Friday, April 23, 2010

A Julia Child/Julie Powell-esque Blog/Challenge

With my new server, I have set some new goals. A new friend of mine has a level 77 death knight. I want to see how fast we can level him doing nothing but dungeon runs. I of course, will lead the group as tank/healer depending on what the pug elects to participate in. But, here is my new challenge: How long will it take us to level the Death Knight from lvl 77 to 80 with the assistance of me, pugs, and double xp?
The Death Knight should have the following items:
Deadly Boss Mods
Threat/DPS meter
Titan Panel
These three items are necessary for many reasons, and I’ll go through them individually.
First, Deadly Boss Mods:
Deadly Boss Mods is required by most guilds for Raiding, and is highly encouraged for instance interaction. When a boss is about to perform a rather dangerous spell, cast or melee, DBM will warn the player. This is extremely necessary to keep the player informed of events which will ultimately cause an untimely death if ignored, cause a high repair bill, and possibly wipe the group/raid.
Threat/DPS meter
Ok, so these items probably aren’t as necessary for beginning players, however, I think it is important for “noobs” to be aware of what their damage is, and how changing a spell rotation can affect their damage. I would recommend something like Omen and Recount for beginners. Some may suggest Tidy Plates, but I have yet to experience this one yet (although I begin my trial tonight).
Titan Panel:
This item will be more for my use than the DK’s, but it is a very nice addition as it offers a lot of information in one central location. It will give you: time to level estimates, your total gold amount, bag space and so on.

So, returning to the challenge: Can I level a DK 3 levels in three days doing nothing but instance runs? The contender: Metaphoria, the Opponent: the WoW leveling System and Pug Groups. 72 Hours, and counting.

Hey, You, Guild Deserter!

Yes. I did it. I moved my druid over to the Proudmore Server. I feel kind of stupid for doing it. But there were several motivations behind it:

1. Proudmore is a PVE server only, which in short means I never have to deal with gankers.
2. I’m getting more social with some of the other guild members, and finally fulfilling some sort of role.
3. My DK was an attestation to me being an epic failure in game (now I can prove to them that I wasn’t jesting about having an 80, which is pretty decently geared).
4. Better flirting in a gay guild (my guild was great, but this one is better).

I know the last one seems a little ridiculous, but the fact is, it is really nice to chat with a bunch of people who are gay—it’s kind of like the new hang, the online gay “club” of sorts. I’m not saying that I’m in this guild in pursuit of something—I would be naïve to assume that I could find my lover in WoW, especially while tackling the new life of Graduate school. Aside from that, there is no reason for me to pursue love-life relationships via WoW with the new availability of real life potentials.

That being said, there is something irresistible about online flirting. Is it because you actually don’t know the person, so you can be slightly more… open?
Regardless, I feel guilty for just leaving my guild. I sent the present leader a quick, “Don’t hate me, I’m leaving the guild for another server,” and was gone. The transfer went through within about forty-five minutes, and before I knew it, my Druid was on a new server (which, ironically, had less lag for some reason…)
So, Motely Dragon Guildies, don’t hate me for deserting you. You still have my Paladin! And someday I’ll return to you. That’s a promise. :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Encounter with Mr. So-and-So

Met with Mr. So-and-So on Saturday. He was actually ridiculously cute, and really nice. But, he was late. Once, again, the plan was that he would be down to Montrose sometime around six, and we would meet around then. Cool. It was a Saturday night, as was it also Prom for the High Schoolers, so there wasn’t much of a chance of me going out.

My mother had provided me with a non-cheap bottle of wine. I had worked on my Jeep (AKA had my friend Erik work on my Jeep for me) and then went home and cleaned the house. Not just picked up mind you. I cleaned. I did all of my laundry, and even got it folded and put away. At 5:30, I hop in the shower. I get out, still nothing on the phone, but that’s cool. 5:50—I’ve now gotten dressed and have been messing with my hair, and accessories. Still nothing. 6:10—it’s okay, it’s a 30 minute drive from where he is. 6:30—I call. “Hey, when we talked earlier today I couldn’t remember when you said you’d be down, let me know!”

7:30, he calls. “Yeah, so we’re just now leaving.” OK.
Thirty minutes later: I have completely cleaned the apartment (including mock-mopping the floor), brushed the dogs, brushed my teeth, drank a glass of wine, smoked half a cigar, been tempted to open the other bottle of wine as it is now
8:50, and he calls again. I tell him how to get to my place, and he shows up about 13 minutes later. I meet him at the door, and I kind of freeze. He’s much better looking than I expected. And then there is kind of a weird aura. Do we kiss? Do we hug? My landlady knows I’m gay, but her husband is kind of a bigot… So probably want to avoid that. I invite him down stairs, and the kids (dogs) immediately attack him. He’s friendly to them of course, but I can tell he’s a little annoyed. He doesn’t really want them to be licking him. But that’s ok.

