I, (2nd from the left in the photo, kneeling), was recently promoted to Recruitment Officer in my merry band of Dwarves, <Clan Battlehammer>, Emerald Dream-US. So I figured that I’d use this forum to potentially entice new recruits.
Emerald Dream-US, is an RP-PvP server and one of the last bastions of World PvP. The number of active WPvP guilds probably slightly favors the Horde, but we Alliance are scrappy little buggers. Tol Barad possession changes multiple times during the day, and a 3 man gank crew can turn into 20-30 players in a matter of minutes.
Last night saw a flurry of activity. We heard that there was an Alliance guild planning on taking out the faction leader of Silvermoon City. so we decided to attack Thunder Bluff as well. After killing Baine, we got word that Darnassus was under attack by members of 2 Horde guilds. We had a mage port us over there and defended Tyrande alongside our allies, <Kingship of the East>, only to then find out that Ironforge was under attack. The Horde managed to take down Moira and Falstad, but Muradin was saved.
These are the kinds of evenings one can expect on Emerald Dream-US
<Clan Battlehammer> is an all Dwarf guild that focuses on World PvP, but has Rated BG teams as well as a small group of PvE players who are looking to raid. *Do not come to our guild if you are looking for a PvE experience though*, we are a PvP guild first and foremost. Twice a week we have formal events (CTA’s) where we ride into battle, 30+ strong, all levels invited, and try to go find a fight. We usually find one. The rest of the week may include some impromptu battles, RBGs or just BG’s in general.
If this sounds like something you would enjoy, I advise you to check out our website at www.guildportal.com/Guild/320395 , to learn more about our recruitment process. If you would like to see us in action for yourself, roll an alt on ED and come to Ironforge at 8pm server time, Mondays and Fridays, to see us assemble and ride off to battle.
Well, I spent the past week dropping and leveling 4 different professions on my Warrior and Hunter. I picked up Blacksmithing and Jewelcrafting on my Warrior, and Mining and Engineering on my Hunter. My JC is up to about 505, and I will start leveling BS this week when I have time. My goal is to be pretty self sufficient with my toons on Emerald Dream. My mage is also on the server and is an Herbalist/Transmute specialist for gems.
With my Warrior only needing conquest points, I have been spending more time with my Hunter in BG’s. He’s BM specced and I usually run with one of my 3 spirit beasts, unless it is a capture the flag type BG, then I use a silithid. I’ve also been spending time with my enhancement shaman.
My GM ran across my blog last week and asked me if I would try posting news of our bi-weekly CTA’s (Call to Arms), in character and then copy and paste them into our realm forums. I thought it sounded like fun, so I decided to make a new Tumblr as a journal of Rannok, a Warrior of <Clan Battlehammer>. I should have my first post there later today and will provide the link if anyone is interested. This will be the first time I’ve tried any real RPing. Emerald Dream is an RP-PvP server, and although I don’t actively seek out RP, if someone asks me something in character, I’ll usually play along for a little bit before excusing myself.
Last night, <Clan Battlehammer> of Emerald Dream-US, assembled for some World PvP goodness. Our 30+ strong Dwarven mob began the evening with our usual pre-battle march from Ironforge to Stormwind, via the Deeprun Tram. We ported to Theramore and then, knowing it was a suicide mission, dive-bombed into Orgrimmar, killing quite a few NPC’s and players before being overwhelmed by Horde.
That was just the beginning. After regrouping, we decided that we wanted to own Undercity. Our intentions were not to kill Sylvanas, but rather to lock down the city and claim it as our own. Our first move was to secure the portal area, so that we could take out anyone porting in to defend the city. We then moved to the center of the city and held it down.
Apparently both of the major Horde side PvP guilds were doing rated BG’s at the time, so we didn’t get much of a reaction, which was dissapointing, so we ended up killing Sylvanas and leaving.
This was the first time that I have done any world PvP on Emerald Dream where Horde didn’t show up en masse to defend a city. There were a few people who tried to repel us, and I salute them, but there wasn’t enough of them to turn the tide of the battle.
On an individual note, I dropped both of my professions on my Hunter and Warrior this weekend. I decided to make my Hunter a gatherer, picking up Mining and Herbalism, and my Warrior (my main), is a Jewelcrafter and Alchemist (Xmute spec for gems). I am hoping to have both professions maxed out by Sunday, but depending on how many RBG’s I run this week, I may not have the time.
I also plan on creating a Troll Warrior on Ysondre to join up with some fellow Tumblies in the guild <Dashboard>.
Finally, I think I am going to start a PvP arc for my next few posts. Topics will include, PvP basics, Surviving a PvP server, Battlegrounds, and how I think each class is faring in Season 11 so far.
As I previously blogged, I recently took my warrior and joined an all Dwarf PvP guild, <Clan Battlehammer>, on Emerald Dream-US, an RP-PvP server. So far it’s been an incredible experience. Twice a week we have “Call to Arms” events which range from full on city raids to patrolling lowbie zones to defend levelers from gankers.
We are primarily a PvP guild, but since we are also on an RP server, we like to start off our events with a little Pomp and Circumstance. Usually this means lining up in formation in Ironforge and marching off to the Deeprun Tram to Stormwind and then continuing our march to the gates of Stormwind before either porting to our destination, or mounting our flyers.
