Wednesday, January 27, 2010

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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.