Pour a glass of wine, we chat, learn some things about him. And tell him way too much about myself. He wants to go out and smoke a cigarette (which I did too, but I don’t because I quit) so we stand outside for a bit. Another awkward almost touch moment, but I can see the landlord’s Aunt moving around in the house next door, so we don’t.

Go back inside, and he mentions leaving. Okay, that’s cool. He has a dog also, I understand not leaving it alone for long periods of time. But then he doesn’t. We talk a little longer, and I can tell he’s losing interest. What does he want? So I offer games, and movies (which essentially would require cuddling on my bed because my TV is in my bedroom). He seems tempted but then something in him decides against it. That’s cool, not the end of the world.

He gets up to leave, and we have a weird hug/hand holding moment—and I’m feeling shy at this point because I’m confused as to why he doesn’t want to stay longer, but it’s okay. He leaves, I send him a text saying something to the effect of “Not going to lie, wish you could’ve stayed longer.” Go outside to let the dogs out and I see a car which I think is his make a U-turn down the street. Maybe he’s coming back?

Nope, the car drives on, past me.

That night, end up talking to this young man I had met on Friday who lives near Greeley. Really sweet, genuine and intelligent. We seem to have an equal balance of things in common (such as World of Warcraft, even though he doesn’t play anymore) and many things that are not in common (he trains for marathons, I am out of breath after 10 minutes of running). Talk to this person the rest of the weekend, don’t really make any efforts to talk to So-and-So because New Guy is slightly more persistent in conversation. Sunday, talk to New Guy for an hour and forty minutes, and right when I’m rambling about how my ex read my journal and then accused me of cheating on him (that’s another fun story in itself) I hear New Guy snoring and realize that I should probably let him go. Right before I hang up, New Guy comes to and apologizes, and I tell him to go to bed. And I look at my phone. New message from So-and-So:

thanks for meeting up with me yesterday. Hope to see you again before you go.

Friday, April 16, 2010

WoW Shyness: The Journey of Joining a New Guild

I recently joined the Guild Taint on the Proudemore Server. The process was relatively painless except for the fact that I spent probably eight hours in a special room waiting to be invited to the guild. Anyhow, I got into the guild and I discovered something about myself: I am terrible at meeting new people.
The guild is gay friendly, so it’s not because I’m nervous about outing myself, or saying something inappropriate. And to be honest, it’s not like I have anything bad to be nervous or shy about. But this is what happens when I log on:
(Narcyssis): Hi everyone!
(Taint): Chirp. Chirp. (Yes, crickets)
And the reason I know this is a problem:
(BillybobJoe): Waz up!
(Taint): YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYYA Hey what’s up! We missed you.
(NoobieSally): Hey Tainters!
(Taint): OMG, it’s Noobie Sally! OMG, we LOVE You.
(Narcyssis): How’s it going tonight?
(Taint): Chirp. Chirp.
(Zimrock): My foot hurts.
(Taint): AWE! I’m so sorry! That sucks. Are you okay?
Ok, so that might be a little exaggerated but that’s kind of how I feel. I mean, surely they recognize the fact that if I have a Deathknight, that means I atleast have to have a lvl 56 SOMEWHERE in the game. So, the next day, I try to emulate some of the other “tainters.”
(Narcyssis): hey Tainters!
(Narcyssis): How’s it going tonight? My foot hurts!
(Narcyssis): Wazzzuuppppp?
(Narcyssis has logged off)
(Narcyssis has logged on)
(Taint) *pin dropping on the floor*

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Epic Failures (Real Life again)

Last night, I was supposed to go on a date. The details were vague, and exchanged over the internet. But, I wasn’t nervous or anything, because my mother knew the guy in question. The convo went something to this effect:

Mom: Oh my god Daniel (yes, she really says OMG). There was this cutest guy in the office yesterday talking to my boss. I wanted to try and find a way for you to be down here so I could introduce you, but you were working, and I didn’t want to call you.
Me: Oh—That’s cool. What’s his name?

Mom: Well, I’m not exactly sure that he’s actually gay. But I think he is. I know So-and-So was talking about him being on this website.
Me: Website? You mean
So, I go to the internet, and I pull it up and search for him. Sure enough. There he is. 30 something, living a short thirty miles away. So, I send him a message.
We message/email back on connexions for a couple of weeks, not really setting anything up—or actually having a convo other than me gushing “My mom thinks you’re really cute and that we should go out on a date” (I know, freaking pathetic right? Don’t judge me, I live in a very small town, and it’s been a long time!)
So anyhow, last week I get this message from him which says the following:

Hay. Hey.

seems like evry week is crazy. looks like i'll be in montrose wednesday next week - maybe catch up after 6:00?