For the most part, the denizens of IF and SW like it when we do this. We usually are cheered and a lot of lowbies like to run alongside us as we march. However, this is not always the case. We are generally well liked on our server by Alliance and Horde guilds alike. Two of the most prominent world PvP Horde guilds on the server, The Crew and HK Army, usually have positive things to say about us when people inquire about Alliance PvP guilds on our realm forums, and we do the same for them. We are competitive but respect each other.
However, there is one Alliance guild on our server that is well known for their love of griefing, and they made an appearance at our CTA event last night. 37 Battlehammers assembled last night to take down Cairne Bloodhoof, after taking out the Blood Elf leader the previous week.
After engaging Cairne, an Alliance bear druid showed up and kept taunting him and forcing him to reset on us. He did this 3 times, and by that time a good number of Horde had showed up and we were no match for their combined forces as well as Cairne 2 shotting non tanks.
While the actions of that druid are annoying, it didn’t stop us from having fun that night and later on, we logged onto some alts on Moon Guard to visit another all Dwarf guild. We even ventured into the den of iniquity that is the Moon Guard Goldshire Inn. I’ll post about that adventure later today or tomorrow.
After being back in game for about a week after being away for 2 weeks, I decided to make a couple of changes regarding the game. The first change was that I decided that I couldn’t be in 3 guilds anymore. I was in a guild for raiding, and 2 casual guilds. The problem was that I felt stretched too thin, and raiding requires too much of a time commitment for me at the moment. So, I made several changes over the weekend.
First, I transferred my raid geared toon from my raiding guild to my casual guild. I enjoy raiding, but I enjoy playing with my guildmates in <Heroes of Lordaeron> (Argent Dawn- US) more.
Secondly, I transferred my PvP toon, my warrior, to Emerald Dream, a US RP-PvP server and joined an all Dwarf guild named <Clan Battlehammer>. So far it’s been a blast. I used to play my PvP characters on Gorgonnash, but the PvP community is so much better on Emerald Dream. On this realm a 2 man gank squad going out killing lowbies, can easily turn into 2 full raids battling it out for hours. I’ve only been over there a week, and I love it.
I will probably also transfer my Hunter over to Emerald Dream as well, since I PvP a lot with him as well. I had a blast with him during this past Alterac Valley weekend, even though there usually isn’t much PvP in that BG anymore. However, there was one pretty epic battle that lasted about an hour where I got 22 killing blows and only 2 deaths, so that was pretty fun.
So, I’ve narrowed down my focus to end game PvP with <Clan battlehammer> and casual PvE with <Heroes of Lordaeron>. I’m pretty happy with where I am in regards to the game, and am looking forward to the next few months.
Well, there were some issues with my orders being processed, so I don’t transfer to my next duty station for another month. I called Comcast yesterday and they are coming today to hook my internet back up.
Well, I am in the process of moving to a new duty station and have discontinued my internet access. I should be back in game the first week of July, and since I will be on shore duty, I’ll be able to raid again, and more importantly, look for a rated BG team, even if I have to transfer 1 of my characters to do so. I have a kitty, resto shaman, warrior, and hunter that I would be willing to transfer 1 of to gear up quickly, and join a quality group of people.
Other than packing and checking out, I have been keeping busy replaying ME2 with the DLC, and playing lots of LA Noire.
I have come to terms that I am in love with the Beastmaster spec. After running Vortex Pinnacle on my 82 hunter last night, and posting respectable numbers on boss fights (7.5k avg), which was higher than the 84 mage and 84 DK I ran with. I plan on running with a PvE BM spec and a PvP BM spec.
I’m never going to high end raid on this toon, so I don’t feel like I have to min/max too much on this guy. I just really like BM as a spec. Of course, I’ll do everything I can to play a BM Hunter the best I can, but I won’t change specs from BM. The most he’ll ever do is maybe some alt 10 man runs.
I will however, be focusing this guy on BG’s and I like the fact that for the BM spec, the pet is more than just a distraction.
The 5 pets I routinely run with are: A Spirit Beast (Dungeons and BG’s), Corehound (if we need BL), Turtle (Soloing elites), Silithid (for BG’s with flag runners) and a Worm (for AOE farming).
For all the other hunters out there, what are your 5 pets of choice?
As posted previously, I respecced my undead Mage to Arcane for more predictable damage. I have raided with it a bit and now feel comfortable to offer a bit of a guide for those interested in checking out this spec.
Since Wrath, Arcane has been the butt of many a joke for it’s simplicity. Let’s be fair, DPS rotations aren’t that difficult no matter what you play. I’ve played a Feral Kitty for years, and that was considered the most difficult rotation to master, but in reality it’s not hard.
I’m not going to cover gemming and stat priorities. I am going to cover the maximum DPS rotation and tell of my experiences with the spec.
In the Arcane rotation, you have 2 phases. A burn phase and a conserve phase. Your burn phase consists of an Arcane Blast spam, and your conserve phase consists of weaving your Arcane Missiles in with your AB’s and using Arcane Barrage while moving. The reason for the conserve phase is because of Mana Adept. The more mana we have, the more damage we do.
Opening a fight: From my experience, I would recommend waiting between 5-7 seconds after the pull, because you are going to be doing massive amounts of damage in a few seconds. The first time I tried the maximum DPS rotation in BH, I found myself doing 27k DPS within the first 30 seconds and had to pop iceblock to keep from dying. After your tank has sufficient aggro, it’s time to unload. This is the Burn phase. Spam AB until you’ve used 12k mana. Then use a mana gem to top yourself up and get the spellpower boost. Now is when you pop your cooldowns, Arcane Power and mirror image. You Spam AB until you’ve reached 30% mana, and then evocate yourself back to full.
