Pookies Is Not A Bear

What can he Lifebloom for you?

The men and women behind the druids July 30, 2008

Filed under: Guild Issues,IRL,Raiding — Pookies @ 15:45
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Yesterday morning I woke up at 05:20 to drop my parents off at the airport. It was tough watching them walk through the gate into the security area, not only because I love my parents very much and will miss them dearly, but also because my dad’s situation has been deteriorating during his stay in Canada (as expected, I suppose) and I can’t help but fear that I’ll never see him again.

I try not to include an overdose of real life-related content in what is supposed to be a WoW blog, but I think it is important to take a step back every once in a while and really dwell on the fact that, behind every toon, there is a human being.

I think that it is often far too easy to think of that awesome resto shaman as just an awesome resto shaman, or your guild’s MT as that guy who has to show up to every single raid or your raid is fucked.

Remember that behind each of your guild or raid members, there is a person that juggles WoW with his or her real life: work and/or school, family, partners, and friends.

Real life is important, and deserves priority over WoW. Now, don’t take that as my condoning flakey raid attendance. But when real life issues do come up, you should be able to opt to take time off, and your guild should be able to appreciate that. And if, for some reason, you are having trouble finding a balance between real life and WoW, then you need to get out of the game and get your priorities straight.

Anyway, /dismount soapbox.

In raiding, EoTS has reached another end-dungeon hurdle. You know the drill. All of the new bosses just fall, week after week, until you reach the boss at the end of the dungeon. I’ve seen it happen with Kael, Archie, and now Illidan.

The name of the game then becomes getting all of the trash bosses on a very familiar farm basis so they can be squished into one or two nights. The remaining time can then be spent working on the head honcho boss.

BT, like no other TBC dungeon before it, requires you to clear a whopping eight bosses in order to get to the end boss.

We are still really working on getting the first eight bosses on a fast farm. Bloodboil and Council are our biggest obstacles right now, with Gorefiend presenting a minor threat when our construct anchor doesn’t know what he’s doing. Consistency will come with time, and so will Illidan.

Onward!

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Je suis très fatigue July 25, 2008

Filed under: IRL,Itemization,Raiding — Pookies @ 8:20
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There are a bunch of us east coasters who raid with EoTS. Raiding with EoTS means that, Mondays through Thursdays, we have to stay up until 01:00 local time and then make it to school or work (or some combination thereof) the next day. Lather, rinse, and repeat.

One of our rogues will take off at 00:30 to hit the sack, unless we are on the verge of a kill or some other important breakthrough with no one to take his place.

My solution? Well, I would say, “BRB!” in raid chat, flag myself as AFK, and then go lay down and close my eyes for a couple of minutes. My bed is right beside my computer desk (oh, the joys of living in a bachelor apartment), so I would listen to Vent while I was laying down and get up to rejoin the group one or two pulls later.

Well, I tried this at about 23:30 on Wednesday night. Except, this time, I lay down to close my eyes for a few minutes, and when I woke up it was 01:10 (or 10 minutes after raid end time). Needless to say, trash naps are now strictly a thing of the past, and my new strategy for battling exhaustion involves copious amounts of Red Bull.

Fortunately, my raid was able to continue clearing without me, and killed Supremus and Shade while I just stood idly at the bottom of Supremus’ courtyard. (The first part of the night’s raid was spent in SSC since we didn’t have the numbers to go into Black Temple.)

Last night we cleared from Gorefiend to Mother. Now, I was in a serious bidding bind.

We have two loot rolling phases, the first (and more important) being the epic roll phase. Each raid member is only allotted one epic loot roll win per instance per week, and this roll is based on your guild rank. Officers and vet members roll out of 100. Active members (such as myself) roll out of 85. Lesser ranks roll out of 50 (normal member) and 25 (new member/recruit).

If no one wins an item during epic roll phase, then rolling moves on to the upgrade roll phase, where anyone may roll out of 100 and the wins do not count towards any weekly limit.

Now, I really wanted my T6 shoulders. I mean, have you seen these things? They’re full of sexy win. I’m also still wearing the 2.3 badge shoulders, so these would be a nice upgrade for me.

I also really wanted Shroud of Forgiveness from Bloodboil, which, in somewhere between four and six kills, has only dropped one other time (and I lost the roll).

I also really wanted Staff of Immaculate Recovery from Bloodboil, because, although it isn’t an upgrade for me by any stretch of the imagination, it’s just so damn cute. I call it Kristos-on-a-stick, after Kristos, EoTS’ GM, who is currently wearing the T5 helm and shoulders.

I knew that T6 pants were a very low priority for upgrade for me, since the SSO badge pants are technically better from a bonus healing standpoint, so there was no need for me to save my roll for that.

