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Archive for the ‘Raiding’ Category

leadership experience

Today, my Organic Chemistry class was visited by a couple of representatives from the pharmacy school at one of the big research universities elsewhere in the state. Toward the end of their presentation, when they were reviewing the application requirements for the program, they said, speaking of the leadership experience requirement, that just about anything would do — school, church, scouts, clubs, anything where you might have been in a position of responsibility/authority for other people. So I asked, because I was pretty sure my students wouldn’t, if guild or raid leadership in an MMO counted.

“What’s an MMO?”

A multiplayer online game, I said, like World of Warcraft, Rift, Lord of the Rings Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Wildstar

Blank looks. They didn’t know what they’d do about it, because no-one has yet put that type of leadership experience on an application for their program. But maybe I gave them something to think about…

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Looks like we have An Agenda for the next several months:

Malygos and Deathwing (and I guess Ony and Sarth, too, though they’re pretty easy to solo these days) with side-trips to Firelands to beat up Fandral Smellyfeet to see if he’s ready to give Momo her staff yet.

Personally, I’m still missing the Azure, Onyxian, and Blazing Drakes. Thankfully, the Sandstone Drake has been replaced with the Purple Netherwing Drake, so I don’t have to grind Archaeology with one of my Alchemists, after all — phew!

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Well, with the servers down for maintenance, I might as well blow off this head of steam I’ve been building by writing a rant.

I was reading through the Dev Watercooler blogs about the development of raiding and the raid design philosophy for Warlords and everything was looking good to me until I came to this bit (emphasis added):

Accordingly, while loot will be awarded more frequently, Raid Finder in Warlords will have different loot tables than the Normal, Heroic, or Mythic versions of the raids, along with different item art.

Wait, what?! No Tier from LFR? Not even “nuclear snot green” Tier?

So perhaps the LFR colorations of tier items in Mists have been the cheap department store knock-offs of the designer boutique normal/heroic mode versions. If the LFR items are going to have different item art altogether, if Tier will only be obtainable by normal+ mode raiding, then Blizzard just formalized that, in Warlords, LFR raiders will really and truly be second-class citizens.

I have really enjoyed being able to raid “on my own terms” during Mists via LFR, and I resent this notion of being required to do regular raiding again if I want to have the tier look. I burned out on regular raiding during Cataclysm, and I have no desire to start doing it again — not even for tier. In Mists, being able to get the same models as tier/raid items, even if I’ve sometimes had to settle for less-attractive color schemes, has been my primary motivation for running LFR not only with one character, once or twice, as a Tourist, to see the story, but also with many characters, many times. Being able to get current content tier with any character who wants it has been truly wonderful for me! I certainly couldn’t do that with a regular raid group! If I won’t even be able to get the tier models by running LFR, the alternate item art would be a poor substitute no matter how stylish and attractive it might be — as a current example, which looks do people prefer more? The justice points/timeless isle lookalike gear that drops in Mogu’shan Vaults, or the real thing T14 gear that drops in Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring? — and, oh look, there are previews of Warlords armor up on Wowhead and bleargh!, except for cloth, I like what I’m seeing for the crafted and dungeon sets better than the LFR sets! It seems that I will have significantly decreased motivation to do any kind of raiding in Warlords.

When I’m designing a new outfit in MogIt, I’ve learned to ignore PvP items because PvP is a part of the game that I don’t want to play. I’ve learned to ignore the normal/heroic mode color schemes of raid items, too, because normal/heroic mode raiding is not how I want to spend my playtime. Now, I guess I’ll have to re-learn to ignore tier entirely, just like I did in BC when SSC/TK was a little beyond my guild’s reach and BT/Hyjal/Sunwell was way, way beyond my guild’s reach. And that makes this Transmogrification fanatic very sad indeed.

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So there I was, derping it up in Mogu’shan Vaults with the Priest on Wednesday night — the Paladin having won the last item she wanted from Siege of Orgrimmar on Tuesday night — when I noticed in my Grid a little orange box displaying the truncated name “Amer”. Hmm, I thought to myself, could that be? During an out-of-combat moment, I moused over the box to display the character’s full name, and, sure enough, it was Amerdruid! I found her character and gave her a quick hug. After the raid was over, we had a lovely chat. It’s always so nice to run into a friend in LFR!

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I’ll admit, I’m not that great of a healer, and really, I probably never was. Kamalia scraped through Proving Grounds Silver by the skin of her teeth and still hasn’t gone back for Gold (let alone Endless/Proven!).

I made the Paladin get her own Proving Grounds Silver — it took several attempts — before I started taking her to LFR. I plan to do the same with the Priest, the Druid, and the Monk before I take them to LFR. This is not a new objective, sparked by the news that a Proving Grounds Silver will be required to random-queue for Heroic Dungeons in Warlords; rather, it is something I have planned to do with my healers ever since the Proving Grounds first came out and Ghostcrawler commented that in the future (i.e., next expansion) a Proving Grounds Silver might be required to queue for LFR.

Because Shaman have so few instant-cast heals — only Riptide and Nature’s Swiftness + [heal] when I first began raiding — I learned to be a turret. I never properly learned how to use Spiritwalker’s Grace; I’m always forgetting about it and realizing only later, “oh, that bit of the fight would have been a good time to use SWG”. I don’t always remember, the next time I do the fight, to use SWG at that particular point, either.

With my Paladin, running LFR, I forget to use Avenging Wrath, Guardian of Ancient Kings, and especially “Raidwall”, because I never can remember what the real name of that spell is. But I have learned to use my instant-cast heals on the move, tossing out Holy Shocks, Eternal Flames, and Lights of Dawn as I run out of the fire. When Patch 6.0 comes, I will have to unlearn that behavior.