The Conserve phase: At this point you enter the conserve phase, where you essentially try to keep yourself above 90% mana by weaving in Arcane Missile procs between every 2 or 3 AB’s, depending on your regen. If you find yourself using a lot of mana without getting AM procs, pop your flame orb. It will proc a bunch of AM’s, letting you regen your mana. It’s important that you know when your group is going to use Bloodlust/Heroism/Timewarp/Hysteria, so that you can make sure you are topped off for that. Once you pop Bloodlust, you enter the burn phase again, and you repeat the cycle.
That’s about it. The only other tip is to try to keep your AB stacks up during movement phases. If you know the fight, it’s possible to plan your movements so that you’ll have time to cast an AB to keep your stacks up.
As previously noted, I am currently leveling a Hunter. He hit level 74 yesterday. By my best estimation, I have leveled 50% by BG’s, 40% questing and 10% dungeon runs. So far I am having a blast. I don’t think that he’ll ever overtake my mage as my favorite DPS class, but it’s been fun so far.
Through my leveling experience, I have come to realize where the term “Huntard” came from. Soloing content is laughably easy. In my BM spec with my trusty gorilla named Hammer, I can usually complete at level quests that call for 3 players. Sometimes Hammer’s pathfinding gets a little wonky and he pulls 6 mobs instead of 2, and even that usually isn’t an issue. When soloing normal content, Hunters really don’t have to worry about anything.
Ok, back to the Huntard thing. As someone who has healed for most of his time in WoW, in a 5 man, a Hunter was either my worst nightmare or my best friend. Being in a group with a “Huntard”, i.e. one who leaves his pet on aggressive, doesn’t turn off growl, pulls aggro and instead of using FD, takes off running the other way, is a painful experience.
On the other hand, watching a Hunter that is truly on his/her game is like watching a ballet of bullets, traps and gnashing teeth. I had a hunter in my old raid group that used to amaze me on the Magmaw fight. Double trapping, kiting, while keeping 23k dps on Magmaw himself. Watching some of the videos that Frostheim and BRK have put out over the years has really inspired me to learn about the hunter class and to play it well. I don’t know if I’ll ever raid with him, since I already have a Mage, Holy Priest and a Kitty/Bear that I focus PvE content with, but I am planning on making him my BG toon.
I do have a question for any experienced hunters out there. Are there any pets out there that are worth going BM in BG’s? I’ve been primarily running BG’s as SV. I know MM is good, but I think that BM and SV feel more like Hunters and MM feels more like a Ranger. I guess I’m more in the line of thinking of BRK in that regard.
I’ve found myself playing my Priest a lot over the last week or so. I picked up the Darkmoon Card: Tsunami and the Mandela of Stirring Patterns on Sunday, which have made healing heroics a breeze, and I must say, I am enjoying healing right now as much as I ever have.
Having raided endgame as a healing Priest, Paladin, and Shaman since BC, and run BG’s as a resto Druid, I feel qualified to speak out on the question I get the most from new healers.
Which class is the best healer?
Well, the answer to that is difficult. It depends on what you want to do. While Blizzard has stated that they would like to loosen the restrictions on healers as being “Tank healers” and “Raid healers”, there are still classes that shine in different roles even though they are technically able to fill both. I am going to briefly list each healing class and what I believe are the strengths and weaknesses of each. I am not a theorycrafter by any means, but I think I know enough to help out those who are considering starting a healer for the first time.
Disc Priest: Discipline Priests shine when they are able to prevent incoming damage. Between Power Word: Shield, Divine Aegis, Power Word: Barrier and Pain Supression, they have a lot of tools at their disposal to keep group members from taking damage. Knowing when unavoidable incoming damage is imminent is important for all healers, but specifically for Disc Priests since they lack the tools that other healers have to bring a group back up quickly.
Holy Priest: Holy Priests are very strong at the moment in my opinion. Through the Chakra mechanic, they are able to focus their playstyle on either single target healing or AOE healing. While they are able to tank heal, their strength lies in raid healing, with powerful spells like Circle of Healing, Prayer of Healing, Prayer of Mending and Power Word: Sanctuary. An additional benefit to the Holy Priest is that they get more in combat regen from spirit than any other class/spec.
Holy Paladin: Regarded as the best Tank healers in the game. While Beacon of Light is no longer as powerful as it was in Wrath, where 1 Paladin could solo heal both tanks in most encounters, it is still a very powerful ability for encounters where 2 tanks will be taking the brunt of the damage. While a Paladin could raid heal effectively in some encounters, it would be against playing to their strengths as a direct damage healer. Healing on the move is easier than it used to be with Holy Shock and Word of Glory, but movement heavy fights can create a problem for an inexperienced Paladin healer.
Resto Shaman: The resto Shaman spec has the most problems at the moment in my opinion. Some problems were addressed in patch 4.1, but it seems like the resto Shaman is in limbo. For instance, Chain Heal, the Shaman’s signature spell is pretty much considered not worth casting due to the mana cost and the amount that it heals for (this isn’t just my opinion, but the opinion of many high-end raiding Shamans), and even though resto Shamans have been buffed, many top end guilds only bring them for mana tide totem, which has been nerfed. However, due to factors such as: Earth Shield, Tidal Waves, high crit on mail gear, and a 10% damage reduction to targets that they critically heal, I would recommend them as tank healers to a 10 man without a Paladin.