With all of this in mind, you can understand that my brain was working in overdrive when Bloodboil dropped the cloak and the staff, and what Mother was going to drop was in the air.

I decided to roll epic on the cloak. It was a huge upgrade (I was previously using Bishop’s Cloak—yes, it has been that long since I’ve gotten even the chance at a cloak upgrade). I’m not sure I would ever roll epic on the staff. It just isn’t worth it for something that will only be my Spellsurge/regen weapon.

Of course, Mother dropped a Vanquisher token later in the night, and one of our druids won it with an uncontested epic roll of 5. But that’s OK. I know that more Vanquisher tokens will eventually drop. As for Shrouds of Forgiveness, who knows how many more of those we will ever see.

 

TIME FOR FUN! July 23, 2008

Filed under: Just For Fun,Raiding — Pookies @ 9:48

When you spend 16 hours a week trudging through the same dungeons with the same people, things can sometimes get a little bit stale. A solution? Raiding games!

The Movie Name Game

We were clearing Hyjal trash in the Alliance Camp a couple of weeks ago when someone suggested we play a game. The point of the game was to take the name of a movie, and replace one of the words in it with the word “va**na”. A couple of minutes into the game, I was laughing so hard I was falling out of my chair. Some highlights:

Other people thought of …

  • “When Harry Met Va**na”,
  • “A Clockwork Va**na”, and
  • of course, someone inevitably came up with just “Va**na”.

I thought of …

  • “The Sound of Va**na”,
  • “Priscilla, Queen of the Va**na”, and
  • it was a toss up between “Brokeback Va**na” and “Va**na Mountain”.

The Linking Game

Apparently this idea was stolen from the horde side of my realm. Before that, it probably just originated from people messing around when skill and talent linking was first made possible. One of my guildies started it in alliance trade chat the other night, and apparently it went on for hours in trade chat long after we had left to go raid.

The name of this game is to take a word, and then link the name of a spell, skill, talent, or item after it. In our case, we were using the word “an*l”. Of course, you got some common ones popping up multiple times (An*l [Fishing], An*l [First Aid]). There were some really good ones across the classes (An*l [Impale], An*l [Deterrence]). There are also some pretty funny druid-specific ones:

  • An*l [Gift of the Wild]—you’ll want to regift this
  • An*l [Thorns]—get that shit checked out!
  • An*l + pretty much any attack-type skill from the feral tree

Alphabet Games

Remember that time you were going to go on a picnic? Or on vacation to the tropics? Or into outer space? Well, for these types of excursions, certain supplies are required. You could conceivably begin listing such supplies, starting with one beginning with the letter “A” and moving through the alphabet.

Well, yesterday as I was bored out of my freaking mind, I started a similar game, except this time we were going to sex camp. What exactly is sex camp? I have no idea. But it sounds fun, so, if you know of one, please sign me up.

An excerpt:

  • I went to sex camp, and I brought an*l beads.
  • I went to sex camp, and I brought bondage gear.
  • I went to sex camp, and I brought c*ck rings.
  • Etc.

End

Of course, all of these games could be played without the outrageous references to sex or things related to sex. I personally enjoy the pervy versions, because I’m twisted like that.

The bottom line is that you do what you have to in order to combat raid ennui. There are ways to keep things interesting while still getting the same old shit done each week!

And, on that note, could you please start dropping some Vanquisher tokens, Archie? You haven’t dropped any in the past two weeks, so I’d really appreciate it. After I grab mine, I’m done with all the loot I need from Hyjal.

 

Expansionitis: I has it July 22, 2008

Filed under: Raiding — Pookies @ 9:04
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So, as I’ve mentioned, I took a break from WoW for the latter part of last week. Well, that isn’t 100% accurate. I actually came home from visiting my parents on Thursday night as the 25-man raid was being called early due to poor performance, and, suffering from a little bit of raiding withdrawal, I asked to be allowed to go along for a Kara clear … as DPS! You’ll remember that my damage set consists of some T6 pieces, but mainly resto gear. So my crit was incredigimped, at around 16%. Not to mention that I didn’t have quite enough hit rating (or much at all, save for what talents gave me). Needless to say, I could not compete with my guild’s DPSers. But I had a lot of fun, and picked up 22 badges that I will probably never spend. Hell, maybe I should spend it on badge damage gear.

Last night, which is the last night of raiding before instance resets, we trekked into Black Temple and I saw people congregating in front of Gorefiend trash. I said, “Wow, Thursday really did go badly, didn’t it?” (or something to that effect). Over Wednesday and Thursday, two raid nights, we only managed to down Archimonde and the first three bosses of Black Temple!?

Needless to say, Illidan attempts were somewhat out of reach this week. But we did manage to make good time last night, starting with Gorefiend and getting Shahraz down with about twenty minutes left in the raid.