Ok, so he’s no Shakespeare, and to be frank, normally if I would have gotten a comment like that I would have been like, “Way too f’ing vague for me… no thanks.” Because, it’s true. I’m a bit of a plan-a-holic. But, let’s face it. I really want to go out on a date. I haven’t had any lip on lip action with another guy for… well that’s not the point. So I reply:

Yeah, that should work for me...I'm usually done by four. I do meet with a writers group either Tuesday or Wednesday, but I can make it work. I'll put you in the BB calendar for Wed. @ 6.
So I tapped him into my Blackberry: “Subject: Meet with So-and-So, Location: ? Time: 6:00PM.” So, Wednesday rolls around, and I realize: I have no details whatsoever of what will happen on Wednesday. And I like details. I like schedules, and planners and time keepers (even though I’m usually 10 minutes late to work…).
So, I get on connexions, and I write this:

Hi So-and-So,
Was just going through my planner and I had you down for sometime after 6--is that still right? Just let me know so I can arrange my puppy schedule and such. Hope you had nice week.


And I get this reply:
hey daniel - after 6 today is the plan. call me to set up later - i'll be away from email all day. 970 555-5555.

So, I’m like awesome… He’s planning on it! He said to… call… later… what the? When is “later?” says my overly analytical mind. “After six?” What the hell does that mean? Like, five minutes after six? Fifteen minutes? Seriously, I don’t understand vague talk. So, I go through my day, and I have my writers group (which was awesome—did it outside and got a lot done with my friend). And I get my outfit planned out (actually, I had somehow pulled together a cute outfit for work, so I just freshened up). And 5:50 approaches. I realize, I don’t know what he means by “call me to set up later,” so I’m like—well, it’s techinically later. So I call—it goes straight to voicemail:

“Hey So-and So, it’s Daniel. It’s 6:00, which means it’s really 5:50 because all of my clocks are set ten minutes ahead… anyway, I realized we didn’t really have any plans, and I’m going to do somethings around the house, so I will probably lose track… so call me when you’re ready. 970.555.5144.” And I hang up.
So, I go about doing other things, playing with the puppies, brush my teeth, play some WoW. And I check the time. Shit. 6:05. Crap. So I go about doing some other things. 6:15. Still nothing. So I send a text message:

“Can’t remember if I left my phone number. Lol: 970.555.5144.”
And I go about doing some other things. It’s okay right? I mean, it’s only 6:45, andI haven’t heard anything… So I call my mom: “haven’t heard anything, I think I’ve been ditched.” I set my facebook status to say: “Will be opening the table for bets that his “date” cancels… $5.00 anyone?” to which I get several replies…
I’ve pretty much given up when the phone rings at 7:25.
“Hey Daniel. My phone died, sorry, I’m at the Verizon store and they let me charge it. Where are you?”
“Oh, I’m at my house…”
“Cool, where is that I’ll be right over.”
“oh… well um, I wasn’t really planning on meeting you here, my house isn’t really presentable” (but if you would have let me know earlier that you wanted to meet here I could have been cleaning it this past hour… jerk…) “But we could do dinner or something.”
“Well, I don’t know. It’s been a long day. I’ve been in a meeting since 6:30. But I’m coming back Saturday.”
“Oh, well that’s cool.”
“Yeah, let’s reschedule for Saturday. I wouldn’t be good company anyway.”
Ok. So, looking back on it, it really isn’t that bad. I mean, at least he called… even though it was an hour and half late. And his excuse was viable—I mean cell phones die a lot. And Saturday is cool… but I look so cute… and I rearranged my day to be sure to be free… and I looked cute…
To Be Continued.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Epic Sport Failure

I try to write funny things. And I fail. I think it’s because I have a dry sense of humor. Perhaps it’s because I like rules, and I follow them. I would never think to include hand drawn (ridiculously bad but heartwarmingly cute) pictures in my blog.

I can’t speak authoritatively about anything, because I’m not particularly good at anything—and at the same time, I’m not bad at anything either. Except sports…
So I have this friend, who every time he sees me the first thing he does after we greet is begin his talking about sports: “Something, something, something … extra inning… goal post… something else about jersey.” I wanted to blame my inability for sports talk on being gay.

“I don’t play sports… my hand eye coordination sucks. I have a hard time…” never mind. But that doesn’t quite work, because one would think that being a gay guy, I would enjoy watching men tackle each other while stumbling for a ball which has to pass over a certain line.