Resto Druid: This is the only class I don’t have personal experience raiding with at a high level, since the only healing my druid has ever done is in BG’s and a few 5-mans. From what I have read and seen from the druids I have raided with, the Druid shines in movement heavy fights, as they have a lot of instant cast HOTS. With the ability to HOT up a raid, this makes them excellent raid healers, and while they can Tank heal, since most of their heals need time to tick, and at the moment they lack a defensive cooldown to use on a tank, it can be problematic if they get behind on a tank. However, I have seen Druids tank heal effectively.
I hope this helps anyone who is considering giving healing a shot. And like I said, I’m not an authority on every healing class, these are just my opinions and observations.
Well, after not raiding since February, I accepted an invite to one of my guild’s newest raid teams last week. I dusted off my Forsaken mage who hasn’t done much outside of archaeology and a few 5 mans, and took him to BH to see how the mage changes looked in a raid environment. I did a respectable (for my gear level) 18k DPS and got some PvP gear.
I am a fire mage at heart. I love seeing things burn. Frost is fun too, but I’ve never really been that interested in arcane, due to it being a bit lackluster in the spell effects. However, since the mage changes, arcane has become a viable, if not preferred spec for many mages, after fire dominated early Cataclysm raiding.
So, this past week, I made an arcane spec and went back into BH. Same fight, same gear, different spec. Finished with 22k DPS. It’s not a big enough sample to say that arcane is better, but it is certainly worth checking out.
Even before the last round of mage changes that buffed arcane, many mages were going with an arcane spec due to reliability. For those of you who don’t play a mage, DPS in fire spec can vary wildly due to RNG. Our most powerful spells (Pyroblast, and Combustion, imapct via fireblast) can only be used when they proc, and most of the procs are reliant on critical strikes. Well, Pyroblast can be hard cast, but it is a DPS loss to repeatedly hard cast it due to it’s long cast time. I’ve had fights where the stars aligned, and I had a huge combustion dot rolling and then immediately was able to use a fireblast impact to spread it to 10 targets. (Halfus + Whelplings) I think I topped out at 57k for that fight. On the flipside, I have gone through an entire fight without getting a single pyroblast proc, even with 27% crit unbuffed. In the early days of Cata raiding, in iLevel 346 gear, I could see my DPS swing from 15k to 9k depending on procs.
On the Arcane side, an arcane mage can free cast his/her most damaging spell. What an arcane mage has to worry about is movement and mana. I’ve found that as an arcane mage, I will plan movements a step ahead of what I would do as fire, since in fire spec I could spam scorch while moving. The key to keeping your DPS up on the move as arcane is to plan your moves, and take that second or 2 to cast Arcane Blast to keep your stacks up. I won’t get into the burn phase vs. the conservation phase, since this is not a mage blog and I am by no means a theorycrafter. But, the bottom line is that you can count on getting similar DPS from fight to fight as an arcane mage. If someone says they need a DPS capable of pulling 20k, an arcane mage can say yes, while a fire mage may even be able to do more, say 22k, but only if he gets the procs he needs.
I think I will probably stay arcane for now. I have kept my fire spec for AOE heavy fights, which means I have no room for a frost spec for PvP. Arcane is not as dominant as frost in PvP due to less control options and poor defenses, but if you play smart and pair up with someone, you can be really effective. I’ve been running BG’s with a frost mage and between the 2 of us, if I have 7 seconds to cast 4 AB’s, you’re going to die.
That’s all for now. I’ve also caught the healing bug again, so I’ll post later about how things are going on my priest.
I used to be of the mindset that raiding wasn’t for everyone. That if you were unwilling to put in the time and effort, or simply were not very good, then you didn’t deserve to have any purple pixels. I used to think that you should have to clear each tier in order to get to the next one, that being able to skip content was a bad thing, and that gating content would somehow make the playerbase better.
Now let me tell you why nerfing older content and making the gearing up process is a good thing.
Raiding has pretty much become the end game activity in WoW. In Vanilla and BC this was not the case. The amount of guilds that consider themselves raiding guilds has probably tripled since BC. I remember leveling though Vanilla and not hearing anything about C’thun or Naxxramas, but now the end boss of each expansion is staring at you from the boxcover. The fact is, from the beginning of WotLK and now in Cataclysm, we are pretty much tasked with killing these guys from the very start of the expansion. It makes sense then, by wanting more players to participate in raiding, Blizzard has to take into consideration different skill and commitment levels.
There is a difference between “casual” and “entitled casual”. A casual player has limited time and or ability to commit to raiding. This does not mean bad. An entitled casual believes that the game should be so easy that they should be able to clear current raids without min/maxing or commitment to learning fights, rotations etc… There are 2 reasons I think the changes to T11 when 4.2 drops are a good thing.
#1) More people having success in raids equals more people playing. If Karazhan had kicked me in the balls over and over again for months, I probably would have given up raiding. But having that early success made me want to become a min/maxer and learn everything I could about my class so that I could be a better player.
#2) It lets people play with friends easier. Let’s face it, this game is supposed to be about playing with your friends. I had a buddy come back to WoW at the end of Wrath. Using RAF, he was able to level and gear up pretty quickly and fill in a hole we had at a healer position in ICC. Some elitists would insist that he should have to complete Naxx, EOE, Ulduar, and ToC before he should be allowed to run ICC, therefore putting our guild’s progress on hold for a couple of weeks while running him through that content.