Blizz is backtracking on the “smart heals”; I seem to remember that when they were first introduced they bounced randomly, and only later were changed to prefer the most-damaged player within range. The notion that ground effect and other AOE type heals should be most mana-effective when two or more players are within them, well, isn’t that how it should have been working all along? Even if I was not very good at actually choosing my targeting/placement? So, whatever. Maybe I’ll actually learn to be a better healer again in Warlords after the decay I’ve suffered since quitting regular guild-based raiding and becoming an LFR Tourist-and-Transmog raider.

To me, it seems like the most difficult part of the healing changes will be getting the DPS mindset to accept that it’s OKAY to be at less than 100% health some or even most of the time and not be continually whining for heals and blaming the healers for every wipe.

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on a roll

The Pet Battling Monk reached level 70 on Friday. Sometime between level 50 and 60, I began neglecting her Archaeology. Now that she’s ready to head out to Northrend, however, I think I’ll be picking it back up. There’s nothing in particular that I want her to do in Northrend — besides looking for an Unborn Val’kyr — so in between the pet battle dailies and the LFD queues, she’ll probably go dig in Eastern Kingdoms instead of questing.

It only took me a few tries to get past Blood Knight Antari and open up the Outland pet battle dailies. With those relatively high level dailies requiring more care in assembling my teams, I downloaded the PetBattle Teams addon so that I could save combinations that work — meaning, they only require one or two forfeits to go heal before they manage to win by the skin of their teeth. Cassandra Kaboom and Grazzle the Great are the lowest-level tamers for whom I have set teams. Traitor Gluk and Kela Grimtotem don’t need set teams. For everyone else above them, though, I have a team arranged. A couple of my mid-Kalimdor level range teams are strong enough now to put a carry pet in the first slot, but I don’t have enough high-level pets of the right families to do that with any of my Outland teams yet. Speaking of high-level pets, I got Kiamore and Navie Chan to level 25. Then, I carefully chose the pets I was using for the highest and lowest-level trainer battles so as to complete “No Favorites” before allowing any of my highest-level wild-captured pets to ding 25 (none of them have, yet).

After a week of seeing neither hide nor hair of Loque’nahak — only many, many other Hunters all doing the same thing as herself, always one or two and sometimes as many as five or six — the Hunter said “forget this!” and fired up her Dimensional Ripper-Everlook. She tamed a Frostsaber Stalker at Frostsaber Rock, then travelled to the Sanctuary of Malorne to start helping out at the Molten Front.

Poor Kinevra. I’ve only been getting to her Argent Tournament dailies about once a week. I’ve realized that I am very, very tired not so much of jousting itself as of the music that plays while you are jousting — and of having to reload my UI when I’m done jousting to get the normal zone music to start playing again — though I am rather tired of the Icecrown zone music, too.

Kamalia finally won Norushen’s Enigmatic Barrier. The LFR version coordinates strikingly well with her legendary cloak! Because I am very much a tourist and transmog raider, she is now pretty much done with LFR for the rest of the expansion. The Paladin went to Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring again this week and managed to pick up the Int plate belt. I really need to take her to the Isle of Thunder to pick up some Elder Charms before I do T14 LFR with her again.

Mini-Kam got to Exalted with the Tillers and Cloud Serpents. She’s still got a long way to go with the August Celestials, of course. She spent an hour farming mogu in the Vale and got not one, but two Skyshards. For that bit of fantastic luck, I expect that she won’t get any Skyshards for several farming sessions to come.

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an oracular cow

Oracle of the Shifting Sands

Crown of Endless Knowledge, Replica Virtuous Mantle & Gloves, Vestments of the Oracle, Apothecary’s Waistband/Captain Sanders’ Sash, Earthmender’s Bracer of Shattering, Scarlet Filigreed Doublet, Invincible Stave
Each week since she reached level 90, Kaohana has been squishing bugs in Ahn’Qiraj — Prophet Skeram, the Bug Trio, Battleguard Sartura, Fankriss the Undying, and all the trash in between — hoping that Fankriss will drop the Robes of the Guardian Saint for her. Though Fankriss has dropped those robes at least three times for my Warrior while she was farming him for the Silithid Carapace Chestguard, my Priest has yet to see them.
Meanwhile, she’s been racking up the Brood of Nozdormu rep. This past week, she finally made it to Honored, and so, with a little help from Plaid Elf for the Twin Emperors and C’thun, I accomplished one of my longtime WoW goals: I acquired one of the insect-wing robes from Ahn’Qiraj. The red & gold Priest version is the only one available to Tauren; someday, I’d like to get the blue Mage version and the lovely purple Warlock version with my Blood Elves. I wish Blizzard would change the Brood of Nozdormu rep grind to start from Neutral instead of Hated!
The Scarlet Filigreed Doublet is just the right shade of red to blend with this robe and fill in that little gap between the sleeves and the bracers. The Red Linen Shirt is too light and orangey, and the Red Workman’s Shirt is too dark.
The Invincible Stave isn’t quite Benediction, but since the latter staff is no longer obtainable, it will have to do.

Darkmoon Oracle

Duskwoven Turban, Slime-Encrusted Pads, Willow Robe, High Councillor’s Sash, Soulcloth Gloves, Crescent Wand, Aboriginal Rod, Cloak of the Darkmoon Faire, Golden Filigreed Doublet
Kaohana wore this outfit during the December Darkmoon Faire, immediately prior to finishing her Shado-Pan rep grind.
The Aboriginal Rod is one of a few off-hand frill items that looks like a staff — the Highborne Star is another — thus allowing a caster to emulate Gandalf’s sword/dagger + staff style of magical combat.
The purple Mystical Headwrap might look even better with this outfit, but I have plans for another outfit for Kaohana that will use the green turban, and I don’t have any plans for outfits using the purple one.

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