosions, and although it can be very close for comfort, it can still be done sucessfully most of the time. Of course, this can be done more easily with three stealthers, or it can even be done with two druids, but to pass the first boss (who cannot be killed with only two players), one druid would have to sacrifice themself, and be combat rez'ed on the other side. So the number of runs two druids can do together is limited by the combat ressurection cooldown for both of them. (2 every half hour).
The results are: (1 rogue + 1 druid) (4 runs in about 30 minutes with no mistakes) 8 shards total, 4 large prismatic shards each = about 80 gold in 30 minutes! Of course.. it doesn't always go perfectly, so it often takes more like an hour to get your 8 shards.

"What if NO ONE will come with me??" You ask??

Well, if you are a druid or a rogue with enchanting... There is yet another way to make lots of gold from stealth runs. Go and solo Lower Black Rock Spire! Every single boss in this instance can be solo'd except for the last boss. If there are two of you, then you can even do the last boss.

The fruit of these runs comes out to be about 7 Large Brilliant Shards per run, and each run takes about 12-17 mintues. Large Brilliant shards run at about 5 gold each in our Auction House, for a total of 35 gold per run. If you run it 3 times, that's about 80 gold in less than an hour. With two stealthers, the runs are faster, but shards need to be split between two.. but company always makes everything much more fun!!

**Note** Large Prismatic Shards sell FAR more rapidly and are of much higher value than the Large Brilliant Shards, so the LBRS runs may not result in QUICK gold.. but they do sell eventually...

So ... what is the most profitable secondary skill?? Perhaps... Enchanting?? hehe. I have made all of my gold from this skill, and have not made any gold from my Alchemy at all. Both skills are very beneficial to me though. One just makes a LOT more money for me.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Secret Cash Cow

One of the most common questions that I get asked is... "Tally, how did you save up for your epic flight form?" Well, to answer this, I will have to spill a few of my druid secrets...

PART ONE) The first method: Solo, or with a party. Dailies!
a) Skettis - Bomb Monstrous Kiliary eggs (about 5 minutes) - 11 gold.
b) Take the express flight path to Blade's Edge Mountains - Wrangle Aether Rays (about 5-7 minutes), Bombing quest - (about 5-7 minutes), Apexis Emmanation "Simon Says" (5-7 minutes), and optional: Banishing Demons, (about 10-12 minutes). - 44 gold total.

**Note: Usually while I'm doing the the Skettis bombing, I also will farm the water elementals and get one primal water that sells for about 20ish gold, and also farm the Warp Burgers for raiding (and often are for the Kiliary soup cooking quest). Also I will farm a few motes of fire when doing the banishing demons and hope for the rare Badge of Tenacity to drop. (I was one of the lucky ones who happened to get mine while banishing demons.. rare, but it happens). If you want to do even more dailies, there are still about 5 more that can be done rather quickly in Netherwing.. but they usually take me at least another full hour and are not as time efficient. I'd rather be doing Stealth runs, myself..

So.. doing all of these dailies plus a little farming produces about 55 gold immediately, plus another 25 or so from farming a few motes of water and fire... and another 8 gold from the cooking quest including some free meat or fish. All this within about 30 to 60 minutes depending on how long it takes to get the motes if I'm farming, and where the cooking quest is located. Of course, the time it takes can be faster or slower depending on how many party members are with you. With more members, it's even faster.

I'll add PART TWO tomorrow..... Druid + Stealth + Enchanting = GOLD

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Battle of Mount Hyjal - Tank Boot Camp