For the elitists: Who cares if somebody kills a nerfed Nefarian 4 months after you’ve been raiding Firelands? How does this diminish your accomplishments? Most casual players with only a few hours to play each week don’t want to spend them with an icepack on their swollen sack after being kicked in it for 2 hours. Once the tier is no longer current content, I don’t see a reason not to nerf them. Instead of belittling players who aren’t as good as you are, you could try helping. Maybe you could host some “learn to raid” pugs of the older content instead of running around calling people “bads”
For the casuals: I will concede to nerfing older content, but for the love of God, stop calling for nerfs to current content. If the current tier is too difficult for you, keep working on it, or wait until it is nerfed. Just don’t call for the removal of the challenges in the current tier for players who truly enjoy challenge. Getting Yogg +0 down on our 99th attempt was one of my best raiding memories.
Sometimes casuals and elitists think that the game would be better if the other group went and played something else, but they are wrong. The top tier raiders need the casuals to pay Blizzard’s bills and the casuals need the top tier raiders to keep Blizzard’s designers on their toes in terms of encounter design.
Well, my Hunter is up to level 71, and I’ve been running BG’s everyday with him for the past 2 weeks. I’ll probably level him exclusively in BG’s until I get to level 74 because I detest Northrend up until you get to Sholazar Basin. As I previously stated, I’ve always been a healer in PvP, so this is my first attempt at damage dealing. I’ve been running both a BM and a SV spec for a little while and have yet to nail down which one I like more. I tend to use my corehound if I am BM and for SV I’ll use a spider for WSG and an owl for most of the other ones. A 10 second disarm comes in handy when a DK or a Paladin comes after you.
BG’s I like: WSG, AV, AB, B4G, and IoC.
BG’s I hate: SoTA, and EoTS.
So far I’ve won probably around 70% of the BG’s I’ve been in, and got my 1k HK’s and the achievement “Damage Control” for doing over 300k damage in my last BG tonight.
I am also planning on spending some time healing in BG’s again, since I’m still a healer at heart. I just need to decide if it is going to be my priest, shaman or paladin.
We have 2 days in America where we honor our servicemen and women. Veteren’s Day is for those men and women who fought to defend our country and our allies, and Memorial Day honors those who didn’t come back.
No matter what your political beliefs are, I ask that you take time today to reflect on those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. We don’t go to faraway places because we like war, or even necessarily always believe we should be there in the first place. We go because it is our job, and when the bullets start flying, all the politics go out the window, we fight to protect our friends.
I have been lucky to have come home from all my deployments without major injury, I also have friends that weren’t so lucky. So please take the time out from your day to honor those who stepped up and made the ultimate sacrifice. And may God comfort the families of the fallen.
"The brave die never, though they sleep in dust: Their courage nerves a thousand living men." -Minot J. Savage
I rolled another Druid last night. The one I already had is a kitty/bear, and this one will be a chicken/tree. I chose to use this toon to document the changes in the Horde leveling experience, now that my Alliance Hunter is in Outland.
Not having too much of a choice in what race to play, I chose a female Troll, partly because I don’t really like how big Tauren are, and partly because I can’t stand the hunchback male Troll form.
This got me thinking about crossgaming…i.e. people who play toons in MMO’s that are of the opposite sex of the player. For the most part I play male toons. I’m not against playing female toons, I have had a couple in the past. Usually the reason I will choose a female over a male model is because the male version of the race looks awful to me.
For instance, I would choose a female Blood Elf over a male one, a Troll female over a male one, and a Gnome female because male Gnomes look like tiny little rapists. I will also choose a female model if I already have a male toon of that race already, just for variety.
I do remember the first time I rolled a female toon. It was a few years back, and I decided that lorewise, a female Night Elf Priestess would be fun. Within 10 minutes of creating my character, I had some hunter following me around killing stuff for me, the helpless damsel in distress. After a few minutes, I got a whisper. “Do you like me?” I replied, “I appreciate you trying to help, but I can handle things myself.”. He replied back. “No, I mean do you LIKE me?” That was the first person i ever put on my ignore list, and I ended up deleting that toon and not rolling another female toon for over a year.
For all you female players, does that crap happen to you all the time?
Oh, and p.s. If you play on Argent Dawn US and run into a female Troll Druid named Suenami, say hello to me.
I have primarity been a PvE player since I started playing WoW, but during Wrath, after killing Arthas and Halion, I decided to dedicate myself to PvP for the remaining months of the expansion. So, I started doing BG’s and partnered with a Hunter with my Disc Priest for 2’s and the Hunter and a DK for 3’s. We did fairly well, and ended with a 2k rating. I always found it funny that occasionally in trade chat, there will be a argument about which takes more skill, PvE or PvP. PvPers will often cite the scripted nature of raids taking less skill than the thinking on your feet aspect of Arena. In my experience as a healer, Arena is just as scripted as raiding is. On my 2’s team, we had the exact same strat for every match. #1) Identify a target. #2) Hunter ice traps the target while I run over to the ice block. #3) Hunter burns down target #2 while I fear Target #1 after he trinkets or it wears off. #4) Hunter hits target #1 with distracting shot while my fear is on CD. #5) I fear target #1 after he comes out of distracting shot. #6) Hunter finishes off target #2.
I liked healing in BG’s because #1, not a lot of people do it, and #2, good teammates usually knew to keep me alive. The downside was that more often than not, I had teammates who didn’t care about protecting the healer, and being the first target started to get old.