I started thinking about this inability to even enjoy sports. Why do I find it so… boring? Why is it that when I see any sort of sport thing on TV, I immediately switch to something else. Or, if I’m at a bar, I find something else to do—like shred my beer label into tiny little pieces, or fold my napkin into an origami crane (true story).

I have an English, BA—so it can’t be that I don’t comprehend the terminology. “A touchdown” isn’t that hard to understand. You take the ball and eventually it “touches down.” A “Home Run” is exactly that—you hit the ball so hard that you get to run home for it. An “inning” is obviously in reference to some sort of time period—thus when someone says “Wow, the Rockies went into a 9th inning,” I understand this “inning” must be rather special and rare. Soccer is of course the easiest of sports to understand. You have a goalie (who guards the goal) and offensive and defensive parts of a team, so on and so forth. But do I enjoy watching it? Heck no. Would I ever sacrifice my day for a game? Hell no.
I think, thus, the best explanation for my inability to like sports is that I have something called Sports ADHD. I don’t have real ADHD, and I’m pretty sure ridilin would not be beneficial to me. However, my Sports ADHD is truly saddening because sometimes I feel like I am missing out on some sort of awesome interaction with some awesome people. That my lack of awesomeness is determined by my Sports ADHD. I mean, I should be able to get into baseball—it’s quite exciting in a way. You have a team of guys in nylon-cotton mix overly baggy but somehow still tight uniforms with stripes and colors. They have a cool decal signaling who they are—I can recognize the Rockies symbol, and the Red Sox symbol or the New York Yankees symbol. That’s all fine and dandy. But then there is the pace of the game. You get a team who gets to “bat” first.. And they go until they get three strikes (aka no one hits the ball). Then I consider wrestling or boxing. Heck, I have a little bit of a dark side, I should enjoy watching guys choking each other or punching each other in the gut—especially when is in a sport defined “A-Ok” atmosphere. Football can be rather exciting—you have guys who are big and strong and overall good athletes. Although some of them are dumber than a box of rocks, they’re cute and date hot actresses and singers… and then they have cheerleaders and…And … oh forget it just writing about it makes me bored. I’ve already found four interesting sites about nude base….never mind.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cataclysm Panic: It isn't even out yet! Chill!

I posted this as a comment over at Feral but I thought it was necessary to point it out on my own blog for those few and far between readers of mine.
First, know that I am responding to nothing in particular. Some of the blogs I have read seem to be creating problems of concern/panic before things have even chagned. Thus, I would just like to note the following (this entirely my opinion--not fact based, nor critical. Just observational).

It seems to me pointless to get upset about the changes in Cataclysm–as the point of a game is to remain fresh an challenging. Ok, so there are a lot of players out there who have downed the Lich King on super-duper hard mode. That’s great. But what about the rest of us? The ones who are casual players, but enjoy playing the game? Some of us enjoy playing the game, and care less about the mechanics. Does it make us bad players? I think not–just different. I’m not criticizing those who are concerned about the mechanic changes, I just would like to suggest that in addition to concern, people also remain excited. The expansion is going to change everything–but isn’t change a good thing? I think as a whole our society needs to remember that being in a rutt doesn’t expand one’s capabilities. (And I am not referring to just our gaming community!)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

News Flash! This Just In.

On Monday, March 8th, a new member joined my "family." She is 2lbs, has a snubbed nose and little dark eyes. Her fur is white with light brown spots. And her name is Camry. My first dog, Astin, has been rather lonely and due to the fact that I can't be there as much as I would like to, (and when I am there, I tend to spend more time on WoW than with him) I've decided to get another puppy. Due to this decision, sadly, my WoW time is going to get cut down significantly. I still plan on being on, but will probably just do a few daily dungeons, and mess around on my Warlock alt. I hope to continue to blog, but will probably be less frequent about it until she gets old enough that she doesn't need constant supervision (the potty training stage is so tough!).

Monday, March 8, 2010

Resto Druids Still the King of Healing

Did this run yesterday with two guildies, and although the fight was by no means difficult, I emerged very very happy with myself. Let me just reiterate for those who haven't gotten this from me… Resto Druids=The Bomb… or whatever kids call it nowadays. Yes, let me just say there were two other healers in the group, both who were better geared than I (there was a priest in there who's addon GS was 5032, and my GS is 4632). I did die once, but not of fault of my own. At anyrate, the Recount reflected that not only did I out heal the others, but my heals were the most efficient. Yes, friends, I am an awesome healer. But then, you knew this. So, now I will continue to focus on my tanking (although I have to get some new items for my healing set ASAP).