Attention all tanks!! Want a chance to really shine?? Here's your big chance to really show it off!! ...or get beat into the best shape you've ever been.... This is Tank boot Camp afterall!
The Battle of Mount Hyjal is basically just a series of waves of mobs that contain a slightly different selection and number of mobs. The mobs consist of.. well.. no offense to all the undead out there but.. the ugliest groups of mobs you will encounter! Remember walking through the "Dead Scar" when leveling up your beautiful blood elf paladin or warlock or whatever it was you wanted to make so you could see how attractive the new race was? ..and suddenly you enter combat.. and turn around to face the ugliest lumbering pale sickly green malformation you've ever seen coming right at you?... Um, Yeah... the Abomination. Our raid leader likes to call them A-Bombs. There are also: Ghouls, Gargoyles, Crypt Fiends, and some Infernals and Fel Stalkers.. There are about 8 different waves immediately followed by the appearance of a boss.
Anyways.. This is where usually there are 3-4 tanks make a group effort to pick up all of the mobs that come in a big mass... Fun... So we run in there!!! Head first!!! WHEEEE!! Oh well right after the little whimpy knights run in first to avoid our own insta-death... and then claws and teeth and tentacles and decayed limbs all collide in battle.. It becomes a squirming mass of sparkling Orcish warriors and Taurens in their glowing armor swinging blood dripping huge swords... I can just imagine their battleshouts... in the middle of the fray screaming at the top of their deep lungs like He-Man or something.. Oh and of course.. the little Feral druid bear bouncing around gnawing creepy undead creatures away from the knights and the other party members and dragging them back to the mass. After our fearless leader Sirloin decides we have had sufficient time to get good agro on them, the AOE starts, and now the mass of battling bodies becomes a swirl of storms and explosions of purple and blue and white until we are left standing in a pile of dead and rotting bodies.. and then the next wave is about to begin..

This is great practice for us tanking folks because we have to keep an eye on any stragglers and pick them up, and also continue to apply sufficient agro to the targets we already have.. Some targets are stolen back and forth, and other targets are kited away at the very beginning by the hunters and then brought back to the pile. Of course, this is where the protection paladin will be most masterful. Some have even said that it is CAKE for them. So... this type of battle simply forces the tanks and actually indeed the WHOLE raid to watch numerous targets and keep them under control. Sometimes a hunter will notice one out of the mass and misdirect it back, sometimes a dps shaman will notice one and pull it back. It's a group effort from the whole raid, but the tanks must be the best at it, and this is the best place to practice your multiple target control skills.

There is one other thing to note here.. These are all elite mobs. Comparing elite mobs is like comparing a teddy bear with a polar bear. They both look soft and furry and bearlike, but the moment you claw it, the teddy bear will rip in half, while the polar bear will get a minor scratch then turn around and claw you back if it even bothers to notice you at all... For these waves of mobs, I usually wear my Hit/Expertise gear, and I throw on a shadow resist cape and neck piece for the Banshees and Necromancer waves. The preparation for each different wave, and each different boss at the end is also important. So .. after working through each boss of The Battle of Hyjal, the raid has graduated to a new level of "Cool". Now... when the hunter sneaks up and pulls a hard to pull mob and accidentally gets two of them... or a happy-go-lucky warlock inches forward with the stealthed druids and rogues forgetting that he's visible and they aren't and face pulls... well... then tanks are all ready to JUMP right in and pick up all 10 elites and get them under control really fast with few to zero deaths. Everyone else just jumps right in and does their control large mob skills along with them, and the raid is left with a satisfied feeling knowing they learned it all from Tanking Boot Camp....

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

World of Warcraft Blogging....

Is it addictive? Perhaps... Is it fun? I guess so if you like pondering over your character's progress, potential gear upgrades to work towards, and evaluating the how's and why's of the previous night's raids and instances... ..and then like to present your thoughts in a clear and easy way in the form of typed out words.. Does anyone else really care? Well I don't know yet, but part one and part two are enough to compell me to create this Blog, and become a part of the extensive network of World of Warcraft fanatics, particularly the furry type who call themselves Druids.
..It is true, I was never fond of the color orange.. until I became identified as
the class whose name always shows up in orange... Now, orange is a furry color, a familiar color, and also the color I look for when hoping to do a stealth run for quick large prismatic shards.. although yellow is okay too. ;D

I guess this is the first blog post that I will create, so I should include a little bit more about my little Tauren Druid that I'm so very fond of spending time with every evening when dusk covers the world with a soft periwinkle and violet light... I play Tallyswift, a feral druid on the server Gorefiend. Currently my guild HAT is working on Black Temple and doing surprisingly well. I only recently joined them about 2 months ago. Since then, I have seen a LOT of game content that I never though I would ever get to see. It happens far too often that a good group of friends create a guild, and the guild goes through an evolutionary phase that can be moderately successful, very successful, or just dwindle away and eventually fall apart... or they might even just separate down their own paths and just toss a whisper now and then, or the guild could even be absorbed or .. well you know.. anything could happen... and I was in such a very family oriented type of guild... but it takes a guild filled with serious raiders to actually get the really hard bosses down in the post Karazhan instances... at least to get them down without wanting to tear out your hair by the end of it.. lol.