So, with me not raiding at a competitive level anymore, I have decided to focus on PvP for now, and this time I’m going to be a damage dealer. So, right now it’s just figuring out what class to play. My mage would be a good choice, but I am currently still raiding casually and have a fire and an arcane spec for that. So, I dusted off a Tauren Warrior that I’ve had for a while, leveled him to 85 and jumped into some random BG’s. My experience so far has been pretty mixed. My gear is pretty terrible, so I don’t do a lot of damage and my resilience is only around 1500, so I’m also pretty squishy. I’ve also done a few BG’s on my feral Druid with just my PvE gear on, with mixed results.
My other option is to continue leveling my hunter, who is level 61 at the moment. I ran some BG’s last night on him and had some success, and at least at this point, am more comfortable with being ranged. So, my plan for now is to continue to level him to 85 in random BG’s so that when I hit 85, I will have a pretty decent stash of honor.
This isn’t a WoW related post, but I was asked to write a post about the best, and worst, places I have been while in the Military. So here goes.
#1. Korea. What can I say, I have a weakness for asian girls, soju and kimchi. Plus, Seoul is amazing. Pusan is nice as well. I was offered orders to Seoul if I wanted to reenlist, but I’ve already made plans to get my law degree when I get out in 2 more years.
#3. Sicily. Great food, but things open too late if you have to be back on base before midnight. Most restaurants don’t open for dinner until 9pm.
#4. Turkey. The last time I was there, I walked across a bridge that Alexander the Great once crossed. Great sense of History there.
#5. Spain. I was there during Carnival…I don’t remember much. I do remember not liking bullfights though. They should dip their horns in poison or something to give them a fighting chance. Instead a bunch of guys on horses spear them until they are weak enough for some nancy-boy in a cape to finish them off.
Not so great places:
#1. Djibouti (Next door to Somalia). Smells like a cows stomach filled with crap and lit on fire. Random guys with AK-47’s roaming the streets while high on Kat. You’ll occasionally see a dead body in the streets. The one highlight was going swimming with Whale Sharks while I was there.
I’ve never played D&D before, but a guildmate of mine posted a link to a site in her blog that allows you to take a survey to see what kind of D&D character you are. You can take the quiz here…http://www.easydamus.com/character.html
Here are my results:
I Am A:Neutral Good Dwarf Bard/Cleric (3rd/2nd Level) Neutral Good: A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order. However, neutral good can be a dangerous alignment because it advances mediocrity by limiting the actions of the truly capable.
Dwarves are known for their skill in warfare, their ability to withstand physical and magical punishment, their hard work, and their capacity for drinking ale. Dwarves are slow to jest and suspicious of strangers, but they are generous to those who earn their trust. They stand just 4 to 4.5 feet tall, but are broad and compactly built, almost as wide as they are tall. Dwarven men value their beards highly.
Primary Class:Bards often serve as negotiators, messengers, scouts, and spies. They love to accompany heroes (and villains) to witness heroic (or villainous) deeds firsthand, since a bard who can tell a story from personal experience earns renown among his fellows. A bard casts arcane spells without any advance preparation, much like a sorcerer. Bards also share some specialized skills with rogues, and their knowledge of item lore is nearly unmatched. A high Charisma score allows a bard to cast high-level spells.
Secondary Class:Clerics act as intermediaries between the earthly and the divine (or infernal) worlds. A good cleric helps those in need, while an evil cleric seeks to spread his patron’s vision of evil across the world. All clerics can heal wounds and bring people back from the brink of death, and powerful clerics can even raise the dead. Likewise, all clerics have authority over undead creatures, and they can turn away or even destroy these creatures. Clerics are trained in the use of simple weapons, and can use all forms of armor and shields without penalty, since armor does not interfere with the casting of divine spells. In addition to his normal complement of spells, every cleric chooses to focus on two of his deity’s domains. These domains grants the cleric special powers, and give him access to spells that he might otherwise never learn. A cleric’s Wisdom score should be high, since this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.
Ok, let’s talk about raiding. I was first introduced to raiding back in BC. I was in a very casual guild and usually on the weekends, our merry little band of adventurers would venture off to Karazhan. I was late to the party, having started playing WoW about 6 months before Wrath was launched, so the instance had already been nerfed by then.
About an hour after my prot paladin hit 70, I got a whisper from one of our officers. “Hey, you want to come to Kara?” I replied “What’s Kara?”. He said, “A 10 man raid.”. After trying to get out of tanking a 10 man raid in my quest greens and dungeon blues, he convinced me to go. Did I also mention that I was about 30 points away from being defense capped for raids? Yeah. Luckily we had an amazing Holy Paladin keeping me up, and the fact that the rest of the group had been doing Kara for months, so stuff died pretty quick. We never did much past Kara, but we enjoyed ourselves.
Needless to say, after that weekend’s full clear, I was hooked. I began to take min/maxing seriously, and tanking everything I could until Wrath came out.
Once Wrath dropped, I had to make a decision. We already had 2 awesome tanks in our guild, but no shaman. While on a previous deployment, I leveled a shaman to 60, so I decided to finish leveling him as an elemental/resto shaman and make that my main. We ran 10 man Naxx as a guild, and partnered with another guild for the 25’s. It was around that time that the guild fell apart. 5 members of our 10 man, including both healers and main tank, decided that they wanted a more progression oriented experience rather than farm the same 10 man over and over like we did in BC. Once they left, I tried to stay for a while to get something going, but it just wasn’t happening. I ended up taking my shaman over to the guild that we had been partnering with for 25 mans.