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Returning to the Blog

So, needless to say, I’ve been a little busy the past couple of weeks. In RL, I have applied to Grad school, and last week out of town with a good WoW and RL friend while waiting to interview for the program.  During this time, I met a lot of new RL people, interviewed for my hopeful future alma-mater, and played some WoW. And then, the day before my Grad interview, I found out that my grandpa passed away. Fortunately, he and I were not close, so it wasn’t a major blow to me, but I felt bad for my father—anyway, long story short, I’ve been pretty busy.
However, during my weeklong stay out of town, I did get pretty far along my Elder achievement line (I really want that title). I’ve completed the Kalimdor, Ally, Horde and Eastern Kingdom elder achievements, and I am now getting ready to finish the dungeon ones.
So one thing that has been coursing through my mind is this concept of when you have two healers in a group,  one is better geared, more experienced, and the other is a noob to healing, less gear etc., who do you let heal? I was running with my guildies, and the situation arose in which I was the better geared of the two healers, but my gear wasn’t suitable for tanking, nor was I spec’d for kitty DPS. But, the other person (whom is no longer in our guild) had recently thrown a fit about how “no one in the guild supported him, and he couldn’t grow as a healer if he was never allowed to heal.” Ok, fine. I let him heal, with the understanding that if healing items dropped (since I wasn’t going in as either of my specs, I pretty much just ran as a kitty) I would role on them… to which I was met with the remark, “Well, you aren’t healing…” To which I replied, “no, but I’m not tanking either, and I’m not spec’d for DPS, and my MAIN spec is healing… so therefore, if I see any upgrades, I should be able to roll on them.” Well, needless to say, I didn’t end up rolling on the one item that was healing, because then the punk healer started making me feel bad as when I compared our items, my stuff was all better than his, despite the fact that the trinket was a huge upgrade for myself. 
So, what dictates Guild etiquette when it comes to healing? Obviously, yes, it is important to get some experience, to learn the fights, to know how to heal them. But then again, if you’re running it as a random, as a daily, and are spec’d for either healing or tanking, at what point is it important to override the other person? When I ran with my guild in other instances, when I was lower geared, I would often secede from my healing option so that the better geared healer could control it, finding that sometimes it was more important for me to recognize the mechanics of a specific boss from a DPS standpoint. But, now that I have made the decision to be spec’d as a Healer first, and then a Tank (my gear scores are about equal on both) but not DPS spec, or availability of a DPS spec (damn the hybrid nature of the druid sometimes!) what am I supposed to do when there is another healer who is better geared than me, or another tank that is better geared for me… my DPS isn’t up to par, if I was in a LfD group, I’d be dropped in a heartbeat.  Suggestions?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Holy Violet Citadel Batman!

I donned my Batman suit (Tanking Gear), and ventured into the deadly lair of Kite Guy and Voidwalker Thing. There I was met with a rather nice PuG—a really nice (aka patient) healer, an extremely Newbie Deathknight (didn't know what "kiting" meant) and a decent array of DPS. My sidekick was absent for the day (I need to hold auditions for a new sidekick). Anyway, parked the batmobile mammoth at the entry and started the instance. It went rather well, until we incurred the wrath of Kite Guy. Kite Guy (Xevozz) wiped us (due to the orbs which pulled me in, and then promptly terminated my life), so we entered it again, this time with more success. The only hard part was the DK continually pulling from me (it wasn't an aggro issue on my side, the DK was taunting by pulling, etc).  Voidwalker Thing (Zuramat the Obliterator) was really easy—we really had awesome DPS—and the end boss was a no brainer. All in all, the instance went really well.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Potential outage this weekend… No WoW for me! Tear!

Moving in RL this weekend across town… second move in a month, so wish me luck. This means though that I will be internet less  for the entire weekend! Oh the misery! I think assuming I get everything moved I can probably go to my parent's to "watch the superbowl" aka use their internet.

Got my fourth piece of the tier 9 gear last night. One more piece and most of my tanking armor will be 232.

 One of the blogs that I read often (Feral Instincts) got me thinking  about taking WoW too far… when does it become a job instead of a game? Some of these people take is to seriously. So then, I step back and ask, ok, so am I just a bad player, or do I have a life? Will this change when I go into Grad school? I take breaks often enough that I wouldn't be surprised if I do. I read about these people who have schedules, and spread sheets, and so on—and that's all cool and dandy, but how much is too much?