Anyway, I am realizing that I have to get over a bout of expansionitis. Not in-game of course—I’m still hell-bent on killing Illidan before the expansion (which is a reality, IMO), and hopefully venturing into Sunwell Plateau a bit. But on the whole blog post development front, I have been wondering what the point of thinking too long and hard about TBC game mechanics is when everything is going to change with WotLK hits.

Of course, the culprit here is just the same old bad attitude that causes people to shy away from raiding when a new expansion is announced. “It’s not worth the trouble.” But … blogging isn’t trouble, is it? No, it’s fun! I love looking back on raids gone by. I also enjoy those rare times when I have some insight into game mechanics that is actually worth sharing with the rest of the WoW community.

I just need to get over this blog schlump.

 

Hiatus…es July 20, 2008

Filed under: IRL — Pookies @ 12:29

I meant to post about this earlier, but I ran out of time at work on Wednesday as I was trying to tie up loose ends before being away from the office for a couple of days.

For months my sister, my brother, and I have been anticipating the visit of our parents, who live in Hong Kong. We haven’t seen them since Christmas.

That visit is finally happening. My parents arrived on Wednesday night, and I had booked time off of work and raiding to spend time with them.

At the end of the weekend (tonight), my parents will move from my sister’s apartment downtown (which is a block away from me) to my grandparents’ place in the suburbs for a couple of days. This will allow them to spend some time with my grandparents as well as let the kids’ lives get back to normal for the duration of the working (and raiding!) week.

Here are a couple of family pictures we took on the second night my parents were here. L-R: Kurt (my sister’s fiancé), Genny (my sister), dad, mom, myself, and Greg (my brother).

If you’re wondering about dad’s hair, he was diagnosed with cancer and has been going through treatment since. That has added more importance to this visit, IMO, and thankfully the people at work and in my WoW guild have been very supportive of my taking time off to spend with him.

Anyway, expect things to return (pretty much) to normal this week as I’ll be in the office, and, therefore, trolling everyone’s WoW blogs!

 

The Illidari Council has disbanded July 15, 2008

Filed under: Raiding — Pookies @ 0:01
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This fight is not fun at all from a healer’s perspective. Mana-wise, I was hurting pretty badly. I tried my damnedest not to use my Innervate until we were at around 50% during the last couple of attempts. Beyond that, it was all chain pot and pray.

After Council went down and legs were distributed, we had about an hour and a half left in the raid with which to work on Illidan.

We headed up, regrouped, started the event, and heard those Illidan mutter those famous words, “You are not prepared,” immediately after which our tanked got insta-gibbed because we really were not prepared. This was the topic of many jokes throughout the rest of the raid.

We were getting phase one down when one of our FR tanks had to bail. We did eventually nearly perfect phase one (which was really more about our MT perfecting phase one and the rest of us just being able to deal with Parasites without getting the entire fucking raid infected … yes, it happened). EoTS will be back next week to partake in some phase two action.

 

No more late-night Shahraz booty calls for Illidan July 11, 2008

Filed under: Raiding — Pookies @ 8:26

Because Mother Shahraz is dead.

With Hyjal cleared and BT cleared up to RoS in the first two nights of this raid week, we were all set to spend two nights working on Shahraz.

Last night, after our leaders spent a bit of time distributing the SR greens from the guild bank to raid members who were lacking SR, we began clearing Shahraz’s trash.

It took a couple of the dual Sister pulls, but our DPS got the hang of not going kamikazi against them. And a prot pally trivialized those mass harlot pulls. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to maintain composure when you’ve got five or six girls swarming you while asking, “Looking for a good time, sweet cheeks? But it’ll cost you. What do you want? A Cleveland Steamer?”

On Shahraz, we used the “one clump” strategy. We had a lot of trouble with people not communicating enough when getting Fatal Attraction. This improved slightly from attempt to attempt up until we actually downed her. On that fateful attempt, I died at about 7% when I got Fatal Attraction and my pot was on cooldown and my healthstones were all gone and I just couldn’t heal myself through it. Watching the tanks’ Grid squares during those last thirty seconds was nerve-wracking. But they all lived, and Mother Shahraz died.

Two Vanquisher tokens dropped, but I was not one of the top two rollers. Maybe next week.

With about a hour and a half left in the raid after downing Shahraz, we cleared up to Council and gave them a couple of tries. I think we got them down to 84% 77% or so (thanks Wizz). We will be working on Council all of Monday–cross your fingers for EoTS!

[Addendum]

Does anyone know if there is an Easy Mother addon that works in 2.4.2? Because we were just doing it old school (call out a landmark, run towards it, if someone else called the same landmark before you then switch), but obviously we could be eliminating some wipage with an addon that would tell us where to run …