Ulduar was the crowning achievement for this guild, and after we became the 4th guild on our server to clear it on 10 man, our main tank, and top 2 dps accepted invites to a US top 50 guild.
I stuck around with this guild for a while. We got back on our feet, and then I went on another deployment. By the time I got back, ICC had already come out, there was already a 10% buff in play, and our GM had quit the game. I was asked if I could switch to my shadowpriest for ICC because they already had an Ele Shaman, and they knew I was pretty good with my offspec of Disc, and knew that it was effective during the LK fight.
Without getting into too much detail, those next 2 months involved much drama and little progression. We were getting members poached left and right by the elite guilds on our server, and I ended up transferring servers to play with a buddy, finally downed Arthas, then Halion the next week, and then shut down raiding until Cataclysm.
Everything was good at the beginning of Cataclysm. My raid group was running heroics together, and we enjoyed the increased difficulty. I ended up switching to my Mage since our team didn’t have a mage, hunter or shaman for bloodlust. (Yeah, I know I’m an altaholic). The first couple of weeks were good. We downed 3 bosses our first 2 weeks, raiding only 4 hours a week. Then we stopped progressing, partly due to turnover (we only had 7 full time members, and it was getting tedious teaching the fights every week to new people), and partly due to time. We were attempting to progression raid on two hour nights, twice a week.
That raid team imploded, and I went on another deployment. I’ve been back around 3 weeks, and as of now, I am not raiding on a regular basis. I have a few raid teams that look me up when they need someone, but nothing concrete. I’ll be moving to shore duty when Firelands comes out, so I’m happy waiting for that and leveling alts and PvPing for now. Through listening to the All Things Azeroth podcast, I have become involved with the guild, Heroes of Lordaeron, and have been having a good time playing casually with a group of great people.
In my previous post I criticized the community in general for the lack of tanks using the LFD system. In this post, I’d also like to remind everyone that being a tank, is not free reign to be a jackass.
While my druid waits in the wings for a few other people in the guild to gear up for the Zandalari heroics, I decided to swap my priest from shadow to holy in order to take the healing burden off of one of my guildmates, so that she could take her alts to our runs. Our guild, (Heroes of Lordaeron, Argent Dawn US) is very casual and primarily does 5-mans, but there is interest from a few people to try our hand at raiding in the future. I have another guild that I raid with on my mage, but my deployment schedule kept me out of the last few months of progression for this tier. My mage is pretty well geared, so I think I’ll continue to PUG raids until 4.2 comes out and then hit it hard since I will have transferred to shore duty by that point.
Now, I have been a healer for years on my paladin, but this is my first experience concentrating on healing in the new “mana is limited” model. My gear is decent, avg iLevel is 335, but I have 2 pretty crappy trinkets, so I’ve been running normal 85’s to try to upgrade them before I venture into heroics. At the end of the month, I will have the TB rep trinket and the darkmoon card: Tsunami, so my trinkets will be set by then.
Boss fights on normal have been pretty easy. I usually finish the fight with 1/3 mana or more. The issue I have been running into is exhausting all my mana on trash pulls because the tank refuses to stop pulling before I am topped off, which results in me healing trash pulls with 1/3 mana, sitting to drink, and then having the tank pull another group before I have even replenished 1/2 of my mana. This ends up with me having to drink before every trash pull because the tank won’t stop for 10 seconds.
The other issue I have run into are tanks who don’t feel the need to mark a kill order or have a group member CC something on trash pulls. This results in the tank being smashed by 5 or more mobs, usually while standing in something stupid, and me having to spam my inefficient heals just to keep him from dying…and then having to drink after every trash pull.
Yesterday I ran Grim Batol 3 times. In my opinion, the trash pulls can be more difficult than the bosses if not done correctly, due to the fact that many of the trash mobs have AOE and more often than not, I end up dispelling as much as I am healing during those pulls. After noticing that I was drinking after every trash pull, the tank during my first run asked me: “What’s up with your regen dude?”. I told him that too many people were taking damage during the trash pulls, and that healing through the AOE, as well as people taking avoidable damage, as well as dispelling all of us, as well as him being pounded on by 5 mobs was pretty taxing on my mana. His response was: “Whatever man, blame someone else, I’m holding aggro.”. I told him that if I can finish a boss fight with 1/3-1/2 mana, but have to drink after every trash pull, then the group is not doing something right.
So, having been a tank for a while, I thought I would make a list of things a tank should know while running with PUG groups.
1) Someone offering to give you tips on tanking is not questioning your manhood.
2) CCing a mob or 2 during a trash pull does not make you less of a tank.
3) Refusing to CC mobs during trash pulls does not make the run go quicker if the healer has to drink after every pull because you are getting pounded on.
4) Pay attention to what your group is capable of. If your dps is all pulling 14-18k and your healer is pretty decked out, you can get away with not using CC on almost every trash pull. But if your dps is pulling 5k, and you have little to no avoidance, you are going to get beat on for a while, and you should probably CC something.
5) Tank spec with dps gear is a terrible idea
Long story short: Tanks, you are not infallible, unique, special snowflakes. You have my sympathy and appreciation for tanking in LFD PUGs, but that does not give you the right to act like a jackass.
I started playing WoW during the Burning Crusade. I was a protection Paladin. I had a good reputation on my server as a reliable tank, who always finished instances (except for one Shadow Labs run), and never complained. I had a huge friends list, and was often invited to raid with other guilds since my guild was very casual and didn’t raid beyond our weekend Karazhan runs.