Recently I have run some pretty harsh instances with some pretty bad PuG members—people who were too impatient to wait for the Druid to rez someone, or get someone healed. My life is pretty simple. I live alone, I have a dog and a job, and that's about it. I think about WoW a lot. I read a lot of WoW blogs. I almost went as far as to buy the WoW comic. But at no point to I ever get impatient with a group to the point where I leave a random group because someone isn't "moving" fast enough. Heck, I've wiped non-stop sometimes three times before the group as a whole finally called it quits. But I have to wonder if these  people who are leaving barely before a fight is over, the ones who won't even greet a party, etc. if those are the ones that keep schedules, spreadsheets, etc. I'm not saying that if you do that you are necessarily a bad player, or even a jerk, but it does make me wonder, as stated earlier, how much is too much?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Meta Logo?

Heroic #2: Yay for Misdirect

Tanked Heroic Drak'Thron Keep last night with some guildies, and my new protégé healer. It was relatively smooth—until we hit the dino boss. It's rather difficult to gather all of those adds—but for a fresh lvl 80 priest, and a rather under geared tank you should probably kill them all before you attempt the boss. It wasn't an epic fail, just a delay.  I wiped them once, and the priest wiped us once (I know this because I was the first one to die, thus telling me he wasn't able to keep up).

The thing that excited me the most was that I was keeping up with the threat put off by one of my Guildie hunters (he's such an awesome player, three characters completely decked out in armor). He informed me later that he was using MD—something which FollowOtherness had suggested on one of my previous posts. The little rogue in my group, one of my good friends, was on the floor a lot… not necessarily because of my tanking, but because the healer couldn't keep up with me and everyone else. She wasn't even pulling aggro, she was more or less one shot--or "insta-death" as our healer put it. At any rate, it was a great run--a few deaths, but fortunately we had a patient PuG member, so it was relatively easy going.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hey, Who’s the Tank Here?

Ran Regular Culling of Strathholm with a friend of mine last night. We were in a pickup group of course, and he was healing, and I was tanking—or so I thought. Not only was I the only 80 in the group, I was also the most experienced. This became evident to me quickly as the warrior in the group started the instance without checking with anyone, and then proceeded to charge forward. He ran non-stop from one group to the next—finally forcing me to shout out—"Who's the tank again? Oh yeah. Me."

Not only was I que'd as the tank, I was also the group leader—but this warrior punk was even marking focus items, before I could even get there. So, Resto (the healer) and I pressed on.

It wasn't until we had finished all three of the beginning wave bosses, and were trudged on to Mal'Ganas (letting the wanna-be tank die three times) when the warrior shouted, "If we hurry, we can try for the mount!" and charged past Mal'Ganas.

"No point—we're on regular." I said. "There is no mount on regular."

"Yes there is, just hurry." Resto and I stayed behind. Waiting for him to realize that he was wrong. "OH!" he shouted. "We missed it."

The fact that we were all in human disguise may have aggravated me more, especially since I couldn't actually kill the little punk, but I continued to remind myself, that the kid was probably 10 years old, and trying to show off to his friends (they were all from the same server).

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hall of Reflection… Say What?

So I'm probably not into the lore of WoW enough to understand the reason for which this dungeon has been named the way it has. But I take issue with it. I guess it's perhaps because the two fights "mirror" each other at the beginning.  

Anyway, that tangent aside, I healed it last night for the first time—actually, I healed all of the heroic  ICC 5 mans. The entire experience was rather fulfilling. I got a nice 235 trinket, and some good experience despite the lag I was facing. After the never-ending waves (10 Blizzard, really?) we continued on, and I wiped for the first time when doing that run at that part of it. One of the pickups was like "I've never survived this last part--it's so hard." And sure enough, we died.  I was confused, what had I done wrong? And then it hit me—in the past when I had run it with my guildies, we kept ahead of the Lich King—but this tank wanted to tank behind him. After we had all rez'd and were back and ready to start the fight, I begged—"Please, could we stay in FRONT of the LK?" "I guess," the tank replied. "We could try it."

So we did, charging forward. And it worked. We completed it within minutes, quickly traversing all of the barriers, and ending right where we needed to. When we had finished, the pick-up had all received the "We're Not Retreating; We're Advancing in Different Direction" achievement.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Epic Failure as Tank

Well, I did it. First, I ran my first Heroic Dungeon—and I survived it (Hall of Stones). Of course, it helped that I was with a good team (two of my guildies, and then a couple Pick-ups). And then again with a few more of my guildies on Hall of Lightning. It built up my confidence. I was feeling good about it. And then it happened. Utgarde Pinnacle.   Known hereafter as Epic Failure. I survived the first two bosses. But it was horrible—I couldn't hold aggro to save my life. Three people died, and I had an all out wipe. I wish I could blame my armor, but I couldn't. I don't really know what I was missing—I think I need to create a few macros which will act kind of as a "save all" button. Some which I can click and rush the target to bring it back to my aggro. All I do know is that it is difficult for me to hold aggro—the hunter and mage were just too much DPS for my threat to keep up with. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Low and behold, the birth of a tank