Fast forward to Wrath, and my paladin was on a new server, in a new guild and was now main specced Holy. I found that I enjoyed healing very much, but I did miss tanking. The reason I respecced was due to the fact that being in the military, my deployment schedule usually makes me miss about 6 months of raiding a year, and my guild felt it would be easier to replace me as a healer. So, to scratch my tanking itch, I respecced my level 80 PvP warrior to protection. This was right around the time that LFD was introduced.
Using LFD to try to learn how to Warrior tank was an exercise in frustration. Basically it was “TANK, PULL MOAR!” “WE DON”T NEED CC”. “STOP MARKING”. Or the mage who liked to pull and then complain. “OMG! TANK! Y U NOT TAUNT?” I told them that I was new to warrior tanking, and that I was concentrating on Warrior tanking mechanics. I was aware that for the most part a healer could heal through stupid at that point, or that if a dps pulled aggro that they could probably kill it before it got to them, but I wanted to learn to be a good tank, and that a Mage casting blizzard before I had even finished my charge wasn’t helping. So, after a couple of weeks of that, I stopped using LFD. I hooked up with a group of new raiders who needed a tank for ICC, and learned how to tank in there. Within 2 weeks, I found myself tanking the Lich King himself.
Fast forward to Cataclysm and I still don’t use LFD for tanking. I will only tank for my guild. I’ve seen too many people in LFD PUGs who have little to no patience for a tank who is still learning, or isn’t pulling fast enough for them.
If you visit the WoW forums on a regular basis, there are always threads addressing the “tank shortage”. Most are just QQ threads that blame everyone from tanks themselves, to Blizzard for the shortage. I have a different opinion. In my opinion, there is no tank shortage in WoW. There is a tank shortage in LFD, and the only people to blame is the community in general. I have talked to tanks that are doing heroic 25 man Cataclysm raids who won’t queue as a tank in LFD. I think that tells you something. Maybe if people had been willing to spend an extra 5 minutes in a dugeon in Wrath, there would be more people using LFD in Cataclysm.
Above is my level 31 Human Hunter. I rolled him about amonth ago and when I am not too busy, I will log onto him and do some questing.
When I leveled my first character through the 1-60 content, I couldn’t help but feel disconnected. Here I was, a Paladin, a Defender of the Light, a man who had braved Van Cleef and the Deadmines, and come back alive, and I was being asked to deliver some Redridge guard’s lunch to him?
Every character I have leveled since then, has been done in the most expedient way possible, because for every Pamela Redpath quest that tugs at your heartstrings, there were 10 delivery quests. For every Morbant Fel questline, there were 15 “Get me 8 goretusk livers” quests. These type of quests totally brought me out of the game. I played the game to be a hero, and on my way to glory I guess I had time to help some old lady with her pie recipe.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are still delivery quests and kill quests in the new leveling experience, but they feel like you are doing things for the overarching story. For example, the best questline I have seen so far Alliance side is the questline involving John J. Keeshan*, a Rambo knockoff and his former Commanding Officer, Colonel Troteman. One of the fetch quests involves getting the 4 items that Keeshan needs to be a soldier again: His bandana, knife, bow and a jade amulet, and culminates with you leading your “Rambo” squad into battle against a dragon.
Quests like these keep you engrossed in the story. When I leveled my paladin in the old 1-60 content, I had no idea why I was doing certain quests or helping certain people. I didn’t even know if there was an overarching story the way Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King had.
I’m sure that by the time I do the quests a few times, I won’t be as enthusiastic about leveling a new character, but I never enjoyed leveling on my first character either, I just wanted to hit the level cap so I could raid with my friends.
All in all, I highly reccomend to anyone to start a new character from scratch and enjoy the new content, even if you only play it sparingly. At the very least, it will flesh out the story of what is going on in Cataclysm.
I am also leveling an Undead Warrior at the moment, and when i get a little higher, I will post about the questing Horde side, but I can say that the 1-20 Undead zone is probably the best questing I have ever experienced in any MMO.
*The name John J. Keeshan is most likely a combination of John J. Rambo and Bob Keeshan, AKA Captain Kangaroo. According to urban legend, Keeshan was a decorated Marine who fought at Iwo Jima, although records show that he enlisted too late to serve overseas.
“The beginning of wisdom is the statement ‘I do not know.’ The person who cannot make that statement is one who will never learn anything. And I have prided myself on my ability to learn.”—Thrall, son of Durotan
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Rannoc and I play multiple characters in World of Warcraft. (That’s me on the right.) My day to day main character is my new level 85 feral dps/tank Druid, but I also occasionally raid on my Mage and PvP on my Warrior. The reason for this blog is twofold. Being an active poster on the WoW forums and on various guild forums, I felt the need to be able to expand my thoughts on topics involving the game I enjoy, and to hopefully foster good discussion on things such as game mechanics and philosophy. My goal is to eventually be able to discuss topics that interest my readers and if things go well, possibly turn this simple blog into a more community oriented site.
My first arc of posts will be about the current state of WoW from my perspective. I will cover leveling, dungeons, end game PvE, and end game PvP. People that agree or disagree with me are encouraged to post their opinions and suggest topics to be covered. My goal is to update this blog on Monday and Thursday, but being active duty military, these days may change.
Thank you for visiting my blog, I hope you will return and become an active follower.