Last night, I stayed up way too late running my first instance as a tank. My tanking gear is not good enough—not even close. I'm going to have to run non-stop instances for the next couple of weeks to start getting the equipment needed to run any dungeon over lvl 75 (I figure that is where my GS lands me currently). The experience, however, was exhilarating.
I started out on Nexus. I warned the group right off, "You are my guinea pigs. This is my first instance as bear tank. Normally I'm tree ." I was met with encouragement, and optimism—mostly, I'm sure, because I was lvl 80, and at max, they were all 72 or less. So, I crept into the starting area—hit my "x" button, and charged. I followed the rotations I had read about, the Faerie Fire Feral, followed by swipe, followed by maul, lacerate, etc. One thing I suggest, is pick up the Swipe macro which Big Bear Butt suggests—it was invaluable, as the Barkskin talent is one that I so often forget.
The entire instance went really well. It was easy for me to out-threat them, keeping agro on myself. The healer didn't have to do much (he was a druid healer, swiping at the mobs occasionally with his leafy hands). The DPS, on the other hand, actually did quite a bit, and sadly—despite the 10 lvl difference—one of the DPS actually surpassed me. The entire time, I asked the PuG if I was doing ok—was I holding the agro, was the healer secretly hating me? Fortunately, I was high enough that of course, the instance wasn't doing much damage to me. My low self-esteem was stemming from the fact that my armor was so poor.
So, went from that instance to another one, this time running some of my guildies and a few other Pickups. Again, another smooth run—no deaths, though came really close due to one stray mob. Overall, I'd have to say that my first Bear run was amazing—a ritual of rights if you will—and I look forward to doing it again.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Good Versus Evil: To roll Alliance or Horde

I’ve recruited a few people to WoW during my time, most of them did not stick, but a few of them, such as my sister, did. However, that’s when the ultimate question arose. Which faction to go with? My friends, apparently, have been rather superficial in their decision, most (including myself) choosing to go with the “prettier” of races. However, despite strict instructions, my sister went with the humans—a decision which ultimately pitted me against her in all forms. When asked later, she said that it was because her friend was Ally, and “Horde were scary lookin’.” Fortunately for her, she is on a different server. I’ve tried to get her to convert, to come over to the “dark side” or light side. But she replies “I’m not going to Horde Wilde out.” I assume, she is using “Horde” as word play on “whore” but still, what is wrong with the Horde? Last time I checked, I was ganked 10 to 1 on a Horde server versus an Ally Server (Yes, I had a lvl 45 NE druid)—allies being relentless in their attacks, and Horde not nearly as bad. Now that I’m lvl 80, it isn’t as big of a deal. But I had an epic battle while lvling my druid—one in which I had to pull my lvl 80 Pally from Dalaran to finish, as I was continually being ganked by a lvl 73 druid—I was the same lvl. One swift hit from my pally, and the druid left me alone.

Sure, the simple explanation for this would have been for me to stay on a PVE server—one which allows you to control as to whether or not you want to PVP. But again, you follow your friends, which means you also rely on them.

Now to aesthetics, and the appeal of good versus evil. You often find the role of gender lacking in WoW—men playing females, women playing males. I actually had a guy who messaged me asking me if I was a “guy or girl” and to be perfectly frank, sometimes I like to mess with them. If they have to ask, then it must be a relief once in a while to talk to a girl, and being gay and living with two sisters and my mother for eighteen years, I can do it relatively well. Some of my guy friends only have guy characters, and my girl friends only have girl characters and vice versa. The men who have all female characters, when asked why, reply with “I would rather look at her ass than his.” I guess this is a reasonable answer, though rather lame when you remember the fact that this is a game. I have both—my druid is a female, and my pally is a male. My choices were based on pure aesthetics. I don’t like the gruffness of the male Tauren, but I’m very attracted to the look of the male bloodelf. I can’t get into the aesthetic of the Undead, or the Trolls. The Orc I find hideous looking, and the only reason I have the Tauren is because of the clever name choices I’ve seen out there, like Quarterpounder, Mootoo, etc.

Vintage Raids

If you read WoW blogs, then you’ve probably read Big Bear Butt’s “Retro Raids Revisited.” Ironically enough, the topic of his last blog was actually the same topic which I intended on writing. However, instead of writing about how much I enjoyed it, I was going to write about home much I disliked it.

The Motley Dragons began their raid on Sunwell Plateau on Thursday evening. We are a relatively small guild, and like the Sidhe Devils, we had no more than 15 people in the raid at once. We—who are not bad players (most of us have really good GS, as well as WoW-Heroes ranking)—were not able to finish the first boss. It was terrible. I personally did not enjoy it. It was a heck of a lot of work for nothing more than an achievement (which we didn’t even get)—time I would have rather spent getting some nice badges. Perhaps this is where I have lost my appetite for WoW.

I asked one of my friends, a player who is very, very talented at the game, why she liked it and she replied, “It’s giving invaluable experience.” So, that got me thinking, something which I contemplated all weekend. How much experience is actually needed to play WoW well? I personally have been playing the game for a little over two years. My first lvl 80 came this time last year. A year later, I have another 80. However, I took breaks—sometimes up to six month breaks—but you never really lose how to play your character. In addition, WoW addons, such as Healbot, QuestHelper etc. make the game almost impossible to fail at. Yet, there are STILL bad players out there. People who have been playing for 5+ years, and don’t understand gear mechanics, rolling for an item which has +mana regen for their DK

Returning back to the subject at hand, overall, I think that running vintage instances is rather fun—but I think that it is really difficult to get into it when you have a newly lvl’d toon and you’re trying to get him or her gear.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Resto Druids still=Awesome

To quickly touch on my first topic, I’ve learned that a good tank waits for the tree to uproot itself from the healing position before pulling the next mob.
Anyhow, ran some of the ICC last night as a healer, well below where I should be as gear. Despite the fact that there was one leather item which dropped the entire run, I have to say that overall, it was a great success. My gear score currently is around 3500, my wow-heroes score less than 2k. Yes, I am in desperate need of gear, but I have to say that I did damn well with my under-geared druid in an instance which dropped no less than 219 gear. It did help that I did have a well geared shammy which had my back, throwing the occasional heal here and there.
A word of the wise to anyone who is new to healing. Get Healbot. I’m not new to healing per say, I have a level 80 healadin who is relatively well geared. However, I don’t rely solely on Healbot. I have a horde of mouseover macros (which work amazing with Healbot). One which I find extremely necessary is Wild Growth. I’m sure it has positive and negative aspects of being macroed, but the pro that gets me the most is the fact that I can generally figure out who is near/far fully healed or low. Lifebloom is also an important mouseover which I suggest no Resto druid go without. While I’m using Healbot to spam Regrowth/Nourish, I’m using lifebloom and Wildgrowth to keep everyone up.
On another interesting topic, it is fascinating to me how healing, a once hated and despised role, is now so popular in which the small guild which I am in has probably five well geared healers—that’s almost a quarter of the total players we even have—and more on the way. Thus enter the Bear.
I’m ready to start learning my new tanking position, something which I have never done before. So I’ve started doing my research. I’ve learned a lot from blogs such as Big Butt Bear Blogger, and other various sites such as the Druid Daily and so on. Invaluable information, which gear I should choose, which stats I want to focus on. But I’m still a wimp. I haven’t wanted to get into a PuG incase I fail miserably. At the same time, I don’t feel right rolling on a lot of the gear which I see out there when I’m healing so I don’t.
My game ADD makes it hard for me to focus on one toon entirely. End game content hasn’t really been a goal of mine, because I guess I don’t want the game to end. So I create new characters, I find new projects. Hopefully my expeditions in tanking will distract me enough to keep me from being distracted as such to where I can’t finish gearing out my new druid. (This is actually a false hope, as my friend is starting an account, and I’m linked with him, so it’s a perfect opportunity to level a new toon… 300% extra XP is too much to ignore).

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tree's Run Slow!

Welcome to my first blog!
My name is Metaphoria, I'm a level 80 druid on The Venture Co. My primary spec is Resto, but I've recently decided to attempt tanking. Throughout this blog, I hope to share things with you that I have learned, in both the Tree and Bear world of the druid. So, lets start.

My first topic: Trees Run Slow!

Alright, so face it, most of the toons in WoW all run the same speed (with exception of Pallys, and Hunters, or kitties when they are outside if properly spec'd for it). But we trees, well we have roots. We're slow. Everytime we get ready to move, we have to uproot our little toes from the ground which gives us energy. So when you're starting an instance, chill out for a second. Make sure your healer is behind you so that he/she isn't spamming heals frantically because while they looked away from the keyboard for thirty seconds to grab their glass of water, you sped off to the next mob. Trees don't have a whole lot of Oh Shit buttons, and it's hard to get them off on you when you're out of range. And remember, unless your healer is super talented and remembers to switch to kitty form to hit that "dash" button, you're screwed if you forget your healer.

In a final off-topic note, I recently got my fast flying mount, and a helpful hint for people out there--Thrallamar+Honored=4500g instead of 5kg in Dalaran. Oh, and the Blue Drake from Oculus is awesome.